1. Muskoka, Ontario, Canada
Just in time for Halloween, I present to you the Haunted Halloween Harvest Moon for your spooky pleasure! Sure feels like ghosts and goblins are flying through the night. What we really have here is the Thanksgiving full moon passing behind leaves dangling from a tree around 11pm at night. Boo!!!
Smell that fresh air and soak in those colors! This is one of those moments to savor. Life does move fast, yet here everything holds still. Thanksgiving weekend, Echo Lake
The first week August at our friends cottage on Bay Lake, Muskoka, enjoying the night time view of the milky way while sitting by the fire.
Surprise! April 15 and we find 2 feet of snow at our friends cottage. We planned to open it up for the summer, however found ourselves tobogganing down the driveway, building snowmen and having snowball fights. Highlights was having a drink in a Muskoka chair surrounded by the frozen lake.
A look across the half frozen lake from the neighbor’s snow covered dock. Mild winter has kept the lake from completely freezing, and not a lot of snow. The tobogganing was awesome – particularly under the moonlight, however no ice skating this year.
What a difference a year makes! This is new year’s eve coming into 2015, with a fresh 2 ft of snow – so much fell that we chose to stay another day to play outside. Fast forward to this new year, and while we had lots of fun with our friends, it did not look quite like this. Happy new year to all.
Loved how the birch trees stood out from a multi-color backdrop of huge color. Over exposed the trees for effect.
A really cool Muskoka scene where this bog butted up against the dense forest. Fall is about colors, depth, and contrast… and this place has it all. You will find the bog on the north side of HWY 117 just west of Baysville.
If you were watching me take this picture, you would think I lost my marbles! Driving along Highway 117 in Muskoka, I am passing this rock outcrop as I notice the sun shining off the leaves, a lone birch, and great color contrast. So I pull a u-turn park on the dirt shoulder and start taking pictures as other cars wiz past. A little crazy – yes. A nice picture – also yes!
A ‘real life’ view of the Canadian flag’s maple leaf at the beginning of fall. The photo was taken using the new Lensbaby Velvet 56 lens in macro mode, creating a soft ethurial effect and completely blurring out the background (in case you are wondering why it does not appear in focus). The soft blue is a lake, while the yellow tint are other leaves.
Look closely at all the tree stumps in the marsh, giving evidence of a healthy beaver habitat. The locals say there is a cottage tucked into the forest at the back of the bog that only becomes visible once the leaves fall.
One of the benefits of life in Canada are the 4 seasons, and in particular experiencing the fall colors. This mini waterfall – 2 feet high! – is located next to the big High Falls on the north branch of the Muskoka River. Its a perfect example of nature’s colorful richness and solitude.
Like you, I have seen some awesome sunsets over the years – most being of the orange, red and pink color combination. Over the recent Thanksgiving weekend, we were treated to a truly unique blue sky with a yellow fireball. As the sun set, it left this reflective circular glow across Grandview Lake, Muskoka.
“Come see this dad”, yell the kids, “and bring your camera!”. With the swim platform a few hundred feet off-land, I’m now looking at this majestic Heron standing on it… poking at its eye. Is he – or she – really doing that? Yup, he/she is!
2. Hawaii, United States
According to internet blogs, the Gold Dust Day Gecko originated from Madagascar, and was introduced to Hawaii in 1974 by a university student. Bright green in color, it gets its name from the gold specs across its back. I found this one at the airport sunny itself on a rock among passengers.
Thinking this is my favorite photo from trip to Hawaii. It was our last night, we walked the lagoons behind the hotel and along Anaeho’omalu Beach watching the sun bring end to the day. As the saying goes… picture perfect!
Akaka Falls, at 442 feet, is the tallest on the Big Island of Hawaii and very impressive – powerful even – when up close. We were told of the ʻoʻopu ʻalamoʻo, an endemic Hawaiian species of goby fish, that spawns in stream above the waterfall, but matures in the sea. Checking with Wikipedia, it says these fish have a suction disk on their bellies that allows them to cling to the wet rocks behind and adjacent to the waterfall. Using this disk, they climb back up to the stream when it is time to spawn. Now that’s impressive!
This is the Kamokuna ocean entry photographed from the helicopter at 7:45am during our recent trip to the Big Island of Hawaii. It is completely surreal to watch lava flow into the ocean! We flew up the lava flows and were able to watch active lava tubes along the way and then the crater itself.
Sweet! We awoke at 2:30am and were in the car by 3am on our way to the peak of Haleakala Crater in Maui. A steep switch back road with no street lights or guardrails, you climb for hours, breaking through the ceiling of clouds, and reaching the main lookout shortly after 5am. Patiently waiting until dawn breaks, we were rewarded with almost an hours’ worth of changing light until finally the sun broke the horizon. This picture, about half hour before sunrise, has the moon and stars still visible, while the early glow of the sun spreads across the clouds (sitting below the horizon).
Credit my daughter for being able to pick out this chameleon. True to it’s name, its multi-shades of green made it hard to see at first. It was in a mid-size dense tree out front of a breakfast place we were eating at. This is my first chameleon to see and photograph in the wild, and can say I’m amazed at the horns, the ability for the eyes to look forward and backward at same time, and how the hands can grip a small branch so tightly.
The Rainbow Eucalyptus trees of Maui are found on the drive to Hana. Like good tourists, we read up on them before heading out, and yes they are there ready to be touched and photographed 🙂 Everything about the color is natural. Annually patches of outer bark are shed, leaving the inner bark exposed. This then darkens to a mix of blue, purple, orange and maroon. It looks like someone painted the trunks! The bark is painted by nature across a wide spectrum of colors. Eucalyptus deglupta is the only Eucalyptus species found naturally in the Northern Hemisphere. It is native to Philippines but has been introduced and grows well in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, New Britain, and Hawaiʻi. This tree is cultivated around the world and is harvested mainly for pulpwood used in making paper, especially in the Philippines.
3. Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
This one was not pretty 😦 Bottom of 3rd and the Jays already down by 2 runs. New York was on fire with multiple home runs throughout the game, while the Blue Jays bats were very quiet. Still, a great day at the ballpark with the family!
This is one fantastic view of Toronto from the CN Tower looking north. We have the Fairmont Royal York hotel bottom right, all the bank buildings, Toronto City Hall, and every other building until the horizon ends.
For those of us who love Toronto, here is a different view of our skyline, looking West from Spadina to Humber at sunset, including Exhibition and Liberty Village. The usually North view is all office skyscrapers, while this West angle is condos, and to my surprise, abundance of green space.
A few weeks back we visited Burlington’s Royal Botanical Gardens in hopes of getting spring here sooner (didn’t work!). Their indoor flowers were in full bloom, as seen here, and for a moment it felt like winter was done.
We grow a mix of small and large white and pink roses in our home garden. This particular pink rose is the last for summer and fall this year, and was still on its stem in full bloom when photographed at 7am a couple weeks ago.
Yuumm! Braised beef served with gnocchi, mushrooms and fingerlings at Vineland Estate Winery. I think this is the first time I’ve taken a picture of food – who can blame me with beef this good!
Had the opportunity two weeks ago to view Toronto’s distinct skyline from the rooftop of the Park Hyatt hotel. There is an outdoor lounge perfectly situated looking south along Avenue Road that allows for this sweeping view of the city, with the CN Tower all lit-up.
Our bald eagle friend here was injured at a young age flying into power lines, rescued and brought back to health at the Mounstberg Conservation Area in Halton. They are known for rehabilitating all species of raptors in Southern Onatrio.
Finally I believe we have spring coming to this area of the world! This Blue Jay, plus a pair of Cardinals, a woodpecker, and a Robin were busy eating and tending to their nests on Saturday afternoon.
This is Ian Miller, ten time Olympian and two time Wold Cup Show Jumping champion, riding Dixson at the recent Pan Am Games finals in Toronto.
Live game shot of the Toronto Raptors vs. Washington Wizards on December 30, 2015, in witch the Raptors won 94-91.
Looking up at Toronto’s CN Tower from the platforms within Union Station, we get a glimpse of the old and new. This area of Union is being rebuilt, leaving the metal exposed and an open roof. Fun how they light the tower, creating a glow in the sky at night.
4. Europe: Paris, London, Croatia
Food is better eaten than photographed, however this is one of those exceptions. On a walk through Paris’ Marais district, we stopped in a charcuterie to buy some deli meat, and while being served, I saw this hand made artisan pizza that looked delicious. So I took the picture!
The Eiffel Tower is one of those iconic symbols that is mesmerizing to look at, day and night. Was in Paris for a work event, taking time to tour the city before things got started. This is looking South East from the edge of Jardin du Trocadero across Pont d’Iena, using a 3.2 second time lapse to create the blurring light effect from car taillights.
What you can’t see here is the group of 30+ people behind me, watching Tommy and Mary lose themselves in their music on the streets of London, England (look at window of the bus to see a few of those people reflected). Pure emotion, amazing chemistry, incredible drumming, and loud… very loud.
This goes in the books of ‘I can’t do that, and not sure I want to do that, however very cool to watch you do that!’. Skills and attention seeking were on full display near the London Eye – Waterloo train station area on a recent trip to London, England. The 7 guys in the background watching surely add to the intrigue of the moment.
Makarska is a lovely town in Croatia along the Adriatic coast with many opportunities for people watching from one of its restaurants or coffee shops. This Croatian man – enjoying a coffee and water – had an intense look as he gazed the street. And at the moment I pressed the shutter, he turned and caught the camera’s eye.
While walking the streets of Paris this spring, we came across a flower market. As travelers, we were not about to buy and carry, however a striking photo will surely do.
The scene unfolding in front of the Mona Lisa… complete mayhem with people attempting to take a selfie with the famous picture. This capture is more entertaining than the photo of ‘her’!
Dubrovnik is a very beautiful city with such rich character. Here we see the old city through a gun turret on the perimeter wall. I gather it was in use during the war 20 years ago, as evidence by the few areas of destruction that remain.
An incredible full moon to the right of the Eiffel Tower.