Here are a few examples of the many wildlife viewings that can be found at Northland Paradise Lodge and throughout the Temagami area at various times of the year. We encourage all of our guests to carry either a film format or digital camera (a tripod is optional) with them at all times. Subject matter can cover a wide range of sightings from animals as small as a mouse to those as big as a moose and as common as a beaver or as elusive as a timber wolf. Other interesting photos could be of insects, amphibians, bees & butterflies, songbirds, snakes, loons, birds of prey or perhaps a fish in a stream.
May I suggest that you try to compose your pictures with a minimal amount of unwanted background to ensure a clear and sharp image of the desired subject. Please include all relevant information such as your preferred subject title, descriptive text, time & date, location, and your name & address with your submissions. Only your first name and town (i.e. Moose in swamp, taken at 8:25 a.m., on July 15, 2004, Cassels Lake, by Bob from Toronto) will be posted on this site. Pictures for inclusion should be in a 300 X 225 pixel jpeg size with a quality rating of 75.
I will post all clear and identifiable pictures received from past and present guests of anything that is big or small and walks, flies or swims (in its natural environment). Unless otherwise noted, all pictures were taken by my wife and myself.
This snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus) was seen flying across the driveway with its wings in a gliding position so I assumed it was preparing to land somewhere close. I grabbed the camera, big lens and tripod and went for a walk. After looking at all the tree tops and hydro poles, there wasn't any owl anywhere. Feeling disappointed, I turned and walked back while still scanning the pipeline area. Then I noticed something move. It was the owl sitting on the ground and it rotated its head to watch me walking away. I captured several photos and it wasn't afraid of me or the several people that stopped to see what I was looking at through the long lens. This is easily identified as a female (dark bars or chevrons) and it is an adult because of the white "vee" under its chin. Young birds have the chevrons up to the chin. These are not common birds this far south in Canada so I can only assume that the Arctic is in for an extremely cold winter or there is a shortage of mice which are bringing them south in search of food. 1/500 sec., f/5.6, ISO 280, 460 mm., no flash, Nikon D7000 on a tripod from 40 meters. December 1, 2017.
This small bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and its mate were seen dining on some fish cleanings that I had placed on the usual rock in the bay for the seagulls to eat. The other one flew away and this one landed in a dead pine tree close to there so I came back home, grabbed the 500 camera lens and hoped it was still sitting in the tree, which it was. The other bird was much larger so I'm assuming that this one is a female and perhaps has a nest somewhere close to town where they are raising young ones. 1/500 sec., f/5.6, ISO 200, 500 mm., Nikon D7000, no tripod or flash, July 5, 2017.
The small wood frog (Rana sylvatica) is a lesser known frog across Ontario but is wide spread in it's habitat. At a little over an inch in length and with it's excellent camoflauge colors, it can easily be missed. I spotted this one in mixed swampy forest with rich moss cover. 1/125 sec., f/5.56, ISO 400, 105 mm., Nikon D7000, no tripod or flash, July 4, 2017.
After listening for the past 30 years to ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) trying to attract a mate by drumming in the spring, I finally got to see it happening. This one was putting on his display every few minutes and wasn't concerned about my presence in the least. Not wanting to miss the opportunity, I took this photo from about 30 to 40 feet away but after I finished, I walked up to within 8 feet of him and he still held his ground. I quietly left him to know that he still controlled that particular spot in the forest. 1/250 sec., f/5.6, ISO 500, 390 mm., Nikon D7000, tripod, no flash, April 8, 2017.
This female pileated woodpecker (Hylatomus pileatus) is a regular at a friend's yard so when he called one day to say it was there again, I grabbed the camera and got this photo before it flew away. A large bird of 16 to 20 inches, it feeds mainly on wood ants in hollow trees but will also dine on suet at bird feeders. 1/250 sec., f/5.6, ISO 450, 500 mm., Nikon D7000, improvised tripod, no flash, February 27, 2017.
For the past several years we have had a resident weasel, or ermine, (Mustela erminea) spending the winter by living in the wood shed. We have occassionally seen tracks in the snow and rarely ever have we seen an actual animal. This year, I decided to borrow a trail camera to see how big this year's weasel was and this photo was taken the very first day with the camera. People laugh when I say it is a vegetarian weasel as it loves its daily glob of peanut butter but rarely nibbles on a chunk of beaver fat that I place beside it. This photo was taken with a Wildgame Trail Camera at 1/30 sec., f/2.4, and ISO-100, a make shift tripod (tied to a block of wood) on Feb. 18, 2017.
It was a dark, rainy, overcast morning and three young otters (Lontra canadensis) were swimming and frolicking along the lake front in search of food. When one surfaced with a morsel, the other two quickly dove to see what they could find in the same area. When they surfaced empty-handed, it soon turned into a game of keepaway. This fellow was chewing up his catch of a crayfish as fast as possible but I managed to get one good photo before his snack was devoured. 1/500 sec., f/5.6, ISO-360, 440 mm., Nikon D7000, hand held, no flash, September 17, 2016.
We seen this huge cow moose (Alces alces) feeding in the grasses along the highway early one morning south of town. After turning around, I quickly switched camera lenses, walked across the highway and used the guard rail as a make-shift tripod. I managed to only get 2 frames before she wandered off through thick brush never to be seen again. Back home on the computer, I noticed that she wasn't alone in that swamp. Look closely and you will not only see her but there is an obvious calf at her right shoulder and another one at her left back leg which is barely recognizable. You will also notice that there is hardly any hair left on her rib cage and shoulders. This poor animal had a very heavy tick population feeding on her all winter and she has rubbed herself bald (on both sides) trying to ease the itching from them. With the cold winters that are quite common in this area, it's hard to believe that she didn't succomb to hypothermia due to hair loss. There is very little muscle tissue where her prime rib roasts & hips should be and she is obviously stressed and unable to put meat back on herself and she has two hungry calves to suckle. These calves will have less than a 50/50 chance of surviving the next winter due to their insufficient muscle tone and will be an easy target for a hungry wolf pack. 1/200 sec., f/5.6, ISO-800, 500 mm., Nikon D7000, no flash, June 2, 2016.
I noticed these 2 dragonflies, an Autumn Meadowhawk, above, (Sympetrum vicinum) and a Blue Dasher, below, (Pachydiplax longipennis) sunning themselves on a twig in the forest while I was collecting mushrooms for a meal. This is rather late in the season for them to be active as most have emerged, mated and died long ago. They do appear to be just enjoying the sunshine and each other's company. 1/200 sec., f/7.1, ISO 200, 105 mm at 1 m., Nikon D7000, hand held, no flash, September 5, 2015.
This adult bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was observed in a tree watching the going-ons at the local dump recently. As it is a very shy and reclusive bird of prey, it probably won't come down to feed until all the humans and most of the bears have left the area. A regular visitor here, it can be observed a few times a week in both winter and summer. 1/800 sec., f/7.1, ISO 200, 300 mm. Nikon D7000, hand held against the truck, no flash, August 5, 2015.
A lone Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) flew in and landed in the bay last evening and we noticed it swimming around over along the causeway. I found my old goose call which I had used while hunting these birds several decades ago and after a few calls, it decided to see who it's new "friend" was on the lake and readily swam towards us. We were ready, cameras in hand, but it was too late in the evening for a good photo so we watched it dine on the lawn before bedding down for the night. The next morning, it was still here so a few guests and myself snapped several photos before it slid into the water and swam away. 1/640 sec., f/6.3, ISO 200, 170 mm., Nikon D7000, hand held, no flash, August 1, 2015.
This male ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) was eating crabapples as fast as he could find them and in the short time that I was watching him, he must have swallowed 15 or 20 of them. They will provide nutrition to carry him through the long winter that will soon be here. Within a couple weeks after I took this photo, we got our first snowfall and it will be on the ground for the winter, making food hard to find. 1/250 sec., f/5.3, ISO 640, 300 mm., Nikon D7000, no flash, hand held, October 16, 2014.
It was just after sunrise and the air was still thick with the early morning fog when I noticed this blue heron (Ardea herodias) slowly walking back and forth on the dock in search of his minnow breakfast. After several frantic shots at full telephoto settings from our front window and all the while trying to compensate for the harsh bright backlight without using a flash to disturb it, I finally got this one decent photo before it finally gave up and flew off in search of easier prey. 1/500 sec., f/5.6, ISO 280, 300 mm., Nikon D7000, no flash, hand held, August 24, 2014.
This could be the smallest painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) that I have ever seen. I'm guessing that it is last year's hatch by the small size as I doubt if this year's would be this big at this time of summer. It was struggling to move through the lawn that I had mowed yesterday so after a quick photo opportunity, I helped it along by releasing it at the water's edge in the boat ramp to continue its journey. 1/320 sec., f/9, ISO 100, 93 mm., Nikon D7000, no flash, hand held, August 23, 2014.
I found this little Northern Red Bellied Wood Snake (Storeria occipitomaculata occipitomaculata) in the gravel parking lot and when I picked it up, it naturally tried to scurry away. After a few seconds, it quickly settled down in the palm of my hand and enjoyed the heat from it. It would have stayed there (or in my shirt pocket) for quite a while and absorb more warmth if I hadn't let it go back onto the ground after taking a few quick pics. With its natural camoflauged brown color, petite size (8 to 10 inches) and instant acceleration, it is hard to see on the forest floor where it feeds on slugs, mosquitoes and other small insects. 1/160 sec., f/6.3, ISO 200, 21 mm, Nikon D7000, no flash, hand held, May 30, 2014.
This very large male mink (Neovison vison) was spotted rambling along the shoreline looking for anything for a quick meal. At this particular moment, it was easier to jump up to flatter ground than to get into the water and swim around the steep rock. Aware of my presence, he made no attempt to scurry away as I was considered to be at a safe distance in the boat. Approximately 50 to 75 yards farther, he found something at the water's edge (possibly a frog) and disappeared with it into the forest never to be seen again. 1/250 sec., f/4.7, ISO 720, 200 mm., Nikon D7000, no flash, hand held, May 24, 2014.
Friends were driving backroads in the area looking for wildlife when they came upon this lynx (felislynx canadensis) catching a few Z's on a warm sunny rock. As it stood up to leave, their 13 year old son snapped this one pic with his cell phone before it ambled away. Common, but rarely ever seen, they prey mostly on rabbits along with a few grouse as their main food source. Their brown fur coat will turn to a brilliant grey in the wintertime. Photo taken in July, 2013 by Bret T. Technical data not supplied.
This strikingly beautiful hard-backed beetle which I had never seen in my life was noticed on the wooden porch today. After taking a few pics, I Googled the image to research my latest find. It is a female Sugar Maple Borer beetle (Glycobius speciosus), about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches long, full of eggs and a very destructive critter, to say the least. It attacks maple trees and can kill them by boring under the bark, similar to Ash beetles in southern Ontario. Back on the porch, it hadn't travelled very far and I'll just say that Temagami now has one less bad bug and its eggs to worry about. 1/60 sec., f/5.6, ISO 450, 105 mm., Nikon D7000, no flash, hand held, July 25, 2013.
I think that this garter snake's (Thamnophis sirtalis) eyes were bigger than its mouth when he attempted to swallow an American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) for his next meal. After thrashing around for a few minutes in the gravel driveway and getting nowhere with its catch, the snake had to release its hold on the side of the toad's head and approach it from the front for a better grip. At that moment, the toad realized he was free and immediately hopped away to safety and left the snake to ponder where his meal had gone. 105 mm., 1/60 at f/10, ISO 200, no flash, Nikon D7000, hand held from about 2 feet. July 4, 2013.
A friend was working around his yard recently and noticed this luna moth (Actias luna) on the screen patio wall. He used his Samsung cell plone to capture this shot of one of the rare moths in Ontario that is active in both daylight and dark. Taken by Rick G., 1/431 at f/2.6, ISO 32 no flash from about 2 or 3 feet. July 1, 2013.
While riding our ATV's on local trails, we came across a mother ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) and several baby chicks that, judging from the wing feather development, appeared to be 1 or 2 days old. This particular one didn't want to scurry off the trail with the rest of the family so we picked it up, snapped a few pics and released it back on the ground. After several calls from mom, it slowly made its way through the grass and joined the rest of the family. If it doesn't smarten up, it will very soon be lunch for a hungry marten or fox. 1/320 sec., f/16, ISO 1100, 80 mm., no flash, Nikon D7000, hand held, July 1, 2013.
It was late afternoon when I seen this turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) catching a few last rays of warmth before the sun would be going down in a few hours. They will sit in this position without flinching for extended periods which makes one wonder if they can store the body heat they have collected through the night. 1/500 sec., f/5.6, ISO 400, 270 mm., no flash, Nikon D7000, hand held, June 25, 2013.
When I was returning from a walk on the White Bear Forest trails, I seen this mother Red Breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) and her 16 offspring swimming in our lake. I slowly edged the boat close enough for this photo and she seemed unconcerned about my presence and continued along the shoreline. 127 mm., 1/125 at f/5.6, ISO 400, no flash, Nikon D7000, hand held from about 30 feet, August 16, 2012.
While I was working in the garden this morning, a May fly (Ephemoptera) landed on my shirt sleeve and within seconds this dragonfly (Anisoptera) had spotted it, landed and began eating it. By the time I got the shirt off, found the camera and focused, it had already devoured most of it. Notice how it's "claws" are dug into the fabric for support in the wind. Seconds later, it left on the breeze. 157 mm., 1/250 at f/8, ISO 100, no flash, Nikon D7000, hand held from about 4 feet. June 19, 2012.
This raven (Corvus corax) was gorging itself on some leftover bait pieces from the past winter's trapping that I had specifically thrown out onto the ice for it to eat. A very cautious bird, it was reluctant to let me take any pictures and would immediately fly away as soon as I moved the slightest bit. After a few trips to the bait area, it soon realized that I wasn't a serious threat and I took several photos from as close as 30 feet. Approx. 200 mm. lens, 1/250 at f/8,ISO 100, no flash, Nikon D7000, hand held from 30 feet. April 2, 2012.
This obviously pregnant red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) was very busy gathering soft cedar bark strips to line a nest for her soon-to-be family in the spring of 2012. Well aware of my presence, she would selectively grab a mouthful of bark, scurry away and then return a few minutes later for more. I watched her for about an hour and she must have made 15 or 20 trips before disappearing late in the afternoon. 300 mm. lens, 1/250 at f/5, ISO-200 with a flash, Nikon D7000 from 8 feet, hand held. March 19, 2012 in the maple sugar bush.
I was out taking various fall pictures when I came across a few grouse foraging for a meal in the leaves. This hen ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) was the least afraid of the group and willingly let me take several photos of her on both the ground and in a pine tree. Note the raised feathers on top of her head, hence the "ruffed" in its name. October 16, 2011. 110 mm lens, 1/125 at f/5.6, ISO-360, Nikon D7000 camera from about 6 feet away.
I had finished cutting & wrapping a moose for one of our hunting guests and had thrown the sawdust from the meat band saw out into the garden. Within seconds, this Whiskey Jack (or Canada Gray Jay) (Perisoreus canadensis) showed up to dine on the crumbs. By the time I returned with the camera for this photo, it had already eaten most of it up. A very friendly and inquisitive bird, it wasn't afraid of me at all and after I took the photo, I picked up what was left of the crumbs and it readily ate them off of the palm of my hand. October 10, 2011. 55 mm lens, 1/40 second at f/4.5, ISO-800, Nikon D7000 camera from about 5 feet away.
This female snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) had just finished laying her eggs in the early evening along a gravel road when I came upon her. Shortly after that, she slowly made her way down the bank and back into the swamp, never to see or care for her offspring again. If a fox or other predator doesn't pass by, smell the eggs, dig them up and eat them, they will hatch before freeze-up and make their way into the water. June 19, 2011. 60 mm. lens, 1/125 sec., f/5.6, ISO 360, Nikon D7000 camera from about 5 feet away, hand held, no flash.
The barred owl (Stria varia) is one of Ontario's smaller owls and like most owls, it feeds mainly on small rodents and birds. This one was photographed while it was checking out a bird feeder from a short distance away. The photo was taken by Bob M. from Huntsville with a Canon EOS rebel T1i, F/9, 1/60 sec., at ISO 100 and a telephoto length of 250 mm on Feb. 12, 2011.
The smallest of the weasel family, an ermine (Mustela erminea) is white in the winter (along with its black tail tip) and returns to a medium brown color in the summer when it is know as a weasel. A lightning fast carnivore that rarely exceeds a foot in length and feeds on mice, minnows and small birds, it also was photographed near the same bird feeder as the barred owl. Prized by trappers in the forest for its soft white pelt, they are also a very welcome sight around woodpiles and barns as nature's best mobile mouse trap. To keep ermine around for this purpose, some of their preferred foods are raw animal fat or peanut butter. This photo was taken by Bob M. from Huntsville with a Canon PowerShot SD450, F/9, 1/200 sec., at a focal length of 14 mm. on January 19, 2011.
The Ring Neck Snake (Diadophus punctatus) is probably the most elusive of Ontario's snakes. A very small, pencil-thin snake at 8 to 10" in length and with both sexes being a flat grey in color, it can be very difficult to view. Neck rings vary from an off-white to light yellow (as seen here) and the underside varies from light yellow to light orange. It can be found under old logs and other decaying plant matter where it feeds mainly on slugs, mosquitoes and other small invertebrates. It is non-venomous and does not bite but is instantly capable of great speed when suddenly alarmed. August 6, 2010. Approx. 35 to 50 mm lens, 1/30 second at f/5.6, hand held.
One of our customers managed to get close enough to a blue heron (Ardea herodias) this past summer of 2009 to get this awesome photo while they were trolling their fishing boat along the shoreline. Normally, a very wary bird, it is nearly impossible to take good quality photos of them. Karen K. was using her 6 meg Kodak Easy Share Z 612 at telephoto setting for this once in a lifetime shot.
This garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) was seen enjoying the heat of the sun while sitting on top of a beaver house. Unafraid of me, I was able to maneuver around to get this photo before it slithered away into the grass. Returning back by the same beaver house an hour later, I noticed it was again sitting there soaking up more sunshine. August 7, 2009. Approx. 50 mm. lens, 1/250 second, f/4, hand held.
Some of my family were here on a September vacation and snapped this photo of a cow moose (Alces alces) standing along the tree line on Hwy. 11 south of town when they were returning to southern Ontario. As warm as the weather is in mid September, you can easily see the new growth of dark hair starting on her shoulders that will keep her warm and alive during -40 C temperatures in the coming winter. Photo taken on approx. September 17, 2008 by Bruce A., Kingsville, Ontario. Technical data not supplied.
They're gross, they're disgusting and they're just plain creepy! They're dock spiders (Dolomedes tenebrosus). Everyone has seen them and possibly fell over themselves while attempting to avoid them. They are also harmless. With a span of up to 3 inches in both directions, they can easily be spotted living on, around and under docks and patios near the water, where they feed on small crawling and flying insects including dozens of mosquitoes all summer. August 30, 2008. Approx. 50 mm. lens, 1/500 second, f/5.6, hand held.
Almost invisible due to its camouflage coloring, this American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) was observed in the dropped pine needles in the old growth forest. By moving very slowly, I was able to bring the camera close enough for this shot. Note the tiny suction cups that it has for "fingers" and used for gripping leaves and twigs. August 17, 2008. Approx. 28 to 50 mm lens, macro, f/8, 1/125 sec., hand held.
It's been a couple years since this female loon (Gavia immer) has successfully hatched a pair of chicks and now she proudly brings them around to show her new family to everyone. She will readily approach my boat to within a distance of 8 feet while she constantly assures the chicks that it is safe to do so. July 15, 2008. Approx. 50 to 75 mm. lens, f/4, 1/250 sec., hand held.
A dragonfly emerges from its pupa cocoon and rests to dry. However, this was an unusually windy day and the tips of the wings (first to emerge) dried before the rest of the insect could leave the pupa casing. This doomed it from being able to fly, eat a countless number of black flies and procreate before dying at summer's end if it would have been able to emerge normally as thousands of other dragonflies had already done in the past few weeks. June 24, 2008. 28 mm macro lens, f/8, 1/250 sec., hand held.
The fisher (Martes pennanti) is probably the most aggressive and determined carnivorous predator in the forest. Its body and tail are very close to the size of a red fox but it has much shorter legs and a less bushy tail. Extremely agile and "quick as lightning" in the water, on land or in the tree tops, there is nothing that can escape its capture once it decides what it wants for its next meal. A fisher has been known to chase a bear away from its freshly caught prey. One of the fisher's favorite meals is porcupine ... alive and still moving. Although the quills will stick into the fisher's skin, it is not affected by them and rarely will it ever swell up and turn red as expected of any other animal that messes with a porcupine. This photo was taken in February, 2008 when it was seen near a bait station for other fur bearing animals on my trapline. Technical data was not recorded.
I managed to snap just this one photo of a beaver (Castor canadensis) with some fresh-cut birch twigs that he had gathered in the boat ramp. We had heard him a few minutes earlier and managed to sneak close enough (6 feet) to get this picture before he slapped the water with his tail when the flash went off and then disappeared. September 19, 2007. Approx. 80 mm lens, 1/125 second, f/2.5, auto flash, hand held.
This photo was used as the cover photo for the autumn edition of the 2008 North Bay and Area Sideroads magazine
I photographed this male spruce grouse (Falcipennis canadensis) while riding some local ATV trails on September 15, 2007. These birds are much easier to approach than their cousins, the ruffed grouse. I was able to walk to within 10 or 12 feet of it before it seemed to care about my presence. Approx. 100 to 135 mm. lens, 1/125 second, f/4, hand held
This is one of countless monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) that were observed feeding on the sweet nectar of the purple bergamot (Mondera media) flowers in the garden over the past few days. Although they are arriving several weeks ahead of their usual schedule, they are on their annual migration trip to Mexico for the winter. This female is easily identified by the lack of a dark black spot on the thick vein in center of the bottom wing. Males have thin veins with a dark spot. Could this be an indication of an early or long winter ahead? August 7, 2007. 200 mm. telephoto, 1/160 second, f/4, hand held.
What species of moth or butterfly do you think this might become when it's an adult? I found this caterpillar recently and cannot put a name to it. It is about 2 1/2 to 3" long and was climbing along a limb on a jack pine tree. August 2, 2007. 50 mm., 1/200 second, f-8, hand held.
UPDATE: I've been told that this caterpillar will spend the winter in a cocoon before emerging as a Luna Moth (Actias luna) next spring. It will grow to 6" (15 cm) wide and 5 to 6" long and the overall color is light green, similar to its sides right now. In the present stage, it feeds on birch leaves which were also growing beside the jack pine.
I seen this snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) making its way across the parking lot in the rain. When the rain slowed enough to not endanger the camera, I got this pic before releasing it. Although it appears rather large in this photo, it was only a couple pounds. September 23, 2006.
It definitely pays to carry a camera at all times! On August 21, 2006, I had to run uptown for a few minutes and decided to take the camera. On the way back (a total distance of 1/2 km from the lodge), I snapped this picture of a black bear (Ursis americanus) that was eating grass on the side of the road. It also was aware of my presence but it chose to ignore me and I walked up to about 12 or 15 feet before squeezing off the shutter release. 1/500 second, hand held.
As common as garter snakes (Thamnopis sirtalis) are across most of North America and also in the Temagami area, ones with this checkered pattern instead of the usual dark stripes are relatively rare. This picture was captured in the driveway on August 15, 2006.
This female hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) was seen sipping nectar in Marg's red Bergamot (Mondera didyma) flowers on August 1, 2006. Somewhat shy at first, it soon realized that I wasn't a danger and carried on its business with little regard to my presence. To completely stop any wing movement, this picture was taken at 1/2000 second at f/4 and zoomed in with a 200 mm telephoto lens on a tripod.
This adult American Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was perched in a tree along the shoreline of the lake when we rounded the point in the boat. It flew along the shoreline for approximately 500 yards (meters) before landing in this dead tree where I managed to get just this one picture before it took flight again and disappeared over the trees. In twenty years of lodge life, this is the first one I've ever seen in the Temagami area but it was easily recognized in flight by the white feathers on both its head and at the base of its tail. The bright yellow legs that were extended just before landing in the tree were another give-away. 200 mm telephoto lens, no tripod, July 29, 2006.
The "resident" pair of loons (Gavia immer) are back on the lake again this summer. The male, pictured here, will easily let a boat get close enough for pictures like this. July 13, 2006. Hand held at approx. 135 mm.
The female loon (Gavia immer) is just as easy to approach with a boat as the male is. July 13, 2006. Hand held at approx. 135 to 200 mm.
The evening light was fading fast and I had to use a less-than-preferred shutter speed to get enough light exposure for this picture of the male loon (Gavia immer). The blur of the rapid wing movement is obvious but it's still a good shot. July 13, 2006. Hand held, approx. 135 mm at 1/100 second.
This is one of a half dozen turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) that were sitting on a rock and scavenging the skeletal remains of some fish that I had cleaned earlier in the day. A large bird of approximately two feet in height and three feet in length, they are usually very timid and it is rare to approach one at this close range. When I returned an hour later, the birds were gone and there wasn't any indication that there had ever been any fish bones left at that location. This picture was taken with a 200 mm telephoto lens and without a tripod on June 27, 2006.
This young fox pup (Vulpes vulpes) was the more curious of the three that I came upon while driving on a local gravel road. The parent(s) were not to be found but I'll assume they were not too far away. Shy, but inquisitive, he did pose long enough for this picture on June 3, 2006.
This pair of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), the drake following the hen, were seen scouting out a possible nest site in a marshy area. Springtime is the best time of year to see the drake in his finest mating plumage. Focusing entirely on the pursuit of the propagation of the species, they also appear to throw caution to the wind and can easily be photographed at this time of year at a much closer range than can be attained later on in the summer. Once the site is decided upon and the nest is built, the hen will be nearly impossible to distinguish from the background cattails that blend so well with her feathers. April 15, 2006.
We now have another animal in the woodshed looking for a free meal. This female mink (Neovison vison) has been spotted on different occasions either stealing the marten's food stash or sniffing around the firewood in search of mice. Since then, I've been leaving small chunks of meat for both the marten and mink to enjoy. A very timid animal, the mink was much more difficult to photograph but I finally managed to sneak this picture on December 18, 2005.
This female pine marten (sable) (Martes martes) has taken up residence in our woodshed and has been hiding chunks of meat in the woodpile, presumably for consumption through the coming winter. I've never known these animals to "plan ahead" like this but I noticed her cutting the pieces of meat off of a beaver carcass that I had trapped & skinned and had temporarily left outside. She is a very inquisitive animal but fiercely protective of her food supply whenever I venture into the woodshed if she's there. This innocent looking picture was captured between viscious snarls on November 27, 2005 when she was back in the woodshed for another meal.
Adult beaver (Castor canadensis) swimming in its pond. The picture was taken in the late afternoon, giving the characteristic blue shine to its wet fur. October 29, 2005.
Adult male loon (Gavia immer) swimming near the docks in front of the lodge. 200 mm telephoto lens, with a tripod. July 30, 2005.
Adult male loon (Gavia immer) spreading his wings, possibly as a stretching exercise. This display is often seen just before it dives on a search for bait fish. 200 mm telephoto lens, no tripod. August 10, 2005
Adult male loon (Gavia immer) doing his "water walking dance" just off our docks. 200 mm telephoto lens, no tripod. July 29, 2005.
A mother loon (Gavia immer) with her two new chicks swimming in the bay in front of the lodge. This particular loon is familiar with people in boats and isn't afraid when approached by them. July 10, 2005.
A bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) is enjoying a sweet meal of nectar in Marg's red Bergamot (Mondera didyma) flowers. July 31, 2005.
A male smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) guarding his nest site, May 28, 2005. Notice the yellow mass of eggs on the rocks that the female came in and laid this morning.
Update: Monday, June 6, 2005. The eggs have hatched this morning and there are literally hundreds of tiny black minnows swimming in an invisible "stovepipe" straight up from the nest site. From watching bass nests in previous years, I can say that by tomorrow, they will be spreading out all along the shoreline in ever increasing distances and within 3 or 4 days, the male bass will abandon the young fry to fend on their own. Within a week, there will be very few of them seen along the docks as many will be eaten by predators such as perch and sunfish and the few remaining survivors will move into deeper waters.
Whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus), crossing Hwy.11 near the hospital in New Liskeard. I think it was a doe. Taken on May 19, 2005.
Cow moose (Alces alces) and yearling bull calf along Hwy. 11 near Marten River. Notice the typical brown face of the cow (sex identification characteristic) and the bare skin patches on the shoulders which are typical of all moose suffering from a heavy tick (Dermacentor albipictus) infestation. Moose will rub problem areas to ease the itching caused by the feeding ticks but it wears the hair off and can cause severe hypothermia leading to frostbite and possibly, eventual death in winter months. This cow, although appearing malnourished, was fortunate to survive. In the spring, the ticks will drop off, live in swamps and marshy areas for the summer then attach themselves to the legs of another moose in the late fall and spend the winter feeding on that host animal. Picture taken on May 2, 2005.
Female painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) laying eggs on the gravel shoulder of a local road. Taken on June 16, 2004.
A bull moose (Alces alces) in roadside swampy area on Hwy.11 just south of town. Taken in spring, 2004.
Bull moose (Alces alces) in marshy area on Hwy. 11 just north of North Bay. Note the early horn formation. Taken in spring, 2004.
Young male lynx (Felixlynx canadensis), almost camouflaged, waiting for prey to appear. Taken in summer of 2003.
Male Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus), in early spring, cutting a hole on the south (sunny & warm) side of a tree to access the resident carpenter ants (Camponotus pennsylvanicus) for a meal. Ants will migrate into the root system of dead or dying trees for the winter (where it is warmer and has less temperature variations) before they go into a much reduced level of activity. In the spring, they begin to migrate back up the trunk again but stay on the south side of the tree where it is warmer, before taking up summer residency in the higher parts of the tree where woodpeckers will drill for them on all sides of the trees. With the arrival of warmer spring days, it is much easier for these birds to find nourishment. The smaller top hole is where he started to excavate for ants but soon realized they were a few inches lower. Woodpeckers have an amazingly acute sense of hearing and can listen to and locate ants feeding on wood fiber inside a tree from almost unbelievable distances of up to fifty feet (over 15 m). Hunters and hikers that become "directionally challenged" on an overcast day in the forest at any time of the year can look for both fresh and older signs of woodpecker activity at the base of trees (usually, but not always, cedar or spruce and almost certainly on the southerly warmer side) to assist themselves in finding their way back to familiar surroundings. I took this picture a few winters ago. And yes, I knew exactly where I was.
Pine Grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator), male, at the window bird feeder. Taken a few winters ago.
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