Gertie, the Shih Tzu x Slow Loris by Tracy Munson

It's illegal to own a slow loris as a pet in Canada (and rightly so, don't get me started on the exotic pet trade), but they are SOOOOO cute!  The solution:  Gertie can fulfill all of your slow loris cravings.  Also, she is extremely sweet, loves to snuggle, smells better than a slow loris and won't pee all over everything.  

Gertie is available for adoption in the GTA, through Speaking of Dogs Rescue.  If you think that you may be Gertie's forever home, you can find more information about her here.

Grebe Family Drama by Tracy Munson

No sunset to speak of, but some excitement while visiting the grebe family down at Humber Bay Park East the other night. It seems that earlier in the day, mom had a fishing lure and some line wrapped around her head. From what I gathered, some people caught her and got it off, but she got away from them into a section on the other side of a barrier. She would have to dive very deep to get under it...not a problem except that she had a baby on her back. When we arrived, I'm not sure who was more frantic, her or the bystanders (j/k, it was definitely the bystanders).

Anyway, eventually she figured out how to get back to the other side (without any help from the concerned onlookers, thank you very much) and the reunion between her and her mate was loud and action packed. He seemed to be yelling "where the hell have you been??? I've been stuck here for hours with these damn kids and now we're all starving". She was having none of it and seemed to be giving it right back to him "don't even start with me, do you have ANY idea what kind of day I've had???"

They swam past each other and she got up on the nest with the chicks (don't you think they should be called "grebelets"?  I do).  Dad began speed fishing, diving down and coming up with a minnow every time.  He'd rush over to the nest, cram it into a frantic chick's mouth and dive away for more.  It was pretty impressive, he was a very good provider for his family!

Eventually, everyone was fed and no one seemed any worse off for those few hours of separation.

Excellent Sunset by Tracy Munson

Had a lucky craving for ice cream one night last week.  Lucky because when we came out of the Marble Slab, we looked at the sky, looked at each other and immediately rushed down to Humber Bay Park East with our cameras.  This was the first shot I took and the next one, just a few seconds later had significantly less colour in the sky, so we were just in time!

Grebe family with chicks by Tracy Munson

I received a hot tip yesterday that the nesting pair of Grebes in Humber Bay Park East, Toronto had some newly hatched chicks.  Had to rush down for a family portrait, of course!

Apologies for my long absence, but expect more photos of the grebe family, rescue dog pics, and of course lots of photos from my trip to Newfoundland starting soon!

Othello, the Unicorn by Tracy Munson

Okay, okay.  He's  a Bichon Frise mix, not a unicorn, but he is a three legged, good natured, dog friendly, non shedding, small breed dog looking for a new home in the GTA and that's almost as rare.  He is 8 years old, has had his teeth cleaned and he gets around very well, despite his missing front leg.  Othello is waiting for his forever family in the care of Speaking of Dogs Rescue.

For more information on Othello and to check if he is still available, click here.

Irises in the Laking Garden by Tracy Munson

I had a lovely visit at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington with my Mom and my niece.  The irises in the Laking Garden were in full bloom and there were just so many fantastic colours and varieties that I had never seen before.  It is a really spectacular sight, if you are able to make it there while they are in bloom.

We even saw a few pretty flowers that were not irises ;)

....and the cutest flowers of all, half a dozen baby groundhogs popping in and out of the shrubbery and frolicking on the lawn.

Sweet Emily by Tracy Munson

Emily is a foxhound available for adoption in the GTA, through Speaking of Dogs Rescue.  She was a little shy with us at first, especially with Graham who is a big guy and can be kind of intimidating.  She warmed up within a few seconds, though and was even quite friendly with a fellow we met outside while taking her photos, so it seems like she will learn to trust quickly once she is in a loving environment.  She loves to jump up and give kisses and just snuggle into you.  You can check here for more info on Emily, and to see if she is still available.

Meet "Sly" the Finnish Spitz by Tracy Munson

Sly is a jolly, older fellow who needs a home without cats or children.  He is friendly meeting people and loves a good, firm scratching, but we were told that he can be a little bit cranky if you try to manhandle him.  At the age of 14, he's earned to right to a little respect!  Otherwise, he doesn't show his age at all, he is happy and energetic.  His cheerful expression will make you smile!

To check if Sly is still looking for his retirement home and get more information, click here.

Puppies!!! by Tracy Munson

Speaking of Dogs Rescue has 2 adorable puppies available for adoption right now.  They won't last for long, so if you are looking for a large breed pup to add to your family, you will have to act fast.  I met these 2 and they are gorgeous, but they are going to be HUGE, so prospective families must be prepared for the responsibilities and training requirements of such a large companion.

Paul is a curious little love bug.  For more information on Paul, and to see if he is still available, click here.

Mary is a little braver and more independent than her brother.  When we were there, she was mostly interested in sleeping in the sun.  To find more info on Mary or to check her availability status, click here.

Springtime Continued... by Tracy Munson

Maybe it was the never ending winter that is making me want to squeeze every dewdrop and blossom out of this Spring, but I can't get enough!

A young doe among the Cherry Trees, early on a misty morning in High Park, Toronto.

High Park has been utterly insane, but if you get there early enough, you can still get photos without the crowds.  The morning we went was fabulously foggy, which is quickly becoming my favourite weather condition to take photos in.  I have a feeling that will serve me well on our upcoming trip to Newfoundland!

Early morning fog adds some atmosphere to the sakura in High Park, Toronto.

After an hour or so, the park was beginning to get more crowded (it was still only 7AM!).  We popped home for some coffee and pancakes and I took the opportunity to dash over to a neighbour's beautiful front garden to test out the macro capabilities of my new Lensbaby Velvet 56 lens.  Have I mentioned that I love this lens?

Raindrops on a white tulip petal. 

Pink tulip with raindrops on a textured background.

Then back to the park, by 8AM and already we got the last parking spot, only because someone was leaving!  We were hoping for some migratory birds, but had no luck and had to settle for Mr Wood Duck and his reflection.

A male wood duck and his reflection swimming in a pond in High Park, Toronto.

Speaking of Dogs Calendar Outtakes by Tracy Munson

Graham and I had such a blast photographing dogs for the Speaking of Dogs calendar on the weekend.  Last year's calendar turned out amazing, but I'll let you in on a little secret, this one is going to be even better!  There were some real characters in the bunch and a lot of hilarity. Here's a little sneak peek at some of my favourite outtakes.

Don't worry, I got loads of great photos of these dogs for the calendar...these just ain't them.

Don't worry, I got loads of great photos of these dogs for the calendar...these just ain't them.