Look mom, no feet!


This turtle was sunning himself at Petrie Island. If you are in a kayak the turtles out sunning themselves dive pretty quickly when you get near. I was on the trail that follows the bank of the inlet and was able to get quite close. He was not at all disturbed by the people walking by, so I had time to move around to get a mirror image. The water was moving slightly so the reflection is not completely clear but I think the mirror effect still works. Remember to click on the image if you want to view it in a larger format.


© Copyright Beth Walsh Photography. All rights reserved.




A Pair of Canada Geese


Canada Geese are a common as dirt around here and they leave a terrible mess. So although I love cute fluffy little goslings, I’m not a fan of the adult geese. But all that aside, I still like to shoot them in flight and on the water. This pair was hanging out at Mud Lake Conservation Area in Ottawa.

© Copyright Beth Walsh Photography. All rights reserved.



Dominant Wolf Snarling


This image is from my archives. Since my “Lone Wolf” image is fairly popular, I thought I would post this image. It was taken a few years ago during a visit to Parc Omega, a safari park in Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours, Quebec. These are the legendary grey wolf, also called timber wolf. This snarl was in response to being nipped at by the wolf in the front of him. The grey wolf used to be found all over North America, however with excessive hunting and the destruction of their habitat, their population was reduced in Canada.


© Copyright Beth Walsh Photography. All rights reserved.




Frog in Reflection


Frogs camouflage themselves so well that often you hear them dive into the water before you see them. That was the case with this little guy. We knew he was somewhere in this pond but he was hard to spot. I first took his picture from standing height because I was afraid he would be gone in seconds. But then I slowly lowered myself until I was lying on the ground just on the edge of his little pond in Fletcher Wildlife Garden in Ottawa. Pros always advise you to try to get down to eye level with what ever you are shooting, whether it’s children or animals, because it usually gives you the best perspective. It definitely did in this case, all that icky camouflage in the pond is hard to see and capturing the reflection of the frog himself and the reeds around him make this something better than just a picture of a frog.


© Copyright Beth Walsh Photography. All rights reserved.



Beaver @ Lyndhurst, Ontario


One of my favourite activities is to go kayaking with my family and if I’m really lucky I combine kayaking and photography. I use my D5000 and my 70-300 lens. This allows me to catch wildlife that I would otherwise not see or get close to. Typically, we head anywhere within 2 hours’ driving time of Ottawa. Kayaking and photography is not without its challenges, which is why I don’t use my D600. I have not tipped over yet and hopefully I won’t but just in case I use my backup camera. Often I just enjoy kayaking because the wildlife sees me coming before I see them or they are very shy and we only hear them. This photo of a beaver was captured during a trip to Lyndhurst Ontario.


We have taken a number of trips this year and the paddling was wonderful but the animals were either not there or very shy. So my camera stayed strapped to the top of my kayak. This trip was very different. I spotted many animals and had some success in capturing them. When out on the lakes or rivers, we have spotted a lot of beaver lodges but the beaver themselves are a very rare sight. This beaver was swimming along the waters edge in beautiful light when I first spotted him. He was moving very fast and I thought that I would not get my camera out in time to catch him when he stopped to eat something. I floated towards him and as soon as got my camera out, I took some quick pics. Then I tried to get closer to him. As soon as my paddle touched the water, he heard me and dived. This happens a lot when kayaking, which is why you can’t count on taking pictures and just have to enjoy the outing. Much less stress that way.


For those who have never encountered a North American beaver, it is a large, web-footed, semi-aquatic rodent with brown fur and a wide, flat, dark tail. The tail acts as a rudder while swimming, as a prop for standing upright, as a lever when dragging tree logs, and as a noise maker for producing a warning signal when it is slapped on the water. The fingers have long claws, and the legs have small webbed feet and claws. The beaver has a large, wide, head. It has sharp, renewable, self-sharpening, enamelled teeth that can cut through wood and fell a tree.


© Copyright Beth Walsh Photography. All rights reserved.



Great Blue Heron @ Brown’s Inlet


I have seen a number of herons this year mostly from a far distance and usually flying away from me. We were taking an evening walk around Brown’s Inlet when my husband spotted a Great Blue Heron hunting in this small pond. The heron was feeding near the edge where there was lots of activity, people and dogs. He was moving slowly while looking intently in the water for prey. I was able to get a few good of shots of him before the dogs started barking and got a little to close. It was so amazing to see this bird in the city near lots of people. He was more tolerant of people especially children moving close to him than he was of the dogs. He was alert the whole time but especially if he thought the dogs were close. Unfortunately when a dog decided to run too close I was slightly behind the heron so I didn’t get a good shot of him in flight. I did however get a shot of him with a small appetizer in his beak.


© Copyright Beth Walsh Photography. All rights reserved.








Snapping Turtle Laying Eggs in the Garden


It was a beautiful sunny morning and I was out photographing flowers. I was walking back home when my neighbour called out to me. I thought that he was pretty excited over me photographing a flower in his garden. But I hurried after him anyways and to my surprise a Snapping Turtle was laying eggs in his garden. My neighbour had noticed that something was digging a very large hole at the edge of his garden. His house is an end lot with a creek and the woods on one side of his garden. So from time to time wildlife munch in his garden and my neighbours are learning through trial and error what they do and don’t like to eat. He thought a ground hog or raccoon or something rodent like was digging up his garden and he wasn’t pleased. So he started watching for the culprit. He couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw her. Who knew there were snapping turtles in the creek.


The Snapping Turtle is Canada’s largest freshwater turtle. They have large shells typically covered in algae. With ours it was hard to tell because she was covered from head to toe in dirt. Their tails have “dinosaur-like” triangular crests along their length. Snapping Turtles spend most of their lives in water. They prefer shallow waters so they can hide under the soft mud and leaf litter, with only their noses exposed to the surface to breathe.


During the nesting season, from early to mid summer, females travel overland in search of a suitable nesting site, usually gravelly or sandy areas along streams. Our neighbourhood is built on packed sand. The area where she was digging is well hidden with easy access to the creek. She gave me plenty of time to photography her. When I arrived she had dug her hole and was laying her eggs. She then stood up and used her back legs to cover them. She climbed out of the hole, walked forward and turned like a truck carrying a wide load. She labourously turned herself around at an incredibly slow pace and made her way back in to the foliage and I assume down to the creek.


I wondered if she was bothered by us watching her, but she never pulled into her shell. I have since learned that Snapping Turtles have small lower shells, and cannot pull their head, tail and limbs into their shells for protection. This is why they may bite when threatened. However, Snapping Turtles rarely bite when in the water, and there is no risk to sharing lakes and rivers with them.


It takes 15 to 20 years for a Snapping Turtle to mature. As a result, adult mortality greatly affects the species’ survival. During the summer, many turtles cross roads in search of mates, food and nest sites. This is risky for turtles as they are to slow to get out of the way of moving vehicles. Eggs in nests around urban and agricultural areas are also subject to predators such as raccoons and striped skunks. So if the predators do not find these eggs we will have some hatchlings, which are about the size of a loonie, making their way to our creek. I hope they make it! Its wonderful to know we have such amazing wildlife at our doorstep and these guys will not make their homes in our attic which makes them very welcome neighbours.


© Copyright Beth Walsh Photography. All rights reserved.








Soft & Fluffy Goslings


These soft and fluffy goslings were photographed at Andrew Haydon Park, which is located on the Ottawa River. Migrating Canada Geese and shorebirds stop over along the marshy edges of the river near the park. We were there in the early evening and the goslings were feeding along the paths. We were walking within a few feet of them. At one point the gaggle of geese moved and a little gosling busy eating hadn’t realized that he had been left behind. When he did, he loudly protested and hurried to catch up. He is the little guy squawking in the first picture. Once the gaggle of geese had moved in front of us they were beautifully back lit and I was able to take a number of pictures before we continued on with our walk.


© Copyright Beth Walsh Photography. All rights reserved.