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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Project FeederWatch

While I was counting birds for Project FeederWatch last Monday, Mr. and Mrs. Downy Woodpecker came to call. It was the first time I'd seen Mrs. D.W.
Downy Woodpecker, Male
Downy Woodpecker, Female

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Special Tribute

A special tribute to the man who named the clouds as we know them today -

Cirrus, Cumulus, Stratus, Cirro-cumulus,
Cirro-stratus, Cumulostratus, Nimbus

Luke Howard was born on November 28, 1772. He lived in London, England and worked as a chemist. He was also an amateur meteorologist. On Sundays he would take his sketch book, leave the distractions of the city behind and go out into the countryside where he could watch the sky, for Luke Howard loved clouds. He belonged to a scientific society, and in December 1802 presented a paper on the classification of clouds. Poets, Goethe and Shelley (The Cloud) were both influenced by Luke Howard's observations. Goethe wrote:

"But Howard gives us with his clear mind
The gain of lessons new to all mankind;
That which no hand can reach, no hand can clasp
He first has gained, first held with mental grasp.

Internet Source: Wikipedia

Three of his beautiful sketches can be seen at the Royal Meteorological Society website. One, in particular, is called "cumulus with anvil".

"The sky too belongs to the Landscape. The ocean of air in which we live and move, in which the bolt of heaven is forged, and the fructifying rain condensed, can never be to the zealous Naturalist a subject of tame and unfeeling contemplation."
~ Luke Howard (1772-1864)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rose Hips and Hoarfrost

This photo was taken last week on one incredibly dazzling morning. The winters here are often harsh and unyielding, but there are also days that make me feel especially glad to be alive. This was one of those days.

Creative Photography

Monday, November 24, 2008

My World - Riverside Park

I would like to show you Riverside Park today. It is located at the north end of the small town we live near, about a 15 minute drive for us.

(click on photos to enlarge)
This is the viewing tower overlooking the Nechako River. The name "Nechako" comes from the Carrier word "Incha-Khoh" meaning "big river". The Carrier are a First Nation people of the central interior of British Columbia.
It was sunny but windy and cold by the river on the day we were here. The ducks were a complete surprise as we didn't expect to see any waterfowl this late in the season.
Fresh snow and lovely patterns.
There is a circular track in this area of the park, and this photo was taken on the far side looking across the field in the center towards the children's playground and picnic shelter. Beyond is the river and a house on the far bank.
The municipality does its best to keep the walkway cleared all winter. It is very popular with both walkers and joggers.

Adjoining this particular part of the park is a campground as well as trails along the river. The park wasn't here when we arrived thirty-two years ago, and the town has done a marvelous job of utilizing the land and natural surroundings. It's a great place, and we come here as often as we can.

That's My World

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Little Ones

(for better viewing please click on the pictures)
This photo was taken last Saturday during some warm weather that was melting the snow. I could hear it when I went outside. Drip, drip, drip. Dripping from everything, even the blue clothesline.
Little Red Squirrel was over by the sleeping lilac bushes searching. Searching for what? No one knows.
On Wednesday, a flock of twittering birds had gathered in this tree. I couldn't see what kind. They had a short rest, a big discussion and then were gone. But the peaked crests that I see in the photo make me think that they could have been waxwings migrating south. I hope they flew far that day because on Thursday the temperature took a dip.
Pine Grosbeak, male

Ah, here's one, no, two of our winter visitors. But, where is the second one? Funny about the Pine Grosbeaks. I haven't seen any for ages, but on this very chilly day I observed several, both male and female, perched in the trees near the feeders. I'm happy to see them again.

Also for N and E xox

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bald Eagle

(click on pictures for better viewing)

I see him there
at the bridge
slow down
got to stop
careful now
don't slam
the car door

feet meet ground
head pops up
camera aiming

from a lofty perch
Eagle watches
this odd display
all the while
giving me
his eagle eye
is she friend or foe

wind rushes through
tousling feathers
causing trees to sway
Eagle hangs on
with talons meant
for clutching a fish

~ April

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrance Day

A short distance from my home is Saik'uz Park. It is a beautiful natural place situated on the banks of Stoney Creek. A memorial honours the fallen soldiers from the First Nation Village who served in the two world wars and the Korean War.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Lake Scene

This picture was taken in the early afternoon of a cloudy day. It was eerie and beautiful when I arrived at the lake, the island and distant hills shrouded in mist.

Sky Watch - Sunrise

Sometimes I like to go out to a clearing not far from our house and watch the sun come up over the horizon. I am always glad that I resisted the temptation to remain in bed after witnessing this remarkable and stirring event.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Woodpeckers and Project FeederWatch

It's foggy, wet and cool this morning, 3C (37F). There is snow on the mountain top here, but surprisingly we've had no snow at the lower levels yet, other than the odd flake. So begins our November.

I've been trying for the past month to get a picture of the woodpeckers clinging to something other than the bird feeder.
I heard these two Downy Woodpeckers before I saw them as they climbed up and around this dead tree in the field across from our driveway last Monday. They were two males, and I'm wondering if one of them could be a juvenile because I thought woodpeckers were quite territorial. I'll have to do some research on that question.
One of them flew off, but this Downy didn't seem to be as bothered by me. He went from this tree to a rotting log, flew across into our property and perched on the railing.
He sat there for a minute or two and then flew to a poplar tree where he spent some time investigating the cuts in the bark searching for insects.
Yesterday, my package of goodies for Project FeederWatch came in the mail. This is a joint research and education project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada (Ontario). It is my 1st season as a participant and their 32nd season of Project FeederWatch. For more information on how to get involved please follow the links.