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Nature photographer shares some favourite fall photos

Published on

George Mathewson

Not everyone will belly-crawl through a busy public park to photograph the tongue of a snake just inches from the camera lens.

But not everyone is nature photographer Ronny D’Haene.

The Sarnia man spends much of his free time in Canatara shooting its furred and feathered inhabitants, especially those that live in and around Lake Chipican.

Hey, I was taking an afternoon nap. A screech owl cracks open an eye to check out a visitor while perched in a tree near Lake Chipican on Oct 22.
Ronny D’Haene

For a city known for its industrial greatness, Sarnia’s urban wildlife diversity js nothing short of remarkable, he says.

“There’s been so much to capture this year that I’ve never seen before, and I’ve been walking in the bush since I was six years old.”

Dozens of D’Haene’s images have graced the pages of The Journal already this year, a catalogue of work that ranges in scope from butterflies to beavers, coyotes to cormorants, and pigeons to pelicans.

Today, he shares some of his favourite fall photos taken over the past several weeks.

“I was looking forward to this fall, the colours, trying to capture subjects with the leaves and light around them,” D’Haene said.

“And pretty soon there’s going to be no colour. You’ve got to get it while the getting is good.”

Oh, and about that snake. The once inches from his face.

“I expected him to take off at any time. But he was lying out in the sun and he didn’t want to give it up.”

A garter snake in Canatara Park on Oct. 5 flicks out its tongue to use as a detection device. The tongue, which collects chemicals in the air, is inserted into a special organ on the roof of the snake’s mouth that’s able to detect the scent of other snakes as well as its next meal.
Ronny D’Haene
The praying mantis, like this one seen in Canatara Park on Oct. 22, are best know for the grisly fact the female kills her partner after mating. But the carnivorous insects are also crafty and aggressive hunters. While they usually feed on butterflies and bees, they do occasionally catch and eat small frogs, snakes and even birds, especially humming birds.
Ronny D’Haene Photo
A view of Lake Chipican, looking south, on Oct. 21. In the foreground are colonies of broadleaf arrowhead, whose tubers were once an important food source to Indigenous peoples.
Ronny D’Haene Photo
A katydid appears to be doing a little tap-dancing atop a leaf in Canatara Park on Sept. 7. The insect is named for its loud, three-pulsed song that sounds a bit like “ka-ty-tid.” Most of the time when you hear an insect at night it’s either a cricket or a katydid.
Ronny D’Haene
This rare white squirrel was the subject of a feature article in The Journal a few weeks ago, but regular readers said the Germain Park resident is so cute he deserves another look.
Ronny D’Haene

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