Posts Tagged With: nature

Surprise encounter

This summer I have been trying to photograph our local mule deer population and have been trying to get photos of the deer in the fields that surround our little town, with little success. Everytime I would see the deer they were either in our neighbourhood, walking along roads and footpaths, or if they were in the fields, I was on my way to or from work without my camera at hand.

This morning I was on my way to pick up our online grocery order and on a whim took my camera with me – so glad I did! Just as I was heading out of town on my usual commute route I spotted a mule deer stag in one of the fields. Thankfully there was a pull out just across the road and I was able to get some photos of this wonderful animal.

Categories: Canadian Nature and Animals | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ospreys in Salmon Arm, BC

Ospreys generally mate for life

We were lucky to be able to observe a pair of breeding Ospreys during our visit to Salmon Arm, BC the other week. They are nesting right on a post in the little wharf they have in town, and are not at all disturbed by on-lookers.

I only had my smaller zoom lens with me, so was limited in the amount of close-ups I could get, still, I am pretty happy to have just been able to sit and what these birds going about their daily life. We watched them fish and then have an aerial fight in the distance with some bald eagles that tried to muscle in on their catch.

 

Categories: Canadian Nature and Animals | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Emerald Lake and Natural Bridge

Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park, BC Canada

Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park in British Columbia, is exactly as you would imagine it; turquoise waters surrounded by moutains. The lake is just a short 17km drive off Highway 1 and is best seen in early summer when the colour is at its best due to the high amount of glacial silt flowing from the mountains into the lake. There is also a hotel (incl. lodges), as well as a canoe rental and a bistro, plus the restaurant in the hotel – all for the not faint of heart where money is concerned!

Water leading out of Emerald Lake with Mt Burgess in the background

Emerald Lake is surrounded by the mountains of the President Range, Mount Burgess, and Wapta Mountain. There is a hiking trail going around the lake which no doubt affords some wonderful views, but as we were short on time we did not explore the trail.

Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park, BC Canada

As in all our national parks, be prepared for lots of day visitors; the car park can get very full during the summer and you might have to park further down and walk back to the lake. However, it is nowwhere near as busy as Lake Louise and is well worth a visit.

Natural Bridge in Yoho National Park, BC Canada

On the way to the lake make sure you stop at Natural Bridge, which spans the Kicking Horse River. It is a natural rock formation where the slower moving waters from the Field valley flats begin their descent through a canyon to be joined by the Amiskwi River.

The Kicking Horse River, BC

By the way, I love that I live somewhere that has a national park called Yoho; those of you from the UK may recall the children’s TV series Yoho Ahoy and so everytime I have to say Yoho National Park I say it in the style used in that show (sad I know, but it gives me great joy to do so!).

Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park, BC, Canada

Categories: Canada, Canadian Nature and Animals | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hummingbirds

One thing I did not expect to see in Las Vegas were hummingbirds, so when we visited the flamingos at the Flamingo Casino and Hotel we were pleasantly surprised. A lot of people just walked past the feeders and didn’t notice these tiny birds darting back and forth. We do have hummingbirds were we live, but we have never been successful in attracting them into our garden or spot them while we are out and about; so to be able to watch them and try to photograph them was a real pleasure, so much so, that we visited the habitat twice.

The below photos are not some of my best, as photographing these birds without a tripod was a real challenge, but I like them nonetheless. I believe there are six species of hummingbird living in and around Las Vegas. I am not 100% sure, but I believe the below are Anna’s Hummingbirds, Black-chinned Hummingbirds, and possibly a Broad-tailed Hummingbird.

Categories: Las Vegas, Nature/Animals | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My first sighting of a snowy owl in the wild!

Next month we will have lived in Canada for 10 years and in all this time we have not been lucky enough to see any snowy owls in the wild. That changed this past weekend!

A snowy owl east of Calgary, Alberta.

We took a road trip this past Sunday up to Drumheller and back again via some back roads rather than the direct highway routes. On our way back, just about half an hour away from home, I first spotted a snowy owl perched on a road sign, but by the time I realized this and looked back, it had flown off. At that point I was just happy that I had actually seen one, no matter how brief. A few kilometers further down and there was another one sitting on a fence post by the side of the road. This time my husband took the next opportunity to make a u-turn and get us as close as we dared to prevent it from flying off. The owl, a female I think (as males are all white, unless they are a juvenile), happily sat on the fence post just turning her head from side to side letting me photograph her. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever be able to get a photo of a wild snowy owl!

We are lucky in our area, as just east of us is prime snowy owl winter habitat; the birds arrive around November and stay until about March, before flying up into the arctic for the summer. Despite it being their winter home, it is difficult to spot these birds; it involves a lot of driving around in cold temperatures on roads that barely look driveable and it takes a good bit of luck (I know, a few years ago I went out specifically in this area to see if I could spot some). Snowy owls can be quite territorial and will defend their patch; thankfully for us, they are active day and night. Our winter so far has been very mild, with not a lot snow on the ground, so if the weather stays like this I might have to take another drive to that area to see if I can spot some more!

The other bird we spotted on our day out was this prairie falcon (at least, that’s what I think he is!). Again, a lot of these birds usually fly off if you get too close, so I count myself lucky that this one didn’t seem to mind us.

We had a great trip out (more photos to come in the next posts), made even more special by the sighting of the snowy owl.

Categories: Canada, Canadian Nature and Animals | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 5 – Cruising around Glacier Bay

Sunrise as we enter Glacier Bay National Park

We arrived in Glacier Bay National Park in the morning of Day 5 and our first stop was the John Hopkins glacier. We were so very lucky with the weather and the position of our cabin, as we had a prime viewing spot all day! This glacier is about 19km long and is one of a few advancing tidewater glaciers. The glacier was named after the John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA by Harry Fielding Reid in 1893. It was a wonderful start to our day in the company of majestic mountains and glaciers.

Approaching John Hopkins glacier

The second stop was at the Margerie glacier, which is also a tidewater glacier, but unlike John Hopkins it is not advancing, and unlike most other glaciers it is also not receding; it is pretty stable and is around 34km long. Margerie glacier is named after the French geologist and geographer Emmanuel de Margerie, who visited this area in 1913. It was here that we were able to see some ice calving; the sound is very similar to a gunshot but is accompanied by some really load and roaring booms. Margerie glacier is one of the most active glaciers here and is also the most visited.

Margerie glacier

All the glaciers in Glacier Bay National Park are remnants of what is called the “Little Ice Age”, which began around 4,000 years ago. It reached its maximum stage in around 1750 at which point a general recession of the glaciers began.

Glacier Bay was declared a National Monument in 1925, then a National Park and Preserve in 1980, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 1986 and most recently in 1992 was declared a World Heritage Site.

Ice calving at Margerie glacier

John Hopkins Glacier

The sun sets on a wonderful day

Categories: Alaska | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Day 2 – Whale sightings!

Day 2 on our Alaskan cruise saw us cruising along the Inside Passage on our way to Juneau and we had our first whale sightings.

We were pretty lucky with this one, as there was a small pod of them just some distance out.

Needless to say, that after this I spent pretty much all day looking out for more. We did see quite a few whales, porpoise, and dolphins. The latter two were impossible to photograph, as they were so quick. Overall, we saw whales every day other than on our first and last day, so there will be more photos coming.

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Fishing in the rain

When we took a walk along the beach in Playa Larga we came across some locals fishing for their dinner in the rain.

Along Playa Larga beach, Cuba

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A rare photo – for me at least

Every year our local zoo has part of their large conservatory transformed into a butterfly paradise. Every year we go to experience these beautiful animals, and every year I try to get a good photo of the Large Blue Morpho Butterfly, and every year I fail. I fail because these butterflies do not sit still long enough to get a tack sharp photo. Last year’s best attempt was the photo below. The butterfly was sat on a window and I ended up more with a silhouette photo. Thanks to some work in Lightroom I managed to bring out some of the butterflies’ colours and patterns. I hope to do better this year!

The Large Blue Morpho Butterfly

Categories: Calgary Zoo, Nature/Animals | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer fields

You know summer is in full swing when the canola fields are in full bloom!

We are lucky that we have plenty of these fields all around us, which always reminds me of my childhood. Our six weeks of summer holidays in Germany were always accompanied by these bright fields. My uncle, who was a part-time beekeeper, would have his hives near the fields and the honey was just the best.

I always find that the yellow fields are looking there best before or just after a storm (of which we get plenty during the summer).

 

Categories: Canada, Canadian Nature and Animals | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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