Children’s Animal Farm
1200 Lake Chipican Dr
Sarnia, ON N7T 7N2
At least once a year I try to get to the Animal Farm at Canatara Park, Sarnia. The farm takes care of several different animals throughout the year and visitors can get really close to most of them. Depending on the year and season, you may find goats, geese, cattle, donkeys, ducks, pigs, sheep, horses and a variety of fowl. Children and adults both enjoy a walk through the farm to see the animals. Dogs are not allowed.
Practice your photography at the Animal Farm. Whether you enjoy pet or wildlife subjects, the farm will allow you to practice various techniques including freezing motion panning, composition, timing and exposure. In the shot above I used a high shutter speed to capture this female mallard during her preening. Using a faster shutter speed could have froze her wings as well but her body and, more importantly, her eyes are sharp and in focus.
The llama is not especially friendly compared to some of the other animals. I often find it standing in the middle of its large enclosure and very rarely does it approach visitors. Llamas, like alpacas, are mammals from South America. They were breed as pack animals while alpacas were used primarily for fiber products. Llamas also make very good guards and will not only protect themselves but also other animals nearby.
This small horse followed me around the fence line while I was shooting. After taking the above shot I put my camera done and it allowed me to scratch it’s muzzle and neck for quite some time before it sauntered away.
You can usually find several Mute Swans in the river that surrounds the animal farm. Here you can see one posturing at me, so I took the shot and continued on so that I wouldn’t provoke it any further. Perhaps it didn’t like the tone of sounds coming from my camera.
Wood Ducks can be found year round at Canatara Park, even though Sarnia is near their northern wintering range. The male is a gorgeous perching duck with iridescent colouring and extremely ornate patterns on their feathers. These ducks are one of a few that have very strong claws that they use to grip bark and perch on branches. Wood Ducks nest in holes in trees or nesting boxes.
The female Wood Duck is less colourful but still elegantly ornate in her plumage. You can see the shine in her feathers and that distinct Wood Duck profile. She has white around her eye and her beak and the yellow ring around her eye tells us that she is breeding. Juveniles resemble the female and will mature into their appropriate colours.
Mallards are common place in Ontario and the Animal Farm is no different. This pair was keeping warm in the sun with their beaks tucked into their feathers. As you can see, there was still ice on the river since it was late March.
This rather large rabbit was one of a few that were out at this time of the year. Many were in the barn keeping warm. It was a bright and sunny day to bask in the sun after a hard winter.
Inside the barn, during the spring, is where all the magic was happening. There were goat kids and lamb playing in two separate pens. The goats were especially fun to watch since there is always one of them with an excess amount of energy bouncing around the pen and on top of the other goats. Definitely a fun thing to watch and the children were giggling at the sight.