Stop eating my bloody tomatoes!

In an earlier blog post, I reflected that it was possible to distinguish an authentic ‘wild’ Canadian from a more recent arrival by how they react to raccoons. I think my transition to full Canadian is at least 50% complete now – this is not to do with being an actual Canadian these days (with passport and everything), but rather with tomatoes. More specifically,…

Bonking Toads…

One of the more splendid aspects of the Oakville area is the large number of parks of one sort or another, many of which provide excellent habitat for all sorts of interesting wildlife. If one insists, many of these locations could be used for things like engagement photography (discussion of which triggered this blog post); however, left to my own devices, I would generally…

For Fox Sake…

Before heading for Canada, I had read all about the abundance of raccoons about the place; it was possible to get the distinct impression that the country was knee-deep in the things. It was therefore slightly surprising not see a single raccoon for almost a year after arriving in country, despite looking for the things (living in a block of flats probably didn’t help…

Hilton, Falls, waterfall

Hilton Falls

Hilton Falls is a rather pleasant conservation area a few miles inland from Oakville, featuring a number of nice and easy walks in the woods that cover that part of the Niagara Escarpment. This picture is of the falls themselves, shot using a variable ND filter; timing was critical, to find a gap of several seconds when people weren’t clambering around or behind the…

Seagulls against a misty Toronto skyline.

Distant seagulls

This image was a result of an assignment from the class I’m currently doing; the idea was to produce more of an environmental picture of seagulls, giving a sense of the open and quite harsh conditions in which they live in the winter (even a mild one as we’ve had this year). Having the Toronto skyline looming out of the mist in the background…

Afloat

Afloat is a bronze sculpture (by Hamish Black) installed in Brighton, on a breakwater near the Palace Pier; it’s one of my favourite bits of art. On a rare trip home earlier in the year, it would have be rude not to take a stroll down by the seashore to admire it… The sculpture is based on the shape of a globe where the…

Raccoon at dusk in Toronto

Ew, raccoon?

It seems that one easy way to distinguish between a real live Canadian (one of the wild ones) and a relative newcomer to the country is to look at how they react to raccoons: the newcomers tend to think that the raccoons are terribly cute and splendid, whilst the more established folk are more included to have a reaction that could be characterised as…

Frozen American Falls

Frozen Niagara Falls (kind of)

This winter has been another rather nippy one (although, so far, rather less long drawn-out than last year’s), with one result being that the American Falls at Niagara have largely frozen over. All the headlines in the news made it sound like it was the Horseshoe Falls that froze over; naturally it wasn’t! Regardless, the American Falls are still pretty impressive with this much…

Partial Solar Eclipse

Even a partial solar eclipse is a pretty unique experience; we got a reasonably good view in Oakville too – the cloudy weather chose just the right time to break. The timing was especially good in another respect as well: right at the moment the Sun has the most spectacular sunspot too, rejoicing in the poetic name Region 2192 (doesn’t it just sing?!) –…

Gorilla gorilla, Gorilla

Motherhood

Visiting Toronto Zoo during the Thanksgiving weekend was perhaps not the brightest idea I’ve ever had – the place was uncomfortably busy, with rather a preponderance of morons banging on the glass to try and get the animals to do something (what kind of idiot does that anyway?). However, in amongst all this was the rather touching sight of a mother gorilla with her…