Screech Jays

August 22, 2009

Blue jays make an awful racket. They sound like crows being strangled. Such lovely birds to watch but it is excruciating to listen to them.


June 18, 2009


I like these kind of macro shots taken with a flash. I’m using my new Canon 270EX flash with an off camera shoe cord. This is effectively the technique used for nearly all underwater macro shots except I use two strobes underwater which minimizes the harsh single source shadows. The technique is simple and you don’t have to depend on good ambient light or a tripod. Flowers, just like many underwater critters, sometimes reflect light in interesting ways when lit up with a flash.


June 16, 2009

Rice Lake Sunset

Bug On The Edge

June 10, 2009

Bug On Leaf

Captured at 720p on a Canon Rebel T1i. The HD version looks good but my computer can’t keep up (even allowing the full video to download first). The non-HD YouTube version doesn’t really do justice to the “magic”. The original video looks great on the camera screen :-)

Gordy the Groundhog

May 5, 2009



April 18, 2009





March 29, 2009



 It is easy to understand those that dedicate a great deal of their time growing these lovely plants… yet I’m grateful I can get mine at Wal-Mart for $8.99.

Oh Deer

March 26, 2009

Backyard Deer - Humber River, Toronto

Click through for a larger image.

This is a view from my mother’s kitchen last Sunday. Her home, in Toronto, backs onto the Humber River ravine. I counted nine deer though I can only count eight in the shot. The deer are common visitors though not usually in numbers this large.

Ahhhhhh, urban life :-)

“Taking an orphaned animal home is not legal in New Brunswick without a permit,” said Mr. Delong. “And permits are not generally issued for someone to take an animal home to take care of it.”

This from a Globe and Mail story about a man who performed a caesarean section on a pregnant deer that layed dying at the side of the road after being struck by a pick-up truck.

So I’m curious whether the journalist who wrote the article is emphasizing the legal/illegal aspect to add tension to this interesting story. It is hard to believe that the Department of Natural Resources officials in New Brunswick are debating whether or not to charge this man.

Eco Nihilism

August 14, 2007

A New York Times Opinion piece named The 17 Percent Problem and the Perils of Domestication laments about man’s influence on the natural world.

In June, Science magazine published an article called “Domesticated Nature,” which noted that by 1995, “only 17% of the world’s land area had escaped direct influence by humans.” The article was accompanied by one map showing the enormous “human footprint” on Earth and another showing in a thicket of red lines the tangle of road networks and shipping lanes across the globe. That 17 percent figure is now certainly smaller, and that thicket of transport networks gets a little more tangled every day. The article takes as a working assumption what is obviously true: “There really is no such thing as nature untainted by people.”

Obviously true? Let’s try it with bees: “There really is no such thing as nature untainted by bees.” This sentence applied to bees really doesn’t make any sense because the word “untainted” is emotionally loaded in a “you’ve got the cooties” kind of way and it is really really weird to think of bees as separate from nature.

So why do we continue to think of humanity as separate from nature despite all the contrary evidence? It is an “Us vs. Them” mentality where Them is nature and Us is something very different and flawed beyond repair.

Just when Goracle Gardeners make me sigh, along comes Margaret Wente to right my world. Her article in the Globe and Mail titled The birds and the bees and the northern flicker in the fridge cracks me up.

UPDATE: article now behind a subscriber firewall… sorry.

Shrimp in an Anemone

April 25, 2007