HERON

Last weekend I went exploring and came across a group of herons at the lower basin of Pelican Lake, in a run off ditch which is typically full of water. While they were a bit spooked, they kept coming back so I was able to stop and take some photos.

I figured this was a good time to pull out that long lens that I don’t much like. And I suppose the truth is that I don’t know how to use it properly and need to commit some time to it. Regardless, these are two of what I thought were the best shots from that little trip. I am not completely happy with them as I feel I need to work on making them sharper. A trip to Whitewater Lake is definitely in my future.

ACCIPITRIDAE

On the way home and not long after stopping for the foxes, I spotted something else up on the highway just before we got to Ninette.  It was a bald eagle.  I started to slow down and asked Colton to reach in the back and grab the Sigma lens (the really, really long one that I don’t really love yet).  As we approached and slowed, it picked its roadkill up off the road and flew into the trees on the other side of the highway.  In another photograph, a black bird is flying around trying to convince this bird to share its meal.  Don’t think that happened.

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I had been fortunate enough to find the foxes and the eagle during the golden hour.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a lot of good shots of it and actually came home and listed the Sigma lens for sale.  I have since changed my mind and have decided to keep it but need to make a decision soon as its a very expensive lens to dislike!  And saying that I don’t have the time to play with it is a crock because I’ve been unemployed since May 1st and will be unemployed until September.  Time to stop procrastinating and do something with it.

MORE PELICANS

I’m just going to leave these here.

These two started off at the other side of the bay, minding their own business, clearly trying to catch their own supper.

When they realized Colton was fishing, one screwed off and carried on minding its own business, while this one came towards us and was focused on Colton’s bobber.

I would imagine the pelicans will start to leave Killarney now and head off to Ninette or Pelican Lake.

CANADA GEESE

Every year, for as long as we have lived here, geese settle in the back field to nest in the Spring.  When we first got Bauer he was absolutely terrified of the geese when they returned during his first Fall and would lay on the ground when they flew over.  This Spring, he decided he was going to chase them out of the back field.  Regardless, they are here to stay as the Long River that runs along the side of the development to the lake is a hot spot for migratory birds, regardless of what Bauer thinks about their presence.

One day Colton texted from the park near the public access to the lake to let me know that the geese had their gooslings out.

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Once I started to creep in on them, they got into the lake and swam off.

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PELICANS

You may recall a couple years ago when I got “the” pelican shot and figured my pelican photography days were over.  The photograph was a hit with my family and ended up getting blown up quite large and is in my front entrance.

Last summer before our BC trip I bought myself a lens that was going to force me to photograph a new, not so dangerous and easier to find subject, birds and wildlife.  While I have taken a couple photos with that lens, namely the owls and the blue heron, I am not overly happy with the lens and just posted it for sale a couple days ago.  I am on the fence about this because everything I read and everyone I talk to tells me to give it more time, read more, watch more videos.  So I’ll try but patience is not my virtue.

Anyways, I wanted to share this photograph I took the other night while fishing with Colton down at the beach.  I took the lens with to play with, without having done any reading or watching.  While its not a great photo, its different and okay.  I certainly like the colors it picked up in the sky.

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WAITING FOR OWLETTES

Last week I stopped at this nest to try and get a photograph of this Momma.  I didn’t get a shot worth sharing so today on our way out we stopped again with the hopes that I could catch one of her snowy, white owelettes.

No owlettes today, unless she was hiding them really well to make sure the wind didn’t knock them out of the tree.

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My husband has eagle eyes and spotted this nest while driving.  Good eye Hon.

CLEARWATER

Remember that trip I took to the old abandoned town on New Years Eve when I almost turned around and abandoned mission?  The one I’ve been posting about for the last week?  How many finds am I up to now?  Ya, I’ve lost track too.

Well this is one that I could access from the road so I got it on the way back home as the sun was setting and the fog was lifting.

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As I was playing around with different lenses and angles I thought, this house looks familiar.  Well sure enough, when I got home, it was a house that I had been trying to find in the area.  It wasn’t really in the area that the original poster said it was but regardless I found it.  As I did not have permission to enter the property and I do not have an RM map for this area, I cannot provide a history of the property.

SNOWFLAKE, MANITOBA

Being on holidays and with the beautiful weather we’ve had, I had to get out and get some of my must see buildings off my to-do list.  I thought I’d venture out to the abandonded town of Snowflake, Manitoba.

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As I got closer and closer, it got foggier and foggier and I one point, or two, I contemplated turning around.  When I realized it was further than I thought and there was about 16 kms of gravel to travel, I thought about it again.

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I pushed through and while I’m not happy with the photos, its done.  There really is nothing left in the town even though I’m sure there are 3 families living within the town, two just on the outskirts.

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There was even a lit , neon open sign in an old shop in a business close to this one.

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When the railway line into Snowflake was abandoned, the writing was on the wall for this small town in south-central Manitoba.

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Border Branch No. 207 of the Royal Canadian Legion, originally founded at Snowflake in 1947, surrendered its charter in 1986 and its war memorial, built in 1961, was moved to La Riviere in 2006.

The Snowflake School was closed in 1992 and while I didn’t see it on my drive through the town, I did find this.

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The United Church closed in 1994.  Snowflake’s unmaintained roads and buildings bear testament to the gradual decline of this once-thriving farming community.

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What I gather was once a busy town, enterwined with town folks and farms just along its outskirts, there was no evidence of anyone there today.

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One home I drove by looked new and another, which I initially thought was also abandonded, was not.

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This barn was the first building I came across as I entered the town off the highway.  The main road was snow covered and shale covered.

A fellow abandonded photographer advised me to be sure I drove a little further, so that I didn’t miss the beauitful old mansion.

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As I did not have permission to enter any of these properties, today’s trip was all road side photography.

Maybe most exciting for the town at the time was that this is the home town of NHL’er, Justin Falk.  Drafted 110th overall in 2007, he was born October 11, 1988.  I’m sure the sign on the highway once proudly displayed his name.  It is faded and unreadable now.

BUBO SCANDIACUS

This Snowy Owl, which I have been referring to as a “he” in all of my other postings is actually a “she”.  How do I know this?  The male Snowy Owl is mostly white while the female has more flecks of black in its plummage.

Cade, Makenna and I were out and about, touring around for houses that I had permission to shoot.  We pulled up to my final stop of the day only to discover that I would be soaked and covered in mud after getting through the ditch and then across the section of land to the house.  Cade started to drive around the section of land to see if I could get in easier, from another angle.  While driving around and contemplating just making the trek to the middle of the section Cade spotted this Snowy on the pole.

owl on pole email

I got my camera ready, lens extended and Cade slowly turned the car so that I could roll down the window.  I thought for sure I’d get it on the fly, the shot would be blurry and I would be pissed.  She didn’t move.  In fact, she wouldn’t turn her head and look at me.  I started to make noises and whistle.  I walked some distance and was pretty much under her when I got this shot.  I wanted her to fly.  She finally did and it wasn’t until we were driving away and I went through the shots that I found this.

flying owl

This was worth my numb fingers and sore shoulder from carrying my 600mm and trying to support it and hold it still in the wind.

Once she flew away I figured our photo shoot was done for the day but nope, she landed on an old fence post off in a field, not out of reach of my lens.  At this point, Cade had to drive back to get me, I had followed her that far by foot.  And of course, I didn’t have mitts and my hands were frozen.

We ended our session with this.  Cade figures this should be framed and displayed in the house as well.

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If I were to have this printed, I may crop it a tad.  What a day.  This is exactly why I bought this lens and I’m sure happy I did.

 

BLUE HERON

I love the blue heron.  Last Spring the one in town liked getting its photo taken.  The bird hanging around this year, does not feel the same and really is quite shy.   I’ve hidden in the tall grass but as soon as he sees me, he takes off and watches me from across the bay, on the dock where I am just out of range with my regular 300mm lens.

Well, the heron is B.C. aren’t shy.  I found this one in Stanley Park on my first outing out with the new lens.

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This bird was very photogenic.  I had to group this photo as Speedo clad swimmer stepped into my viewer!  I got a lot of shots of him but this is one of my favourites.  This bird stood in the ocean, not far from swimmers.  And I saw a few more when we were out fishing for sturgeon on the Fraser River in Chilliwack.

Regardless, I was happy with the shot and am looking forward to taking was more photos with this lens.  This photo was handheld and I must say, while the lens is heavy, its not out of this world and impossible to use without a monopod/tripod.