Enjoying The Dobson Trail Riverview New Brunswick


Our son Steve told us about the Dobson trail he and his friend Robin hiked and camped along which got my interest.

I finally got there this year in the early summer and then again just in the last few days to see the brook and autumn colours before they are gone again for another year.

I was not disappointed and came out feeling happy, relaxed and refreshed. I was a little tired as I was walking for almost 3 hours but don’t take that as a complaint. I enjoyed every second and plan to return with my wife in the next few days.

It is only a few minutes to jump in the car and drive from home in Moncton across the Petitcodiac river into Riverview and along Pine Glenn road to the first Dobson trail parking lot.

The Trail…

My first time here I took the main trail which goes to a big fire pit location and beyond but also loops back at that point. That was my first trip because I had limited time that day. The second trip was considerably longer.

I love the main trail which is easy to walk on but I chose to follow the trail that is close to the water but it’s a little tougher to walk and needs good hiking boots. I am in my sixties, had my good hiking boots and enjoyed it so much because I love brooks as well as taking photos of water, trees and colour.

Section of Mill Creek Along The Dobson Trail

Mother Nature’s Water Colours

DSC_0134-4I enjoy looking at water but there are those days when the light is just right the water is running just right and you didn’t leave home without your camera and you get to see something like the works of Mother Nature. Especially her works in water colours.

I can get lost in time when I am enjoy the colours around me so periodically I have to check my camera for the time as I don’t wear a watch any longer since I’ve retired.

When I first looking into the water in the above photo I immediately say an alien warrior. When I got home I put it online and asked what people saw. It was amazing to hear what each person saw. Reminded me of all the time I spent looking at cloud shapes as a kid and I even do that today… in my 60s.

DSC_0137-4 DSC_0136 DSC_0135-4
A few more brook abstracts from Mill Creek

Bought my first pair of snowshoes so I am curious to see how the trails are in the winter months.

Autumn In The Maritimes – New Brunswick – 2015

Crooked Creek Lookout – Riverside Albert, New Brunswick

DSC_0396We are having such a gorgeous Autumn in the Maritimes this year. I call my home Moncton, New Brunswick and where I have worn myself out getting photographs of Autumn colours to look at through those cold days and nights of the on coming winter as well as to share with friends online.

The photo on the left was taken in Irishtown Nature park just outside of Moncton on Elmwood Drive. So glad I made it here for Autumn this year.

This is the brook that flows from the Irishtown Road reservoir spillway. Right now the water levels are low so I could have walked across on the rocks that are showing… but I didn’t because I would most likely have landed on my behind in the water.

Autumn at Centennial Park – Centennial Lake

Last year I was too early to catch the Autumn colours and then I was too late… so very very frustrating. So happy I was able to get here a couple of times this Autumn… even got there while the wind was almost nil. So pleased with that fact.

DSC_0199Centennial lake even looks great without the autumn colours. I do prefer it when there is little to no wind so that I can get reflection shots like the one on the right.

This is the spot where a big heron flew out of the trees behind me. Because I had no idea a bird this size could hangout in trees I thought I was going to have to change my pants.

I didn’t even get a good photo of the heron as I was trying to bring my heart rate back down again.

Sussex Hot Air Balloon Festival 2015

DSC_0148-2I have known about the Atlantic Hot Air Balloon Festival in Sussex, New Brunswick for decades but never managed to get there until this year.

Jenny and I were up at four, had breakfast then hit the road by five for the one hour drive from Moncton to Sussex.

We left early because I wasn’t sure about the parking because there was no parking on the streets in Sussex. Plus I was hoping we might catch a gorgeous sunrise before things started.

Parking was available right across the street from the park so it couldn’t get much easier than that.

Nice that we were parked so close to the park. We parked and made the two minute walk to the park. The only thing I will change for next year with be to bring lawn chairs so we don’t have to stand up.

The Sunrise

Sussex Sunrise
Sunrise at the Atlantic Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2015 in Sussex

There were plenty of clouds but I saw a dark pink line appear in the clouds and got ready for a nice display. Well it got as far as the panorama I created with 4 photos and then it was lights out for the sunrise. Glad I was quick on the trigger.

Filling The Balloons

DSC_0100-3I could feel the excitement growing once people pulled into the fenced off field and began to unfold their balloons and fill them with air.

On that note I would like to mention that many were disappointed with the 6 foot fence around the balloon area as most of us were there with camera expecting to get photos.

The people with the balloon on the right were sure efficient working with it because it was filled and took to the air long before any others were ready so it was pretty cool to see that the wind didn’t blow them out of sight. They just rose up in the air and kind of hung there for a while waiting for the others to stop sucking and start blowing…


Would love to have had some blue sky behind those balloons but on a positive note I am pleased that it wasn’t raining like it did the previous two days.

We both enjoyed the balloons and have already decided we will returned next year… with lawn chairs. And now that we know there is sufficient parking that is close we can leave Moncton a little bit later and still catch the sunrise.

Third Vault Falls – Fundy National Park – New Brunswick

DSC_0032I love the summer but the extreme heat can beat me down pretty fast and yesterday, July 13, 2015 was going to be another hot and humid day in Moncton so I suggested we go to Fundy National Park, New Brunswick which is along the coast where it is usually up to 10 degrees cooler.

Because we have already been to see Dickson Falls in Fundy this summer so I made another suggestion. How about Third Vault Falls. A hike and falls Jenny has never done.

When I told her it was only a 7.4 Kilometer round trip I got that look like she thought I was messing with her head. That’s when I said that I had gone there with Cathy, an ex girlfriend, 30 some years ago… right about the time I met Jenny. I also mentioned that we would be walking in the forest where we would be out of the direct sunlight.

The Third Vault Falls Trail

DSC_0024We arrived about 10:15 and made sure we had enough water and a few snacks to keep up our blood sugar levels. We hit the trail to the falls at 10:30.

Before we even got to the sign and gateway to the trail we had butterflies all around us. This little guy first landed on Jenny’s leg and then onto the stones in front of me. So I shot him… with  my camera of course. Photo #1… well other than the photo of the entrance.

2 1/2 hours and 240 photos later we were back at our new Nissan Micra. So nice to sit down and take a load off our 60 some year old feet.

The Hike In…

DSC_0187For me it’s not just a hike in to see a cool water fall it’s also everything along the trail because I carry my camera with me everywhere I go these days. I never stop looking for that special shot as I walk but I also have to watch where I am putting my feet because I stumble easily. So with my head swivelling around and up and down I kind of look like a bobble head.

NOTE: I have walked this trail in sneakers but I now where hiking boots with good tread on them. Less chance of slipping on the many rocks and stones on the trail as parts of it are old brook beds. Would not want to twist an angle because I didn’t wear proper footwear.

Once you reach the end of the trail just before the falls it’s a long way down… plus it’s a long way back up in crappy shoes.

Along The Trail

hdr - mushroom in barkOn the first half of the trail to Third Vault Falls we saw lots of moss, fungi and mushrooms but then I hear running water and looked to my right. It was a brook but if it wasn’t for the sound I would have missed it all together. Why??

Well there was so much cool moss in the forest covering everything including the rocks and stones in the brook making it look just like the rest of the forest.

I walked over and everything was so green that even the water looked green. The water was actually crystal clear when you looked straight into it but everything reflected the green so the water just looked like the trail we were walking. So glad for that cool sound water makes rolling over rocks.


DSC_0212As we got closer to the waterfall the trail started getting steeper and it just kept getting steeper the closer we were. So glad they put stairs in or we would never have gotten back out again.

The brook in the photo above continued toward the base of the waterfall and got steeper as well so it was creating little waterfalls over those moss covered rocks and boulders. I actually spent more time photographing these little falls coming over the rocks than I did with the very high waterfall that is Third Vault Falls.

Finally Made A Spring Visit To The Sackville Waterfowl Park

sackville waterfowl parkJenny and I both retired now and bought a car in May 2015. So nice to go further than our feet will carry us. One of our first day trips was the Sackville Water Fowl Park.

We were a little early to catch water fowl with babies but it was gorgeous day and a beautiful walk along the boardwalk.

We had barely stepped on the boardwalk before I got the closest to a Red Winged Blackbird than I’ve ever been and even got a couple of photos to show for it.

red winged blackbird on reed

I expected all the birds to be at a distance so I started off with my zoom lens on my Nikon D5200. So of course the very first bird we saw flew right up to us and landed on the railing next to us. Nothing I could do but say hi and change to my 18-55mm lens.

We went to Sackville on the spur of the moment because we had our car but next time we visit Sackville Water Fowl park I would like to be there just before the sunrise or close to sunset on a day we have a few clouds and sun. I want to go back when in the Autumn when the leaves are changing colours.

Male American Wigeon Female American Wigeon
Male (left) & Female (right) American Wigeon

So nice to have a boardwalk so there is no need to wander around in the marsh with wet feet like I do near home.

Green-Winged Teal single canada goose
Green Winged Teal (Left) & A Single Canada Goose (Right)

I Always Look Forward To The First Snow Fall Each Autumn In Moncton

Ladybug, Ladybird

Mid November, we still have a few ladybugs hanging around.

A year ago on the 14th of November we still had at least one ladybug flying around the yard and it was about 8 Celsius for the day. I imagine she was looking for a way into our warm house for the winter.

This year on the 14th we had our first 5cm of snow with a temperature right below the freezing mark. Just cold enough that the snow was light and fluffy instead of wet and heavy. Plus it really wasn’t enough to shovel so that was a bonus.

playground-snow_thumb.jpgThe temperature rose a bit which caused some of the snow to melt and over night the temperature dropped below freezing again so the snow was crispy and crunchy plus there was a little bit of ice. Just enough that I had to walk carefully.

It was calm enough that snow built up on chain link fences making some cool patterns of snow. I guy when through this spot with his two dogs just as I was about to take some photos and he brushed against the fence.

Snowy Chain Link FenceSnowy Sherrad StreetThe following morning I took a walk to get some photos of the fresh snow. One of my favourite spots to get a photo after snow is on Sherrard Ave a block over from our house.

When I look out our east facing kitchen window I can see the top of this evergreen tree. It only takes about 5 minute to walk there for a good shot.

Plus a couple of times a year the sun is just right so that we see the tree turn golden at sunrise which is really cool.

Walsh Street MonctonIt was still quite dark when I was out walking around the neighbourhood so I had to do a little editing to bring up the light in this photo. I tend to prefer early morning for my walks and photography as there is almost no traffic and pretty much zero people wandering around like myself.

I haven’t seen any roses on our bushes for a while now but the leaves are still vibrant and a healthy green so they looked great with clean white snow on them. The fact there was little to zero wind it piled up pretty quickly.

Snow Covered Rose Leavessnow covered power linesGlad the temperature cold enough that we didn’t have heavy wet snow as it was piling up pretty fast on the power and phone lines so wet snow could have easily put out power around here.

The power and phone lines did look really cool with the street lights lighting up the snow that was accumulating on them. The snow here was so light it didn’t even put a bend in the lines.

I went back home for a while and to have some breakfast and then I was back out to get a few photos in the sunlight. Like this maple tree that was still full of leaves. It started dropping leaves by the bag full once the snow sat on the leaves for a while.

maple tree yellow leavesIt was like a winter wonderland and now has people scrambling to get their Christmas decorations started. Personally I think I will wait for another couple of weeks. Maybe once we are in December.

Visiting Moncton? Hike The Humphrey’s Brook Trail

autumn berriesThis is the first year I have checked out the parks in Moncton other than Centennial park and I have been  have a great time. Even dropped 15 pounds.

I wanted to find more parks so I used Google Maps to find parks in Moncton. How simple is that.

I found a few and have been walking to them and through them and just a few days ago I headed off to Humphrey’s Brook Trail which has an entrance on the Lewisville road between Elmwood drive and Pleasant street.

From where I started to the end where Harrisville Blvd is 4.5 Km. People will park at one entrance and walk as far as they want and turn around. I liked it and followed it to the end and back. It was also autumn at the time and I was spellbound by the fall colours.

I slept really well that night.

I love seeing berries turn bright red like you can see in the top left photo. We have bushes with berries at home so we are blessed. There was also plenty of trees making the change to autumn colours so my head was going around and around and up and down. Such a fun day.

humphrey's brook trail colours
Autumn in Humphrey’s Brook Trail

mallard ducks humphrey brookWho does love seeing or hearing a brook or stream. Even though the water was low in the brook the ducks didn’t seem to mind. It just made dinner a little closer to their beaks.

I didn’t spend a lot of times with the ducks although I do like them but I had a long way to go and would likely see them on my way back when the sun was in a better location.

Actually when I got back later they were sleeping and sunny themselves so I left them a long and continue back home.

mushroom capsThe trail is well conditioned so walking is easy even for families with strollers. I saw a lady jogging with he little one in a stroller with larger wheels. I am sure the was sleeping or have a great time. A little while later she came back still jogging.

There are side trails that lead into the forest where if you are like me you can find mushrooms, fungus, moss and lichen for great photos.

I prefer looking for mushroom to photograph early in the morning when they are new and haven’t been damaged. This mushroom looked like an acorn but it wasn’t and there were more but they were still very tiny.

beautiful trail

After walking the 3 Km from home to the park then walking the 4.5 Km trail and 4.5 Km back to the start and then the 3 Km home I was beat for at least two days but had such a great time. I did have my bus pass so I could have taken a bus but the walking was so nice that day.

Kingston Photo Nature Park Is A Photographers Dream Spot

antique wagon wheelSeptember 27th and Autumn has definitely arrived showing those rather distracting fall colours I love so much. Brian Black and I were heading to Kingston for a day of photography at the Kingston Photo Nature Park. Hard to tell you how excited I was.

Many thanks to Brian Black, a member of the Focus Camera Club Moncton who found me on Google+ and invited me to join him on a day trip to Kingston Photo Nature Park. So happy for the opportunity.

My head was on a swivel all the way there. Everything just looks spectacular with fall colours. I’m sure you would agree.

Fun In Photographer’s Heaven

ladybug kingston photo nature park

It didn’t matter what direction I looked there was something that called to be photographed and I tried to do my best to shot everything I saw without getting in the view finder of other photographers of course.

As I was trying to take it all I hadn’t moved when I heard a photographer say the word ‘Ladybug’ and my attention instantly focus on their position. I didn’t interrupt them but I did wait until they walked away. There I found my first ladybug of the day. It was the cute little on in the photo above.

scarecrow and pumpkinI hadn’t even left the parking area. Once I was done admiring the ladybug I headed down to the house to sign in. That is when I saw the cute scarecrow with his blanket and big bumpy pumpkin posing on an old wooden bench.

I really like this pumpkin as it had bumps that cast great shadows on this really bright and sunny day so I took a few close up photos.

I was so focus on the pumpkin I missed the little log cabin to my left as I turned right when I stood up because that was where the registration was happening. I did come back down to the house a few time during the day so I didn’t go without getting a few photographs of the cabin and then a grasshopper sitting on a leaf below the cabin.

log cabin

I would love to have seen what it looked like at night with that little patio light turned on and that block of wood with the double headed axe really adds to the feel of the cabin. I grew up for a little while in a log cabin back in the early 60s and this is way cooler.

Brian headed to the bird watching station on the hill and I headed for the rusting and aged antique cars. I love birds and see a lot at home but I seldom ever see old cars like the ones that used to be rusting at the back of our farm in Ontario.

antique car

I did go sit at the bird watching station after Brian and another photographer where I had a cookie and some water. I didn’t stay there long as I was eager to continue my adventure but did take a few photos of finches and blue jays feeding, just not at the same feeder.

Before I call it a day I want to be sure to thank the owner and co-owner at Kingston Photo Nature park and all the volunteers that made it such an enjoyable day. Also many thanks to Brian Black and the Moncton Focus Camera Club for the invitation as well as for driving me there and back safely.

Moncton Sunrise Over The Petitcodiac River

sunrise on the petitcodiac river moncton
Sunrise Over The Petitcodiac River Moncton

bankI tend to wake up through the night and yesterday was no different. When I wake up after 4am I will look out the window and see what the day looks like.

Yesterday was September 21 and when I looked out the window I could see stars and it looked like there might be clouds along the east horizon. I like that look so I stayed up and checked the temperature was 13 Celsius which is a comfortable temp for walking early morning.

Time to take the half hour walk to downtown Moncton and then on to the Petitcodiac river where I thought I would catch a good sunrise.

In the photo I took a few minutes before the sunrise showed the clouds in cool reds and oranges which made me wonder if the clouds were too thick to see the sun. That has happened so many times which is a bit depressing when you’ve walked a half hour to get there.

Just seconds after wondering if the sun was going to be visible I saw the slightest sliver of a bright red globe and instantly my spirits picked up. From the time I saw that little burst of hope it was visible enough to start getting some sunrise photos.

sunrise on the petitcodiac river

The clouds along the horizon were a very dim pink/red at first and I was wondering if there were too many clouds. Minute by minute the dim pink was turning red and then got brighter and brighter until I could finally see that top edge of the sun shining through the clouds. What a great feeling.

The photo at the top was just 2 or 3 minutes from the time I could see the top edge of the sun and it just got better and better with every passing moment.

I really enjoyed those few moments while the sun was moving above the horizon and then I noticed the golden light started hitting the muddy river bank which actually made me happy it was low tide. I have never seen the morning sun hitting the mud like this in the 30 some years I have lived in Moncton. Very cool.

sunrise on the petitcodiac

I saw a spot just up river from where I was standing where seagulls had walked across the mud while it was still wet. Looked really cool in the golden mud.

bird tracks in the wet river bank mud

My next adventure in Moncton will be to walk to Dieppe and see if I can catch a moon rise as well as the sun setting across the river.

Made It To Irishtown Nature Park Trails

irishtown nature park signI heard about the Irishtown Nature park from photographers on Google+ but assumed it was at Irishtown which is just over 11 Km from our house and a little too far for me to walk to.

It wasn’t until Jenny’s nephew Patrick dropped in to wish her a happy birthday. While we were chatting he mentioned how much he likes having lunch at the Irishtown Nature park. That’s when I learned it is only 6.3 Km from our house to the park which I thought was something I could do.

It was just 6C when I got the following morning so I got ready and headed out shortly after Jenny went to work. I did bring my bus pass in case I wore myself out before getting back home again as well as a bottle of water, a few cookies and a little money in case I needed more water and food later.

I left the house at 7:55am, walked the 6.3 Km and arrived at the Irishtown Nature park sign above at 9:15am. It took me a little longer because I snapped 176 photos along the way.

Irishtown Nature Park

irishtown nature park reservoir

If you look closely you will see a walking bridge way back there and I wanted to get there so I could take another photo looking back this way. I took a trail through the forest rather than follow the gravelled path that went around but no close enough to see the water as you walk.

cute brown squirrelAs I was walking the path following the water I heard squirrels letting me know that I was on their turf and that they would appreciate a peanut or two.

This little brown squirrel was just quietly sitting munching on a pine cone but had one eye on my every second.

After about 8 or 10 photos he thought it was time I moved on so he became vocal. I smiled, waved and said goodbye for now.

white mushroomMy goal, if I had one, was to get a few good photographs of mushrooms as I haven’t had much luck finding mushrooms in the other places I go. I had no problem finding mushrooms along the trails next to the water where it was a bit damp.

I found a few mushrooms on the first trail I followed through the forest close to the water and again once I reached the bridge and crossed to the other side of the water where I followed a closed trail.

The only reason they closed this trail was to repair old boards on the walking bridges as well as spots on the trail that need cleaning up before next spring.

Walkers, Joggers And Kayakers

joggersI saw moms pushing strollers along the nice wide pebbled trails. Some people were out walking with friends while others like myself were enjoying the park by themselves. I even saw a few joggers enjoying the trails.

I saw a group of about 15 joggers who all piled up on a walking bridge with a view of the lake when the first few took too long admiring the beauty of the lake. It was a time I should have hit record instead of just snapping a couple of photos.

Once the joggers all passed by I noticed someone was in a kayak way up near the other bridge and I could see they were headed in my direction so I tried to get to a good spot to get a photo of him coming straight at me. I didn’t get that shot because he was way faster than I thought he was.

This Kayaker Wasn’t Wasting Any time

By the time I walked the 6 Km back home again I was worn out and needed to sit down and take a load off my feet and back. However as tired out as I was it was one of my most fun days this summer.