When chasing the sun to warmer temperatures on vacations one can find themselves caught up in the typical beach tourist lifestyle. That usually includes staying poolside, getting a tan, and possibly reading magazines. Im too adventurous of a traveller and even when on vacation in the land of condos and beaches I found a way to escape to nature. From the condo i was at I rented a bike and rode 50km (31 miles) to Fort De Soto Park. This nature preserve consisted of rugged beaches and, as I found out, host to an assortment of magnificent shells.
My bike adventure to the park provided me with a day of non-poolside adventures and I was able to immerse myself in the natural environment that Florida has to offer.
Toronto has an iconic shoreline and the downtown area known as Harbourfront was once home to many thriving industries that relied on waterways for transportation. In a less industrial era, the Redpath Sugar Building is one of last active refineries to be located along the shores of downtown Toronto. Opened in 1958, The Redpath Sugar Building is a sugar storage, refining and museum building and is a testament to the industrious history of the city of Toronto.
The Distillery District is a historic and entertainment area near downtown Toronto and is North America’s largest collection of Victorian-era industrial architecture with 40 heritage buildings and 10 streets. James Worts and his brother in law William Gooderham originally built a windmill but because of its success they were inclined to open a distillery. The Gooderham and Worts Distillery was founded in 1832, and by the late 1860s was the largest distillery in the world.
Photography can be a very interesting passion as it can be explored at so many levels and can be accelerated by the type of equipment and techniques used. One such technique is doing long exposure shots at night which creates stunning images of streams of light. The first tow images were done keeping the camera still and having the subjects move but the last two are images in which the subjects were still and the camera moved. Check it out.
An important part of connecting with the outdoors is to learn of an area’s flora and fauna. It is critical that you know your surroundings thus have a better appreciation of the ecosystem. This summer I was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time in the Kawartha Lakes region of Ontario. I was also fortunate enough to have many great sightings of stunning vistas but also intriguing wildlife such as the Painted Turtle shown below.
I came across this female Painted turtle as I was out for a walk but almost passed by it because I did not recognize the shell to be that of a turlte but rather a blackish rock. But my senses kicked in and I knew for certain it was something other than a rock. To my fascination I discovered that this female was laying eggs. I was able to take some quick shots with my macro lens then I continued so not to disturb it further. Do you have any great stories about turtle spottings?
Ontario lakes are renowned for their diversity and beauty at any time, but the summer season provides a lush backdrop of stunning vistas that can be found all over cottage country. Whether you are out for an inspiring day paddle, or a rigorous challenge, these lakes provide some of the best experiences anywhere. After all the province’s name comes from the Huron word Ontarí:io which means “great lake” because Ontario contains about 250,000 freshwater lakes. These are some panoramic shots of lakes I was at this summer.
This past weekend I played tourist in my own city, Toronto. I visited the Portlands which is an industrial and rcreational neighborhood located just south-east of downtown. The Port Lands are mostly abandoned from the days of heavy industry but the area along the south shore of the Port Lands has become mostly recreational with a bird sanctuary two leisure marinas and plenty of bike paths. These are some of my photos of the adventure.
While out fishing and staring at the setting sun I realized that nature can provide the eye with some stunning colours. I then took a look in my own garden and I recognized the vivid colours of Daylilies. Daylilies are a hybrid of the genus Hemerocallis whose name comes from Greek meaning “beautiful day”.
These cultivar flowers come in a wide variety of colour and form as they have been hybridized many times by horticulturalists around the world. Native to Eurasia this genus is popular world wide and there are some 60,000 registered cultivars.
Now that summer is here my true love of nature can be unleashed as it is easier to enjoy the outdoors and explore the wilderness that surrounds me. At my cottage I came across a very interesting beetle that I had never seen before; the Spotted June Bug.
The sunset on my lake at around 6:00 PM.
Adult beetles are approximately 2.5 cm long and they feed on foliage along the forest floor of mixed forests throughout eastern North America.
I came across the beetle on one of my nature walks and I was amazed at the color of the beetle because, as an insect enthusiast, I could not identify it as a type of beetle familiar to Ontario. As I later learned they have only been spotted in southern Ontario on a few occasions. This makes them somewhat rare in Canada but fortunately I had the chance to see one.