Monday, May 18, 2009

Long Weekend Comes to A Snowy End

Woke up to a salting of snow, but as its the May long weekend its to be expected in Alberta. These last three days I am glad to have traversed the streams and ravines in able to photograph birds that are new to me. Birding is an adventure I verily enjoy which enables me to add to my portfolio of usable imagery that I pull from to create paintings. My endearing daughter says "Mom, you know your old when you find birding exciting". Ah, such a tart she is. 

Birding has given me more benefit than not. I notice a greater variety of birds that would have by-past my attention five years ago, and I'm learning more about birds and their dwindling habitat as I attempt to identify them. These gifts of Creation are sorely in need of protection from corporate greed and desecration which has become prevalent in Alberta. May each one of us do our small part to save and protect what little natural habitat we have left, which these birds surely depend on to nest and rear their young. 

Yesterday we inadvertently spooked a Teal camouflaged in long grasses two feet off the path. We would never have seen her if she had not flushed, but her frantic wing beats startled me as she panicked out of the grasses whereby I looked down to see seven eggs snuggled together.  I was amazed as we had walked right by her the first time without notice. I felt a tug of sadness that we had disturbed her. 

And speaking of nesting this is the time of year it is even more important to those who have dogs to walk them on a lease so that the nesting ducks and shorebirds are left undisturbed. It amazes me of how many dog owners ignore the  signs  and let their dogs run amok in natural preserves with the statement, "oh my dogs don't disturb the birds."   Ahh... yes they do, maybe not intentionally but they do cause dogs are creatures with natural instincts that love to chase, to sniff and bound about easily trampling a nest of eggs. 

This beautiful creature was running amok in a Nature Preserve that had posted "Dogs on Leash" signage. Earlier in the day we had informed the two men with the dog of birds nesting  and "to please leash the dog," which they readily complied to so we thanked them. An hour later I took this photo of the dog a good 50 feet ahead of its people bounding around off trail into the creek where only moments before a great blue heron had been standing. I feel that people who have pets that cannot comply with the rules really do not "love animals" for if they did they would follow the course of being considerate to all animals and take precaution to see that their beloved pet does not inadvertently add to the demise of birds nesting and feeding in the natural preserve areas.

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