Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sled Dog Races

Yesterday was the annual Frosty Frolics event in Bancroft, ON which starts with a Sled Dog race in the morning. I headed over and took some candid shots of the dogs and mushers prepping for the race, then snapped some pictures of the competitors as they each started out on the course.

Click on any picture to see the larger size.

One of my favourite pictures of the day - capturing the special bond between dog and handler

Getting the gear on the dogs

Lots of anxious howling as the excitement of the race starts to build - these dogs are ready to go!

These two sweeties were in one of the trucks waiting for their turn to run

Ready to go.....just a few minutes to race time...these dogs are all watching their handlers hurry about getting the sleds ready

And they're off!

There's something so special about the look of pure bliss when dogs are doing what they were meant to do......these dogs are born to run, and their joy as they race along the course is evident in every shot

I left early to do a rescue transport for the
Basset Hound Rescue of Ontario
so wasn't able to stick around to photograph the end of the race but am sure that no matter who won, all of the dogs and mushers had a great day.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Elk Restoration Project

Yesterday I spent the afternoon photographing Elk in the small community of McArthurs Mills, just outside of Bancroft, Ontario. This wild herd of Elk spend most of their time on the property of Joe Neuhold, known in these parts as "The Elk Man". Joe feeds the Elk in his yard, and they come from far and wide to live on his property. They are free to come and go as they please, but with an abundance of fresh hay and grains provided twice daily, a quiet wooded retreat to safely relax in, a pond to swim in, and one very caring man to greet them each day, it's no wonder they choose to set up residence at Joe's.

I got chatting with Joe about the Elk Restoration Project that reintroduced wild Elk to this area in 2000 and the successes of that project. We talked about the pros and cons of feeding the Elk, the risks of deadly brain worm, and the ethics of treating them for such ailments.

I was invited into Joe's home to watch videos of the male Elk during rutting season, to view news clips that have aired about "The Elk Man" and to enjoy Joe's collection of Elk memorabilia. Over a few shots of Jagermeister Joe shared stories about his remarkable experiences with these majestic animals, the successes and the heartbreaks, the ethical challenges, the frustration of dealing with careless hunters, and the incredible sense of satisfaction he receives from spending time with a herd of wild Elk.

Click on any photo to see larger size image

The following image will be featured in the Bancroft and District Chamber of Commerce Destination Guide for 2008

Visitors are welcome to visit Joe's property to view the elk, and bus tours and school groups are encouraged to call him to discuss the best times to view the herd. Joe can be reached at 613-332-2867
Be sure to bring your camera.....and a bottle of Jagermeister for Joe.

UPDATE: March 24, 2008
Joe is closed to visitors right now as the Elk have moved into the bush for the time being

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Metro Toronto Zoo

Jim and I spent the day at the Toronto Zoo and I captured some images of a few of the animals on exhibit there. All shots were taken using available light.

Here's Charles - a magnificent Gorilla who was very cooperative letting me photograph him today, unlike my last visit to the zoo. These shots were all taken through glass.

Click any image to see the larger size.

One of the younger Gorillas in the enclosure.

Another adult gorilla. I believe this is the same one who did some great poses for me last year.

Couldn't resist snapping a shot of this gal lounging around.

How cute is this little guy?

A young couple viewing the large aquarium made for an interesting shot I thought.

This little gal looked so very sad and bored.
Mom and baby.