October, 2009

Fall Colours and Critters in Deloro

This grasshopper posed for me on a boogie board down by the river. It was cold, and rather than hop away from me and my macro lens he opted to stay put, warm up, and take his chances. This was the best pic I managed to take of him.

Detail of a leaf turned orange

Part of a ruined wasps’ nest found on the ground

Curly orange leaf

Red dragonfly on an orange leaf

A holey orange leaf

A red salamander. I think it is a Redback Salamander

A grass snake doing a bad job of trying to hide under the leaves

Another orange leaf flecked with green

A red leaf in the mud

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Day at the Zoo

My office shut down for the day which extended the long weekend by another day. It was a rainy, miserable day. I wanted to see if I could get a good bird picture entry for the Themed Photo Contest on Facebook, so despite the weather I decided to head to the zoo. I figured that the crummy weather would likely keep most people away, and that interior lighting would mean that I could get some decent shots of animals without having to resort to flash.

Wrong on both counts, as it turned out. I hadn’t accounted for the school-group option, so there were hordes of kids around. Not so bad really, as in most cases I just had to out-wait whatever group was passing through so that I could take the shot I wanted. The greyness of the day meant that whatever interior light was also severely reduced, so I opted to use a fill-flash on a few occasions. In the end the images you see below were culled from a much larger number of pictures taken, many of them blurred or where the focus was not as good as I would have liked because of the poor light. I was also disappointed to find that many of the exhibits were being revamped, with fully half of the Africa Pavilion closed off, leaving the Gorillas in the other half as the main attraction, with the colourful Chiclids in there huge aquarium being the only other major thing on view.

Am happy with what I came away with below, but I think it will be awhile before I willingly return to the Metro Toronto Zoo.


A Jumbo Gourami


A pair of Spectacled Owls. I took a zillion pictures of this pair but the lighting was so poor (and I didn’t use flash) that I could never quite get the picture I was hoping to get. I’d hate to be a mouse under that stare.

A tiny mouse found scurrying outside of the exhibits in the African Pavilion

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Dressing Up at Nuit Blanche

Erika Dressing Up for Nuit Blanche
Our Neighbour Dave Gamely Dressing Up for Nuit Blanche
Annie in a Veil at Nuit Blanche
Erika's Final, Full Outfit

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Chinese Autumn Moon Festival Lunch Includes Tentacles!

I was invited to join in for lunch at a local Dim Sum place in Markham (near where I work) by some of my colleagues who hail from mainland China. The lunch was to celebrate the mid-Autumn festival, also known as the “Moon Festival”.

One of my favorite dim sum dishes is squid. I saw cuttlefish on the menu and asked for that. It wasn’t what I expected, and though it may look unappetizing to some (Bill didn’t even touch it 😉 I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Cuttlefish tentacles

Another pic of them

One of my colleagues mentioned that they liked jellyfish, and asked if I would like to try it. I was game, and tried it as well. More tentacles, chewy and a bit crispy in a light vinegar-based sauce, served with slices of beef. Yum!

Beef slices and jellyfish tentacles

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