Preacher’s Point

This is a place where people come to do random camping just finding their own spot. Some people have been disrespectful to the land, leaving garbage or tearing up the terrain with RV’s, but did see some new outhouses so that took care of the problem of people defecating where ever they felt like going.

I have been here in the winter as well, to take photos of the bubbles and the sun as it rises up over the mountains.

This time it was hazy where it was raining in the not-too-far-distance. The water of Abraham Lake was high and many parts of the campground was flooded.

Preacher’s Point Campground furthest away from the lake
Looking towards the river or lake. I don’t know at what point the river becomes a lake.
This is where the North Saskatchewan River gets wider and becomes the lake. Misty Mountains in the distance.
Looking south where you can see flooding across the river.
We are in the campground beside the river here.
The deepest that we have ever seen the water
Most of the flooding is bad on the north side of the grounds.
Took time to zoom in on the mountains
Across the lake from the campground at Preacher’s Point.
Sorry, I don’t know the names of the peaks.

A Good Bath

This adult American Coot had a rigorous bath at the urban lake this day. I wish my settings had been set to a higher speed, but I still like the effect.

Just starting the bath.
A good shake.
A good workout.
A dunk.
A good splash
Refreshing! just a bit of preening to finish the job.

A Walk in the Park

I can’t find this page “A walk in the park” that I wrote, yet I have comments on this. I am ANGRY! I could not see my usual posts so I upgraded to a paid site and now they WordPress is talking in a language I do not understand about domains and I am paying money for it?! and can’t see what I just posted?!

I HATE this!

I want it to be like before. I don’t want to deal with domains and pages of instructions that I don’t understand. I am tempted to quit because I did it to relax and enjoy. This is not enjoyable! This is stressful! A walk in the park-not!

Red-winged Blackbirds

I saw lots of Red-winged Blackbirds in this wetland area the other day, with both male and females calling, so some of them may still be looking for mates while others are nesting. There used to be a good number of Yellow-headed Blackbirds here, but I think the Red-wings chased them off.

Male Red-winged blackbird calling and displaying his patch of red on the wing.
One of many other males calling
I have never seen a female calling until this moment. In full breeding plumage there is a ruddy tinge to the shoulder.
A nice pose that shows off the yellow on the eye line and throat.

Northern Shovelers

During a recent trip to a natural area just north of the city, I was happy to spot both male and female Northern Shovelers. The wetlands were pretty dry, but am hoping the rain and snow from a few days ago helped to top up the water level of this popular spot for both birds and people.

Two Northern Shoveler Drakes
A pair of Northern Shovelers in a small bay near the first area shown above. Both have an intense light blue speculum, the coloured part of the secondary wing, seen more clearly in flight.

Christmas Greetings

It has been a while, didn’t realize that I was going to take such a long break. I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, something you feel in your heart without the distractions. I enjoyed getting my few decorations out early this year as a way to brighten things up .

First time I have had a wreath on my door.i enjoy seeing the decorations as I walk down the hall.
Close-ups of the tree.
I subscribed to Lightroom and and am playing with those sliders! 🙂
I like bells whether they are ringing or on the tree.
Reflections on the wall from my Christmas Tree.
Close-up

I wish all my visitors and readers, fellow photographers and creative spirits a Merry Christmas, Happy Yule. This has been a tough year for many and we have lost some friends but may there be peace and hope for better days ahead and a happy healthier New Year. Thank you front-line workers at the hospitals, the grocery stores, restaurant owners, cleaners, the list goes on. Have strength, I hope you get rest and a chance to rejuvenate. Blessings to all and remember to be kind. Peace.

Beaver Boardwalk

On the way to Jasper National park, I spent a night in Hinton so I could save money and visit their “Beaver Boardwalk”. It wasn’t far from the hotel and I was curious. Early evening gave me some good light for a variety of flowers and only a couple of birds.

Beaver lodge but no activity
Western Lily
Nice visit from a dragonfly.
Good time for reflections
More reflections.
hanging bells or lungwort.
View from the hotel and where I was headed the next day

I picked up some food to take with me and got a good sleep and headed out in the morning after filling the gas tank.

I am house-sitting now and using my tablet which I find difficult, so some features may be missing. Please bear with me.

Common Goldeneyes

There were a few Goldeneyes at the pond, with ducklings of different ages and some were quite comical as they scooted across the pond very quickly. They are in the water on the first or second day after they hatch. Females lay anywhere from 5-17 eggs sometimes in high places such as trees and it is amazing the chicks make it out alive when they drop to the ground. The young feed themselves while the female keeps an eye out for predators. They can be very aggressive in defending their young. I have seen ducklings diving on their own, but all of a sudden the female will come from out of nowhere if another duck gets too close. I have seen the female dive and come up underneath the intruding duck. I saw no males, but am pretty sure I heard the squawk sound of a male that he makes when he is displaying.

Seemingly by themselves, but the Hen is close by.
Not great light , but the Mother Duck is leading her ducklings. The fluff is from the poplar trees.
The one duckling in the lead has stopped while the others “run” to catch up.
Hey, wait for me!
They jump up out of the water to take a dive, then pop up like corks.

Ruffed Grouse

Featured

My friend and I came upon this bird in the middle of the trail, at the Strathcona Wilderness Center east of Edmonton which I supposed was a Grouse at the time. I checked my field guides when I got home , and to the best of my ability identified this as a Ruffed Grouse, based on the squared -off tail with a black band at the end, the black at the upper breast, the white eye line.

At we got closer, I brought my camera to my eye and took a picture. A few steps closer, I stopped for another shot. As we drew closer, taking a couple of steps and one photo at a time, it walked stealthily toward the woods where it disappeared. Luckily it wasn’t rushed out of sight and gave us some opportunity to observe it.

Following are some of the photos I managed to take.

First sighting and subsequent image.
The place where it was lying to the right of the bird was not checked. Was it going to try to nest there?
a little closer walking across the grass.
The closest we got before it ducked into the safety of the bush.

Feel free to set me straight if I am wrong, it is certainly known to happen. I enjoy these finds when out for a walk in nature.