American Tree Sparrow feeding on Brown-eyed Susan seeds.
If you can, plant a bird-friendly garden, and don’t prune back the seedheads until spring – your feathered friends will much appreciate it on these cold winter days!
So. I have these friends. And they’re biologists, as well as nature photographers. (Those two careers seem to go hand-in-hand a lot, y’know?). Anyway, they are gooooood. Their portfolio includes gorgeous scenery, wildlife portraits, and travel chronicles. Starry nights, majestic mountains, northern lights, misty mornings, wintry fields, fall splendour; moose, owls, bears, wolves, fox; Nepal, Italy, Thailand… I am awed by their landscapes, impressed by their wildlife captures, and inspired by their travel experiences.
I think what impresses me the most is the commitment it takes to take these kinds of pictures. It’s one thing to take photos of an alpine wildflower meadow; it’s an entirely different thing to take photos of a bear in that meadow. Or to be up with the northern lights on a ridge top in the middle of the night. Or to capture a lightning strike in the prairies. All of this takes patience, as well as fortitude – get up when you’d rather be sleeping, get cold and wet when you’d rather be warm and dry, be eaten alive by mosquitoes when you’re waiting by the stream for a perfect shot of that moose. Kudos, gentlemen, kudos – keep up the good work!
ILEP is currently having a sale, with 30% off their images until the end of the month. So if you’re looking for some incredible nature images, as a fine art print, or some photo merchandise (mouse pads, tshirts, magnets, etc), look no further – ilep has you covered.
If there was a forest chiropractor, his most frequent clients would be nuthatches.
Did you know both Red- and White-breasted Nuthatches work their way down a tree when foraging under the bark for food? And Brown Creepers work their way up a tree along the trunk. This is a classic example of niche partitioning to reduce competition, allowing for habitat coexistence. *biology geek, out*
Winter backed off a bit today, with a slight rise in the temperature to just below zero, and a light dusting of snow bringing traction to the icy trails. A walk in the woods at Jack Pine Trail proved exactly the reprieve we needed from the doldrums of January. And nature had much to offer us – we found a goshawk being mobbed by a dozen blue jays, a cozy bed of a white-tailed deer, and many hungry chickadees to eat out of our hands. It was the perfect winter day out there – and now we’re home, with rosy cheeks, slippers on, and hot chocolate in hand. I couldn’t have asked for a better Saturday morning.
I’ve been trying to pick just one song off The Strumbellas new album, We Still Move On Dance Floors, to highlight here, and well, goshdarnedit, I just can’t do it. The whole album, with it’s country/folk/roots sound, is so good, you just have to hit play and listen to the whole thing (while stomping your foot). They’re playing in the area a few times this month, if you’re wanting to check them out live. I’m hoping to make it out, too – they look like they would be great to see in concert!
Check out this video, for ‘Ride On’.
Considering the damage the ice storm left behind, it’s nice to have spent the week admiring the beauty in it’s embrace. Now I’m off to have a bath – after 2 wipeouts on the ice today, my right butt cheek needs to embrace some hot water and epsom salts.
To finish off my Ice Storm series, here is an ice-covered tree, gilded by the light from a fading sunset.