Thought it would be fun to see what birds had returned to the river bottom now that spring 2019 is here. While it may say spring on the calendar the birds never got the message. There were a few of the regulars but not a lot of new comers. After it being so cold for so long I understand why there is not a hug influx of returning birds. If I was them I would be waiting down south till I knew that the warm weather was here to stay. I did see a couple Robins, a few Starlings and a Franklin Gull but that was it.
Spring is around the corner and house hunting season is upon us. I always know when spring is arriving when the screams start early in the morning and go till sunset. No it is not only my wife screaming at the predators eating her song birds. But the hawks coming back to stake out nesting sites. The screams start as soon as they arrive in the neighborhood and go till the eggs have been laid. Then once the young hatch the get back to screaming till the young are out of the nest.
I always keep and eye out for the Waxwings each winter, they are my winter friends. Making my day brighter with their amazing colors.
This winter I have been keeping my eyes open for the Waxwing invasion and nothing. They have been around town but not at my house. Then yesterday as I was working outside I heard all these birds calling but did not put one and one together as to what type of bird it was. I was in the garage when I looked out to see the sky darken with a massive flock. There must have been a couple hundred!!! They were on a neighbors roof drinking the runoff from the melting snow.
I worked my way into the house and grabbed a camera to get a couple pictures. They were really flighty, more so than usual for some reason. Could have been the strong winds making so much noise that they were on edge.
I started a collection of old farm prints many years ago. Most where black and white with a few color added for contrast. Somehow the pages for the collection got removed from my website over the years with all the updates and the collection was forgotten to the passing of time.
When I shot this image I immediately knew what collection that I needed to add this to. SO after 15 plus years I am working on rebuilding the collection and will be bringing it back to the web site and for sale once again.
I am starting with these two and I will work on the entire collection in the next few months.
Winter Fence At Sunset
Printed on gloss metallic paper. Image size is 12×18, paper size is 13×19 Ready to mat or frame Limited edition of 250 prints
I was out driving through southern Alberta one cold winters day and I kept seeing fences that were in a state of major disrepair. They seemed to be more prominent with the snow around them separating them from the rest of the prairies.
The saying “In the winter of your life” kept playing in my mind. Adding to the overall look of the image is the long reddish rays of the low sun. In late winter the sun starts tossing more color and longer shadows on the prairie just before it makes it climb back to the high summer arch. The low late day sun works perfectly to light these scenes and brings out the rough texture of the wood and adding a warmth to the wood that counters the cold blue of the shadows.
The barbed wire in the background plays against the force of the foreground posts.
Order Winter Fence At Sunset #1
At one time you know all the wire had a purpose, now it forms a metallic spider’s web.
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I have never been ice fishing. But if I was to go it would be inside one of these amazing huts! Truth be told I am not big into fishing even in warm weather. In my books stopping at a grocery store to pick-up your fish is easier and more enjoyable. But that is me.
This past weekend with the slight break in the frigid temperatures I decided that I would head out. I wanted to see what I could find worth taking pictures of. There was a lot to shoot. It was not what I was expecting but there was a lot!
My first stop was at McQuillan Reservoir. In a very short walk I found a number of subjects to photograph. From the ice fishing tents, the animal tracks to some rabbits and a few birds it was a fun day. Cannot say that I got to walk very far as the slight breeze that was blowing was enough to make it painful to stay out. But with so many subjects to photograph I had to take pictures. It is also funny how after a number of days of clouds that a day of even a little sun makes being outside enjoyable.
Each morning I always look out to see who is at our feeders. Yes FEEDERS plural, more than I want to admit to. Lately the bird mix has changed big time. Not just for the morning birds but for the entire day. Our usual mix for years has been the regulars: Sparrow, House Finch, Blue Jay & Flicker and the less regular: Downy Woodpecker, Junko, Nut Hatch & Chickadee. Lately the Sparrows have must have found a better place to go as we have few Sparrows coming to visit since this cold snap.
The one bird that is taking advantage of the feeders is the Junko. There are about 20 of them that have moved in and taken over. They are the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave at night. When the Blue Jays are sitting in the trees screaming to have their food cleared of snow the Junkos are happily eating away. When a Flicker swoops in to claim the peanut/sunflower tray they move to another feeder making the best of the situation.
Early bird gets the feeder
This guy was the first one this morning. Digging through the snow to find his breakfast while the other feeders were still abandoned. He flew away once when I walked past the window but not more than 5 feet from the feeder and as soon as I walked away he was back. He had the look on his face that said he was not impressed with the snow but was fine with having the feeders to himself.
If it was not so cold I would put fresh water in the bird baths for them today. But with it being so cold by the time I add the water and get back to the house it is already freezing over. Oh well, they have lots of snow to eat for moisture and next week it is suppose to warm up so I will make sure they have water once the weather gets closer to freezing.
The good part of all the feeders is that I can take pictures without leaving the warm house. Shooting through the window may not give the best images but when it is -20C outside, snowing and blowing I don’t mind the windows. Well time to see who is outside now and take a few more pictures.