Playing With Geese

….more like playing with my camera

Usually when I approach birds of any kind they tend to fly away. I was hoping that my new zoom lens would allow me to get closer without actually having to physically approach my subjects.

A few day ago, when I left the dog at home, I walked into the Col. Sam Smith Park hoping to find some birds to capture with my camera. Despite the bitter cold, I found a gaggle of geese along the first beach as I entered the naturalized area of the park. To my surprise the geese did not fly away. Instead a couple of them walked towards me as if looking for something. I don’t know if it was curiosity on their part or if they were looking for a handout.

At one point they got so close to me that I found myself actually backing away from them. One thing I know about geese and swans is that they can be rather nasty and they will bite if they feel threatened. Clearly these two weren’t threatened by me or this big black contraption hanging from my neck.

I’m pretty pleased with the photos I managed to get. In fact, I didn’t have the zoom lens with me. I used the macro lens. These birds were way to close to me for the zoom lens anyway, unless I wanted pictures of their eyes.  I’m sure that an expert could find plenty wrong with them. The day was overcast, Canada Geese don’t have a lot of colour and the beach we were standing on was also void of a lot of colour. Consequently there’s not a lot of contrast and everything seems a little muted. None the less, it is what it is and I finally got a close-up even without my zoom lens.

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From Record Breaking Highs in February to Bone Chilling Temps in March

….it was too good to be true….winter is still with us

In February we set records for the warmest February ever in Toronto and southern Ontario. People were wearing spring jackets, tee shirts and some brave souls wore shorts. In Toronto all the snow had melted but north of the city there was lots of snow and skiers were enjoying spring skiing conditions.

Every year our physical education teacher organizes two cross country ski trips for our grade 4 and grade 5 students. It is usually the only time I go skiing but I love it, so when I was asked if I wanted to go again to supervise the students I jumped at the chance. The first group went on the 22nd of February and the second group went the next day. Both days were exceptionally warm, 15 degrees celsius. Luckily Hardwood Hills had a lot of snow this winter so the base was good and the conditions were excellent.

I went on the second day so I was warned that I wouldn’t need heavy clothing. I packed three tops and extra socks. I’m glad I did because every time I came inside I had to change my top and socks because I was soaked through from perspiration. Many of the kids skied  with only their tee shirts on. It was a beautiful day and the more I skied the more confident I became. My goal was to not fall. I’m happy to report that I met that goal and I skied the equivalent of 13 000 steps and 50 flights of stairs.

March 1st didn’t enter like a lion but by the evening the temperatures had plummeted from double digits above zero to minus zero in a matter of hours. Today and yesterday the temperatures went even lower to minus 13 celsius. The good news is that warmer temperatures are forecast for this coming week. The ice that formed along the water’s edge will give you some idea of just how cold the last few days have been.