Monday, May 16, 2011

Saturday's country excursion

Saturday beheld delights of Creation, a day filled with inspiration and a camera card filled with 1400 images, here I go again, so much fun. Gerald drove me out to Donalda to deliver paintings for the Art Society summer season. I love the Donalda Gallery, its neat to show in a heritage building. Presently they were hanging a quilt show and a few of my butterfly paintings will be hung amidst the quilts. I have been asked to bring my bird exhibition there for September as a compliment to a taxidermy show.  Oh so much fun!
Yes my 50 D camera is back in my hands and happily I've not missed spring migration. The manager and staff that played with my camera previously when they were supposed to send it to Canon though didn't as they figured I was the problem, were wrong! I was not the problem! The camera was faulty; the shutter, mirror and something else had to be replaced. The day we retrieved the camera the manager was absent, go figure.

 I'm happy my camera is finally back (after 2 months) and fixed yet sad that my experience at Vistek has lost me as a future client. When I find a business I like, I go all the way with it, I have been a customer since 2002, but piss me off, treat me like a brainless boob and well, you've just lost my business, which by the way has lost them more than one client as another family member recently purchased a lot of camera equipment; they shopped elsewhere.  Presently I am in the market for a good sturdy tripod, hello Don's Photo.

O.K. on with migration!
 Beautiful Pin-tail male, the female is on the shore to the left.

 Horned Grebes. Brilliant red eyes glow. I find it interesting that many birds have bright red eyes.

On another pond a bit further north this Pied-billed Grebe surfaced close to the road. The pond was cut in two by a busy farm road that saw a lot of equipment hauling to and from the fields yet it was abundant with birds. Tiny and precious this little Grebe is our smallest and although not brightly colored as the other Grebes its subtle charm is captivating. 

Eared Grebes in evenings golden sunlight.
I've not had the experience of seeing so may Eared Grebes in one location before, or so close. This small pond was a delightful spectacle filled with grebes and a few ducks, a nice way to end the evenings shoot as the sun receded beyond the horizon. the clumps of brush in the water to the right were harbouring many Grebes. Maybe they were searching out a safe haven for the night.

Earlier in the day we encountered many American Coots, they are one crazy bird during mating season.

Cliff Swallows are busy re-building under bridges. Didn't see any barn swallows yet which usually nest in a farm yard further north along the road.

 I was busy watching this Killdeer when Gerald says "look at the moose" and as many times he will call birds "moose" just to be silly I ignored him. Then he again says "look at the moose crossing the field" I respond "yes dear I see the Killdeer" "No! Look at the Moose! To funny, here a real moose was jauntily crossing the field. Gave us a good laugh. I must say my fella keeps me on my toes, I never know what to expect aside from a lot of laughter. ah, its all fun!
 Moose on the loose.

 My first spotting of a horned lark ever, even though people state they are common here.

Marbled Godwit, the closest I've been to one, this fella came within 15 feet of the car and its mate was hunkered down in the tall grass about 40 feet away. I used the vehicle as a blind as the winds were ripping along at a good clip making it difficult to hold the camera steady, even so in spite of the wind I got good shots; oh its so nice to have a camera work as it should.

After leaving Donalda we visited a dear friend out in Heisler. This female Merlin was about. She is quite small, smaller than the Merlin we see in our neighbourhood. I thought it was a Kestral when it first flew by due its tiny size.

Well my gesso should be dry so its time to go coat a few more canvas for some special paintings I have planned for the exhibition in Red Deer.
Big Hugs and enjoy.


john said...

Glad you got your camera back. I'm jealous of your grebe photos.
Congrats on getting a new bird with the Horned Lark. I'm also jealous of all your art shows. Good luck with them.

Red said...

This is quite the post...a really first class rant and some super bird pictures. You must have had a long day to get these pictures.
Every Monday the Red Deer River naturalist go on a birding outing. They travel tremendous distances. I kind of draw the line at this as it's too much like road hunting!

tess stieben said...

John the timing was just right for the photos. I have taken grebe shots before but never seen so many in one day. They all just happened to be along the route we were taking home and all within good shooting distance, how cool is that.

Thank you for the support.

Red, I love road hunting. it gets us out of the city for a whole day, We usually leave home mid-morning and I pack a wonderful picnic that will suffice for two meals as we never tend to get home before dark.
I love the drive through the coulee north of Donalda, we always see something new and its quite interesting along that stretch of road. Its about a 3 hr drive to deliver the paintings and a 7 hour drive back with camera in hand.