2020-08-23: More moose!

I was walking Spencer this morning, pondering what I should work on for my post today, and not long after I got home, mother nature made the decision for me.

Last month I was beyond thrilled when two moose appeared in the front yard, and this morning, two different animals made a quick transit through the back yard. They were moving at enough of a pace that I was only able to grab my camera, snap a few photos out of my window, and then quickly make my way outside to snap a few more as they made their way deep into the bushes. This time it was a male and female, her in the lead and him trailing very closely behind.

It’s so exciting to have the opportunity to see these amazing animals!

Have a great week everyone.

2020-07-26: Moose!!!

Given that I am living in Northern Canada, you’d think seeing moose would be no big deal. But since I moved here 5 years ago, I can basically count the moose sightings I have had on a single hand. Only one of them I got photos of; and that was nearly nightfall in wintertime, so not much more than a proof shot that I actually saw the beast.

Tuesday though, there were a pair in my front yard; and they stuck around long enough to get my camera and get a few photos (so considerate of them!) One was deep in the bushes (mama moose, I think) and the youngster was out in the open, looking slightly baffled when it noticed the front door opening and me taking some pictures, but it was calm and unconcerned. I had my 100mm – 400mm lens on and still needed to crop a bit; they were over 100 feet away, so no danger of me disturbing them.

They hung around for around 10 minutes and then headed off into the bushes and then I think across the road and down into the ravine. It’s amazing how such a large animal can disappear into the bush so quickly.

Couldn’t ask for a nicer pose!

Relaxed and curious.
When the moose turned to move off, a huge cloud of flies swarmed around the back end. You can even see them in this image if you look closely at the flank.

2020-03-08: Redpolls

For two seasons in a row, I didn’t see a single redpoll over the winter, but over the last few weeks they have been in my yard in droves, jostling for position on the feeders with the chickadees and adding little flashes of colour to the otherwise rather drab winter landscape.

I still find it a bit baffling that anything would consider my area a good place to spend the winter, but I do get that in comparison to places even further north, it’s probably a bit easier to make it through the season here.

I’m enjoying their presence while it lasts, as soon bird feeding time will be over as the bears begin to emerge.  There’s still a while to enjoy the birds as we are still pretty deep in the grip of winter, despite my best attempts to will the snow to melt with the power of my mind 🙂

Here are a few images I captured a couple of days ago, when it wasn’t -20C!

I’ll keep up my mantra, spring is coming soon!  Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.

DSCF0154 copy-Edit

DSCF0176 copy-Edit

DSCF0178 copy-Edit

2019-12-08: Random photos from walks

I always take a camera with me when I go out for walks with my dog (or on the rare occasion when I go for a walk on my own).  I haven’t taken too many images in recent months, and as such hadn’t downloaded the card in quite some time.  While out on Thursday, I saw a beautiful barred owl near my house, and while reviewing those pictures, I found a few others I had forgotten that I had taken.

This is a bit of a random assortment of images taken since July, while out and about on walks.

P1040402
I see this young buck frequently around the neighbourhood now, but this was the first time that I had spotted him while out on a walk.

P1040399 copy-Edit
A violet-green swallow seen while out on a walk on the dikes in Pitt Meadows.

P1040415 copy-Edit
A proof shot that there are moose in the neighbourhood, even if they are seen very infrequently.

P1040426 copy-Edit
A barred owl spotted on my morning walk last week.

P1040391
An early morning along the Pitt River.

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.

DSCF2113
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. 

DSCF2148
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.

DSCF2160 copy-Edit
I can’t even explain how excited I am to see green.

DSCF2164.jpg
This one had been picking up a fallen seed from the ground; just a little leftover snow on the beak.

2018-11-22: Barred Owl

I was busy working last week and something caught my attention outside, out the corner of my eye.  I spotted this gorgeous barred owl in a tree in my backyard, and rushed to grab my camera to take a quick photo through the window.

I decided to take a chance and dash outside and hope to get a better shot.  The owl gave me a quick glance, let me snap 3 photos, and then was off, deep into the forest.

I love when beautiful creatures like this decide to make a stop in my yard 🙂

DSCF1956-Edit.jpeg

DSCF1954-Edit

2018-06-10: Birds Projects – Sparrows and Swallows

It has been a challenging week for photographing the birds, with dull, cold, rainy days, and flat, lifeless skies.  But, regardless of the weather, the show must go on, and if I were on holiday I wouldn’t give up on taking pictures just because the weather wasn’t perfect.

I took a trip early in the week to a nearby farm where there are nest boxes for swallows and bluebirds.  While I saw a couple of brief glimpses of the bluebirds, I didn’t capture any images, so I will have to go back and try again for those.  I did get some good images of the swallows and bluebirds in the same area a couple of years ago, you can find that old post here.

It looks like the sun may make a brief appearance today, so it’s time to sign off and get outside and get shooting.  I hope you enjoy this week’s images, I am hoping to have some hummingbird images to share next week.

DSCF0750
I find it difficult naming the wide variety of small, brown and beige coloured birds we have in the area, but I am almost certain this is a Clay-Coloured Sparrow.  While it looks like the bird is singing a beautiful song, it actually sounded like some type of buzzing insect, which is the exact description of the song for this sparrow in my bird book.

To find out more about the Clay-Coloured Sparrow (and here the insect buzz call), check out the link below.

All About Birds – Clay Coloured Sparrow

DSCF0763
A tree sparrow peeks out from the nesting box.

DSCF0772
A tree sparrow couple during one of the brief moments of sunlight while I was out.

 

2018-04-08: Wide Angles Only – Cottonwood Park

It’s only the second instalment of my wide angles only topic for the month, and I was honestly ready to bail on it already.  The days when it was nice this week, I was knee deep in work and couldn’t sneak off with my camera.  Then the weekend arrived with the promise of more free time to get out and explore, and for the most part, dull, grey skies have been the order of the days.  Add to that the slowly melting snow carpeting the landscape in a dirty blanket and you’ve not really got the recipe for epic landscape images.

But, despite all that, I went out for a wander in one of the local parks yesterday and I had a great time.  Sure it was muddy and slushy and lots of paths and areas were inaccessible, but it felt awesome to go out and shoot.  It was also fun to be limited by only having one lens with a small range, and having to focus on things that wouldn’t probably be my first inclination.

I’m definitely going to have to get creative though if I am going to come up with something for each Sunday of April.  Stop by next weekend to see what I have come up with.

I hope you enjoy the selections for this week.

20180408_WideAngles1
A foot bridge heading into Cottonwood Park in Prince George.  1/150 sec, f13, ISO 400 at 10mm.

20180408_WideAngles2
Do you feel like you are being watched?  The park features several carvings in the massive trees that line the paths.   1/180sec, f6.4, ISO 400, 10mm

20180408_WideAngles3
Another view of one of the carvings in the trees.  1/450sec, f6.4, ISO 400, 10mm.

20180408_WideAngles4
This is as colourful as the day was when I was out wandering.  Even then, I still applied a “colour boost” filter during editing.  1/5800 sec, f4, ISO400, 10mm

20180408_WideAngles5
The trees reaching their barren limbs up towards the sunshine.  Soon, there will be leaves to obscure all the birds that chirped and sung as I wandered along.  1/340 sec, f20, ISO 400

20180408_WideAngles6
I had never contemplated photographing a small, fast moving bird like a chickadee with a wide angle lens.  But the birds in the park are so tame and used to people, that I had one land on my hat while I was taking images of the face in the trees.  I crouched in front of this stump after seeing the birds landing on it, pre-focused, and waited for one to stop by.  1/680 sec, f4, ISO 400 at 24mm