2017/01/01

New year birding

Compare to yesterday, today's weather is perfect for doing outdoor activities.  I trekked around the Arboretum and Fletcher Wildlife Garden (FWG) recording my first birds of 2017.

By the way, I started a Facebook page called PSYL Photography that will feature some of my photographs.  If you visit Facebook more often than my blog, then perhaps that is a good place to subscribe to.  Thanks.

Now, onto today's sightings.  There were many common birds around the Fletcher Wildlife Garden feeders, such as the chickadees, juncos, and more.

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
I saw some White-breasted Nuthatches (Sitta carolinensis) wedging seeds into tree barks.

2016/12/31

Have a great 2017 - Clark and flowers

As 2016 comes to an end, it is time to focus on the positive things that had happened and look forward to the things that will arrive in the new year.

Nothing really exciting (or positive) happened during the first half of 2016, where I was pretty much waiting and planning for my third and final field season.  During my field season, I added several crucial components to my research and visited beautiful places such as Pikes Peak and Conundrum Hot Springs with my friend.  After coming back to Canada, I packed and moved to my own place in Ottawa and went on trips to Quebec City/Montreal and Toronto/Niagara Falls with my mother.  I was mostly busy during the school semester but still enriched my life by going to the Butterfly Show, Big Sky Ranch, and Museum of Nature exhibits.

In 2017, I will be attending a conference and defending my Ph.D dissertation (if everything goes to plan).  Aside from those, my future will once again enter a sea of uncertainties.  I will try to find jobs and think about what I want to do with my life.  I have been thinking about selling my photographs - either to stock photography and/or as prints to anyone interested in them, which means I should enter social media to promote my photos (hence the new changes to this blog).  We shall see if any of that come to fruition, but I will keep everyone posted if I do.

In the meantime, here are some more photos of Clark the cat.

Clark #008

2016/12/24

Merry Christmas from Clark the cat

I am currently taking care of my labmate's cat while she goes home for Christmas break.  The cat's name is Clark (after Superman) and he is super adorable!

Merry Christmas!
I made a paper Santa hat today and put it on his head.

2016/12/18

An afternoon at Fletcher Wildlife Garden with M.Zuiko 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II

Compared to the last few days, today's weather was a bit more agreeable - sunny and not too frigid, so I went to Fletcher Wildlife Garden to test out my new lens.

Because of the sunny weather, I was able to increase the ISO to get faster shutter speeds and increase the depth of field, resulting in sharp images.  The auto-focus was also speedy and accurate, which was the main reason why I got this new lens.

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) enjoying the sumac.

2016/12/16

Museum of Nature - Reptiles and others

Museum of Nature's current special exhibition is "Reptiles", and I have been there twice already (three weeks ago and yesterday) because reptiles are a group of animals that I interact with the least and I am fascinated by them.

The first animal that you will see in the exhibit is a fierce-looking Alligator snapping turtle (Macroclemys temmincki).  It is sad to see this large animal in a very small display area and is submerged in water all the time. 

Alligator snapping turtle (Macroclemys temmincki)
Alligator snapping turtle (Macroclemys temmincki)

2016/12/13

Got a new lens & last full moon of 2016

Out of all the camera lenses that I own, the one I use the most is probably the 70-300mm, a versatile telephoto lens that is good for taking pictures of birds, moon, and even insects.  I remembered how excited I was when I first got it more than six years ago and how much fun I had using it during my trips to Ontario, Yukon, Colorado, and more.  And it was pretty much the reason why I continued my transition from Olympus E-620 to Olympus E-M1 just so that I could keep using this lens.

However, the need to use an adapter and the mediocre auto-focusing on the E-M1 have gotten me considering getting the native 75-300mm lens, which does not require an adapter and has a better auto-focusing capability.  During this past weekend, I found someone selling it online for a reasonable price and decided to buy it.  We made the exchange yesterday, and now I am eager to test it out when the weather is nice.

For now, I took some photos of the full moon tonight and this was the best photo I got (cropped).

Full moon on 2016-12-13

Have a great week!

2016/12/11

Familiarizing with winter once again

Winter feels like it has arrived in Ottawa last week; and now, everyone (including myself and the animals) is getting used to the frigid temperature and icy/snowy road once again.  I have been very busy in November and December, mostly working on my research while maintaining some work-life balance.  Sadly, I have not taken as many pictures as I would like.

It was kind of sunny this afternoon, so I went out to the Arboretum and brought my camera with me.

2016-12-11-PC110158
One of the first birds I saw today - a Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens).

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)

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