A couple of weekends ago it was a beautiful, sunny morning at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Ducks were quacking and swimming around the open water in the ponds. Two Canada geese flew in and paddled towards the edge. The scene was hectic but peaceful… up until a nearby goose took exception to them coming into his territory. He flew over and then chased them away. This image is when the defender was attacking his perceived intruders with hissing, splashing and general malevolence.
A run of warmer weather preceded the latest dip of the thermometer here in southern Alberta. That opened up a couple of the ponds at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary last weekend. The calm, open water drew in dozens of Canada geese, mallard ducks and a few common goldeneyes. A steady cacophony of quacks was the soundtrack by the water. Some calling out to partners, occasional angry exchanges and seemingly random squawking here and there.
The sun was low enough that the light was still warm and, to my eye, a bit buttery. I focused on moment of action – flapping to dry wings, short flights across the pond and a couple of chases.
Alberta has been thrown into the freezer this week. The temperature, -26ºC/-15ºF and colder, has felt like winter asserting that it is truly here now. It is a shock but I went outside last night while one of the boys had an appointment downtown just to thumb my nose at the chill a little bit. The fingers got cold but I didn’t mind too much. There is something about photographing landscapes when it is really cold that adds to the images – almost a clarity and a stillness – that I really like. These are images of Calgary’s downtown from Discovery Hill as the day slipped away.
Watching the dusk fade from the east side of Calgary, the color in the sky softened into pastels. The city’s lights glowed and cast tall stalks of grass into silhouette. It strikes me a little melancholy looking at it now – and beautiful.
I’ve photographed downtown Calgary at dawn from the east side near Inglewood twice in the last few weeks. It is a side of the city that I have not shot before. I have enjoyed the view and the different look from this side.
… not a real leopard but this one behind the behind the bar at the Calcutta Cricket Club on 17th Avenue in Calgary is stunning. I hope to see one in the wild – perhaps with my friends in India – sooner than later.
On Saturday I watched the morning arrive on the shore of the Bow River. I was across the water from Calgary’s downtown and used the Center Street Bridge as a focal point between the sky and the buildings. I parked along Memorial Drive and checked the sky in a couple of test photographs. Traffic came by and made for a good start.
On the other side of the road, the rocks, snow and ice along the river bank presented an interesting foreground. It was a bit hectic teasing out compositions as the light was changing rapidly. But that’s pretty fun chaos by any measure.
The eastern sky had bundles of pink cotton candy for a few minutes. To the west the pink was a pastel that looked very pretty reflected in the Bow where it passed Prince’s Island Park.
Mallard ducks and Canada geese milled about flying up and down the river. The cackling and quacking across the water along with the occasional group of vehicles passing behind me on Memorial Drive joined the river to perform the morning’s soundtrack.
Calgary’s new Central Public Library is an amazing space for many reasons. Last night I enjoyed circling the exterior for the first time, photographing interesting features at interesting moments as I went.
Above a patron standing at the stairs near the main entrance is silhouetted against the beautifully designed curving wall that leads to the doors. A minute later, and a few steps to the north, a fellow photographer captured the curve in his own way while sitting outside.
On my path towards the water for sunrise a couple of weeks ago, I passed under the 4th Avenue Flyover Bridge. Curtis Van Charles Sorensen’s mural of the leaping foxes is a street art favorite of mine. I liked how the curve of the bridge allowed me to connect it to the Calgary Tower.
I stumbled upon the beginning of this sunrise as I was heading to the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary last weekend. Driving through downtown, the clouds in the sky looked interesting as dawn approached. I parked in the East Village near the Bow River and grabbed my gear.
A long exposure, 6 seconds at f/16, made the dim glow to the east much brighter than it appeared to me then. I saw this image on the back of my camera and raced to the water’s edge between the Reconciliation Bridge and the George C. King Bridge.
A few minutes later, I framed a lone pedestrian crossing the bridge against this fiery backdrop.
The color faded to pastels just before the sun cleared the horizon. A soft end to a beautiful daybreak in Calgary.
As the eastern sky brightened yesterday morning, sunlight painted a line through a thin veil of clouds above the horizon. With the sun heralding its imminent arrival, I was happy to wait and watch it rise. A beautiful start to the day.
Wood ducks are one of my favorite species of waterfowl (side note: that is a weird word!) I love the plumage of both genders. To me, they are among the most beautiful birds. Beyond that, I like watching them paddling around, chasing one another and most of all splashing during their cleaning routine.
Last weekend I spent a couple of hours watching them carry on about their day. Every now and then, one would separate from the raft of ducks, presumably to get some space, before dunking their head under the water several times, shaking the water off, flapping wings, rising out of the water and then repeating it for as long as they saw fit. I didn’t tire of watching the water drops fly!