Not Spring Yet

Spring may be around the corner, but we got more snow today. It is warmer but a little cloudy and a little foggy, with intermittent sun, all of which made for interesting intimate shots.

A bit of sun to highlight the shapes.
Old drifts at sidewalk edge
Love the shapes of the snow and the diagonal shadows

Advertisements

Drive Safe

This is from a few years ago, but it comes to mind with all the snow and the bone-chilling temperatures we are getting lately.

At that time, I was driving in a Spring snowstorm on a secondary highway, and a grader came from the opposite direction with the blade a little in my lane so I swerved and speeded up to avoid it but fish-tailed out of control and flew off the road. I didn’t know at that time that the roadside posts were plastic, and was afraid I would hit them. As I went into the ditch. I saw the fence coming up fast until the snow went up over my car, totally blinding me, but it stopped. Very scary.

I was digging out and a passing truck with a man, woman and their Chihuahua named Hercules (that made me smile) picked me up and told me that a smaller vehicle may not have seen me and drove me to a nearby convenience store. From there I called the towing company and a big rig with a winch came out from a “nearby” town. The Tow truck driver used the winch and got my car out. I figure he charged “the winch by the inch” because it cost $350, but seriously he had to drive a long way and it was a big rig. The car stunk from putting on the brakes and maybe it was the transmission, but tow truck driver waited until I got it started and I was able to drive it home.

there’s my baby, stuck deep in the snow.
That was a big rig but I went a long way into the ditch.
I thought those posts (right side) were concrete so that may have sent me further off- course.
Pulled out with a winch.

I drove more carefully after that, did buy the CAA membership and no longer took my ex’s advice to GO GO GO! through a slippery patch. The only thing hurt was my pride and my front bumper was cracked and broken. I was able to drive the next 150 plus kilometres to get home but took the main highways and think I was lucky that day.

Drive Safe!

Snow Days Cold Days

I have been outdoors very little the last few days with temperatures dropping to -23, -30, -36, but today was -20 celsius and I wanted to take some photos of the snow in the trees because it is so pretty. I shot in aperture priority mode and lucked out when I heard tweets and got a couple of captures of birds.

Trees on the street
Rocks and Evergreen
Untouched snow dips and heights
Puffed-up House Sparrow
His movement caught my eye, point focus and shoot
He turned around, stayed still for a second and I got the shot!

Wolf Blood Moon Eclipse

I missed getting outside early enough to capture an image of the moon rising at the horizon which ticked me off, frankly, because I was adjusting camera and charging batteries, but went to my friends place and planted myself on her balcony and took photos there using my 70-300 mm zoom lens and 18-55 mm lens.

Full moon in the north-eastern sky.
Looking east towards downtown Edmonton

It seemed to move rather quickly after appearing on the horizon at 4:37 p.m. mountain time. I took many photos and am glad because at least twice as many had motion blur affected by camera movement because my tripod is a flimsy one. Had supper and watched the moon rise over those tall buildings, then headed to the edge of the river valley to shoot some more.

A full moon prior to the eclipse that started at 8:30p.m.mst.
The eclipse has started and the clouds made for an interesting composition.
There was a sense of camaraderie meeting and chatting with neighbours out on the street to witness this natural phenomenon.
It was also referred to as a Wolf moon, and sure enough, people were howling from their balconies on surrounding apartment buildings
getting close to full totality at 9:30 p.m.
It was harder to see at this point and I had to constantly adjust my camera settings as I was shooting in full manual mode
Full totality from 9:41 until 10:43 p.m.-the blood moon caused by light from the sun reflecting off of surrounding celestial bodies, to my understanding .

It was a great night and met a few people that I wouldn’t ordinarily meet. So glad that I made the effort and got outdoors and very happy that the temperature rose around zero after being a bitter windy -20 two days earlier. I quit after this because I broke one of the legs on my tripod and couldn’t focus on the moon because of shakiness and light pollution from the environment I was in, but so happy with what I captured.

More good news…I went to the ophthalmologist today and while it could be an even longer wait, the surgery for cataracts is being expediated to around 4-6 months. Will be getting surgery on both eyes, each a few weeks apart. Maybe I will be out capturing images of birds this spring or summer. I am thrilled!

Looking Back on Last Year

I thought that I would look back, I know a bit later than most people, at photos from last year.

So much green!

Magpie letting me get it’s
Best Side
Splish, Splash, the Law of Attraction

Male Common Golden Eye Busy Courting



Coot Momma or Poppa Feeding the Young


Me at My Nephew’s Wedding

Grand entry at the Pow Wow


Bull Bison at Elk Island National Park in Fall

Walk on the Promenade in Winter

It has been a good year of life experiences, photo shoots in the city streets and at the parks. I am looking forward to more shooting opportunities, time with friends and family and communing with nature. Life is a Blessing!

Going with the Flow, Sort Of

I decided to make some changes in my blog post. I am sticking with the same theme, but moved the contents of the Sidebar to the Footnotes. Moving the Sidebar allows me to make my photos larger.

Then there is this little change in the editing tool. I thought I would try this new block format and at first tried Photos only but then couldn’t write the usual paragraph or two at the top of my blog. When I used the combination of photo/text block, the app would set a paragraph at the side of a photo, making the photo smaller. I didn’t want that, so I came back online to try some more options, starting with the paragraphs which I see that I can do if I set the Block type to “text”. Now, will I be able to insert the photo below?

Looking toward Hawrelak Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Yes, I can! Now, can I revert back to writing? Oh, yes, I can! I am going to like this new app after all. The only thing I miss is the old font on my actual website. I see that I can put a big capital at the beginning of the paragraph. It is BIG, even in normal font and I think it would look nice in the old font, a nice script. The choice for the “drop cap” or BIG Letter is in the box to the right of the page.

I notice more choices just above the paragraph, too, such as big header print, quotes, lists, etc.

I think I am starting to “get” it and notice that I need to go to photo gallery to upload a photo, cannot do it directly onto this page, but that is not a problem. I will choose to keep my font and text colours the same, as these apply to the paragraph only, not the whole blog. Maybe I can play with this later because there is more to learn! I wanted to share this with you, fellow bloggers, in case you are having some difficulty.

Ha, I was going to write “a quick blog”. Two hours later…The best to all of you.

Lured by Chickadees

Though the temperatures dipped a bit between Christmas and New Years, it has been a mild winter. We had a snowfall then warm temperatures above zero on New Years day, which was all the incentive that I needed to go to the river valley and try to capture images of any bird I could find. I was lucky that there was a man feeding a squirrel and the chickadees, too. I hung around where he dropped the seeds and nuts and gazed until I saw movement, then raised my camera to my eye and focused on the squirrel or bird through the viewfinder, then clicked, sometimes successfully capturing an image.

Yes, I did get fur and feather blurs but also got fairly-focused images. I felt joy being outdoors and hearing the calls of Chickadees, Magpies and possibly a Robin and some Pine Grosbeaks.

img_0013-2
Looks a Little Awkward, but I am glad s/he paused for a Moment
img_0017-2
Whoops , not Fast Enough
img_0021-2
Thank Goodness for Those Pauses and No Sticks in front of it
img_0072
Another Oops
img_0038-2
Very Dull Light: a Challenge to get an Eye Glint
img_0055-2
Happy to get the Colour in this Magpie’s Feathers
img_0061-2
Stuffing his Beak until he had a Mouth-full of Corn
img_0064-2
I Love the Wing Feather Patterns from the Back
img_0067-2
I also Loved Hearing the Flutter of their Wings as they Flew over my Shoulder to get to the Food

It was a most enjoyable walk which I need a lot more of after enjoying all those Shortbread Cookies, Chocolate, Turkey and Ham dinners. Happy New Year Everybody!

The Edge of the Valley

Quiet, except for the slap of the skis on the trails and the puncture of the poles in the snow  as skiers glide along the valley below me.

IMG_0011

Lines of tree branches stretch, standing out from the grey in the distance.

IMG_0025

IMG_0026

I look up the stairs, and plod upwards , stopping every now and again to take in the view and catch my breath.

IMG_0024

It was a dull, overcast day, but mild enough for a leisurely walk along the valley. I enjoyed it very much, though couldn’t capture an image of the chickadees that stopped to inspect me. Maybe next time.