As I look back on 2018, I am thankful for the amazing opportunities that I have had with my photography. There were plenty of firsts for me and some truly memorable encounters with several different species. I travelled to many different locations and explored areas for the first time.
At the beginning of the year I visited Point Pelee National Park and was greeted by the Barn Swallows that make their nests on the Marsh Boardwalk viewing platform. I also was very fortunate to see an American Bittern pointed out to me by birders who were in the park for the Festival of Birds.
Crawford Lake Conservation Area is where I encountered my first Snapping Turtle. As I sat at the edge of the lake the turtle kept surfacing from the water as if to say “take my picture.” I of course obliged and was able to capture a beautiful image.
Big Creek National Wildlife Area, which is near Long Point, is managed by the Government of Canada and is a provincially significant wetland home to a wealth of wildlife. While I was hiking along the designated trails, I came across a pair of Sandhill Cranes. I took several photos of them before they took off into the marsh.
Pinery Provincial Park provided my first great opportunity to photograph a Turkey Vulture. As I was driving along a road in the park, I noticed something large on the ground. I realized that it was a Turkey Vulture picking away at some road kill. It was spooked when I drove up behind it and it flew off into the forest. I pulled my car off to the side of the road and was able to locate it on a tree branch nearby.
Holiday Beach Conservation Area hosts the Festival of Hawks each year to showcase the migration of thousands of birds of prey. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to hold a Harris’s Hawk named Titan and a Eurasian Eagle Owl named Emily. It was a dream come true for me since I have always wanted to hold a bird of prey.
I’ve always enjoyed visiting Stratford, Ontario but this time I went with the specific purpose of photographing the Mute Swans that spend their days on the Avon River. I took several photos of the adults and a juvenile who hadn’t grown into its white feathers yet. A Cormorant fishing in the river also came close enough for me to snap a decent picture of it.
In the fall, I spent an entire week in Algonquin Provincial Park, which is one of my most favourite places to visit. The breathtaking scenery and unique landscapes inspire all those who spend time there. I went hoping to capture the gorgeous autumn colours and see a Moose which is my favourite animal. On my last day in the park, my wish finally came true, I saw a male, female and baby Moose all together along the Highway 60 corridor.
2018 ended with the annual lighting of the lights in Victoria Park and the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train in downtown London, Ontario.
I made so many wonderful memories over the past year and I am looking forward to seeing what 2019 has in store for my photography.