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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Jan 27, 2012

Don't Give Up

I will begin writing this post  to extend a warm welcome to all my new followers, and to let you all know that I appreciate your warm, kind and encouraging comments. 

Every New Dawn Brings a New Promise

You are in a round about way teaching me a valuable lesson with your arrivalI had all but given up in my efforts to to create more of an awareness and appreciation for nature, and to share her beauty.  While it is true that this blog is mainly about birds, I also try to showcase all aspects of nature that I encounter. All the benefits and wonders, all the things that can be discovered and learned.  Your arrival has gladdened my heart and taught me not to give up.

Thank you,

Jan 18, 2012

To see with the heart

Coming in for a landing
When I was going to school in Germany I had an art teacher that would tell us repeatedly, in order to do great art, one had to see with the heart.  I never really understood that concept, until I did just that, many years later in another country, the one where I now live.  I was returning home one day, totally discouraged and exhausted.  It was a period in my life, that everyone experiences at one time or another, where nothing seemed to be going right.  I needed to walk, which is what I did in those days, and so I did.  When I got off the bus, I was at the freeway, where I crossed the bridge.

Goshawk sub-adult
Looking around

I wasn't thinking about anything at all really, when I spotted a large bird on a light post near the other side of the bridge.  For the first time in my life I looked, and saw with my heart.  As I learned later, here was a juvenile Goshawk, presented to me in full, glorious sunlight.  The streaks on his gleaming chest stood out, as did his eyebrows.  He looked so strong and proud, healthy and full of life, fierce and determined.  We looked each other in the eye, yellow to brown, and at that moment, time and space seemed to disappear, like magic.  So I don't really know how much time passed, but if the moment hadn't ended, I know I'd still be standing there, quite fascinated. 
Goshawk winging off

When I left that bridge I did so determined to see that bird again and to sketch him.  I returned to the freeway many, many times in hopes of doing just that.  So my love of birds; my birdwatching days began although I was entirely focused on hawks at first.   My determination to sketch these birds, brought about the need to photograph them and the subsequent purchase of a camera, although I never saw that particular  Goshawk up close again, except in memory.


Jan 15, 2012

One second with nature: January

Bright Fungi
                                                          The Recycling of a tree

Jan 10, 2012

Soaking up the peace

Fallen log

A few years ago I read an incredible book called "Please understand me."  I learned a lot about people and personality types, which helped me to understand my children, as well as myself, and the strangers I encounter daily a little better.  One of the things that I learned about myself is that I am an introverted personality type and that when I need to recharge my batteries, as it were, I need to do so in solitude.

Beaver in the pond
So quite often, I go out on bird-watch, not so much to capture new images while watching birds, but to rejuvenate.  I try to find a spot where I am surrounded only by nature and I settle onto the ground, a rock or fallen log.  Here I will sit just watching and listening to the birds, the play of wind, the burble of a stream or silence, as the case may be, thinking about nothing at all.  It is almost magical, as all my cares seem to drop away and I soak in the peace of my surroundings.

A small creek

These are the times when I observe the most about the birds, insects wildlife and nature all around me.  The birds seem to come closer, unafraid, singing their beautiful songs, as if I am not there.  The squirrels, detecting no threat, go about their business.

Patch of forest
When my thoughts return to me, I am always at peace, my energy has returned and the world is bright with color.


Jan 5, 2012

Nature Provides

Bohemian Waxwings during winter storm
It doesn't matter where you go or why, nature provides. Whether you are looking for berries, mushrooms, seeds, or birds there is always something new to find, depending of course on the season and where you go.   In 2011 I had some very delightful bird encounters, starting in January with Bohemian waxwings, or winged nomads as I like to call them, in the neighborhood.

Cooper's Hawk adult male
April delivered the return of Cooper's hawks in the little forest down the street,  as well as Mallard ducks and Canada Geese.  But the highlights of 2011 for me, were observations at the pond near my work, the explorations of a ravine not far from my neighborhood, the Edmonton river valley, a pond near a new development in the south of the city, as well as a place along the free way where I love to watch hawks.

I was delighted by a Pileated Woodpecker in the ravine in May, and continued sighting of the species throughout the year.

Mama Mallard and adopted Gosling

Pileated Woodpecker femal
A second source of discovery and joy was brought about by four fledgling Raven's that played on the wind and the rooftops in and around my complex at about the same time.  May and June were eventful months for me. I encountered and watched as a lone, injured Canada Goose Gosling lost it's parents, was adopted by mother Mallard and then adopted, or reunited with a pair of adult Canada Geese.  I was delighted to watch it grow over the summer into a splendid adult at the little pond near my work.

American White Pelicans fly over
Swainson's Hawk

July brought the discovery that White Pelicans breed and live in Alberta during summer months and some wonderful close-up photos of Swainson's hawks.

Red-eyed Vireo
Yellow warbler
Peregrine Falcon
Juvenile Red-Tail

In August nature delivered a photo of a just fledged Juvenile Red Tailed hawk by the freeway, as well the sighting of a Peregrine Falcon and wonderful photos of Yellow warblers and Red-eyed Verios in the river valley.
Black and White Warbler
Gray Cat-bird
Greater Yellow-legs
Pine Grosbeak

Although I didn't get to travel  this year outside of the city, I was warmed by an introduction to several species of bird during fall migration, including the Black and White Warbler, Greater Yellow-legs, Pine Grosbeak and Gray Catbird.

Brown Creeper
Common Crossbill male
The end of the year was an absolute delight with the surprising introduction of the Brown Creeper and, on the last day of the year, the Common Crossbill.  Since 2011 was such a great year, I am eagerly look forward to 2012 and what nature may provide for both myself and you.