I looked out the window Sunday evening and spotted the male and female moose having a browse of some trees. They only stayed for a few minutes and then made their way off across the road. Unfortunately it’s getting dark fairly early here, and with the smoke blowing in from the fires, lighting conditions for taking photos was not optimal. But that doesn’t matter – I’m thrilled to see them and glad they look to be in such good condition.
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.
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.
For a while it seemed that all hope was lost for hummingbirds this season, as all but a couple disappeared within two weeks of showing up (that’s what Prince George weather does to you!). But I kept filling my feeders for the couple that were around and enjoyed the brief glimpses that I had. Then quite suddenly it was a flurry if activity, at one point counting 15 individuals, and I’ve been filling up 5 feeders at least once every second day, if not more often.
They don’t stick around long so I am enjoying it while it lasts, although I do call them my little piggy birds.
While I would much prefer to get shots in a natural environment, we have so few flowers that the feeders are the only attractant, and they disappear deep into the forest when not feeding.
We have had some truly dismal weather the past few weeks, so much so that almost all of the hummingbirds have disappeared, presumably to find somewhere a little more hospitable to nest. But, I have seen a fair amount of wildlife, even though I haven’t had a chance to take pictures of all of it. The western tanager couple is back, and I see them flit through the yard usually once a day. Out on my walks, there have been frequent sightings of hermit thrushes, which surprises me after all the years I listened to them singing without being able to see one. There have also been a few different warblers; the Townsend’s, which I didn’t manage to get a photo of, and the Wilson’s warbler, which I managed a couple of ID shots of.
In addition to the variety of birds, I’ve seen both black bear, a cinnamon bear, and I finally caught a glimpse of the lynx that I saw tracks of all through the winter. I was walking my dog early one morning and saw it at the side of the road off in the distance, and it was so far away that I needed my camera to figure out what it was! Gratefully it stayed put for enough time to let me snap one photo, and then it evaporated into the bushes.
That’s all for today, wishing everyone a wonderful week.
I’ve been letting the feeders run to empty now, given the likelihood of bears in the back yard, but that hasn’t slowed down the volume of birds in the yard at all, at least not yet. Today I spotted a new species for the first time, a Townsend’s Solitaire, and while I didn’t get a great image of it, at least it got me outside for a few minutes to capture the other visitors, before it started to rain.
The one bird I didn’t get any images of today is a hummingbird, and they have arrived back here as well. They are one of my favourite birds to watch, and hearing them buzz and chatter from the bushes or investigate me when I am out walking the dog is one of the joys of summer.
Just a couple today, I hope you are also getting the chance to get outside and enjoy spring.
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.
Here are a few more images of the barred owl I spotted in my yard last week. The monochrome treatment shows in another way how camouflaged these birds are, even when perched on an open branch.
I spotted a barred owl hanging out in the backyard a couple of days ago while I was having lunch. It spent a bit of time trying to hunt, and the rest trying to nap. It was -28C, so I took the photos through my window, as it was just too cold for me to get out to take a couple of pictures. Besides, Murphy’s Law would have kicked in, and by the time I got bundled up enough to head outside and take a few images, the owl would have flown away.
Thankfully things have warmed up a little bit here; still cold, but at least not bitterly cold. I hope your week ahead is looking up too 🙂
Today marks the first full day of winter, and while I am very grateful that thus far there haven’t been too many bitterly cold days in the transition between autumn and winter, I know they are coming. I find winter a challenging time, far more so now that I am living in the north than I used to. It isn’t just the temperatures; it is the lack of colour and the length of time that the area is carpeted in snow. Yes, the blue sky days, with the snow twinkling in the sunlight can be beautiful, but this morning, the dull grey skies and ice crystals hanging off the branches seemed to perfectly reflect how I feel about winter. At once both dull and sharp, beautiful and miserable.
I don’t get out to take images that often in winter; I suffer from Reynaud’s syndrome and being out in the type of thin gloves necessary to handle a camera can be a real challenge unless the day is fairly mild. Sometimes it is worth it regardless of the temperature, but those times are definitely the exception.
I spent a bit of time this morning wandering the yard, hoping to capture what I noticed while out walking my dog earlier this morning. By the time I got out though, most of the ice crystals hanging from the moss in the trees had dissipated from the slight rise in temperatures, but those clinging to the evergreens and willows still remained.
Here are my early impressions of winter.
Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead.