Bald Eagle, photo by Lisa.
Lisa and I saw a Northern Hawk Owl yesterday. It was a fortunate sighting. Owls are an animal that seem to be able to look directly into your soul. Unfortunately it was very low light and I wasn’t able to get a clear photograph.
The owl even soared down and caught a mouse in the snow and long grass. As soon as it flew away a Raven trailed after it, hoping for it to drop the mouse I suspect.
Opportunists get a bad rap. Not born with the sharp beak and killer claws it must depend on it’s smarts and perseverance. It has to steal it’s meal.
This is often the same with people. It used to be the poor steeling from the rich. Now it’s the politicians and big business men stealing from the many poor. Just a little bit from each, it’s counterproductive to completely ruin the hand that feeds you.
Like the Raven they quickly adapt. Even manipulating folks into leaving treats and rewarding them with trinkets.
Still you have to hand it to the Ravens, Crows, Turkey Vultures and Magpies. It was unfair of me to compare them to crooks in suits.
Lisa and I went out this morning in better light to look for the owl. They are very territorial and are often seen time and again in the same spot.
It was no where to be found. We saw the Bald Eagle photographed above. Lisa took the photo not trusting me after my shaky focus with the owl. 🙂
Follow the ridge. Telemark through the spruce.
There is a little extra daylight. Not much but noticeable. There is something to be said about the colours of winter, deep shades of grey, colours only seen at this time of year, hues of mauve and blue.
Evaluate the shadows in winter to plan a walk in summer.
To be without would be a shame. To see them a gift. The owl on a snag, eagles waiting for a fish or a duck to get separated. The mountain ridge fully defined. And the quiet that accompanies it.
A Bald Eagle, sitting on an osprey nest, hunting. Keeping an eye on the fishing shacks. Opportunity knocks when a fisherman throws a Pike Minnow on the ice.
It was whistling to two others circling the lake. Also keeping a sharp eye on me, making sure it was only a camera and not a gun.
The Osprey nest platforms are man made to keep them from building on power poles. Of course the Ospreys are wintering in Mexico at this time of year so they don’t mind the intrusion. Come spring it will be a different story.
A herd of Bohemian Waxwings get ready to swoop down into a berry tree. Such a treat to watch. Their chirps fill the sky while coasting onto a perch, and what voracious eaters, they can strip a tree in no time sometimes passing the berries back and forth and even getting drunk on the fermented fruit. Can you imagine the thrill of flying under the influence? Of course you would have to be wary of those Bald Eagles.
A chinook rolled in taking most of the snow in the valley bottom.
Willow and I headed into the mountains tonight. We were looking for stars, but knew it would be a tough find. Sure enough it was cloud cover. Sometimes the clouds can be scaled via a mountain pass leading to clear skies. It was worth a try. The roads were ice but decent.
Back in the bottoms we took to the lake, frozen with at least 14″ of ice, glare from melt. Pure hell to walk on, especially in the dark. This is were I grew up. Only yards from shore, across the tracks.
It’s a different place now. The lake is an attraction. A commodity to be bought and sold.
But, here tonight, it doesn’t look much different than I can remember. More ice shacks, less fish, more lights on the east side filling the sky with pollution.
The tracks are there. My world would revolve around those trains. Watching them roll by, the sound, tracks creaking, listening for oiled ties loose on a stoney bed, coal dropping by the cart load, happy to be burned, eventually getting between me and the lake.
Things change, not quickly, but minutely, it’s hard to detect. Until one day you’re scratching your grey beard, in the same place as when you were young, finally figuring the joke’s on me.
Cooper enjoys riding solo.
There has been plenty of work this holiday season and more to come, but it has been the family times that have made it worthwhile.
Scarlett winks as she rides by.
Plenty of fresh air and good food. More importantly most of our children have come to visit. We take what we can get when we can get it. We miss our children but are happy they are doing well. These times are a highlight.
Loud and proud. Two peas in a pod.
Teaching the youngsters how to tackle a corner.
Lisa and I had breakfast up the creek. Willow ran hither and yon, nose down then up, sniffing tracks and tracing birdcall.
We saw Bald Eagles on a freshly killed deer. They flew as soon as I put the camera up. I didn’t pursue the photo by camping out near the deer. Although the temperature is only -8°c, I shouldn’t be interrupting a feast of much needed energy for these animals. We moved on so they could return.
Once above the creek we spotted the tell tale rings on the side of a pond; an American Dipper. They are fun to watch, we hiked down to creek bottom where it dipped and flitted oblivious to us. I snapped a couple photos. Willow barked but it had little effect on the happy Water Ouzel.
The bird with the short tail is often seen alone or in pairs. I know I have a good photo when I am able to photography it’s white eyelid. This morning the light was low, with snow falling, I wasn’t able to capture any sharp photos. That is okay. It’s the encounter that is cherished. These photos will serve as a reminder of our luck on this fine day.
Thank you to everyone who stops by and reads these posts and looks at the photos. I appreciate it. Lisa and I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Holiday Season. All the best in 2020. Take care out there. Bob
The Geminids were hidden by the near-full moon and clouds. We waited looking for a hole in the clouds, but one never opened up. That’s the way it is sometimes. It’s the same with fish biting. No matter how much we try there are some things that won’t be controlled.
Tomorrow, with luck, I’ll be back in the bush.