New England Trip 2012 – Day 9 – Chatham to Provincetown, Cape Cod

Chatham Lighthouse Cape Cod

Our plan for the day was to drive to Provincetown at the end of Cape Cod and then return to Chatham again in the evening. We had never been to Provincetown, so weren’t sure what we might find when we got there, or what we might see along the way. Our first side trip was to see the Chatham lighthouse and to look at a bit of the local shoreline. (above – click on thumbnail for larger version of information plaque) Continue reading

New England Trip 2012 – Day 6 – Essex, Connecticut

New England Trip 2012 – Day 6 – Essex, Connecticut

Continue reading

Carleton University – Ottawa, Ontario – a few random images

Carleton University – Ottawa, Ontario
After dropping my brother off at the Airport for a long flight back to Vancouver, I stopped at Carleton University so that I could lend a hand, if needed, at the end of the Butterfly Exhibit. I knew that there would be a long line-up at the end of this, the final day of the butterfly exhibition, as is the norm after each year’s ten-day show.

Once I had determined that I wouldn’t be needed for a while I decided to take a short walk around that area of the campus to see what I might be able to find to photograph. Continue reading

A short walk in Ottawa’s Greenbelt

A short walk in Ottawa’s Greenbelt

My purpose for being out the trail today was to try out Graeme’s Nikon D70s which he had internally modified a few years ago to use as a dedicated IR camera. I was also carrying along my normal D300 equipped with my much older 55mm Macro lens. This post just includes some of the images that I took with the regular camera. For a look at the IR images from the modified D90, see here: IR Photography.

Continue reading

3rd Quarter 2012- MegapixelTravel’s most popular blogs

3rd Quarter 2012 – MegapixelTravel’s most popular blogs

Top Ranking – For the second quarter in a row the top ranking goes to blogs about the Kingdom of Osgoode. Although the Kingdom of Osgoode blog for 2012 still garnered quite a bit of attention, it was the 2011 live Hand-fasting wedding blog and video combined with the video of knights battling that kept the Kingdom on top.

Near the top (educational)Poison Ivy once again with mermaids a close second along with my review of the North Face Mountain 25 tent.

Near the top (athletics) – We didn’t photograph the 2012 event this year but quite a few people visited our site to view past cycling posts especially the 2011 RLCT post. In the heat of the summer quite a few people must have been thinking Polar Bear Swim as blogs relating to the activity of donning a bathing suit and jumping into ice cold water were very popular during the quarter.

Near the top (International travel) – Graeme traveled to Denmark and Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium and the blog entries related to those countries were viewed regularly but, as mentioned above, the Mermaids of Copenhagen  got the most notice. When the link to “El Otro Varadero” made it onto the TripAdvisor website, that specific blog, as well as our other Cuba entries, found their spot in the sunshine.

Near the top (North American travel) – Good hiking weather meant lots of people were interested in the Bruce Trail – Lions Head photos as well as the entries for similar hikes around the countryside.

Near the top (Historical) – With the addition to the annual re-enactment of the French and Indian War at Ogdensburg, the Civil War reenactment at Massena and a visit to the 19th century lifestyle of Upper Canada Village, a lot of history was covered but we didn’t attend any of the reenactments specific to the War of 1812 but do have a couple in mind for later in the War.

Back  to the 2nd quarter highlights.

******

Upcoming event of particular interest to us is the Annual Live Butterfly Show at Carleton University.

 

*****

*****

 

2nd quarter 2012 – MPT most viewed

2nd quarter 2012 – MPT most viewed

The following subjects were the most viewed MPT blog posts for the past three months.

Top ranking – The two Kingdom of Osgoode posts from 2011 – I guess everyone likes looking at brides on horses with an entourage of armor-coated best men! Hopefully, Graeme or I will be able to photograph this year’s event. Always interesting!
Kingdom of Osgoode 2011
Hand Fasting Wedding at the Mediæval Fair in Osgoode, Ontario – July 2011

Near the top (educational post)– Images of Poison Ivy. No surprise there. Each year, as the itching begins, people find out that they, or their children, have been exposed to Poison Ivy and, since the rash shows up a day or two after exposure, the search for images and information invariably leads the sufferers to our poison ivy pictorial tutorial. Doesn’t stop the scratching but at least, hopefully, our posting will help some folks avoid contact and avoid the suffering the next time they get near the stuff.
Poison Ivy (Images and Description)

Near the top (athletics post) – Images from the Ottawa Race Weekend Marathon were the most active but a significant number of individuals still arrive each month to look through the many pages of the posting for the 2011 Ottawa Bicycle Club Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour.
The Marathon
Ottawa Bicycle Club 2011 Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour

20110612-023729.jpg

Near the top (Scientific posts)
Sun photos (With solar filter)

Near the top (Flora and fauna posts) – Butterfly images get top billing but snakes are also right up there! Most searches for butterfly information arrive at our Carleton University butterfly exhibit summary page. Since we have butterfly images scattered throughout our posts, the total number of visitors coming to our posts due to butterflies is definitely high. Snakes on the other hand are just too numerous at the Narcisse snake pits in Manitoba. Visitors to that post just love to pass the link along to their friends to freak them out :-)!
Butterflies at Carleton University – using the MPT internal search function (upper right of screen just above “share this blog”) usually works well for finding other butterfly images in MPT posts but can sometimes yield interesting results.

Narcisse, Manitoba snake pits – an MPT image from this post is highlighted in one of Frommer’s tour guides which suggests the Narcisse pits as a top tourist destination for May – if you like snakes, that is.

Near the top (International travel) – Individually, each travel post gets high numbers of views but, collectively, views on posts for individual trips are always very high. To see our posts from a particular international region, just click on the category box to the right of the screen. Whether searching the Serengeti for lions or snorkeling in Saipan or just wandering through New York City, we hope that you will find some interesting images and come back often.

Best of summer to everyone.

 

*****

*****

Apple Bossom Blizzard

Today we decided to take our bikes and wander through the bike and walking paths of Kanata’s Beaverbrook and Kanata Lakes subdivisions and then checked out the progress of the construction work on the Terry Fox extension and then arrived home just as the first drops of rain began to fall. We started out by leaving the roadway and heading along the creek in Lytle Park in the Beaverbrook subdivision.


Continue reading

Poison Ivy time!

It’s that time of the year again when Poison Ivy plants begin to emerge once again. Poison Ivy is a noxious weed that frequents sandy soil and especially likes to grow beside forest margins and trails where photographers walk and along beach fronts where children play.Poison Ivy, noxious weed, allergic reaction,urushiol, plant, leaves of three

Poison Ivy negatively affects the health and enjoyment of thousands who are sensitive or allergic to the resinous sap of this noxious weed.

I have added a page to our tutorial section so that it stays pinned as a page rather than moving along as a blog post. Best treatment is to try and avoid this scourge. To see more pictures of Poison Ivy, that I have taken in various seasons and various locations, please visit our POISON IVY TUTORIAL PAGE and pass the link along to your friends so that they, too, may know what Poison Ivy looks like and avoid it.

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve – Barataria Preserve, Louisiana

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve – Barataria Preserve, Louisiana

When I think of trails in a nature preserve, I tend to imagine encroaching branches over a muddy or perhaps gravel path that meanders through the woods.  At the Barataria Reserve which is managed by the National Parks Service of the Department of the Interior, the paths that I was on ranged from just such narrow dirt trails to the above new composite material, elevated pathway of the Palmetto Trail through the Palmettos. Some such as the one below were far from being smooth and straight.  Generally,  though, the paths, whether rustic or paved, were nice to follow as they wandered their way through the varied terrain of the preserve.

The Barataria Preserve is located a short distance from Marrero, Louisiana (about 20 miles from New Orleans) and consists of forest lands, bayous, swamp and raised ridges. In some locations, the Spanish moss hanging from the live oaks provides a picturesque but spooky surrounding for a hike in the woods. (Location)


Just to add a little suspense and excitement, there is often an alligator cruising along close to the trail.

In the one instance, a group of us were standing on an observation point and talking about how we hadn’t seen many alligators when someone looked down below our feet and noticed that there was an alligator a lot closer than we would have guessed.
The alligators weren’t the only dangerous critters that we met along the paths. At one location we met a couple of park wardens out on a patrol near the junction of the Bayou Coquille Trail and the Marsh Overlook Trail. They were kind enough to stop and talk to us about a snake that we had seen but couldn’t identify. After the wardens had left us and the snake that we had been asking about had disappeared into the grass before I could photograph it, I looked at the grass near where the wardens had been standing and noticed a slight movement. Turs out that they were standing very close to a Cottonmouth without knowing. No Wardens were injured in the photographing of this Cottonmouth :-).

With all of these rather nasty critters living in or around the waterways of the Barataria Preserve, I question the safety of paddling along in a small kayak but this chap assured me that he spent many hours paddling in the bayous and marsh land of Barataria without concern or incident.

Beautiful country when looked at from a dry spot and I imagine that it would be equally exciting to see from the cockpit of a kayak. Perhaps next time!

For those who like interesting shapes, the Cypress provide plenty of those.

For someone like me who is allergic to Poison Ivy, one of the other dangers of walking along the Barataria ridges such as along the Twin Canals Trail is the danger of brushing up against some of the noxious poison ivy that inhabits those ridges both as a shrubby growth and as a climbing vine.

Alligators and snakes weren’t the only interesting things to see along the trails. At one location, Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) dragonflies supplied the entertainment and a group walking ahead of us spotted the frog and and the Whistling Ducks notified of us of their presence with their telltale quacking sounds.


When we arrived at the parking lot, this wren had decided to break into song to announce the coming sunset.

When I travel south, I am always surprised at how much of a problem the Water Hyacinth can be as it grows rapidly and clogs waterways. In my part of the world, individual plants are sold each Spring for a dollar or two each to backyard pond owners who appreciate their quick growth, long dangling roots and lavender flowers.

Cooper Marsh

Cooper Marsh Conservation Area (Location)

Visited Cooper Marsh with my birder friend, Gerhard. We were hoping to see some of the wading birds and warblers but were either too early or too late in the season for them. As usual, we found lots of other things to look at. Cooper Marsh Conservation Area is located on the St. Lawrence River a few kilometres east of Cornwall, Ontario.

Hairy Woodpecker with bug (Picoides villosus) – This female Hairy Woodpecker was working hard at this tree when I arrived. I watched for awhile and was rewarded with the next photo when she pulled a large beetle from under a piece of bark.

A truly juicy meal for those who care for large beetles extracted from under tree bark.

Wilson’s Snipe (Capella gallinago) – I’ve looked for these birds in a lot of places but I have never thought to look thirty feet up on the top of an old tree stump until today.

Baltimore Oriole in Flight – Spent a good five to ten minutes trying to get a clear shot of this oriole sitting on branches in some low trees and at least one branch or leaf always seemed to be in the way. Then I decided to try and catch it flying between the branches and presto a result much better than I expected. (Icterus galbula)

There was no shortage of turtles sunning themselves in a small pond in the area and Poison Ivy growth was well developed.

Midland Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata)

Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans): It’s that time of year again so watch out for the Poison Ivy!!! I have a number of shots of various varieties of Poison Ivy in our “Poison Ivy” page. Some Poison Ivy plants grow close to the ground. Others grow as vines.