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.
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.
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.
Aurora and a traffic lit skeleton tree
From this late August Aurora Borealis storm, I leveraged the lighting spillover from late night traffic into the fields along Highway 8. Here, this weathered tree stood out from its neighbors due to the headlights passing by. The Northern Lights stayed low along the northern horizon and played a supporting role in many of the images I shot that night.
I photographed the Northern Lights along Highway 8 a couple nights ago. The lights traced by traffic heading into Calgary during this 30 second exposure lit the foreground in a cool way. I liked how this whole image came together.
A day of twos
It was interesting thinking about two in different forms on this 22nd day of the 2nd month in 2022.
I liked thinking of couples, pairs and partners. I ended up thinking mostly about my love most of all. Happy two day sweetheart.
This image from the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary of two Canada geese taking off from the Bow River seemed a good fit for the theme.
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.
A deer under the Northern Lights
During the November 3rd geomagnetic storm, the Aurora Borealis were dancing across the entire sky west of Calgary near Bragg Creek. Desirée and I were outside watching them, mesmerized by the performance, for 3 hours. I didn’t know this deer was nearby on the edge of the forest when I was shooting. It was fun to discover her in this image when I was working through the set this afternoon.
I hope you have fun celebrating this spooky, scary day! We have five kids and can’t wait to get costumed-up and watch them trick-or-treating!