A great gray owl launches with the sun behind her.
Rising up, drying off
I photographed this loon near Bragg Creek at the end of April. It dove for fish most of the morning – stopping now and then to preen and smooth his feathers. This was my favorite image of him spreading his wings to shake the water off. He was relaxed and serene here. An immature bald eagle swooped low over him a little while later which ended his tranquility. He dove quickly each time the eagle came by so he was not caught. I will share some images of that encounter soon.
An owl hunting deep in the forest
My pup and I found this great gray owl perched in a small clearing. He was watching us when I noticed him on this fallen tree root. A short stare and he returned to scanning the ground.
At one point a raven flew over the treetops, the owl followed it pass by and then returned to watching the forest floor.
After close to 15 minutes, this spot lost whatever interest it had held and he flew deeper into the forest.
Launching into spring…
Spring has definitely, and finally, come to Bragg Creek. I spent the morning driving the back roads and was excited to see robins flitting around the patches where the snow had melted away. Beyond robins, chickadees and nuthatches, I was lucky to see a pair of great gray owls hunting on the forest edge and another lone owl perched a mile or so away. Great grays are probably the birds I love photographing the most. So, it was a really great morning by every measure!
Here one of the pair leaped into the air, crossed the road and alighted on a broken treetop among the bare trees still waiting for their leaves to emerge. This was the image I liked the most from the morning after having a quick look through the keepers this evening. I am looking forward to spending more time with these owls again this spring. Definitely some of my favorite photography every year.
Wildlife photos from 2022
I had some great encounters with animals over the past year. I’d always love to get out more but it was great to have these images and the memories. Here is the link to the gallery with my picks from 2022.
This was probably my absolute favorite of the set. Heavy fog rolled in as dusk approached. Des and I sat above the field waiting for an owl to go hunting. Instead, this white-tailed deer materialized out of the mist and we watched it walk in front of us. At this moment she picked up something in the air and lifted her head to concentrate on that. Her almost silhouette framed beautifully in the scene.
A bright start to a stormy Aurora night
I have been watching the activity on the sun with growing excitement for a few days. Tonight there is a large storm hitting the Earth’s atmosphere with the Northern Lights appearing early. I will head out again in the early morning and see how the Aurora looks then. These photographs were from my neibourhood just after 9pm.
Who’s coming for tea?
We found this beautiful teacup and saucer reimagined as a bird feeder at the Winter in the Woods Festival in Bragg Creek a couple of weeks ago. Desirée loved it at first sight and I quickly got onboard imagining little birds perched along the lip.
As soon as we hung it off the roof above our second floor deck, the chickadees and nuthatches began landing and sifting through the cup for their preferred seeds. We have several of each of these birds that overwinter, It is fun – and a little magical – to watch them flying through trees, perching on branches and chasing each other around.
With a little sunshine these Red-breasted nuthatches looked amazing as it came back and forth to the teacup. Photographing them was great and I was happy with the images I came away with.
Des, our cat Pitbull and I watched the chickadees, bluejays and nuthatches snacking on the bird seed on our deck this afternoon. It was a mild day and they were excitedly flying, feasting and chasing each other between the railing, our tea cup bird feeder and the forest in our backyard. I photographed them to catch the fine details of their feathers and features as well as focusing on them in motion as they flew back and forth. This image wasn’t either of those. It was one of those beautiful errors – whether it was me not reacting to the incoming bird fast enough or my camera’s autofocus wasn’t up to the job, I really loved how this out of focus Red-breasted nuthatch looks like a painting. The backlit halo framing the bird, the narrow strip of focus on the bird seed and the angles of the deck create an interesting scene. I had fun capturing the shots I was working for but always want to give space to the happy accidents. I love how this one came together.
Happy New Year!
I hope it is a year filled with joy for you and yours. To my family and my friends, I love you and look forward to new memories with you in 2023. I’m happy to put 2022 in the rearview mirror and looking forward to the year ahead.
Winter owl hunting
It has been a few months since I saw a great gray owl. This afternoon, I found one down an old gravel road hunting in and around an open stand of trees.
A lot of perching and waiting punctuated with a few flights between trees.
And a couple of attack dives into the snow.
This dive was unsuccessful but she did capture two voles while I was there.
I look forward to the next opportunity to have some owl time. No matter when that is, it was great to close out 2022 with this encounter with one of my favorite animals.
After the rain…
The water drops following an afternoon downpour intensified the colors in this intimate scene.
Sunset and silhouette
I photographed birds at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary this afternoon. With the sun out and the temperature rising close to zero, it was a beautiful day to wander along the Bow River. I walked back as the setting sun painted the clouds. The colors stopped me in my tracks. It was a stunning way to let go of the day.