Tuesday, September 6, 2011

autumn arrives

We went looking for the White Crowned Sparrow and were surprised to find the Savannah Sparrow. They were very curious and flew just inches off the ground about 18 inches in front of our feet. That apparently didn't provide enough information so a scout landed just behind us and checked us out for a good while!

Who's watching who now?

Savannah Sparrow

Just before dusk, autumn grasses provide just the right colours in the fading light.

This duck got very cagey and slid into the wetland grasses to conceal her ducklings.
She has 8 ducklings and they seem to be in no hurry to move south. Other ducks; American Pintails and American Longtail have dropped in for some food and rest, staying for a very brief visit but this lot isn't quite ready to leave us yet!

Northern Pintail Duck

Too soon autumn has arrived on the tundra. It is spectacular! We had a surprise on the long weekend when we awoke to see snow in the distance.
With the arrival of autumn the fish are gone for the season the birds are also leaving us for the winter. I had a dismal fishing season. However the ones i did catch were healthy fish this year.

Luckily I've found me a hiking buddy and over hill and dale..or at least hill and muskeg we go. We've covered a lot of ground recently in search of migrating birds. This time of year there are stunning vistas and I love the cool wind on my face.
My favourite hiking food is a light-to-carry lunch means boiled eggs, trail mix, a cup for stream water and some type of sweet...fig newtons alleviate the guilt by providing a fruit!

Then I discovered Photomatix photo editing software! Duck country

I'm clearly not a pro at this which is why i love this particular photo editor, easy, fuss free enhancements! I trialed it for quite some time before I committed to the product, I have other free photo editors but don't really want to invest the time and effort into modifying the image pixel by pixel, or layer by layer.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Migration season is upon us....


I have spent the last couple of days birding. I'm new to birding so luckily I met someone who is not and together we hiked the tundra and hot spots for the migrating birds. We did happen upon the American Pipit, Redpoll, Northern Pintail duck!


American Pipit

Unfortunately my pictures of the Northern Pintail didn't quite turn out the way I had hoped. Maybe next time!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Summer Rush

Flame Lousewort

Summer happens in a big hurry in the north, the plants hurry to bloom and create fruit.

Long Stalked Starwort

The fish rush to the open river mouth down to the bay to feed, and the people rush to take advantage of the warm season.

With the incoming tide, the fishing spots disappear under water.

Waiting for the ice to pass.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Flower Season

The usual suspect here on the tundra.

Rain brings out the colour in your florets! Arctic Thrift; my first shot of it in full bloom, usually I get to it when the little pods are emptying out their petals.


Never far apart.


It happened unexpectedly, driving around we spotted a pair of Tundra Swans in a shallow lake near Iqaluit! We haven't spotted any cygnets but this pair do their thing without much notice of the admirers stopping for a gander (bad joke).

Me, mosquitoes and the swans hung out for nearly two hours!

Another bird happened by, singing his song. The Lapland Larkspur briefly stopped on a nearby rock long enough for a portrait then departed singing his cheery song; the only sound on the tundra.

The fishing is off to a later start around here this summer, Heavy ice lines the rocky shores and unlike last year, doesn't look safe at all, cracks along the edges and of course it's slippery too.

It's tundra garden season too, and as usual, have been trying to do something new with the local flora pics, those at a later date!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

oopsy it's been too long

Been busy, really busy at work and lets face it, not much to photograph in the grand outdoors when darkness prevails for so many hours in the day. My weekends in December and January typically go like this; should get busy and get outside for some sun.....oops missed it, try again next weekend!
All of a sudden it's MARCH! We gain daylight at an astounding rate and the camera gets dusted off a little more often.
The bay one frosty morn.

With a fancy new camera, I've been experimenting with the settings and purchased a sexy macro lens for summer photography!

Up close and personal

I've learned some new techniques to improve the night shots of the aurora, but we've been sadly quiet in the night sky. Forecasts for 2012 aurora are optimistic. During the recent solar flares, I was in Ottawa and missed out viewing our inky skies.

My efforts were further complicated when one evening in the late autumn, while using the tripod on a 30 sec exposure; I had to exhale and in doing so turned away from the camera to avoid tainting the image...when all of a sudden a gust of wind took my camera and tripod flying!

To my dismay the lens mount had busted, hurling the lens a metre away, and was un-usable. After a lengthy wait for the part, followed by a failed attempt at repairing it myself and in so doing damaged it further; I ordered a new lens.
Lesson learned; do it yourself in camera repair is not for me and is best left to the experts.

Yaay longer days!