After my last experience at Algonquin, it didn't take long before the bug bit me again - so to speak. I was nearing the end of my stretch of night shifts when I received a Facebook alert from Soft Serve News that the Aurora Borealis (Northen Lights) was forecast to reach level 8. What is unfortunate is that the alert can only be predicted 30 minutes in advance so there was no hope of leaving early, taking the night off, or going anywhere to see it. But that's what planted the seed in my brain.
Knowing it was going to rain, I packed my stuff, and hoped that the clouds would hold off at least for a little while so I could at least enjoy the day and then take my chances on the night.
Right away, I wanted to get some hikes in and hopefully see new things. I armed myself with my macro lens (left) which enabled me to get this ridiculously close shot of some sort of green ground cover that was growing on the rocks along the side of the path. Further up the trail, I noticed that it was lined with this savagely evil plant (right).
As much as a terrible irritant as it is, it does have it's charms for it's velvety look. Whatever, it's still vile and evil!
Nuff said. It was time to see the falls again.
For the second time, I visited Ragged Falls. This waterfall is naturally fed (water hasn't been diverted to feed this waterfall) and even so late in the year, really is quite a raging sight.
Getting this shot meant (foolishly - don't do this) going under the fence and moving out on to an outcrop that overhangs the falls, setting up and taking a several second shot.
This chute of water makes a lot of noise which drowns out any nearby sound and is quite relaxing. What I really like about this one is the access you have to it. Hiking to the top, you have the ability to climb right out on to the rocks and if you really wanted, could dip your foot in the water as it raged past (don't do that either).
Just meters up from the brink, the flow of water that feeds the falls is very serene. There is a long path that follows the stream for quite a long way, but at one point, there were several "Inukshuk"s set up along the side of the stream. This seemed like a good time to explore a creative side and add another one to that collection. I'm sure someone has probably kicked it over by now, but this is how it looked. I have a new respect for the people who build them. Balancing rocks isn't easy!
Another hike focused on a place called Spruce Bog Boardwalk Trail. Unfortunately there is a portion that has been washed out with recent heavy rainfall so it's an "Out-And-Back" hike until they get things fixed up again. No shortage of birds and critters from this rainfall. This grasshopper on the left was.. well, I don't know what he was doing, bug he gave me a chance to get very close and click away.
Photography is still a learning process for me. I posted this shot on a forum I enjoy and got plenty of tips on how it could have been done better. There is a leaf on this post that I could have blown away, and if I had focused a bit differently, his rear right leg could have been in better focus. I never thought of that, and really appreciate those critiques.
Shooting animals (and people for that matter) is a challenge for me. Neither stay still the way landscapes do. Without a flash, it's not always a sure thing that you will get an animal in sharp focus, but this little fella stopped long enough to cooperate with me. Thanks buddy!!
Speaking of animals, did I mention something about a moose yet? No? Well, BAM!
On a final tour of Highway 60, there were several cars parked on the side of the road - A sure sign that there's something worth seeing. Slowing down and moving over, I saw 2 moose (Mooses? Meece? Pick one) in a gulley. One took off abruptly while this one could care less about the growing number of photographers 20-30 feet away. It grazed lazily in the grass and water.
It was unfortunate that I only had my 24-105 lens attached. I might have liked to get a better shot with my big boy, but it's a chance you take when you bolt on one that it'll be the wrong one. Regardless, I think this shot turned out pretty well.
Finally I leave you with my last hint of fall. I don't doubt that somebody found this leaf and placed it on this mossy rock, but it made for a heck of a beautiful, contrasty shot which obviously caught my attention.
Hope you're all finding the time to take in the fall colours. I don't know what my next blog will be yet so... until then.