Recent Photo Comments

Hanging Branch
Lori Checkowy wrote 1 year:

Your photo makes winter actually beautiful!
Thanks Mike for your comment on my Deer . - Lori Checkowy

Moderator wrote 1 year:

A very dramatic photo Mike. Such a lovely capture!

Mike Shackleford wrote 1 year:

Your picture gives off a great sense of peace and tranquility. Great shot.

Under the Canopy
Mike Patrick wrote 1 year:

Thank you, I need to pass some credit to Mother Nature on this one!

Moderator wrote 1 year:

What a beautiful pop of colour Mike! Absolutely beautiful

Aphrodite Fritillary Butterfly 2
Mike Shackleford wrote 2 years:

Just seems to have just white dots on the underside and top side there are only black lines.

Kristie Virgoe wrote 2 years:

I'll adjust my first identification to either an Atlantis Fritillary or an Aphrodite Fritillary. I'm wondering if you can tell me if the upper margin of the wing has white dots or black lines? That's going to be the main id feature here.

Aphrodite Fritillary Butterfly 1
Mike Shackleford wrote 2 years:

Thanks Kristie. Next shot shows this guy's underside.

Kristie Virgoe wrote 2 years:

GREAT SHOT Mike! It is hard to tell from this angle but you have definitely captured a Fritillary. I can't tell if it is an Atlantis Fritillary or a Great Spangled but my guess would be one or the other. Do you have a side shot with the wings folded?

Racoon tail
Mike Patrick wrote 2 years:

I don't suppose this is on the path heading west behind Mcleod's Landing Public School? This tree was home to some Racoons last spring.

Floating Free
Mike Patrick wrote 2 years:

Great set of photographs!

Wilson Markle wrote 2 years:

Had to dig a hole to put the camera low for the desired composition, used a 40 year old Micro NIKKOR 55mm 1:3.5, manual everything, on a D700 and then waited several hours for the sun to move.

Moderator wrote 2 years:

Such beautiful drama here!

Wilson Markle wrote 2 years:

These two shots were taken several Springs ago in our back yard. We finally had to chase him away with a broom, his mother would have nothing to do with us,

Moderator wrote 2 years:

What a beautiful picture! Where did this fellow come from? Was it this spring?

Moderator wrote 2 years:

Gentle beauty! Thank you so much for posting this.

Moderator wrote 2 years:

Wow! talk about teetering on the edge! Great shot.

Bond Lake
Mike Patrick wrote 2 years:

Hi Lori,

This is close to the trail head located on Yonge Street just north of Jefferson Sideroad.

Lori Checkowy wrote 2 years:

Great image of Bond Lake, where is your access point?

Fence Shadows
Moderator wrote 2 years:

The shadow and perspective here are wonderful.

Just a trickle!
Moderator wrote 2 years:

An absolutely beautiful shot! Well done.

Humber River, Ice
Lori wrote 2 years:

Wonderful discovery along the Humber River - great photo!

Garry Conway - Admin wrote 2 years:

This would be a difficult photo to shoot. Getting the right exposure for a back lit subject is always a challenge. The colour and the haze in front make a great photograph.

Lori wrote 2 years:

Thanks for the kind comment

Mike Patrick wrote 2 years:


The first snowfall on the Oak Ridges Trail
Garry Conway - Admin wrote 2 years:

Interesting photograph, it seems that the further away the camera is from the subject the more abstract the image becomes. Looks a lot like some of the images used for backgrounds on cell phones.

Open Gate
Garry Conway - Admin wrote 2 years:

Its been nice to see your Black and White Photographs. I visited a group exhibition this summer and there were a number of B&W photographs on display.

One photographer took an interesting approach to his editing of the photos. He edited them so they were quite high contrast but with some subtle greys. It does depend on the subject - whether this will work or not. The one that stands out for me was dead trees standing in a lake that was flooded for hydro generation many years before. The large area of water was almost white while the trees were close to black with very little grey scale between. Just thought I'd pass this along in case you wanted to try experimenting more with the B&W photos.

Frosty October morning on the Oak Ridges Trail
Garry Conway - Admin wrote 2 years:

When I looked at the photograph I thought the water tower was the one on Bloomington east of Yonge, but then I couldn't place the houses and tress in the foreground. Now that you have said where it was taken from I can picture it in my mind.

Mike Patrick wrote 2 years:

Hi Garry and thank you!

I took this at the trail head that's on the west side of Yonge Street facing to the north east.

Garry Conway - Admin wrote 2 years:

Beautiful photograph, I'm trying to figure out where it was taken from. The only thing I can see as a clue is what I think is a water tower near the horizon line to the right. Its interesting how our perception is affected once perspective of a subject is changed. It seems you managed to get the best of the Fall colour change as well.

Follow the Fenceline
Garry Conway - Admin wrote 2 years:

It would be interesting to see this photo taken from different angles and see if the fence line could be less centred. It does pull our eye into the background colour which gives a nice sense of depth.

A couple of days ago, when the first frosts were heavy the leaves were falling rapidly which created an interesting challenge - to photograph the leaves as they fall.

Clearing Fog over Philips Lake on the first day of Fall
Mike Patrick wrote 2 years:

Sorry last comment got cut off.....
I think the photo would have been taken from between 250-300 feet.

Mike Patrick wrote 2 years:

Hi Garry,

Sorry for the slow reply, I just noticed the comments you've left recently. I took a look through the flight records and it doesn't give a specific height the photo was shot from but it would most likely be between 200-300 feet.

Garry Conway - Admin wrote 2 years:

Nice to see this aerial photo of the Moraine. It would be great to see more of them, particularly as the Fall colours are beginning to show up. They seem to be a bit later this year. Does the photograph contain information about the height it was taken from? I'm curious to know how high the drone was when it was shot.

Fall Colours
Garry Conway - Admin wrote 2 years:

I drive this road often and am always amazed at the colours of the Maples along both sides of the road. The colour in your photograph is striking and looking down the road gives it a nice sense of depth. It makes me want to go and see it today before the colours are finished for this year.

Uncertain Day
Mike Shackleford wrote 2 years:

Still bright but I fear rain is on the way!

Garry Conway - Admin wrote 2 years:

Stunning photos. These webs look like they are from another world.

Road thru Sunlines 1280h.png
Garry Conway - Admin wrote 2 years:

A drive along the country roads or a hike in one of the many forests on the Oak Ridges Moraine can yield spectacular photographs like this county road scene. During late September and early October is the time to catch the Fall colours.

You can achieve dramatic results using the sun light when it is low in the sky during early morning and late after noon. When shooting toward the sun make sure you take a number of shots using different exposures.

There are many hardwood forests along the Moraine showing lots of colour in parks, along trails and roadside. There are also a number of plantations of softwoods that were planted in the 1920's and 30's on abandoned farmlands with exposed areas of blowing sand.

Grey tree frog (Hyla versicolor)
Garry Conway - Admin wrote 2 years:

Thanks for Uploading your photographs. I've never had the opportunity to photograph a grey tree frog, this is a great example.

Fenceline (Red Filter)
Garry Conway - Admin wrote 2 years:

I do prefer the lighter one.

There are two things to keep in mind here. The tone of a photograph is a personal choice, there may be reasons for having one lighter or darker. The other is that computer screens are different and show photos differently. I do keep mine colour calibrated so I know my screen is showing the best colour it can. As well, there is a difference in brightness between a Mac computer screen and a windows computer screen - Mac generally shows images lighter than Windows.

I'm enjoying seeing your Black and White photos.

Mike Shackleford wrote 2 years:

Thanks Garry. Adjusted the exposure and changed the filter from red to yellow.

Garry Conway - Admin wrote 2 years:

Lots of subtle detail in this photo and catching the fence on an angle helps create a sense of depth. I would be tempted to make it just a little lighter overall.

Mythical Reality
Garry Conway - Admin wrote 2 years:

Early September is a good time to watch for many species of butterfly such as the Atlantis Fritillary featured in this photograph as well as the Red Admiral, and Morning Cloak. Some places to look for these are on flowering plants such as the Swamp and Common Milkweed, Joe-Pye-Weed, Golden Rods, Asters, Cone Flower and Butterfly Bush. As the Fall season approaches Monarch Butterfly can be seen gathering on trees in the Oak Ridges Moraine, getting ready for their flight South. On one occasion I was lucky enough to see the Monarchs start their journey over Lake Ontario, an absolute marvel to see can such a small and light butterfly make this journey over open water and sometimes high winds?

In early September I also saw the Red Admiral and Morning Cloak spread their wings on an Oak Tree along with numerous other insects. The Red Admiral, hornets and deer flies seem to be competing for the sap on the surface of the tree when a yellow-bellied sap-sucker showed up followed by 2 humming birds, this activity went on for several days. It was interesting that it was one particular tree that generated such enthusiasm. It would be interesting to find out why one particular tree and not the other near by trees.

If you want to photograph butterflies look for the flowering plants mentioned above, better yet plant some of these plants in your garden and help the species survive.

If you have an opportunity to photograph any of the butterfly species on the Moraine it would be great to see them uploaded to the website.

To view more butterflies photographed by our members go to the Insects Album on this site.

Garry Conway - Admin wrote 2 years:

I took a photo of the Atlantis Fritillary at a Lake on the East Coast about a week ago. There were a number of them feeding on a Swamp Milkweed.

The butterfly colour against the thistle blooms shows a nice contrast in your photograph and makes the buitterfly stand out.

Lonely Tree (Sepia Copy)
Garry Conway - Admin wrote 2 years:

I've been enjoying viewing your Sepia toned photographs. This one in particular stands out for me because of singleness of the tree. Sepia toning was used a lot when colour photography was very expensive but now with digital photography I don't see it as much but it can still create drama in the photo when done like this - very nice.

Usually with a photo like this where the subject and the horizon line is centred I'd suggest using the rule of thirds but I think this is the right position for this photograph. By having the foreground grass in detail against the field you have accomplished a nice sense of depth in the photo and it is in the bottom third even though the horizon line is centred.

Mosquito_After-Happy Valley.jpg
Garry Conway - Admin wrote 3 years:

A rather timely photo. Just before I saw this photo I had 5 mosquitos on my leg and I managed to get everyone of them. That has to be some kind of record. Although, before I got them they got me. A bloody mess it was.

One Laid Back Bunny
Garry Conway - Admin wrote 3 years:

The Eastern Cottontail photograph provides a good example of life on the Oak Ridges Moraine - it would be great if we could all look that laid back. What I'm really referring to is one of the life cycles that takes place in the wild and still can be observed on the Moraine. If you happen to live on the Moraine near a wooded area you might notice that in some years there are numerous rabbits in your area and in other years there are few. This is part of nature's life cycles. As the rabbit proliferate they provide a needed food source for the fox. However, once the fox has found them their numbers decline rapidly until the fox is forced to move on to another territory in its search of food. Shortly after the fox has left the number of rabbits is likely to increase in their absence. This is just one of the many cycles of life for wild animals on the Oak Ridges Moraine.

Common White Tail Dragonfly
Garry Conway wrote 3 years:

Eventhough the tail has only the slightest hint of white I'm certain its a Common White Tail. The other features; the body and white on the wings looks identical to a photo I have that also has a white coloured tail.

Mike Shackleford wrote 3 years:

Can anyone name this Dragonfly?

Incoming Clouds
Mike Shackleford wrote 3 years:

Close to the western trailhead in Caledon

Mike Shackleford wrote 3 years:

Between Coolihans Side Road and Centreville Creek Road in Caledon

A Peaceful Day (Uncropped Version)
Garry Conway - Admin wrote 3 years:

I like this uncropped version better. This one gives a greater since of depth especially with the sky included. When I look at it, I can image myself walking through the field, stopping to say hello to the horses, on to the fence and enjoying the fall colours of the trees. In the cropped version I don't get the same desire to walk through the image, it loses the depth. I believe that Kathern said earlier that it looks like a painting and it does for me as well. I like it when someone refers to my photographs as a painting, I feel like I've somehow transended the limitations of the photograph.

Fields of Gold
Garry Conway - Admin wrote 3 years:

The Gold Finch this time of year is very showy with it's bright yellow colour. Your framing with the contrasting flowers has added drama to the photograph.

Spring Allium (Allium Bulgaricum)
Garry Conway - Admin wrote 3 years:

These small blooms make a very nice pattern which is visually compelling and the added bonus of the insect creates a centre of interest and interesting activity.

Early Morning Dew
Garry Conway - Admin wrote 3 years:

Nicely done. Getting the exposure right can be a challenge in a shot like this, especially shooting into the sun. Looking forward to seeing more of your shots of Happy Valley and Love Mountain.

Kristie Virgoe wrote 3 years:

Lovely shot David!

A couple horse back riding
Kristie Virgoe wrote 3 years:

Love this shot. So much warmth!

Catherine Marshall wrote 3 years:

If a photo such as this doesn't promote enjoying our forests, i don't know what would!

Blue Jay
Garry Conway - Admin wrote 3 years:

This is an interesting photograph with the face and beak sharpe but the wings are slightly blurred giving a sense of movement. I notice in the EXIF info that it was shot at 1/30 of a second, it is rare that you can get any part of a moving bird sharpe with such a slow shutter speed. Usually the shutter speed needs to be set at about 1/500 of a second to get a sharpe picture of a bird that is perched in a tree but moving. Birds in flight require 1/1000 of a second or higher to get sharpe photos.

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