Arboretum and UV photography

For the past two days, I attended the annual Ottawa-Carleton Institute of Biology (OCIB) Symposium at Carleton University.  Yesterday, I went for a walk at the Arboretum after lunch.

Mourning Cloak visiting willow flowers.

Fauna/flora surveying at Gatineau Park (2015) - Part 3 & Sawmill Creek Wetland

On April 28th, I helped out at Gatineau Park for the last time this year.

Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)

Random photos from phone and camera

I'm departing for Colorado in less than a week, and life is too busy at the moment for me to post frequently.  Here are some of the photos I took since the last post (and also some photos before that taken with my phone that I didn't upload to my computer until yesterday).

April 22th - Sky-watching.

Looking at the dramatic clouds.


Fauna/flora surveying at Gatineau Park (2015) - Part 2

I went to Gatineau this morning hoping to do bird-watching and nature photography while the regular research crew surveyed the plants and bees.  But the weather was cold (it even snowed a bit) and most of the plants are still in the budding stage.  Here are some of the things I saw.

White trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)


Swallows on Rideau River

Today, I went for a walk during lunchtime to Strathcona Park and saw that the swallows, mostly Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) and some Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica), are here!  Taking pictures of swallows-in-flight is a nearly impossible task.  I tried manual focus and blindly clicked the shutter and hoped some photos will have the swallows in focus.  I took at least 200 photos and here are some decent shots.

Swallows on the river.


Assorted photos from the weekend at school

This weekend, I was at school proctoring a final exam and grading lab reports.  Not fun but just something that always had to be done at the end of each semester.  I brought my camera and tried to take some photos when I go outside for a break.

I found a relatively interesting staircase inside the Faculty of Social Sciences Building.

Staircase in FSS Building
View from the bottom.


Fauna/flora surveying at Gatineau Park (2015) - Part 1

These past two days (Wednesday and Thursday) I was helping out with a fauna and flora surveying project at Gatineau Park (same as last year).  The weather was very pleasant and I felt great (but exhausted) from being outside most of the day.  It's a great way to prepare my body and mind for the upcoming field season.

Rideau Canal
I took this picture on Tuesday when I walked along the canal during my lunch break.  The ice has pretty disappeared by now.


Wood Ducks on Rideau River

Another warm and sunny day today.  I walked over to Strathcona Park during lunchtime to see what I could photograph, such as the flying gulls, cormorant, etc.  The only decent photos I ended with were of a pair of beautiful Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) swimming on the Rideau River.

Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa)


Spring is here because of flowers and pollinators

Last night, I was planning where to go today and considered taking the bus to Stony Swamp, a natural area southwest of Ottawa where photos of interesting animals are frequently shared on Facebook, such as Black-backed Woodpecker during the winter, porcupines, frogs, etc.  But the thought of the trip taking almost two hours, while it is located 15.6 km west of where I live, is kind of ridiculous (Ottawa transit system is quite poor compare to the Metro Vancouver transit system).  Anyways, I decided to walk to the bus station (via Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetland) and visit the Arboretum in the end.

Little did I know I would see several interesting things today.

Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)
First was this pair of Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris) - first of the year!


Wildlife observed (so far) this week

Now that the weather is getting warmer and sunnier, I went out to a few different spots this week and brought my camera with me.

Strathcona Park (Tuesday)

I went out to Strathcona Park during lunch break.  I had the 40-150 lens on my camera, and I was practicing the continuous auto-focus (with tracking) on the gulls.

Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos)
Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos)


Birds of Gunnison National Forest, Colorado

After posts of flowers and insects, here are finally the birds that I photographed last summer.

 Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis)

Insects of Gunnison National Forest, Colorado

As I prepare for the upcoming field season and refresh my memory on the flowering plants of Colorado by reading my own blog post that I realized that I still haven't blogged about the birds and insects of Gunnison National Forest from last year.  Oops!  I guess this is what happens when school becomes an overwhelming part of your life.

Anyways, here are photos of insects observed from the 2014 field season.  They are not as well identified as the flowers and birds.  Sorry to the insect-lovers.  But feel free to leave a comment (or two) if you know some of the species and/or if I identified something incorrectly (very likely since I did most of the identification last summer and didn't check them since then).  Thanks in advance.

Male Osmia sp.


Bird-watching on long Easter weekend

I hope everyone is having a good long Easter weekend thus far.  My Easter weekend involved bird-watching and spending time with new friends (humans, birds, and one dog).  Here are bird pictures from different places.

Strathcona Park

Male Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)


Mid-week birding - hints of spring returning

I recently learned that McCarthy Woods near where I live also extend to the other side of McCarthy Road and wildlife is more active on that side of the road (probably because that part is behind houses and some people have put up feeders).  I walked through there two Saturdays ago, but it was drizzling so I didn't took any photographs.  I did a lot of errands today, and before I went to the grocery store in the afternoon, I detoured to that area and did some bird-watching.

Unidentified finches - either house or purple.  I am never good at telling them apart.

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