Monday, November 28, 2011

To Catch a Fox

In a recent stop to ask if I could take some downed trees for firewood, the homeowner mentioned there is a fox den or two under a nearby railway bridge.  As much as I like getting free firewood (we heat our entire house completely with a wood stove), that got more of my attention!  I"m not sure about this time of year for getting good shots, but I'm hoping to get a few hours on a Saturday soon to find the den(s), check them out and see if there are signs of activity there.  I'm also hoping the den isn't too far under the bridge abutment or it won't be very bright  for pictures.

I did a bit of searching on the net to see if there were any tips to glean on photographing foxes. Here's the list of tips I found so far to keep in mind when attempting to photograph:
  1. Situate yourself where you're downwind, but also with the sun position in mind - generally behind you at best, but not beyond the subject unless you're creating some interesting effects.
  2. When fox pups are born, morning and evening are when the adults are usually gone hunting.
  3. Wear inconspicuous clothing.  Camouflage is good, but not necessary.  Don't wear bright clothing.
  4. An interesting tip from one photographer:  sway on a windy day to blend into the other moving grasses, etc.  Not sure about that one...
  5. More to come???
....Well, it is now one week after having started this post.  And I was able to head out to the supposed fox den location.  My in-laws were over and my father-in-law was game to head out there with my three boys in tow as its only about a 5 minute drive from our place.  The joke for the rest of the night with the boys was to

Friday, November 18, 2011

Wildlife Photography Locations Google Map

I've often wondered where "everyone else" finds the wildlife they enjoy watching and/or photographing.  Slowly I've found some spots myself, but for some, other photographers I've bumped into have shared a good location.  I've tried many Google searches to see if I could find references to good locations, but not found much.  And many are locations listed by birders who are using scopes, far out of the range of my meager 300mm lens.  I've not been to a lot of locations, but I've found a few that have been "productive" and it made me think that there may be others in my shoes that would benefit from me sharing where I've been.

So, I've created a new page on my blog with a Google Maps map to list these hot or not-so-hot spots to share.  As I discover new locations, I'll add them to the list with a general comment about how it ranks, and what I've seen there.

Here's the map...
Wildlife Photography Locations Map

View My Picture Taking Spots in a larger map

Feel free to comment and share if you have found a good location with the Hamilton, Brant County area that you know of or have been to.  Just note, I'll likely hold off putting them on the map till I've been there and checked them out myself. :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

It's Been a While

As mentioned in my last post, life has been very busy lately.  I'm struggling to keep my head above water at work with a very large work load.  Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for work, knowing there are many without right now.  If you know someone in the civil engineering field looking for work in land development consulting industry, feel free to send them my way!

I decided I'd take lunch and head off to Hendrie Valley Marsh for a walk with my camera to relax and see what there was to enjoy on a crisp fall day.  On the way, I stopped along York Boulevard just past the high bridge.  Often on my way into, or heading home from work, I see hawks riding the wind which is forced up by the ridge Yord Boulevard follows.  They face into the wind, and float in a stationary location.  I understand the lift keeping them vertical, but I still haven't figured out why they aren't pushed back.  Unless they are slightly tipped forward?....  There was one red-tailed hawk who must have just tired of that spot and headed out over Coote's Paradise after I got only a couple distant shots.
Red-tailed Hawk

I stopped at the ponds just off the Old Valley Inn Road and there was one lone
Double-crested Cormorant perched there.  Many have already gone south for the season.

Double-crested Cormorant

It seemed very nervous with how close I was, constantly moving its head back and forth, but didn`t seem to want to either jump into the water, or try and fly away.  I`m not sure if they can make a direct take-off into

Friday, November 4, 2011


Hobbies are something that, not so long ago, few people really had time or money for.  Today, for many people it is what defines them.  It`s their reason for working and becomes a large focus in their lives.  Many of us live in a day of relatively great wealth, in the Western world that is, and pursuing things we enjoy doing can be done with quite a bit of disposable income.  For some it`s not disposable and jeopardizes other important things in our lives.  What can also be sacrificed though is time. Time with our family, time with those who need help, and time with the One who gave us the very number of days, already determined before time began.  He already knows the date of our last breath, yet we often spend it with the attitude that it`s all ours, and as if it never will end, with a large focus on our own wishes and wants.

I started this blog as a way to share with a few interested people, a hobby and interest of mine, which when I have the time, I enjoy pursuing. Obviously lately I haven`t done much of it as there hasn`t been a new post in a while. Part of it is due to a very busy fall season of work, church responsibilities, and fading light in the evening hours, etc. There is also one other reason which has somewhat affected the sparser posts... I share this because it has to do with this hobby in some ways....

I recently saw the movie Courageous...

This movie was made by a very small, independent film company called Sherwood Pictures.  The makers of the movie lay down quite a clear challenge to fathers, putting clearly into question