Swan Lake Fall

Swan Lake is in Saanich, just north of Victoria. It is somewhat peripheral to my surroundings these days, but until 3 years ago my office was close enough to walk around it at lunch time. Yesterday my wife and I went for a walk there, and sure enough we ran into a friend of mine, so not all that peripheral. Swan Lake is within the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. It is terrific place for a walk, or to find a bench and watch nature – birds in abundance, turtles in season, insects and a lot of other things going on. Even though surrounded by urban development, it is a thriving natural environment with a lot of excellent interpretive programs and facilities. Our visit today was dry, but it had rained and the sky was mostly overcast with flat lighting. I took a lot of photos, many of them hand-held macro shots of vegetation and fruit and rain drops and other common themes in my pictures and a few are keepers, for now anyway. So, I am starting today with Swan Lake close up in the autumn. Later this week I will show more of this place, including some setting shots. I need to go back there when the light is better, there is a lot to photograph.

The top photo is Bittersweet Nightshade berries. We have this plant in our garden, but I had never noticed the purple stems before, and at Swan Lake only one cluster of many that we saw was purple. It is a striking colour as it is so uncommon in nature. These berries are not food, for humans anyway as they can make us very sick.

 

Hawthorn berries (below) are abundant in this park and should offer a feast for birds later in the year.

.

Snowberries are also very common, usually occurring in large concentrations. These too are growing in my garden – a bit hard to keep under control as the bushes love to spread out. They are a very dense cover for small birds, like wrens.

.

.

The blackberry was sending mixed messages of fall and late summer. Many of the stems are dying and mixed with others that are dead or nearly so. Even so, nearby were some blackberries ranging from green to nearly ripe as if just one more sunny weekend and they could finish ripening and reproducing.

All photos taken with SMC Takumar m42 macro 100mm mounted on Canon EOS 5d Mark II DSLR.

.

.

Advertisements

16 thoughts on “Swan Lake Fall

    • Hi Jim, you’re back again. What I have the most trouble with is focus, perhaps especially in macro mode since I am using an old lens that does not autofocus. I think its coming from my progressive lenses (3 prescriptions in one) not really allowing me to see well through the view finder. If I am using a tripod (rare) then I can do a zoomed focus in liveview mode on the point I want sharpest and take the picture. I don’t think its a common feature on cameras though, and does not work too well for me off tripod.

      Like

  1. I love the snowberries. I’ve never seen them in Michigan although USDA says they are in this region. Wikipedia tells me they are poisonous to humans. In their description it says they cause “mild symptoms of vomiting ….” I’ve never thought of any form of vomiting as “mild.” 🙂

    Like

    • Hi Douglas. Plants of Coastal British Columbia says that they were considered poisonous by the indigenous populations, with names that translate into terms like “corpse berry” or “snake’s berry”. One story identifies them as “the saskatoon berries of the people in the Land of the Dead”. I like that description better than the dry pronouncements of a government agency [edit: or a wikipedia entry]. However, it also notes that one of the First Nations in BC ate one or two berries “to settle the stomach after too much fatty food”. Maybe that fits with “mild symptoms”.

      Like

  2. Pingback: Fungi Fall « burnt embers

  3. I am so glad I found your blog. These photos are great. I am just getting into Macro Photography. Your photos are great and you live in my most favorite city in Canada. (I grew up in Ladysmith) I now live in Ontario, don’t ask me why, cause I still don’t know.

    Like

    • Maggie – welcome to my blog and the small bits of Victoria that I run across. Ladysmith is really nice too. Ontario I can’t speak to having not been there for so long it no longer counts as a visit, but lots of things for a camera to capture, as I can see in your blog.

      Like

    • Hi Branta – I’m glad you like these photographs. My subconcious will have to take credit for the order because, other than deciding which image to lead with, I didn’t put a lot of thought into structuring the post. But, you have reminded me that is important, which may mean I am more thoughtful with future posts.

      Like

  4. Getting up close is a great way of looking at nature. Especially this time of year. Enjoyed looking at the photos. Haven’t been there for years, but remember the boardwalks and how nice they are to walk on. This blog entry is a reminder to check it out again, as I mean to every time I travel McKenzie Ave.

    Like

    • Hi Joseph – the reply I was thinking for you ended up in my reply to Ed’s comment. It was by way of saying, it is worth a revisit, you won’t be disappointed.

      Like

    • Hi Ed, and thanks! Near the nature house is a new boardwalk out to a small floating dock – it is clearly designed for wheelchair access. Right now it looks a bit harsh as it quite new, but I expect it will blend in. Also, there are signs that some major work has been done to remove non-invasive species and to restore some of the wetland habitat. So, small changes since I was last there more than a year ago, and mostly for the better.

      Like

      • Ed, this reply was partly for Joseph. Oh well. As to snow, some years we don’t get any, most years it snows a few times, but only sticks around for a day or two. Not what people usually think of as a Canadian winter, but you won’t hear me complaining.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: