2016/11/15

Supermoon on November 14, 2016

I was waiting by Dow's Lake last night hoping to photograph the supermoon - the brightest one since January 26, 1948!  

Waiting for the clouds to clear

2016/11/13

Autumn colours, birds, and a butterfly(!)

This past week was probably the last few days of the year when signs of autumn are still pretty evident.  Soon the trees will be bare and the ground will be covered by snow once again.  I have an uneasy and sickening feeling about the future of the world given what happened just four short days ago in America.  But there is not much anyone can do except to stay positive and hang on tight to anything that brings you happiness, whether it is spending time with your friends and families and/or being outside and enjoying nature.

Autumn day stroll
People going out for a morning stroll.

2016/10/26

Big Sky Ranch & Sarsaparilla Trail

This week is reading week at the university, so there are no classes for the undergrads and more free time for us grad students.  Today, I visited a place I have been hearing a lot about from my friend - the Big Sky Ranch Animal Sanctuary in Kemptville.  Big Sky Ranch is a place where animals (abandoned or unable to care for by their previous humans) are able to be adopted by new humans or to live permanently at this no-kill sanctuary.  The sanctuary is open to visitors most times of the year and is free of charge, but donation is definitely appreciated especially during the colder months when there are little to no visitors.  While my friend and I were walking around the sanctuary and enjoying the presence of all the animals, I cannot help but feel sad and angry at the people who would abandon their care for these animals.  But I am glad places like Big Sky Ranch exist and there are nice people who invest their time and money to improve the lives of these animals.  During our visit, all of the animals seemed to be well-cared for and their living conditions were clean and comfortable.

Here were some of the interesting animals we saw:

Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)
Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)

2016/10/23

Tracking down pumpkin pollen & Autumn photos

The temperature has been dropping steadily since the last weekend, when I was helping my friend searching for male pumpkin flowers with viable pollen.  We traveled to two different farms outside of Ottawa, but we only got about three small vials worth of pumpkin pollen because of the recent frost.

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One of the farms we visited was Saunders Farm, a popular place to go during autumn with all of its pumpkin- and Halloween-related activies.  We got to go on a hayride to look for flowers.

2016/10/12

Butterfly Show at Carleton University

I went to the butterfly show at Carleton University last week.  Learning from my experience two years ago, I went there first thing in the morning so that I did not have to wait in-line or be surrounded by loud people.  Sadly, I was there for only 15 minutes before schoolchildren started to pile into the greenhouse.

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Poster

I brought only my macro lens and small flash with me, and I tried to note as many of the butterfly species I photographed as possible.

2016/09/25

September update

Ever since school has started, I have not been diligent in terms of bringing my camera with me and taking pictures, even though most days in September are quite pleasant.

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Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

2016/08/29

Touring Toronto and Niagara Falls

My mother is leaving Ottawa this coming Saturday.  This past weekend, we went on another two-day tour - this time to Thousand Islands, Toronto, and Niagara Falls.

Our first stop was seeing the islands at Rockport, Ontario.

St. Brendan's Church
St. Brendan's Church

2016/08/22

Wildlife around Mud Lake - lifers!

This morning I brought my mother to Mud Lake, which she thought was the nicest place in Ottawa I showed her so far.

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The first bird that welcomed us was this American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis).

2016/08/16

Touring Quebec City and Montreal

I have been slowly getting settled in my new apartment for about two weeks now.  It is at a convenient location close to Dow's Lake, Arboretum, bike path to school, Ottawa River, and more.  Shortly after I moved in, my mother flew from Richmond for a month-long visit, so I have been hosting her since then and that explains why I have not been photographing or blogging as much.

This past weekend, we visited Quebec City and Montreal with a mostly-Asian tour group.  And like most tour groups, the schedule was packed and there was little free time to do anything else.

Château Frontenac
We left Ottawa early Saturday morning, and the first attraction was Château Frontenac in Quebec City.

2016/07/24

Birds around Sawmill Wetland (Ottawa)

I returned back to Canada on Wednesday night, and since then I had been searching for my own place (and not sharing with any roommates or landlords) for the remainder of my degree (another 1.5 years left).  I submitted a rental application on Friday and now I am just waiting to hear back from the apartment manager.  This afternoon, I walked around Sawmill Wetland (maybe for the final time) and looked at the birds around the wetland.

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Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)

2016/07/19

July update - Conundrum Hot Springs (July 15 - 16)

For my final hiking trip of the season, I wanted to go somewhere farther and a bit more strenuous.  I decided to hike from Gothic to Conundrum Hot Springs via Triangle Pass.  I invited my friend to come with me, and we left Gothic early in the morning and headed towards Copper Lake.  Before we get to Copper Lake, the trail splits into two and one directs us towards Triangle Pass.

View from Triangle Pass
View from Triangle Pass

July update - Some photos from Kebler Pass

In less than 24 hours, I will be flying out of Colorado and heading back to Ottawa.  Before that, I am currently packing up my lab equipment, some of my personal gear, and updating my blog.

Here are some of my photos from Kebler Pass.

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Looking at the contact zone between Mertensia brevistyla and M. fusiformis.

July update - Pikes Peak (July 9 - 10)

After returning back to Gothic for one night (for real food and shower), my friend accompanied me to Pike National Forest to help me measure Mertensia alpina.

Taylor Park Reservoir
Passing by Taylor Park Reservoir (larger image here).  I was here almost two years ago.

July update - Rio Grande and San Isabel National Forests (July 5 - 8)

From July 5th to 8th, I traveled to Rio Grande and San Isabel National Forests to search for Mertensia lateriflora and M. ovata, respectively.

Lake San Cristobal
Stopping along the Silver Thread National Scenic Byway to take a look at Lake San Cristobal.

2016/07/13

July update - Fourth of July celebration

My field season is slowly coming to an end.  I will be flying back to Ottawa in one week, and now I have more free time to do data entry and sort through all of my photos taken (thus far) this month.

On July 4th, in the past I tended to avoid people and all the associated celebrations by going on solo hikes.  This year, since this might be my last summer in Colorado, I decided to enjoy the festivities by going to Crested Butte and watching the annual Gothic to Crested Butte 1/3 Marathon and the Fourth of July parade.

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The marathon finish line in Crested Butte.  I arrived early in the morning so there weren't many people around yet.
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