Beautiful Fall Colours in Algonquin

We left for Algonquin Park early this morning hoping to be there before most of the visitors arrive, but due to construction and like-minded people, the park was packed when we arrived.  As we slowly drove north from Peterborough, the fall colours did not change very much (even outside the park), but as we entered the park itself, the changes became evident and there were some leaves falling already.

We started off with hiking along the Peck Lake Trail.

Assortment of vibrant colours (pretty much the theme of today) - green conifer trees, yellow/orange/red deciduous trees, and blue sky/lake.


Cat and walk around neighbourhood

I am currently reading the blog posts by a Flickr photographer Crusade., who produces some of the most beautiful images I have ever seen.  This just makes me want to pick up my own camera and go outside and take photographs.  All the photos below were taken today with the OM 50 f1.4 lens.

Cat's nose
My landlord's cat, or his nose to be more specific.


No fall colours yet in Peterborough

I spent all morning and most of the afternoon yesterday at home working on data analyses.  Afterwards, I biked to Jackson Park to see if the fall colours have arrived or not, and then got some groceries on the way home.

Not yet, I'd say, compare to 2011 and 2012.


Critters behind DNA building

Just some photos I took behind the DNA building this afternoon when I came outside to eat my lunch.

First woolly bear I saw this season crossing the parking lot.  I saw a (squished) one while I was biking home later in the day.


Walked around the neighbourhood

The weather wasn't too great this weekend, so I mostly stayed at home and tried to get some work done.  I took a bit of a break this afternoon and walked around the part of my neighbourhood that is currently being build.

The pond from the other side.


Harvest Moon & Baby Snapping Turtle

I was at school last night trying to print off five copies of my thesis so that I can submit them this morning to the graduate office.

Harvest Moon
I had been watching the moon for the past few nights, and it was finally full!  It is also this year's Harvest Moon because it is closest to the autumnal equinox (September 22).  It is called the Harvest Moon because fruits and vegetables ripen near this time of the month (in the Northern Hemisphere), and back when there was no electricity, farmers would use the moonlight to harvest their crops.

Today, after photocopying a few more pages at school to have everything complete and ready, I saw this baby Common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) on the path next to the river.  I quickly dropped everything and snapped many photos of it.


Canoeing along Otonabee in the evening

I sort of invited myself to a canoe ride along the Otonabee River this late afternoon.



Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata)

While opening the porch door this morning to get some fresh air, I noticed an insect on the screen door (aside from the usual jumping spiders).  It was some kind of a stick insect, so the first thing I did after getting out of bed was grabbing my camera and snapping some photos!  Stick insects are one of those groups of animals that most people (i.e., me) rarely seen because they are so well-camouflaged.  According to my blog tags, I only saw stick insects (in the wild) four times since I started this blog.  So today is lucky number 5!

After taking the photos and a quick Google search, I believe this is a Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata), the most common walkingsticks (Order Phasmida) in North America.  This species feeds on oaks, cherries, and black locust trees, which can be found in the little woodland behind my house.  Ms. Leckie posted about these insects before too (in greater detail).

This individual is 63 mm long (I just measured it because it is currently in my room) and missing one leg.


Lady Eaton Drumlin in late Summer

I had been busy this past week working on my thesis revisions, so I didn't really take any photos during the week.  It had also been relatively uneventful this week, aside from the fact that another graduate student in my lab successfully defended his Master research and we went out for lunch at a popular BBQ place in Keene, and then last night we had a post-defense party at my supervisor's place.  Weather-wise, it definitely feels that autumn is approaching (although it was really hot on Wednesday) with the evenings getting colder now.

On a somewhat unimportant note (to most people), Olympus announced the release of a new camera called E-M1 on Tuesday (news here).  As my Olympus E-620 DSLR is getting older, I am thinking about upgrading the equipment to improve my photography skills.  However, this new camera is very very expensive and I need to buy an addition adapter for my current lenses (which kind of defeats the purpose of using a small and lightweight system like Olympus).  So eventually I will be in a dilemma of continuing with the Olympus brand or switching to a new system (e.g., Nikon) that is more well-supported by the company and its customers. 

In the mean time, I will continue to enjoy my E-620 and the photos that I can get with it.  Today, I hiked around the Lady Eaton Drumlin before going to school to do some work, because I seriously needed to be outside and enjoyed nature a bit.

First wildlife I saw was a Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens).


Prairie Day at Aldverille Black Oak Savannah

Prairie Day took place this morning at Alderville Black Oak Savannah, and I was asked to take photos of the event.  It was an entertaining event although the poor weather (overcast with some rainy periods) seemed to deter people from coming.

Volunteers in front of the building welcoming guests.


Gentians, Turtlehead, Apples, and Thesis defense

I successfully defended my thesis yesterday, and now I need to make some minor revisions and then I will be done.  Well, sort of, aside from transforming the thesis into manuscript format and submitting it for publication (and then I am certain there will be a lot of reviews and re-edits afterwards).

Anyways, I didn't take any photos during the week except for last Sunday when I came to school to do some work.

Went back to the Bottle gentians (Gentiana andrewsii) next to the river to get better photos.
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