HOK #107: Meet Nancy Mooney

A photo of Nancy Mooney near Westboro Beach in Ottawa, ON.
Nancy Mooney stands at the Westboro Beach Community Association’s Pollinator Garden on July 28, 2020. Photo courtesy of Nancy Mooney.

“I am Nancy and some of you know me as @NancyfromCanada on Twitter where I post nature photos. I’ve lived in Kitchissippi for 20 years where we raised our two sons, three dogs, many gerbils and even fostered three abandoned baby red squirrels. Having a degree in biology (Queen’s), I have always had an interest in the natural world, so when I got a camera a few years ago, I started taking photos of nature. That led to my daily sunset photo project, now in its sixth year. 

It started with the death of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo (October 22, 2014)…being at the beach that night, the people that were there and just the emotions that you could feel people had — the sadness. So I took a picture (of the sunset). 

And it’s just continued. I was actually going to stop it this year but then with the pandemic, I just sort of continued. 

I prefer doing it (the sunset project) in the winter, to be perfectly honest, because there’s not that many people at the beach and it’s really quiet. I actually like cold weather better than hot weather!

I started [photography] with the sunset project and, from that, I just continued. You start taking one thing and [it] evolves into something else — flowers, or landscapes and then animals. 

I love the natural beauty of Westboro Beach, the SJAM Trail and the Ottawa River and often profile them in my photos. I am also an avid birder and am still trying to get that perfect bird in flight photo!

We live very close to Westboro Beach…You can just walk out the door and you’re right by the water, by the river, by the Parkway —  and there’s so much there, so much wildlife, right outside your door. That’s what I love about it (Kitchissippi). There’s been a lot of changes in this neighbourhood in the last 20 years. It’s gone from being a lot of cottage houses to being much more intensification. So that greenery is so much more important because we’ve seen a lot of trees disappear.

There’s a lot of really nice people in this neighbourhood. And I think when you go out and take your photos, you meet those people. There’s people who care about the Ottawa River, and all the wildlife around there, who go out and clean it every day. There’s just a lot of people who do things sort of behind-the-scenes that nobody knows that they are doing.”

Collected by Maureen McEwan. 

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