I was at Carburn Park for Paddlefest and had the opportunity to take my family for a trip around the pond in a canoe. The funny thing about being on the water is that swimming birds tend to think you’re one of them and they ignore you. Maybe not completely, but they certainly allow you to get much closer than if you were shore. I find this phenomenon all the time and I’ve made some of my best images of birds from a canoe.
Here are a couple of images of waterfowl that I made while toodling around the lake with my family in the Canoe with me. The first is a beautiful Red-necked Grebe. I’ve made lots of images of Grebes in the past, but I’ve rarely been as close as I got to this one. It’s so much easier to make great images when you get close! The second image below is a pair of American Wigeons launching out of the pond. They were pretty comfortable with us as we got closer and closer, but I guess we went a little bit too far and the they took off! I love the water droplets falling down off them as the fly.
During a recent family camping trip in Banff we rented a canoe and paddled into the first Vermillion lake. It was one of those beautiful blue sky days that we haven’t seen nearly enough of this summer. We were lucky to see a large adult Bald Eagle perched in a tree near the edge of the lake. We were able to paddle all along the shore past the tree and then loop back through a channel to get to the sunny side. The eagle calmly watched us the entire time.
I spotted another Eagle high up in a tree on the far side of the lake so we gradually made our way across to get a better look. We came upon a Belted Kingfisher perched on a log. We didn’t get very close before it launched… We also saw a deer resting under a large evergreen tree, but it was mostly obscured by the long grasses surrounding the lake.
I’m always amazed by how many more birds and animals you can get close to while in a canoe than while hiking. I’m going to have to get one of my own!
It’s been awhile since my last post, but I have an excellent excuse! My family and I were on vacation in Ontario. The main purpose of the trip was to visit family at a cottage near Eganville, which is west of Ottawa. While we were there my wife and I took advantage of the opportunity to leave the kids with their grandparents and took off for a 3 day, 2 night canoe camping trip into Algonquin Provincial Park. It was our first trek into the interior of the park in several years, so it was very exciting!
Our paddling route took us from the Shall Lake access point (North of Madawaska) through Farm Lake and Kitty Lake into Booth Lake. It was a reasonably short and easy trip with only two portages (90 meters and 550 meters). Of course we had way too much gear (including my tripod and a Pelican case with my camera and other photography equipment) so we had to hike each of the portages twice… We camped for two nights on an island at the south end of Booth, and then took the reverse route back to the access point on the third day. Although the weather was not great (rain and cloud mixed with occasional periods of sun), the park is always beautiful and we really enjoyed the trip.
On the second day we paddled from the south end of Booth Lake down into McCarthy creek. To call it a creek is a bit of a stretch. It’s more of a marshy lake than a creek, but there is a winding channel that goes from one end to the other. The channel is not particularly deep and there were some sections where we were pushing hard through the marsh grasses in the water and our progress was very slow. The scenery was incredible and there were literally millions of Water Lily’s and Lily Pads as far as the eye can see!
We found this young Moose on the marshy shore of the creek. His antlers are just starting to come in for the season and at this point he has only two relatively small nubs covered in velvet. He watched us for several minutes after we found him, before casually wandering back into the woods. He stopped several times along the way to have another snack. It’s always amazing to be so close to such a magnificent animal!