Red and White

I am talking about about Nuthatches here, as well as the squirrel who took its turn daily. I find them all fascinating to watch, especially the White-breasted who stayed on a branch, almost frozen, and stared at its surroundings.

This stretch makes my neck hurt,, would not be a good position for me.
Another one where I zoomed in more.
This white-breasted Nuthatch stayed on this branch for many minutes, almost frozen except for turning its head a little. trying to be invisible, or watching its surroundings? Or me?
It did come to the feeder while I was there. amazing that I got the shot, because any movement makes them take off. Maybe it decided I was worth the risk?
The birds were not the only visitors to the feeder. This one would sneak up to the railing , run up, then leap onto the feeder.
Such great climbers and jumpers!

Back on the railing, enjoying the snack

Thanks for visiting my site and observing nature’s critters with me, I enjoyed doing bird counts for Birds Canada, four days in total.

A Surprise Visitor

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I will have to check on my next count to see if someone is missing. My neighbours called and said there was a raptor in the tree in the back yard. I got a couple of shots-poor quality due to lack of light, but it may be either a Sharp-shinned Hawk or a Cooper’s. Unfortunately I cannot upload so will post at a later time.

I examined the ground and found grey feathers while a Chickadee came close . When I blew up the photo, I could see a chickadee in it’s mouth. Sad, but they do have to feed themselves. when I get the photo, I will post it.

Update: I managed to download these photos from my e-mail.I also realized that I reached my WordPress limit so deleted all photos from before this current year. Now I have a lot of space to write further blogs.

Can anyone I.D. this bird?
The shape of the tail may help in I.D.ing this bird

Feeder Counts

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I was going to post the birds but ran out of room. Since I have more time since the dog died, I am spending a couple of hours per day counting birds at the feeders at my friends place. The picture quality is not great, because I am taking photos from inside the house through the window. Here is a sampling of the birds I have seen while staying warm and sipping coffee. It’s a tough life.

There were a few male and female House Finches
Female House Finch
I did see a pair of red-breasted Nuthatches.
Can’t have a count without the black-capped Chickadees

Well that was short. WordPress just informed me that I have reached my maximum amount of storage. I have never taken so long to do a blog, only to find out that I can’t get it done. I guess I will do some culling of old posts. This process is getting tiring. Regardless, enjoy the day!

In Memory of Dakota

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I was going to be dog-sitting for a few days, but sigh, sadly the dog I have known for 10 years died at the beginning of the month. I still came to take care of the plants and the house and it has given me a chance to grieve. What set me off was the big cozy blanket on the bed. During the night Dakota, the dog, would tug at it and start to pull it off my bed so she could burrow into it on the floor. I compromised by making sure I was covered then left the excess hang onto the floor and she would crawl underneath the blanket and sleep beside me on the floor. I miss her.

Dakota-she sure has left a hole in my heart.

Now I have more time to watch the feeders and send counts into Birds Canada. More to come, I had the bird s posted but lost that draft, as WordPress said my pictures are too big. Sigh. another quick job taking far too much time.

Snow! Snow! Snow!

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It is blowing enough to form some deeper drifts, which slows down any walking progress and puts a walker to a stop, so it is a good day to stay indoors and work on some photos, editing some and culling others. At some point the sidewalks will be cleared and I can get around easier.

I had my camera on Monochrome so kept it that way and took a couple of photos from the window.

We have been lucky because the snow can come as early as September, with the average fall being in October.
Did not use the “dehaze” slider because this is what it really looks like outside.

Trees

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I love a big photo of the trees in a woodlot, as well as more intimate shots that get closer to the subject. There images are from Elk Island.

What attracted me was the contrast in colour as well as the contrast in vertical lines and horizontal lines.
A stand of aspens gives one many choices in composition.
Right in the middle , but like it this way. Maybe it works for me because of the diagonal tree leaning to the right
Ripening Rosehips
I enjoy the fall colours, not only in the leaves of the trees, but also in the grasses and shrubs.

Thanks for checking out my blog, it is that “in-between season” before the snow falls and the leaves are mostly off the trees. I will get out in the fresh air with my camera, playing with a new lens that I really like, that has some macro/close -up abilities as well as wide angle.

Fall at Elk Island

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There is a Park Bus that acts as a shuttle between Edmonton and Elk Island National Park on weekends during the summer, something that gives me great joy since I do not have my own vehicle. Because of Covid, the Park Bus was cancelled last year as well as earlier this year, then I got an e-mail that it was running for a few days in September and the first weekend in October. I was delighted and quickly booked a day in September. I was happy to see the same bus driver as two years ago-yes, it has been that long since the bus went to the park!

The colours were great this particular weekend. Let me share with you the following images:

Taken on the “Living Waters” boardwalk at Astotin Lake. Lots of dried trees at the water’s edge, which was very flooded.
Another view beside the Boardwalk
Nice to see these fall flowers.
Black-eyed Susans
There were a few ducks on the ponds. mostly far out in the water but these two Mallard Drakes and a Red-necked Grebe were a bit closer.
Lots of colour along the lakeshore of Astotin Lake.
A huge flock of Sandhill Cranes flew overhead-I zoomed in on a portion of them. Love the sound they make.
More colour and reflections at the beaver pond
More ducks at the Beaver pond-female Mallards
Mallard Duck Preening-love those golden fall colours!
Where some of those golden reflections are coming from.
Saw no beavers but did see this muskrat busy eating until I rudely interrupted him with the click of the camera. He was swimming back and forth across the pond.
On the way home we saw a bull bison grazing beside the road.

As you can see, there were a few ducks and animals in evidence and I enjoyed just being there. I met a new friend on the bus who was keen on conversation (which I did not always reciprocate) and did not “get” why I was taking so many photos. I hope that I did not insult her, but the reason that I go to the park is to bask in nature, get rejuvenated, take photos, as well as to just listen to the sounds of the birds and ducks. It was a great day!

Goldeye Lake

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Goldeye Lake is 8 km west of Nordegg on highway 11.There is an education and retreat center here as well, and it can be very busy with camps and retreats but after the Labour Day weekend, it was peaceful. I walked a little bit around the lake where I heard and briefly saw a pair of Osprey and heard some loons.

The view from the loading ramp. No motorized craft here but saw people fishing from kayaks and row boats.
Canoes and dock across from the loading ramp. the stairs lead up to the center and the trail goes all around the lake about 2.5 km.
Raft is a good place to dive and it invites me out to swim. Maybe next year.
The view from the canoe docks. The previous evening, I saw an Osprey land in the water right off that dock where people are fishing and come out with a good-sized fish.
There were a couple of picnic tables beside the lake next to the parking lot.
A family in the distance.
Pathway through the woods
A whole world in this stump
Found my first capture of a Tortoiseshell Butterfly
I liked how the light drifted through the trees.
The view looking west from the turn-off to Goldeye.

Early fall is a good time to travel without the crowds. There are more mountains to the west as you can see in the above photo about two hours to Saskatchewan Crossing on the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper National Parks.

Some Neat Things at a Pull-off Stop

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We found this place where I had stopped a few years ago. You could pull off the road but there was a gate that stopped vehicles from going to the lake, so we walked a short bit to get to the water. There has been camping here but maybe the gate is to dissuade people from doing so.

Nice to see the rosehips are ripening
A neat Heart-shaped rock that I left behind for others to see.
A curious but shy Chipmunk came to inspect us
Catching a wave
A bit hazy across the lake this time it is rain rather than smoke
This is a good spot to view Windy Point from the south. Yes, this is the same photo from my Windy Point post.
Closer to where we are standing, the water is high.
Before we left I stopped to take a photo of this critter. I have no idea what it is.

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.