2019-03-17: Signs of Spring

I have not photographed a single sign of spring this week, though I have been enjoying them immensely.  I guess in some ways the topic, photographically at least, has been a fail, but it has been making me more aware, and more appreciative of the little signs that spring is on its way.

Today in fact, it really felt as if spring has arrived.  Despite the lawn still being covered in snow, it was warm enough to sit on my front porch with an iced coffee and my knitting, and enjoy the warmth of the sun for awhile.  Today, that felt a lot more important than rushing around trying to find an image that symbolized the change of seasons.

Instead, here is an image I just finished working on; a 3 shot panorama taken at Phinda Reserve, May 2017.  Everyone knows elephants are my favourite, and they are a great stand-in whenever I need an image.  This was another moment where sitting and allowing life to unfold was just perfect.  Our guide knew the ellies would be heading for the dam, so we drove to it, and just waited.  And they arrived shortly after, in groups of 2 and 3, until we had the scene here unfold.  And then just as quietly, they all headed back into the bush, to carry on with the day.

Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead.

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2019-03-11: Monochrome Monday

Some leopards to start the week!  Leopards are definitely my favourite cats to watch (well, at least of the cats I have seen so far… once I have the chance to see tigers and jaguars, I’ll have to revisit this statement!)

The first image was taken in Botswana in the Okavango Delta, in a sighting filled will drama (for the humans involved).  Several vehicles from another camp were following this leopard, who was doing what leopards do best, being elusive and sticking to the cover of the bush.  There had been a lot of flooding in the area, and a vehicle got stuck while following this cat, and then a second got stuck, trying to help the first.  Our awesome ranger saved the day and got the vehicles mobile again, but both stuck vehicles missed out on the few photo opportunities that were available, like this one.

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Seeing this image brings back fun memories of a great (and rather muddy) game drive.  This can be a typical leopard sighting; lots of cover, grasses and bushes, but that’s also why I like it, because it is realistic.

This second image was also from the delta, and I have posted of this sighting many times before so I won’t go on and on.  I think though, this shot is how people dream of seeing leopards, but the one above is a far more realistic scenario.

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A gorgeous leopard who spent a late afternoon, through sunset, perched in tree, with only us there to watch.

This final image was taken in South Africa; our guide took us to a sighting of a mama leopard and her two cubs in ravine, and we had a brilliant time watching the cubs playing on the fallen trees, scampering through the swamp, and wrestling with each other.  The cub pictured here was just about to pounce on its sibling, who was a few feet below on the ground.  This was one of those sightings where, as we drove back to camp, our guide told us “we probably should keep this quiet while there are other guests around”.

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A playful leopard cub descending a fallen tree.

 

Just so you know, you can find lots of images like these over in my gallery page!

2019-03-10: Signs of Spring

Spring is definitely taking its time to arrive here in Prince George.  It’s creeping up, little by little, but the changes aren’t really picturesque.  It is nice though to go outside at midday and feel a tiny bit of warmth to the sunshine now, and see that the snowbanks are receding little by little.

The photos I have today aren’t really a sign of spring, but I am hopeful that I won’t have another opportunity to take them again this year, so I guess it somewhat ties into the theme.

I was walking with Spencer early yesterday morning, it was quite cold and the bare tree branches were covered in frost and ice.  When the sun came up and hit the branches, it was just so pretty.  The trees were sparkling in the warm orange light.  I tried my best to capture it, but taking photos while wearing mittens (and while my glasses were fogging up) is not an easy task!  I wasn’t about to go bare handed when it was -18, so I snapped a couple of photos and hoped for the best.

Like light playing upon moving water, snow and ice sparkling in the sunlight is something that is challenging to really capture in a still image.  I think the magic of seeing it in person is a bit lost, but still, I try.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.

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2019-03-04: Monochrome Monday

This is one of a few images that I took while playing around with an infrared filter that I bought during my trip to California last October.  I only spent a brief amount of time reading about shooting with one of these filters before getting out and trying it, and as such, forgot about a few things, such as setting a custom white balance before starting shooting.  Even though I didn’t follow through with all the steps that you should be doing, I am still happy with the results; editing just took a bit longer than it would have otherwise.

I am excited for spring to arrive and have the chance to get the filter out and work with it some more.  I don’t think infrared images of snowy fields and trees would have much impact!

Wishing everyone a great week ahead.

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Some of the beautiful boulders in Joshua Tree National Park.  California, October 2018. 

2019-03-03: Topic of the month – Signs of Spring

This week I have really been trying to look for signs of spring.  Honest, I have.  But waking up today, the temperature was -29C with a high of -12C for the day, and it really does feel like spring is far away.  I have noticed a few things though.  I can see about a 6″ band of shingles on the roof of my house, from the days when it has been warm enough for a bit of melt to happen.  I noticed one lone willow tree, buried in about 4 feet of snow drift at the side of the road, starting to bud (despite the cold in was enveloped in).  But mostly, I have noticed the trees.

It has been stark white for a very long time in my back yard, and over the past two weeks, between the strong winds and the the (slightly) warming days, the evergreens have shed the huge cloaks of snow from their branches.  There are still bits of snow tucked into the crook of branches here and there, but finally when I look out my windows, I see a bit of green, rather than just white.

Pictures of bare branches in my backyard seemed a bit boring, but frankly, getting all bundled up to do a photo walk this weekend also didn’t hold much appeal.  So I went out for a short time to photograph some of the birds feasting on the sunflower seeds.  Today, only the chickadees were around, though usually there is a pair of red-breasted nuthatches plus the woodpeckers that pass through.  The chickadees made a steady stream from branch to feeder and back again; I couldn’t count them all as they were constantly coming in from every direction.

As a bird lover, one of the sad parts about the temperature warming is soon the birds will have to fend for themselves, once it warms enough for there to be a threat of bears visiting the feeders.  I think we have a ways to go before that is an issue though.

Here are a few chickadees for today; fingers crossed next weekend there are more signs of spring around.

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I saw this on one of the evergreens by the bird feeders; to me, it looks like the tree is giving the cold weather the middle finger.  But that’s just my interpretation.  To some, just an odd icicle that’s grown upwards, instead of down. 
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One of the many inquisitive chickadees in the yard.  They generally do not mind me being close by, and will even come to the feeder while I am standing there trying to fill it up.
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I can’t even explain how excited I am to see green.
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This one had been picking up a fallen seed from the ground; just a little leftover snow on the beak.

2019-02-28: February in Review

I know it is a short month, but February sped by very, very quickly.  And very coldly as well, despite my picking the topic of warm to focus on for the month.  We still aren’t out of the cold, wintery weather up here, but I keep telling myself that it’ll happen any day now.

February’s topic of the month

I chose the topic of warm because looking at the near and long term forecast through February, I just couldn’t see myself getting out to shoot too often.  So instead I went through my unedited image archive and found images from warm places, and warm scenes that made my heart happy.  Perhaps not the most imaginative topic for the month, but at least it got me working through some of my archive.

What’s new this month

All work and no play has made this a pretty dull month!  Hopefully March will be a bit more interesting.

As promised back in January, my calendar pages for March and April are available if you would like to download them to use either in a freestanding calendar holder, or something like a clipboard wall calendar.  I’ll be posting the pages for May and June in the April Month in Review post.

Click here to download the March and April full page calendar

Click here to download the March and April half page calendar

5 favourites of the month

 

 

What’s coming up next?

For March, I have decided that my topic will be Signs of Spring.  I’m going to do my best with this one, and may need to use my creativity, especially since -28C is showing on the forecast for Saturday overnight.  Eeek!