Rhamphorhyncus

Rhamphorhyncus

This is a close-up of a well-preserved Rhamphorhyncus from the Royal Ontario Museum; it’s from the Middle Jurassic, so it’s at least 161 million years old. Rhamphorhyncus was a pterosaur (so, not a dinosaur, as any fule kno) – apparently, the name means ‘beak snout’. This particular fossil came from the Bavarian Solnhofen limestone (noted for its beautifully preserved fossils, including Archaeopteryx) and is…

Royal, Ontario, Museum, ROM

ROM

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is one of my favourite places in Toronto; the recent(ish) refurbishment included the addition of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal – whilst I’m not an architecture fiend, I feel the modern addition works extremely well with the fabric of the original building and makes for a great exterior, leading to the wonders within.

Tiffany Falls, waterfall, cascade

Tiffany Falls

Tiffany Falls is one of the many waterfalls that drop down over the Niagara Escarpment around Hamilton; this was taken on the second trip out to find the falls – I’d failed miserably to find it the first time! This image is a fairly straightforward long(ish) exposure; the overall effect was generated via Color Efex Pro.

Orangutan, Toronto Zoo

People too?

It’s difficult to do Orang-utans justice in just a few lines; they have such intelligence and depth to them – I still recall being taught about their behaviour, when I was at university and eventually reaching the conclusion that you can make a very good case that they are people too – admittedly, hairy orange ones. When you meet their eye or watch them…

Clouded Leopard, Merriweather, Toronto Zoo

A grand old lady

This is Merriweather, Toronto Zoo’s venerable Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa); every other time I’ve visited her, she’s been asleep – this was a rare opportunity to see her moving about. When you’re as old as this Clouded Leopard, you’re entitled to a bit of rest! A typical life-span for a Clouded Leopard in captivity is apparently a little over a decade; Merriweather was almost…

Seagull, Toronto, skyline, lake

Seagull against the Toronto skyline

This image was taken on a beautiful sunny afternoon in the middle of March last year; I had done a walk along the lake-shore to Rattray Marsh and was heading back to the car – although it was beautifully sunny and the water was crystal clear, it was also d**n cold (to use the technical meteorological term) and strategic bits of me were starting…

Toronto Motor Show

I’ve been very fortunate since coming to Canada to meet some really fantastic people; one of the finest paid me a great compliment by inviting me to join him and his son for their annual pilgrimage to the motor show – the first one I’ve been to. It was a thoroughly memorable day, spent admiring a plethora a great cars, from the newest shiniest…

Chickadee, Black-Capped

Chickadee in winter

I’m rather fond of chickadees; they’re as close as you get to things like Blue Tits (Cyanistes caeruleus for any North Americans who haven’t heard the word used in an avian context!) in Canada and are thoroughly charming little things. A highlight of a winter walk in some of the woods around here is getting them to feed from your hand. Whilst doing the…

Crocodilian

Crocodilian

This rather splendid fellow is a resident of Toronto Zoo, although I’m embarrassed to say that I can’t remember the species – it’s some sort of modest-sized crocodilian, possibly an American Alligator. One has to be very careful when visiting zoos in Ontario: mainly due to a lack of serious regulation, a lot of them are apparently very sketchy in terms of animal welfare…

CN Tower, Toronto, Tower, CN

Toronto from the CN Tower

A regrettable oversight by the builders of the CN Tower was their not using non-reflecting glass for the windows (!), which can make it harder to get shots from the viewing decks at night without at least one light-bulb reflection in shot. There are other possibilities, however: this shot was taken whilst descending in the lift; the red light comes from the tower’s own…