A Little About This Blog

I decided to start this site with just pictures of various things in nature such as plants, animals, insects and no travel or family photos.

Tuesday 24 July 2018

Swan (winter)

 White Swan 1

I took this picture of a lone white Swan swimming at the edge of the ice covered rocks in the Humber Bay Park in Etobicoke.  Taken February 24, 2014.  Sorry, did not have anything to feed this bird, if that is why it came over to me.  Picture taken with my Canon EOS Rebel T3i and a 250 mm lens, Focal Length: 90 mm, f/4.5.

White Swan 2

Don't know where this Swan went after I left this spot while taking scenery pictures.  Taken with my Canon EOS Rebel T3i and a 250 mm lens. Focal length: 70 mm, f/4. Too cold to take anymore pictures a the park today. Some brave people walking their dogs out here as it is treacherous to walk in most places. 

Butterflies at the Toronto Zoo


     Picture was taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i  (18 mega pixel), focal lenght 35mm, f/7.1 with flash
This picture was used on my header with my Title.  The Title was hard to read on the background so I made the background using a gradient effect to allow the Title to be readable.  I could not figure how to do this with Adobe Photoshop as I was eager to get the blog site up and running, so I used the Graduated Filter in Corel Paintshop Pro X5 to get the effect I needed.  To do this, I opened Effects, then Photo Effects, then chose Graduated Filter.  The setting was Linear Graduated Filter, Preset: Colour to Transparent, Colour was White (R255,G255,B255) Opacity was set to 87, Blend was set to 55, and Rotate was set to 89.0.  I used Image Effects for the Page Curl.


  Picture was taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i (18 mega pixel), focal lenght 35mm, f/7.1 with flash


Picture was taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i (18 mega pixel), focal lenght 35mm, f/5.6


     Picture was taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i (18 mega pixel), focal length 55mm, f/5.6 with flash

These butterfly pictures were taken at the Toronto Zoo.  Again  the colour was removed and replaced only on the butterflies.  Colouring was replaced by hand and was a challenge on the legs on picture 4. I had to do the legs a few pixels at a time.  I had cropped four of these pictures for framing so that is why they are square.  There is the Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls Ontario that is fantastic as you get to walk through hundreds of different species.  I hope to go there again this year. I was worried my wife would squash them when they landed on her, but she controlled herself.

Monday 23 July 2018



  I took a picture of this Wolf on March 2013 that was displayed from a zoo while at Wizard World.  Wizard World runs every March Break at the CNE grounds.  We take the grandchildren every year.  I cropped the picture because I didn't like the look of the heavy chain they had holding him on the stand.

Young Lion, Tiger

 Young Lion

  Picture taken March 12, 2014 at Wizard World in Toronto.  We were sitting just a few feet from the cage with this young Lion and a Tiger while watching a the animal show. The Lion still had some of it's young spots on the legs.  I took the pictures with as much zoom as I could to allow the wires on the cage to vanish.
Picture take with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i.  Focal length: 123mm f/5 1/60 sec.


  Picture take March 12, 2014 at Wizard World, Toronto with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i.  Focal length: 131mm f/5 1.60 sec.  He kept watching us as we sat so close as to almost touch the cage he was in. A truly beautiful creature. 


  Picture taken March 14, 2014 with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i.  Focal length: 250mm f5.6 1.50 sec. He was intent on watching the grandchildren as we watched the show.  Loved the eyes.  


  He was so calm waiting for his turn in the show and would get quite excited when a trainer came buy to take them out for their performance.  Picture taken March 14, 2014 with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i. Focal length: 171mm f/5.6 1/60 sec.


  That tongue could give you a good face wipe.  I did not have enough zoom to remove the cage wires completely as some is still visible in this picture.  Taken March 12, 2014 with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i.  Focal length: 116mm f/5 1/60 sec.


  Picture taken March 12, 2014 with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i. Focal length: 250mm f/5.6 1/50 sec.  Hard to believe with a face like that it's a wild animal.  

Zoo Animals

Toronto Zoo Visit July 10, 2014

 Mother alligator having a rest near her nest.

 Baby alligators starting to hatch.

  Babies were hatching and were really hard to see.  Do you see the babies?

 I have pointed out the two that we found.

 Peacock courting a female

  This male peacock started to court a female who seems was not the least bit interested and after a while he got really agitated.

 Hippo basking in the sun.

  This big guy was basking in the sun.  His skin is red as a red fluid comes to the surface of the skin when out in the sun too long.  A secretion of the hippopotamus protects its skin from the sun and bacteria thanks to two pigments that absorb UV light and have antibiotic properties.

 A face only a mother could love!

 Pigmy Hippo

  This is a smaller version of the big hippo and has some different features in the bone structure and the amount of teeth.

 Lets check those teeth.

  The pygmy hippopotamus is a small hippopotamid native to the forests and swamps of West Africa, primarily in Liberia and small populations in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast. The pygmy hippo is reclusive and nocturnal.



 View while entering the Zoo while crossing a small bridge.

 Panda Bear

  We went mostly to see the Pandas but they were sleeping as they do most of the time when not eating.


  Peacocks wander everywhere.  This male has quite the head dress. 

Young Raccoons

  Very young Raccoons playing

  June 6th. 2014.  While checking my family of Robins, I notice these two young raccoons playing on top of an old telephone post that was used for clothes lines at one time.

   Had enough at the top of the post and on the way down now. 

   Two little bandits for sure.  Next generation of garbage can raiders to look forward to.

  Can't get down there.  They left along the fence line and I'm sure they will be back in the morning.

Robins in a Pear tree

 Robin in a Pear Tree #1

  Picture taken May 20th. 2014 of a young Robin sitting on her nest in a Pear tree next door to our house.  Picture taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i.  

Robin in a Pear Tree #2

  Another view of this Robin on her nest.  I will keep taking pictures as the eggs hatch and the new family progresses.

Robin in a Pear Tree #3

  Picture taken May 21st. 2014.  Keeps an eye on me when I'm taking pictures.  I'm waiting for her to leave the nest to see if I can get a picture of how many eggs she may have.  She shifts them now and then before sitting on them and changes position quit often.  Would have been nice to see her build the nest, but I missed that part. Picture taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i.  Focal length: 250mm, f/7.1, 1/400 sec.

 Robin in a Pear Tree #4

  Just arrived back to the nest from getting something to eat.  Must be boring sitting on eggs all day and night.

 Robin in a Pear Tree #5

  Making sure I didn't touch them and giving me the eye.  Male bird came by to check me out but flew away before I could snap a picture of him.

 Robin in a Pear Tree #6

  She got a little scared when I tried to get the camera high enough to see in the nest.  Couldn't get high enough to see and she took off to the fence behind the tree for a minute  or so.

Robin in a Pear Tree #7

  Came back for another check and then settled down to sitting on the eggs again.

 Robin in a Pear Tree #8

  Picture taken May 30th. 2014.  Eggs hatched but can't see them from this vantage point.  She giving me a bit of a warning.

 Robin in a Pear Tree #9

  June 2nd. 2014.  Checking on the little ones.  Don't know how many there is yet.

 Robin is a Pear Tree #10

  June 2nd. 2014.  Change vantage point but was hard to focus as I could not use the view finder and use manual focusing. There appears to be two little ones but at the time I took this picture, only one poked it's head up looking for food.

Robin in a Pear Tree #11

  June 2nd. 2014.  Mom bringing back some dinner. Still did not get a picture of the second nestling.

Robin in a Pear Tree #12

  Picture taken June 12th. 2014.  Lunch time for the nestlings and oh my gosh--there is three little ones, not just two.  

 Robin in a Pear Tree #13

  June 4th. 2014.  Yup, there is three that I can see.  That's going to keep mother busy.

 Robin in a Pear Tree #14

  Just how is three going to fit into that little nest as they get bigger?

 Robin in a Pear Tree #15

  Wrong again.  Looking at this picture, I can now see four nestlings.  WOW!  I guess mother did not lose any of her eggs.  The nestling on the right side in the foreground  looks a bit on the small side.

Robin in a Pear Tree #16

   June 4th. 2014.  Nothing for you guys right now.  Mom is constantly leaving for food. The little one must not get much as the others have longer neck and bigger mouths.

 Robin in a Pear Tree # 17

    June 6th. 2014.  Little ones are getting bigger by the day. Mother is going for food non stop.

 Robin in a Pear Tree #18

  June 6th. 2014.  How all these nestlings will fit in the nest in the near future should be a challenge. 

 Robin in a Pear Tree # 19

  June 6th. 2014.  Now I'm a bit puzzled now.  Is this the Mom and the Dad or two Moms.  Could this be a communal nest?

 Robin in a Pear Tree #20

  Both adult Robins had brought food.  Both appear to be the same tone of red on the chest area. I thought females were a more washed out color.  

 Robin in a Pear Tree #21

  Could two Robins use one nest?  Does a male Robin also feed the nestlings?

Robin in a Pear Tree #22

  I guess I will have to research this and find out how to tell a male from a female of if two can lay eggs in one nest.
  I looked it up on the internet and it seems Robins lay four eggs at a time, one day apart.  The male also guards the nest.  The male has a slightly darker head so I guess the one on the right is the male.
Chest color does not seem to be too much different on these two.
The little ones should have flight in about 10 days from now.  I will continue taking pictures.

 Robin in a Pear Tree #23

  June 6th. 2014.  Getting bigger by the day and feeding is ongoing but I fear one is missing.  I can now only count 3 nestlings and I counted four yesterday.  The smallest one seems to have vanished.  I did not see anything on the ground so I don't know if the mother disposed of it or something.

Robin in a Pear Tree #24

  I can't hold my neck up any longer.  Just bring me some food!

 Robin in a Pear Tree #25

  Maybe if I stretch my head up high enough, mom will get the food here sooner.

Robin in a Pear Tree #26

  See!  It worked.  Lets do it all over again.

Robins lay eggs twice a season.  Maybe they will come back and try again in this tree.