Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #225: Wildlife Close to Home


Anne Sandler from Slow Shutter Speed is heading this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge and she has chosen one of my favorite topic and something I photograph when I get the chance and that is Wildlife Close to Home.

There is a place about 15 minutes drive from home called Canada Goose Island. It’s not an actual island, just a small stretch of land separating a medium-size body of water that Canadian geese like to visit during the winter. When I saw these guys roaming around Ottawa when I visited in September, I instantly recognized them. Haven’t they flown south yet? I had wondered.

I visited this place a few times in the spring of 2019 as I sought refuge from a crowded house. My aunts, cousin, and mom – 5 people – were living in my house at the time. One of my aunt constantly either cooked (occupied the kitchen) or lie on the couch while another aunt occupied my bathroom. The house was always noisy, full of arguments between mom and her 2 sisters.

I still had a little bit of freedom to go out for at least one weekend per month as mom headed off to her monthly military drills. So this place was my escape. I got to practice long-exposure and photography composition while witnessing these geese in their natural habitats. It was like people watching but with geese. It was quiet and peaceful, a great escape from the craziness around the house. As I write this post, I’m think I should find some time to visit again.

If there’s something I photograph a lot, it’s squirrel. They are the hardest to photograph when they’re bouncing around, don’t you agree? I found this guy in the city park located next to the library. Even with a 17-70 mm lens, I had to come quite close to the squirrel to get a close up. This was back in early 2022, way before I got the 18-400 mm lens. I’d bet I could’ve gotten the shot from the car if I had the 18-400 mm.

Finally, here’s a pair of birdies protecting their babies in my backyard. Unfortunately, I had remove this birdhouse in the fall of last year as I kept finding dead birds in there. Had mama birdie abandoned her chicks? I wondered. Had she forgotten them? There are so many stories here but it’s sad to keep to finding dead birds in there.

Even now that I’ve gotten rid of the birdhouse, I’m still finding dead birds in my backyard. I found one just last week as I was raking leaves. I wondered what got the bird. The fence? The rain? The wind?

Though I don’t plan on putting in a new birdhouse anytime soon, I hope I can at least install a bird feeder this upcoming spring to at least provide a little drink for the birds while they visited my garden. I don’t think mom will let me, though and that’s the toughest person to convince.

18 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #225: Wildlife Close to Home

  1. Yinglan, Canada Goose Island looks interesting. I’m wondering if ducks are there too. I hope the birds situation changes for the better in your yard. I often wonder, why can’t wildlife just stay still long enough for us to snap a picture! Take care.

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    1. Geese, ducks, mallards seem to love the northern Utah winter. They’re usually here from November to around early March (depends on the temperature of early spring). They are quite an easy subject for amateur and hobby photographers (like me 😁) as they are pretty still.
      I hope I can install some kind of bird feeder in the spring as I’m looking to attract some hummingbirds and butterflies into my garden. Wish me luck. 🀞

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  2. Lovely images Yinglan. One thought on your dying birds. There is an avian flu going around which is killing some of the birds. Might be worth looking into although I don’t think there’s anything any of us can do about it.

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    1. I don’t suspect it’s the avian flu. I do, however, suspect their deaths are injury-related. For some reason, birds often miss the top of the chain-link fence. They get clip at the top, get hurt and die. Such an unfortunate shame. πŸ˜”

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  3. Squirrels are incredibly fast. Congratulations for getting some good photos of them! Ducks and geese are easier, aren’t they? I hope you can convince your mom to hang a bird feeder. I’m glad you have some quiet time of your own to go out and shoot photos.

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    1. Thank you. I find getting pictures of squirrels get easier if one uses a telephoto lens with a fast shutter speed. πŸ™‚
      I’ve been trying to capture ducks and geese in motion (e.g. when they’re flying or flap their wings). So far, no luck but who knows, maybe 2023 will be the year. I love capturing things in motion, they make the photo so much more unique. πŸ™‚

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  4. Wonderful photos, Yinglan! I love the geese image especially, beautifully captured. Congratulations to your new long lens. It must be streesful to have 5 guests in your house. πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you.
      It was quite stressful because the house suddenly felt cramped, especially when the guests are lying around and cooking and scattering their stuff everywhere.

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  5. The geese on the pond reflect such a calm. I understand why you want to return over and over again.

    Squirrels are fun to sit and watch roam around, or hop around the yard. A nice capture.

    Strange to think the birds died in the house. Probably a good idea to remove it.

    A nice look at your wildlife this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The birds didn’t die in the house. They died in the backyard, most likely from getting snagged by the fence. I had to scoop one with a shovel the other day (just for health precautions) and found the task gruesome.

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