Ingham Nature Photography Inc.: Blog https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog en-us (C) Ingham Nature Photography Inc. (Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) Sat, 24 Jul 2021 01:12:00 GMT Sat, 24 Jul 2021 01:12:00 GMT https://www.inaturephoto.com/img/s/v-12/u988009756-o112298866-50.jpg Ingham Nature Photography Inc.: Blog https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog 87 120 "BEAMING BEAVERS" - Beavers (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/7/-beaming-beavers---beavers-north-american "BEAMING BEAVERS"

Beavers (North American) - 8 Photos

 

So it was another late evening with the Beaver Family and watching their comings & goings. 

 

I managed to capture some close-ups of their faces, etc. and hopefully, their individual characteristics. As previously identified, there are two adults (the mother and father) and two youngsters. And as in most families, there can be a problem child. But that's another blog.

 

Here is the Beaver Family:

 

PHOTO #1 - "FATHER BEAVER"

PHOTO #2 - "FATHER BEAVER"

PHOTO #3 - "FATHER BEAVER IN DISGUISE"

PHOTO #4 - "MOTHER BEAVER WHO DOES'T LOOK PARTICULARLY HAPPY"

PHOTO #5 - "MOTHER BEAVER & ONE YOUNGSTER (RIGHT OF THE PHOTO)

PHOTO #6 - "YOUNGSTER"

PHOTO #7 - "YOUNGSTER"

PHOTO #8 - "YOUNGSTER HAVING A SCRATCH - WHO DOES'T LIKE TO SPLASH IN THE WATER?"

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/7/-beaming-beavers---beavers-north-american Sat, 24 Jul 2021 01:10:17 GMT
"ALBERTA RODENTIA - SMALL, BIGGER, BIGGEST" - Various https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/7/-alberta-rodentia---small-bigger-biggest---various "ALBERTA RODENTIA - SMALL, BIGGER, BIGGEST"

Meadow Vole (?), Porcupine, Beaver - 3 Photos

 

Over a period of a few days, managed to capture some members of Alberta's rodent family, from one of the smallest to the biggest. 

 

SMALL - MEADOW VOLE (?)

I heard a splash and thought the mink had arrived. Instead, this little creature climbed up on a rock to dry off. It appeared to have missed the jump and landed in the water. Apparently, they live only a year but this little fellow is living on borrowed time. It's living in the bank that the mink uses to traverse the creek and the weasel frequently uses that set of rocks to navigate the creek, jumping from rock to rock!

BIGGER - PORCUPINE

This is little Hap P, offspring of Chewie P. Found her (I think with the size & shape of the face, it could be female), close in to the beaver area, late one evening. Apparently, female porcupines maintain a territory and defend it against other females so perhaps, Chewie is now pushing out her little girl to the far end of her territory. 

BIGGEST - BEAVER

This is the mother beaver of the beaver family (consisting of four members). On the light side, he looks like he is almost smiling. On the dark side, he reminds me of "Jabba the Hutt" from Star Wars :)

 

 

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/7/-alberta-rodentia---small-bigger-biggest---various Wed, 21 Jul 2021 07:30:00 GMT
"A LATE EVENING WITH THE BEAVER FAMILY" - Beaver (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/7/-a-late-evening-with-the-beaver-family---beaver-north-american "A LATE EVENING WITH THE BEAVER FAMILY"

Beavers (North American) - 10 Photos

 

I had followed one large beaver upstream until it stopped at the bend of the creek. There was already one smaller beaver there munching away. So I had two beavers to watch. And then an even larger beaver appeared from downstream, followed sometime thereafter by another, much smaller. So I had four beavers and watching them interact and determining by sizes, it was a mother beaver (the one I had followed), the father beaver (the largest one) and two youngsters.

 

It was a late evening picnic, with beavers coming and going, appearing with new material and happily relaxing & eating.

 

In Photo #5 , you can see Mrs. Beaver arriving with her latest "groceries", which she deposited into the creek and quickly set to some juicy leaves and new bark. She had one of the kits next to her left. And I guess the little one thought he/she would help itself to some of Mum's latest. Well that wasn't going to happen. It's the first time I have ever seen an adult beaver lunge at a youngster (Photo #6).  It happened so fast and then it was over. There was some mewing from the kit and eventually Mum let it eat some of the peripheral branches. A short time after, Mum swam away downstream. As I was leaving, I did see her much further down in the creek, happily eating. I guess even beaver mothers need some away time from their kits!

 

In Photo #8, you can see a much smaller beaver approach and nudge the back end of a very large beaver. That would be the second kit & Mr. Beaver. It was such a gentle and soft touch, letting Dad know it was there. Eventually, Dad climbed up on the bank and took to some grooming and relaxing. He is one big beaver, probably 40 pounds plus. 

 

I could have stayed well past the time that clear photography would have been possible and watch the family enjoying their creek picnic but unfortunately the Provincial Park locks its gates (and the exit from the parking lots) at 10:00 p.m. so I had to say so long for now and thanks!

 

PHOTO #1 - Mrs. with her appetizer

PHOTO #2 - Pure contentment

PHOTO #3 - Mrs. relaxing on the bank

PHOTO #4 - What great teeth you have, Mrs.

PHOTO #5 - Mrs. coming back with her groceries

 

PHOTO #6 - Just missed getting the nose of the kit in (darn) but this is Mum lunging (right of photo) at youngster

PHOTO #7 - So even beaver kits "shake, rattle & roll"!

PHOTO #8 - "Hey, Dad, it's me!"

PHOTO #9 - Mr. having some bank time

PHOTO #10 - One relaxed father beaver watching the kits

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/7/-a-late-evening-with-the-beaver-family---beaver-north-american Sun, 18 Jul 2021 16:24:39 GMT
"ON LAND, BY SEA & IN THE AIR" - Black Crowned Night Heron https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/7/-on-land-by-sea-in-the-air---black-crowned-night-heron "ON LAND, BY SEA & IN THE AIR"

Black-Crowned Night Heron (9 Photos)

 

The following photos were taken at three different locations at three different times. However, those times ranged from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and it would have been later but I had to leave the Night Heron because it was too hot in the summer sun. Goodness why they are called Black-Crowned "Night" Herons in our neck of the woods (Calgary, Alberta, CA) because they are frequently seen here during the daylight hours, including noon!

 

And that being said, why is it that with their long yellow legs and clawed feet, they remind me of "aliens"! :) (See Photo #6)

 

ON LAND

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

BY SEA

 

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

IN THE AIR

 

PHOTO #7

PHOTO #8

PHOTO #9

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/7/-on-land-by-sea-in-the-air---black-crowned-night-heron Wed, 14 Jul 2021 18:22:29 GMT
"SHAKE, RATTLE & ROLL" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/7/-shake-rattle-roll---mink-north-american "SHAKE, RATTLE & ROLL"

Mink (North American) - 6 Photos

 

We've probably all seen dogs do it. Bears do it. Most likely any furred creature that is trying to "quick dry" after a splash does it :) And yes, mink do it too! 

 

That "it" is the "shake, rattle & roll" to eliminate the excess water from their coats. It does, however, provide some amusing facial expressions, even on a little predator such as the mink.

 

 

PHOTO #1 - "READY TO ROLL"

PHOTO #2 - "EYES CLOSED"

 

 

PHOTO #3 - "TWIST"

PHOTO #4 - "SHAKE"

PHOTO #5 - "OOPS, DID YOU PHOTOGRAPH THAT?"

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/7/-shake-rattle-roll---mink-north-american Sun, 11 Jul 2021 16:49:14 GMT
"NATURE PAINTS HER OWN CANVAS" - Birds (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/7/-nature-paints-her-own-canvas---birds-north-american "NATURE PAINTS HER OWN CANVAS"

Birds (North American) - 4 Photos

 

Firstly, the four photos that follow have only had a border added & a title. Only basic editing has been used. NO photo layering or special effects have been utilized.

 

It often occurs to me when photographing wildlife that Nature does indeed paint her own canvas. She adds just the right light and colours and creates the most incredible artwork. Sometimes the subjects may be common sightings (the Black Capped Chickadee & the Yellow Warbler) or they may be somewhat uncommon for the area, in this case, Calgary, Alberta, CA (such as the Baltimore Oriole & the Western Tanager). 

 

But no matter what the subject, her talents, I believe, cannot be surpassed by any paintbrush. (And a little humour in the titles can't hurt!)

 

 

PHOTO #1 - Black Capped Chickadee

PHOTO #2 - Yellow Warbler

PHOTO #3 - Baltimore Oriole

PHOTO #4 - Western Tanager

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/7/-nature-paints-her-own-canvas---birds-north-american Tue, 06 Jul 2021 15:38:27 GMT
"MORNIN' MINK!" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/7/-mornin-mink---mink-north-american "MORNIN' MINK!"

Mink (North American) - 3 Photos

 

An early morning catch for both me and the mink!

 

She is one amazing mink. In just over an hour, she caught three fish, the largest being the one in the photo.

 

On a side note, the mink changed her normal tactics. She usually catches a fish and then runs off to her favourite grove of trees to polish it off. On these fish runs, however, she caught each fish and then ran back downstream, fish intact each time. (By three different routes, mind you!) So I am wondering, perhaps she has other little mink mouths to feed :)

 

PHOTO #1 - "WINNER, WINNER, FISHY DINNER!" 

PHOTO #2 - "ON TOP OF OLD SMOKEY"

PHOTO #3 - "THE SOUTH END OF A MINK GOING NORTH" - Loved the make-up of the mink's hindfoot/pad!

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/7/-mornin-mink---mink-north-american Sun, 04 Jul 2021 20:35:19 GMT
"THE EYES HAVE IT!" - Mink (North American) Plus 1 https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/6/-the-eyes-have-it---mink-north-american-plus-1 "THE EYES HAVE IT!"

Mink (North American) Plus 1 - 3 Photos

 

Taken on two different days at different times.

 

The little mink had been fishing, taken her catch off to eat in her favourite dining spot. She then reappeared down the creek heading out (towards me) when she disappeared and then reappeared within "spitting distance" of me. Her look is almost questioning, "Is this close enough???". You really don't get any second chances with minks and if you lose eye contact, they are gone when you look up. 

 

So I shot at the maximum length of my lens (which is 600 mm) and yes, little mink it was close enough! (Photo #1) This is the first time ever I have taken a photo of a mink where you can actually see the pupil in each eye. That dispels the "cold eye" look of a mustelid. I have cropped the photo out (Photo #2) so that you can see her lovely brown eyes that much better.

 

And the day before, the little mink couldn't make it so she sent her cousin, the Long Tailed Weasel, with her apologies. Again, it was only seconds from the time the weasel came to a screeching halt having seen me across the creek until disappearing into the grass. However, it did stop long enough to allow me an opportunity to grab the shot of another extraordinary member of the Mustelid family.

 

I read up on some research to find out how well minks see. Apparently they have excellent eyesight and ultrasonic hearing in the range produced by their prey. So I do feel honoured that these little mammals take the time and are curious enough to allow me a few precious shots of their activities :)

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/6/-the-eyes-have-it---mink-north-american-plus-1 Thu, 24 Jun 2021 19:00:12 GMT
"BREAKING NEWS - NESSIE HAS BEEN FOUND BUT ......" - Great Blue Heron https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/6/-breaking-news---nessie-has-been-found-but---great-blue-heron "BREAKING NEWS - NESSIE HAS BEEN FOUND BUT ....."

Great Blue Heron - 7 Photos

 

..... IT WAS EATEN BY THE GREAT BLUE HERON! :)

 

Am certain almost everyone has heard of "The Loch Ness Monster" or Nessie for short.

 

Well I know this Great Blue Heron's catch isn't really "Nessie" although its head bears a strong resemblance but the fish's size is enormous even for a Great Blue Heron. The heron caught the fish in a shallow part of a pond and having successfully pulled it from the water, the heron walked over to a large rock where it whacked it several times against the hard surface, much like what a kingfisher does with its catch.

 

I believe the fish is a Northern Pike, quite the predator amongst other fish and in this case, though, the predator became the prey.

 

And then after a bit of repositioning, down the heron's throat it went, head first and in one long swallow. A little sip of water and believe it or not, the heron went back to fishing. Shortly thereafter, it flew into a tree to groom and probably digest.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/6/-breaking-news---nessie-has-been-found-but---great-blue-heron Wed, 23 Jun 2021 07:30:00 GMT
"MAGIC MINK" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/6/-magic-mink---mink-north-american "MAGIC MINK"

Mink (North American) - 5 Photos

 

The mink in North America is a fierce predator and may well be one of the smaller members of the Mustelid family but its heart is that of a wolverine.

 

I value every opportunity I have to photograph this little mammal but when I can capture the moments featured in the photos below, it is pure Magic!

 

The mink had caught the fish and run off to what it thought was a safe haven to eat when it was chased out the grove by several Red-Winged Blackbirds and that's when I took the photos. She subsequently found a better and more secluded dining area.

 

And that's another Prussian Carp out of the environment. Well done, Little Magic Mink!

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/6/-magic-mink---mink-north-american Sat, 19 Jun 2021 22:30:30 GMT
"ROOMIES" - Beaver (North American) & Muskrat https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/6/-roomies---beaver-north-american-muskrat "ROOMIES"

Beaver (North American) & Muskrat (4 Photos)

 

Perhaps a more fitting title would be "Lodgies" as muskrats frequently share living quarters in lodges with their beaver relatives. And they don't receive free rent either as they contribute with the upkeep, such as mudding the gaps inside the lodge. I have also observed that frequently they exit the lodge prior to the beavers - scouting the area perhaps before the "big boys" come out?

 

Even though they belong to the rodent family, both muskrats & beavers, I think, have adorable faces.

 

And with respect to the beaver photos, this is the first time I have ever seen a beaver chow down on an evergreen. Perhaps he/she had a tummy ache and was looking for some relief??

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

 

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/6/-roomies---beaver-north-american-muskrat Wed, 16 Jun 2021 18:44:45 GMT
"THE MUSTELID EXPRESS" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/6/-the-mustelid-express---mink-north-american "THE MUSTELID EXPRESS"

Mink (North American) - 7 Photos

 

How better to describe a brief encounter with a mink. It was approximately five minutes.

 

Having reviewed these current photos with those taken last year, I am left with the impression that this is not the same female mink as seen in previous years. And this latest mink bears a strong resemblance to Momma Mink's female offspring from last year, who I named "Little Girl". It may also explain why her schedule and hunting habits have changed. Only time (and more photos) will tell.

 

In any event, it was thrilling to catch my first close-up glimpses of a mink for 2021. Keep up the fishing of those invasive species, little mink! :)

 

PHOTO #1 - "UP FROM THE DEPTHS Of ROCKS"

PHOTO #2 - "NOW THAT'S A LONG FACE"

PHOTO #3 - "WHAT'S UP?"

PHOTO #4 - "FIVE MINUTES IN AND WE ARE ALREADY BORED"

PHOTO #5 - "LOOKING FOR FISH IN ALL THE RIGHT PLACES"

PHOTO #6 - "THIS IS CLOSE TO A PHANTOM MASK WITH A 'STINK EYE' THROWN IN"

 

PHOTO #7 - "THE SWIM EXIT"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/6/-the-mustelid-express---mink-north-american Fri, 11 Jun 2021 07:30:00 GMT
"BATHING IS FOR THE BIRDS" - Various https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/6/-bathing-is-for-the-birds---various "BATHING IS FOR THE BIRDS"

Black Capped Chickadee, Cedar Waxwing, Great Horned Owl - 5 Photos

 

Over the past week or two, I caught the Black Capped Chickadee and the Cedar Waxwing after they had indulged themselves in a bird bath in the little creek.

Love to see how different & fluffy they can appear when you add a little water. 

 

In the case of the Great Horned Owl - this photo was taken in May 2016, after a skirmish this mother owl had had with a Canada Goose, who had flown to close to the owl's nest. She had taken the fight to the pond where the goose had landed and obviously had gotten a little too close to the water's edge. No harm done. She could still fly extremely well but spent the next hour or so "air drying". Talk about "Grumpy Owl" face :(

 

BLACK CAPPED CHICKADEE

PHOTO #1 - "DIDN'T KNOW A TOWEL RACK WAS INCLUDED"

PHOTO #2

 

CEDAR WAXWING

PHOTO #3 - "A DEFINITE JUST GOT OUT OF THE SHOWER LOOK"

PHOTO #4

 

GREAT HORNED OWL - Photo Taken May 2016

PHOTO #5 - "GRUMPY CAT"

Great Horned Owl - FemaleGreat Horned Owl - Female"YOU SHOULD SEE THE OTHER GUY!"

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/6/-bathing-is-for-the-birds---various Wed, 09 Jun 2021 07:30:00 GMT
"MOODY BLUES" - Great Blue Heron https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/6/-moody-blues---great-blue-heron "MOODY BLUES"

Great Blue Heron - 6 Photos

 

Although the Great Blue Heron can be a regular sighting (other than the Winter) in this part of the woods, it is important not to take them for granted.

 

This particular heron was fishing along the bank and although it may look as if it is swimming, it is actually walking through the water with its long legs. From my experience, Great Blue Herons try to avoid deep water when they can. On the few occasions I have seen them venture into deeper water, they usually have been chased away from a nest (such as an osprey) and have landed in the middle of a pond.

 

There was something about the backdrop of old trees and roots, that gave this set of shots a somewhat eerie or melancholy atmosphere.

 

And, of course, there are the flying shots.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

 

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/6/-moody-blues---great-blue-heron Sat, 05 Jun 2021 22:47:49 GMT
"A BEAVER'S LIFE ISN'T ALL WORK" - Beaver (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/6/-a-beavers-life-isn-t-all-work---beaver-north-american "A BEAVER'S LIFE ISN'T ALL WORK"

Beaver (North American) - 4 Photos

 

All work and no play makes the beaver a dull mammal - to paraphrase that well known proverb.

 

I was fortunate to catch this beaver coming out of the lodge (two had already headed further down into the pond) and swimming back to the shoreline, before twilight. 

 

His/her first intention, I think, was to follow its family members further down but changed its mind and swam back to sample the greenery on the nearby shore. Thank you, beaver!:) Perhaps, a quick snack before the serious beaver business began.

 

And that is all he/she did for approximately 15 minutes and then swam off, to explore the far reaches of the water.

 

PHOTO #1 - "I SMELL YUMMY GREENERY"

PHOTO #2 - "AND WE'RE OFF"

PHOTO #3 - "IT MAY BE JUST FACIAL MARKINGS BUT I WOULD SWEAR THIS BEAVER IS SMILING"

PHOTO #4 - "AND DOESN'T THIS BEAVER HAVE THE MOST GORGEOUS TAIL!"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/6/-a-beavers-life-isn-t-all-work---beaver-north-american Thu, 03 Jun 2021 02:28:10 GMT
"WHAT IS A GROUP OF PORCUPINES CALLED?- Porcupine (North America) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/5/-what-is-a-group-of-porcupines-called---porcupine-north-america "WHAT IS A GROUP OF PORCUPINES CALLED?"

Porcupine (North American) - 7 Photos

 

This is definitely a "believe it or not" but please feel free to do some research.

 

BUT a group of porcupines is called a "prickle". (And a baby porcupine is called a "porcupette".)

 

I recently did a walk with Brian Keating (the naturalist who appears on CBC's Homestretch) and his wife, Dee, to check out the porcupines that I and a fellow photographer have spotted over the last few months. And true to Nature's whims, no porcupines were found. However, if anyone would like to hear his broadcast on our walk and his discussion on Canada's second largest rodent, please click the link:

https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-97-the-homestretch/clip/15845364-brian-keating-porcupines

 

And in the photos that follow, are the cast of characters (all with their individual names) who most likely now have returned to their nocturnal habits, with the warmer weather. As you will see from the photos, each has its own individual characteristics and personality. "P", of course, stands for Porcupine!

 

PHOTO #1 - "CHEWY P" - This is Hap P's Mum

PHOTO #2 - "HAP P"

PHOTO #3 - "WINNIE P" - This is Little Bo P's Mum

PHOTO #4 - "LITTLE BO P"

PHOTO #5 - "FRED P" - Because of his colouring, we believe Fred is the most likely candidate as Little Bo P's Dad.

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"HOW DOES A PORCUPINE RELAX? - VERY CAREFULLY!"

PHOTO #6 - "SWAMP P" - Potentially Hap P's Dad? And he is one monster (size wise) of a porcupine!

PHOTO #7 - "SWEET P"

 

There is an eighth porcupine who we have named "Snew P" but due to its location, it has been extremely difficult to capture a clean shot.

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/5/-what-is-a-group-of-porcupines-called---porcupine-north-america Sun, 30 May 2021 00:08:43 GMT
"THE MINKACCINO" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/5/-the-minkaccino---mink-north-american "THE MINKACCINO"

Mink (North American) - 7 Photos

 

An internationally known naturalist, once remarked in conversation that minks appear to have had a few strong coffees before heading out on hunting expeditions. 

 

That got me thinking, what would you call a coffee beverage named after a mink? Well "A Minkaccino" of course, a derivative of the Mochaccino.  The actual Mochaccino consists of a double expresso shot, foamed milk & an additional flavour. I've broken down the components and labelled them accordingly on Photo #1. 

 

The remaining six photos were taken this past weekend. I was photographing a Great Blue Heron, at the time, when into the frame came this coffee coloured bouncing mink. And as you can see from the photos, it definitely had spring and "Spring" in its step, while it scoured the creek bank for food.

 

Don't blink, there goes the mink! 

 

PHOTO #1 - "THE MINKACCINO" (Taken in May 2020)

PHOTO #2 - "FULL SPEED AHEAD"

PHOTO #3 - "A FEW SIDE STEPS OVER THE FALLEN BRANCHES"

PHOTO #4 - "SPRING HAS SPRUNG & SO HAS THE MINK"

PHOTO #5 - "BANK DIVING"

PHOTO #6 - "OVER THE LOG"

PHOTO #7 - "A PAUSE BEFORE HEADING OUT AGAIN"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/5/-the-minkaccino---mink-north-american Wed, 26 May 2021 01:28:21 GMT
Photo of the Week - "PORCUPINE HILLS" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/5/photo-of-the-week---porcupine-hills---porcupine-north-american "PORCUPINE HILLS"

Porcupine (North American) - 9 Photos

 

Well, hopefully everyone is not going, "Not another blog about porcupines!"

 

This is Little Bo P, offspring (a male, we believe) of Winnie P. Caught him up in a tree late one afternoon. The weather was overcast, windy and threatening with showers. 

 

Generally when I am watching wildlife, I survey the surroundings, including trees & vegetation to gauge light and what potential backgrounds there may be when the bird or mammal, in this instance, changes position. As I was watching Little Bo P, I noticed that there was a large tree cavity where an extremely large branch had broken away. It was below a small tree limb just under the branch where Little Bo P was sitting. "Wow", I thought, "What a great shot that would make if a certain porcupine climbed across and down that area!"

 

Well, the thought went out into the Universe and as it began to spit with rain, to my surprise the little porcupine did that signature move of the tail swing to the front of the branch and down he began to climb!

 

Watching his progress, it brought to mind those images I have seen of rock climbers descending, as they swing across the mountain and try to find their footholds at each step. 

 

After a few minutes, another successful descent for this little porcupine. He then disappeared into the brush and briefly reappeared, only to disappear again into several fallen tree trunks where no doubt he curled up for a much deserved sleep. 

 

For more photos of the little porcupine and his descent, please click link below:

 

https://www.inaturephoto.com/porcupine_north_american_-_porcupine_hills

 

PHOTO #1 - "PREPARATION FOR THE DESCENT"

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"PREPARATION FOR THE DESCENT"

PHOTO #2 - "MADE IT TO THE FIRST 'LEDGE'"

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"INTO POSITION"

PHOTO #3 - "READY FOR THE NEXT LEVEL"

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"READY FOR THE NEXT PHASE"

PHOTO #4 - "SWINGING OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HILL"

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"HEADING TOWARDS THE CAVITY"

PHOTO #5 - "MADE IT TO THE CAVITY!"

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"CAVITY REST STOP"

PHOTO #6 - "THE PROUD 'MOUNTAINEER"

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"THE MOUNTAINEER"

PHOTO #7 - "TAKE A BREATH"

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"TAKE A BREATH"

PHOTO #8 - "AND STRETCH"

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"AND STRETCH"

PHOTO #9 - "ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL DESCENT TO THE BOTTOM OF THE TREE" 

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL DESCENT"

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/5/photo-of-the-week---porcupine-hills---porcupine-north-american Sun, 23 May 2021 01:55:29 GMT
"HAVE YOU EVER LOOKED INTO THE EYE OF A BEAVER?" - Beaver (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/5/-have-you-ever-looked-into-the-eye-of-a-beaver---beaver-north-american "HAVE YOU EVER LOOKED INTO THE EYE OF A BEAVER?"

Beaver (North American) - 3 Photos

 

Managed to catch the beavers in their biggest pond as they swam and partook of the "pantry" offerings along the shoreline.

 

The first photo is of, I believe, one of the adolescents (a little over a year old). This is probably the closest I have achieved with a long lens to capture "the eye" of a beaver. The area around the eye is certainly intriguing in its make up and the size of the eye itself seems to give beavers that "wide eye" look.

 

The next two are of one of the youngest beavers (perhaps born this past winter). Always coming into the shoreline next to an adult or young adult for security and as you can see, always keeping behind some vegetation so that it always had some degree of camouflage. For one brief moment, it stood partially up. My, what a beautiful little beaver face and what lovely new bright orange teeth! :)

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/5/-have-you-ever-looked-into-the-eye-of-a-beaver---beaver-north-american Wed, 19 May 2021 07:30:00 GMT
"WATER SPRITES" - North American Beaver https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/5/-water-sprites---north-american-beaver "WATER SPRITES"

Beaver (North American) - 5 Photos

 

Now most people wouldn't associate "sprite", its meaning being "a fairy especially one connected with water", with the North American Beaver.

 

Beavers are one of the few species that shape their environment and are known as Nature's ecosystem engineers. NOT BAD FOR A QUADRUPED (to quote that line delivered by Bill Murray in the movie "Groundhog Day")!!

 

That in conjunction with the magical appearance of the still water in this pond alone should qualify them as "Water Sprites". And then add in the fact they seem to appear and disappear in this one kilometre square network of ponds and channels, some of which have been dammed to increase the pond levels.

 

Then there was the night that I thought I finally had caught them in a great opportunity for a photo shoot. There was a leak in one of the dams where I had positioned myself. Yes, one beaver, then another showed up, each contributing one branch to the dam and disappearing. "Hey" - I thought beavers were supposed to be obsessive about leaks and running water. When I returned the following evening the leak had been plugged. I guess the late night shift kicked into gear!

 

PHOTO #1 - "SO THAT'S HOW THEY STAY UNDER WATER SO LONG, THEY USE SNORKELS!"

 

PHOTO #2 - "PLUGGING MATERIAL"

 

PHOTO #3 - "SO THAT'S HOW BEAVERS KEEP FIT, THEY LIFT WEIGHTS"

 

PHOTO #4 - "IS THIS WIDE ENOUGH TO PLUG THE LEAK?"

PHOTO #5 - "BEAVERS ABOVE WATER ALWAYS SEEM TO LOOK WORRIED"

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/5/-water-sprites---north-american-beaver Sat, 15 May 2021 23:58:13 GMT
Photo of the Week - "MISSHAP" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/5/photo-of-the-week---misshap---porcupine-north-american "MISSHAP"

Porcupine (North American) - 9 Photos

 

No - this isn't a spelling error, except there should be a space between the last "s" and the "h". It should read Miss Hap P, the name of one of our two young porcupines. 

 

Firstly, the reason it's Miss Hap P is revealed in Photo #3.

 

Secondly, porcupines only breed once a year and that period is between 8 to 12 hours so to have a "mishap" or a "Miss Hap" is simply amazing! (I wonder if porcupines meet on "Tinder"????)

 

All facts aside, this porcupine, I think, is extremely sweet and trust me, she has learnt its lessons well from her mother. Her climbing skills (descending - Photo #4) and ascending (Photo #6) are superb and you may think a porcupine is slow on the ground until you try and capture one on camera. Once a porcupine has "hit ground zero", it moves within the tall dry grass and shrubbery and all you can see is the grass moving, its quills blending in completely. Then if you are fortunate to have gauged correctly which direction it is going, once the porcupine reaches an open area, it quickly heads for the nearest tree (or in this case a favorite tree).

 

This porcupine moved from one tree to another to look for better cover out of the rain shower we were currently experiencing. Yes - she did have sense to come out of the rain! :)

 

PHOTO #1 - "THE BALANCING ACT"

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"A LITTLE MISSHAP"

PHOTO #2 - "BACK DOWN ON ALL FOURS"

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"BRANCHING OUT"

PHOTO #3 - "YES, IT'S A GIRL!"

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"IT'S A GIRL!"

PHOTO #4 - "DESCENDING"

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"IN FULL DESCENT- HURRY, HURRY!"

PHOTO #5 - "COVERING THE GROUND"

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"ONE OF THOSE GROUND SHOTS YOU DREAM OF"

PHOTO #6 - "THE ASCENT"

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"ALMOST TO THE TOP"

PHOTO #7 - "NAP TIME"

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"NAP TIME"

PHOTO #8 - "THE BEST FEELING WHEN YOU REACH THAT ANNOYING ITCH"

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"IT FEELS SO GOOD WHEN YOU FIND THAT ITCHY SPOT!"

PHOTO #9 - "YUM, YUM, YUM!"

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"NUM, NUM, NUM!"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/5/photo-of-the-week---misshap---porcupine-north-american Sun, 09 May 2021 22:51:10 GMT
"RAINY DAYS & OSPREYS" - Osprey (Adult) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/5/-rainy-days-ospreys---osprey-adult "RAINY DAYS & OSPREYS"

Osprey (5 Photos)

 

Well the weather turned from overcast to sleet and then rain into the morning hours.

 

Wasn't expecting to see much in the way of mammal activity (no porcupine in its right mind would venture out during the day in such wet weather) but coming back from a walk along the Bow River, there in a dead tree was this gorgeous osprey with its prize fish. 

 

There were a number of fishermen out fly fishing but unlike those fishermen where it is "catch & release" along this part of the Bow River in Calgary, Alberta, the osprey gets to keep and eat its catch. And what a lovely catch!

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/5/-rainy-days-ospreys---osprey-adult Sat, 08 May 2021 21:43:30 GMT
Photo of the Week - "COLOUR MY WORLD" (Wood Duck - Male) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/5/photo-of-the-week---colour-my-world-wood-duck---male "COLOUR MY WORLD"

Wood Duck (Male) - 7 Photos

 

And now for something completely different.

 

While watching Chewie Porcupine, I happened to look right. Low and behold, just in the little creek, sitting on a log was a male Wood Duck. Two for the price of one.

 

Although the trees are beginning to bud in Calgary, Alberta, the grass and everything is yet to green up so it was wonderful to have such colour on display.

 

PHOTO #1 - "GROOM THOSE GORGEOUS FEATHERS!"

PHOTO #2 - "LOG POSE"

PHOTO #3 - "WALK THE WALK, DUCK!"

PHOTO #4 - "YES, I AM THAT GORGEOUS"

PHOTO #5 - "BOW TO YOUR PARTNER"

PHOTO #6 - "SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE"

PHOTO #7 - "COLOUR MY WORLD"

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/5/photo-of-the-week---colour-my-world-wood-duck---male Sun, 02 May 2021 23:50:30 GMT
"MAMMA MIA - PORCUPINE VERSION" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/4/-mamma-mia---porcupine-version---porcupine-north-american "MAMMA MIA - PORCUPINE VERSION"

Porcupine (North American) - 9 Photos

 

So we have yet another "newbie" in the woods. This very young porcupine appears to be even smaller than Hap P but adorable isn't defined by size. We've assigned him/her the nickname "Little Bo P".

 

2020 must have been a great year for porcupines getting together or we have gotten better at spotting them because I have never seen a young porcupine, let alone two. Both are in extreme close proximity to a large adult porcupine, which would be their mothers. (I have positively identified Hap P's mother as caught her with her tummy exposed and she definitely has the equipment for nursing. But that's a future blog.)

 

The first five photos are of "Little Bo P", gender unknown. The next set of four are of potential candidates for that inevitable question, "Who's the Dad??" The vote is out there. Who do you think is the father of such a loveable porcupine? 

 

(And yes, we have nicknamed all the porcupines that have been spotted.)

 

 

PHOTO #1 - Little Bo P: "I'm Too Cutesy for My Quills"

PHOTO #2 - Little Bo P: S-t-r-e-t-c-h. Check out that little tummy with new fur!

PHOTO #3 - Little Bo P: Against the Wind

PHOTO #4 - Little Bo P: How many people can say they have seen a porcupine's tongue? Yawn!

PHOTO #5 - Little Bo P: Check out that lying down position against Photo #6

 

THE POTENTIAL DADS

 

PHOTO #6 - Is it Swamp P? Named because of his size. He is a monster (though loveable) and a very mature porcupine. Quite the statesman. Little Bo appears to adopt the same posture while sleeping.

 

PHOTO #7- Or is it Fred P? Hmm - the colouring appears to be similar.

 

PHOTO #8 - Or is it Sweet P? Gender unknown. Extremely cute and innocent but looks can be deceiving. And Little Bo P appears to have that similar adorable face.

 

PHOTO #9 - Or is it the Wild Card? An unknown porcupine that has yet to be spotted and named.

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/4/-mamma-mia---porcupine-version---porcupine-north-american Thu, 29 Apr 2021 20:42:18 GMT
Photo of the Week - "SPRING HAS SPRUNG, THE GRASS HAS RIZ ...." - American Bald Eagle https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/4/photo-of-the-week---spring-has-sprung-the-grass-has-riz---american-bald-eagle "SPRING HAS SPRUNG, THE GRASS HAS RIZ ....."

American Bald Eagle - Adult (2 Photos)

 

"Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, I wonder where the birdies is". Well I think this American Bald Eagle is wondering where it is. 

 

The weather in April in Calgary, Alberta is always unpredictable. Temperatures in the high teens Celsius one day and below 0 degrees Celsius with snow the next.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/4/photo-of-the-week---spring-has-sprung-the-grass-has-riz---american-bald-eagle Sun, 25 Apr 2021 01:09:14 GMT
HAP-P EARTH DAY! - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/4/hap-p-earth-day---porcupine-north-american "HAP-P EARTH DAY! - April 22nd, 2021"

 

To celebrate Earth Day, I am posting a photo of a new porcupine arrival to the forest, who has been nicknamed "Hap - P", P as in porcupine but of course, if you put it together - well you know :)

 

This small porcupine turned up on a tree in extreme close proximity to a very large porcupine (who we named Chewy) last week. As porcupines are usually very solitary, except for those 12 hours when mating occurs (yes, 12 hours!), it is unusual to have two porcupines so close together.

 

Rumour has it, that two porcupines,  (Chewy) and a much smaller one were spotted together in her usual denning spot about over a month ago, at dusk.

 

We believe because of this sighting that this small porcupine is Chewy's offspring this year and this may have been one of its first excursions in daytime out in the big wide world!

 

As you can see from the photo, it has a small face, together with small feet and claws compared to Chewy (Photo #2), although there definitely is a family resemblance in its face, quill line, etc. The question on the local porcupines' lips must be, "Who's Dad??"

 

In an event, it appears to be a young porcupine and the latest addition to this area of the park. 

 

PHOTO #1 - "HAP-P"

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"BABY PHOTO OF MISS HAP"

PHOTO #2 - "CHEWY"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/4/hap-p-earth-day---porcupine-north-american Thu, 22 Apr 2021 16:49:41 GMT
"I'M ON THE TOP OF THE WORLD LOOKING DOWN ON CREATION" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/4/-im-on-the-top-of-the-world-looking-down-on-creation---porcupine-north-american "I'M ON THE TOP OF THE WORLD LOOKING DOWN ON CREATION"

Porcupine (North American) - 7 Photos

 

 

To quote that line from "The Carpenters' Song" - "I'm On The Top of the World Looking Down on Creation".

 

This photo shoot took place late one afternoon, drifting into early evening. And it is a continuation of the photo that appeared in the April 13th blog. 

 

When I first arrived, although the porcupine was low down on the tree, it wasn't in the most conducive spot for a clean shot. Then the porcupine took its two front paws and placed them on a higher branch and the rest was well magic for me. The soft light was perfect and it brought out all the definition of the porcupine while minimizing any shadowing. And the subject was, of course in my opinion, a 10 out of 10! 

 

PHOTO #1

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"WILDLIFE AT ITS BEST"

PHOTO #2

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"YUK YUK - THAT'S A GOOD ONE"

PHOTO #3

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"YOU'RE GETTING SLEEPY, VERY SLEEPY"

PHOTO #4

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"USING THAT NOSE TO SNIFF OUT INTRUDERS"

PHOTO #5

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"YAWN"

PHOTO #6

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North AmericanHOW'S THIS FOR A PORCUPINE POSE?"

PHOTO #7

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"A PORCUPINE'S RECLINER"

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/4/-im-on-the-top-of-the-world-looking-down-on-creation---porcupine-north-american Sun, 18 Apr 2021 00:20:05 GMT
Wildlife Wednesday - "A Porcupine's Prayer" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/4/wildlife-wednesday---a-porcupines-prayer---porcupine-north-american "A PORCUPINE'S PRAYER TO MOTHER NATURE"

Porcupine (North American)

 

It was a wonderful experience to catch this porcupine (who has not yet appeared on the website before) early one evening and low down in a tree.

 

At one particular moment, the porcupine appears to be saying its prayer to Mother Nature prior to falling asleep (or perhaps an evening of foraging down from the trees).

 

"Mother Nature, please grant me lots of new green shoots & vegetation so that I can sleep well for the next few days." :)

 

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"A PORCUPINE'S PRAYER TO MOTHER NATURE"

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/4/wildlife-wednesday---a-porcupines-prayer---porcupine-north-american Tue, 13 Apr 2021 16:18:19 GMT
Photo of the Week - "Enchanted Waters" - Beaver https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/4/photo-of-the-week---enchanted-waters---beaver "ENCHANTED WATERS"

Beavers (North American) - 11 Photos

 

Sometimes taking photos in the early part of an evening can produce some magical results, particularly when water is involved.

 

This family of beavers (seven at the last count & a lodge to accommodate such a large family) generally appear in the pond approximately 45 minutes before sunset. This particular evening, the wind was still and it created an almost silk rippling effect as the beavers swam through the water, eating and foraging.

 

We have all heard of frogs being enchanted, well here is a family of enchanted rodents! :)

 

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

PHOTO #8

PHOTO #9

PHOTO #10

PHOTO #11

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/4/photo-of-the-week---enchanted-waters---beaver Sun, 11 Apr 2021 00:48:33 GMT
Photo of the Week - "No - That's Not A Flying Squirrel" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/4/photo-of-the-week---no---thats-not-a-flying-squirrel---porcupine-north-american "NO - THAT'S NOT A FLYING SQUIRREL"

Porcupine (North American) - 5 Photos

 

This porcupine is the same mammal that was featured in the March 26th, 2021 blog - "Bright Eyed & Bushy Tailed". Because of its adorable face and expressions, I have nicknamed it "Sweet P" - "P" as in Porcupine!

 

So there was Sweet P in a tree a little further in from the week before. About 40 minutes in, the porcupine made its move - that backwards crawl, tail facing downward as it began its descent from the tree. It wasn't windy at the time so not certain the rationale for the move.

 

Needless to say, my heart started racing but in any wildlife photoshoot, my primary concern is for the animal's welfare. No shot is worth any stress or any unnecessary expenditure of calories for the animal. A porcupine's eyesight is fairly poor but they do see movement. Their hearing is excellent and their sense of smell is very good as well. So how do you manage to capture a porcupine descending a tree. Well - very very carefully! :)

 

After one miss, I managed to navigate my way round to the back of the tree, which of course is in the shade, to minimize a porcupine's exposure of being seen by predators. Standing a fair distance away from the tree, I caught Sweet P's descent onto the ground. I don't think I will forget the sound of those claws as they caught each step on the way down. From the back, to me it looks like a giant flying squirrel (with quills).

 

He/she then did a left turn and headed for a wood pile (Photo #5).

 

Having found a safe place for nap, I did not expect to see the porcupine exit until dusk but after 45 minutes, it crawled out and leisurely (by porcupine standards) headed back to the original tree, climbed back up and fell sound asleep.  I managed to grab a shot of its stroll (Photo 6). (The glare to the photo is due to the time of day - 12:45 p.m.) Perhaps in the porcupine scheme of things, it needed a "pit stop" which is why it went back up the tree when by this time it was blowing a gale. And believe me, it was in no hurry to make its way back.

 

And that's where I left it, snoozing happily away probably dreaming of new Spring greens.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/4/photo-of-the-week---no---thats-not-a-flying-squirrel---porcupine-north-american Sat, 03 Apr 2021 23:50:08 GMT
Wildlife Wednesday - "Kung Fu Beaver" (Beaver - North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/3/wildlife-wednesday---kung-fu-beaver-beaver---north-american "KUNG FU BEAVER"

Beaver - North American (3 Photos)

 

Believe many people have heard of "Kung Fu Panda". Well this is "Kung Fu Beaver"!

 

Caught this youngster along the edge of the pond, with a very long branch which it was trying to balance for better access for eating, having portaged it across the water. 

 

It occurred to me that it resembled the stick used in some martial arts. Perhaps Kung Fu Panda can join up with Kung Fu Beaver for their own Justice League! :)

 

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/3/wildlife-wednesday---kung-fu-beaver-beaver---north-american Wed, 31 Mar 2021 07:30:00 GMT
Photo of the Week - "Bright Eyed & Bushy Tailed" - Porcupine https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/3/photo-of-the-week---bright-eyed-bushy-tailed---porcupine "BRIGHT EYED & BUSHY TAILED"

Porcupine (North American) - 9 Photos

 

I never thought I would fall in love with a large rodent but this porcupine literally "melted my heart". 

 

I believe this is the same porcupine I photographed in October 2017. I have included the gallery in which he/she appeared of that date.  It is the only opportunity so far that I have had to photograph a porcupine climbing down a tree. (Photo #5 within the Gallery.)  They generally wait until evening or take the back side of a tree to minimize any predation. 

 

https://www.inaturephoto.com/porcupineautumnglory

 

Porcupines in the warmer months can be known to travel up to 1.5 kilometres in search of food. This porcupine and the one that appears in the gallery were photographed in an area less than 350 metres. And no other porcupine could have that "deer in the headlights" look! :) Also, this porcupine & the October 2017 one both have that lighter quill colouring.

 

And as a further note, no porcupines were kept from napping or woken from their sleep in the course of this photography. The photos are not in chronological order. 

 

PHOTO #1 - "Melt My Heart"

PHOTO #2 - "Deer in the Headlights Look"

PHOTO #3 - "Hi Ya!" 

 

PHOTO #4 - "Does This Angle Make My Nose Look Big?"

PHOTO #5 - "Peek-A-Boo - I See You"

PHOTO #6 - "Wide Awake"

 

PHOTO #7 - "One Eye Closed"

PHOTO #8 - "Naptime" 

PHOTO #9 - "High Five!"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/3/photo-of-the-week---bright-eyed-bushy-tailed---porcupine Fri, 26 Mar 2021 07:30:00 GMT
Wildlife Wednesday - A Porcupine Covers Its Nose (Porcupine) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/3/wildlife-wednesday---a-porcupine-covers-its-nose-porcupine "A PORCUPINE COVERS ITS NOSE ...."

Porcupine (North American)

 

Now porcupine, covering your nose does not make you indistinguishable from your surroundings. We can still see you! :)

 

Firstly, it's a myth that Polar Bears cover their noses with their paws while hunting. And in your case, although absolutely adorable, it won't help with your "harvesting".

 

For more exploits of this adorable large rodent, look for the next blog later this week.

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/3/wildlife-wednesday---a-porcupine-covers-its-nose-porcupine Wed, 24 Mar 2021 07:30:00 GMT
Photo of the Week - "WINK WINK, NUDGE NUDGE, SAY NO MORE" - Weasel (Long Tailed) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/3/photo-of-the-week---wink-wink-nudge-nudge-say-no-more---weasel-long-tailed "WINK WINK, NUDGE NUDGE, SAY NO MORE"

Weasel (Long Tailed) - 5 Photos

 

To take that quote from Monty Python: Wink wind, Nudge nudge, say no more!

 

Managed to catch the little weasel in the meadow. It may have had something to do in that she (believe it is a "she") was looking into the sun and couldn't see clearly but as I was taking my shots, I actually had time to think that "wow, this little weasel is hanging out with me for a long time". I honestly thought it was at least 10 minutes or more which in weasel time is extremely long. When I checked the duration of shots taken on the camera, it was just over 2 minutes in total. Time certainly seems to stand still when you are in the moment.

 

And for once, the weasel blinked/winked before I did. (Photo #1)

 

That "dirty/smudgy" look is not due to melting snow & mud, it is actually the commencement of the weasel's transformation to its summer coat. The pinkish/reddish back feet colouring, however, are most likely the result of "having a vole friend for dinner" (to put a twist on that infamous quote of Hannibal Lecter's in "Silence of the Lambs")! :) :) 

 

Hopefully, I will be able to catch up with this amazing mustelid as its coat colouring progresses into the coming months.

 

"WINK WINK"

 

PHOTO #1

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"WINK WINK"

PHOTO #2

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"THAT WEASEL SMILE"

 

"NUDGE NUDGE"

 

PHOTO #3

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"NUDGE, NUDGE"

 

"SAY NO MORE"

 

PHOTO #4

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"WHY THIS MUSTELID IS CALLED A 'LONG TAILED' WEASEL"

PHOTO #5

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"SAY NO MORE"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/3/photo-of-the-week---wink-wink-nudge-nudge-say-no-more---weasel-long-tailed Thu, 18 Mar 2021 16:45:44 GMT
Wildlife Wednesday - "RETURN OF THE BEAVERS" - Beaver (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/3/wildlife-wednesday---return-of-the-beavers---beaver-north-american "RETURN OF THE BEAVERS"

Beaver (North American) - 3 Photos

 

This beaver family lives on a rather large almost circular pond, in a lodge that if it gets any larger, the beavers will need to apply to the City of Calgary for planning permission.

 

The pond has been ice covered until recently. Now about one-third of the edge has melted, about 3 to 4 feet away from the land's edge. 

 

I took a chance last evening to see if there was any beaver activity. Normally, when the pond is completely free of ice, it is difficult to see the beavers as they navigate their way across the pond, out and into the nearby channel system. Because of the melting edge, I was able to see three beavers.

 

Two of the beavers appeared to be immature ones, probably not more than just over a year old. The third one was more mature and larger and was the only one to actually go up onto the grassy edge to collect material for the beavers' underwater pantry. (See Photo #3)

 

The two young beavers, for the most part, stayed close together, swimming, diving and then resurfacing. However, every so often they would slap their tails and dive into the water. On one of the early instances, they had resurfaced close to me (of which I was unaware), slapped the water hard and then disappeared. I couldn't help but almost jump at the sudden slaps. 

 

At first, I thought they had spotted me but as they repeated this exercise several times, I noticed that they always did it with their tails close to the sludgy soft ice edge and their bodies facing outward. What, I believe, they were doing was working to break up the ice edge and flow and increase the free flowing water of the pond, which would allow them more freedom from the shore.

 

And as you will see from Photo #3, beavers never make it easy on themselves. It had to try for that top part of the sedges and rushes. It eventually managed to grab the grasses and disappeared down under the ice, to that underwater pantry.

 

I have another beaver family to check out. This lodge was flooded out in Calgary's big flood in 2013. I have noticed, however, there has been "new build" in the area. Hopefully, this will be the first of many photos of these busy creatures to come.

 

PHOTO #1 - "Approaching the Icy Edge"

PHOTO #2 - "Another Successful Tail Slap Completed"

PHOTO #3 - "Almost There!"

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/3/wildlife-wednesday---return-of-the-beavers---beaver-north-american Wed, 17 Mar 2021 21:06:14 GMT
Photo of the Week - "THE JOY OF FREEWILL" - Coyote (North America) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/3/photo-of-the-week---the-joy-of-freewill---coyote-north-america "THE JOY OF FREEWILL"

Coyote - 9 Photos

 

A few more photos of one of several sightings of this beautiful coyote. 

 

On my last Tweet for this coyote, in which I included the link to the blog "See Spot Run", I received the following reply from Coyote Watch Canada, which put into words my emotions surrounding this amazing canid. Their reply was as follows:

 

"The joy of freewill, movement  and universal connection". I can't think of a better description of the coyote.

 

PLEASE NOTE:  ALL PHOTOS TAKEN FROM A SAFE DISTANCE

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

PHOTO #8

PHOTO #9

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/3/photo-of-the-week---the-joy-of-freewill---coyote-north-america Fri, 12 Mar 2021 08:30:00 GMT
Wildlife Wednesday - "It Was Rather a Blustery Day" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/3/wildlife-wednesday---it-was-rather-a-blustery-day---porcupine-north-american "IT WAS RATHER A BLUSTERY DAY"

Porcupine (North American) - 7 Photos

 

To quote from a scene from "Winnie The Pooh" - It was rather a blustery day.

 

And in keeping with that theme, I would like to nickname this porcupine "Winnie". Unlike the two other porcupines I have watched and photographed, this one doesn't seem to mind windy conditions. In fact, other than moving to a branch out of the gusts, it went back to its porcupine slumber.  And because of its move to behind the tree trunk, I also moved to catch him at his antics and much to my surprise, it was also out of the wind and much much warmer. Yes, porcupines are, indeed, smarter than humans in this case.

 

His puffed up look is due only to the extreme windy conditions (almost howling) and not to any disturbance. I went out the next day, bright and sunny and much warmer and there was "Winnie" in the same initial spot and I can safely say that for the next four hours, except for a twitch or two, he didn't move once. Sometimes inclement weather can play into your favour.

 

And check out those foot pads and claws, most visible in Photo #4. 

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/3/wildlife-wednesday---it-was-rather-a-blustery-day---porcupine-north-american Wed, 10 Mar 2021 08:30:00 GMT
Photo of the Week - "SEE SPOT RUN" - Coyote https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/3/photo-of-the-week---see-spot-run---coyote "SEE SPOT RUN"

Coyote (5 Photos)

 

No need to panic, here. Just a coyote on the move. (Wonder if anyone out there remembers the primary readers for children highlighting the brother & sister "Dick & Jane" and their dog "Spot".)

 

Even at a trot, the coyote covers the ground effortlessly. It doesn't appear to be going at any speed but that consistent pace takes it easily across the snowy terrain.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/3/photo-of-the-week---see-spot-run---coyote Fri, 05 Mar 2021 08:30:00 GMT
Wildlife Wednesday - "Morning Has Broken" - American Bald Eagle https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/3/wildlife-wednesday---morning-has-broken---american-bald-eagle "MORNING HAS BROKEN"

American Bald Eagle (Immature) - 8 Photos

 

Just like the song, "Morning Has Broken" by Cat Stevens, morning had broken just like the first morning for this almost mature American Bald Eagle.  And well, then morning got broken. Perhaps, a subtitle for this blog could have been "When A Young Eagle Has a Bad Day".

 

It was initially perched in one tree (See Photo #2) in all its glory and then decided to fly to another tree just across the creek. Big mistake. A very short time later, first one magpie appeared and then sometime thereafter a second one. 

 

The first magpie was bold as brass coming in closer and closer to the eagle. The second magpie decided to take the "coaching" role, egging its cohort along, never getting into the thick of it.

 

As you will see from the photographs, that magpie mobbed the poor eagle again and again. Eventually, the eagle flew to the end of the branch, trying to avoid confrontation. Eventually the eagle flew to another tree where it was followed by both magpies and then flew off again for distant skies.

 

Now some adult eagle needs to have a chat with this one and remind it that it is a "Bird of Prey", "of" being the operative word here! :)

 

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

PHOTO #8

PHOTO #9

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/3/wildlife-wednesday---morning-has-broken---american-bald-eagle Wed, 03 Mar 2021 00:30:01 GMT
Photo of the Week - "Hidden Shadows" - Coyote https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/2/photo-of-the-week---hidden-shadows---coyote "HIDDEN SHADOWS"

Coyote - 5 Photos

 

One of my photography wishes is to some day see a wolf in the wild. Until then, I have this amazing and stunning cousin of the wolf to fulfill my dreams. 

 

As an aside, another name for the coyote is the "American Jackal". As you can see from that marking just at its shoulder, it does resemble the jackal found in Africa, etc. And from the photos, it is evident that the coyote is indeed a master of disguise, blending into its surroundings.

 

Caught the coyote this morning as he/she was hunting for voles, which resulted in a furry face of snow and subsequently a bit of head shaking, which may not be too dignified but certainly adds to that doglike look. 

 

You just have to love that face!

 

Note: All photos taken from a safe distance.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/2/photo-of-the-week---hidden-shadows---coyote Sun, 28 Feb 2021 02:57:18 GMT
Photo of the Week - "WOODLAND CREATURE" - Part 2 - Coyote https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/2/photo-of-the-week---woodland-creature---part-2---coyote "WOODLAND CREATURE - Part 2"

Coyote (4 Photos)

 

Hope everyone likes coyotes as much as I do because there will be a few more blogs highlighting this beautiful creature.

 

During that fabulous tag along with this coyote, he took some time out to pause and pose for some photos.

 

PLEASE NOTE: ALL PHOTOS TAKEN FROM A SAFE DISTANCE

 

PHOTO #1 - "ONE FOOT IN"

CoyoteCoyote"ONE FOOT IN"

PHOTO #2 - "ONE FOOT OUT"

CoyoteCoyote"ONE FOOT OUT"

PHOTO #3 - "SMILE! - Gee Granny, What Big Teeth You Have!"

CoyoteCoyote"SMILE - GEE GRANNY, WHAT BIG TEETH YOU HAVE!"

PHOTO #4 - "LA-LA-LA"

CoyoteCoyote"LA-LA-LA"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/2/photo-of-the-week---woodland-creature---part-2---coyote Sun, 21 Feb 2021 23:05:24 GMT
Photo of the Week - Part 1 - "WOODLAND CREATURE" - Coyote https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/2/photo-of-the-week---part-1---woodland-creature---coyote "WOODLAND CREATURE"

Coyote (4 Photos)

 

One doesn't often get an opportunity like this.

 

It had been very windy the day before which perhaps, had made hunting difficult that day for this stunning coyote. Today, he kept his distance but seemed intent on catching prey so didn't seem to mind a tag along on his track around the woods. 

 

It is so wonderful to see such a "woodland creature" so healthy and at home in its environment.

 

PHOTO #1

CoyoteCoyote"HUNTING IN THE WOODS"

PHOTO #2

CoyoteCoyote"COMING OUT OF THE GULLY"

PHOTO #3

CoyoteCoyote"ON TRACK"

PHOTO #4

CoyoteCoyote"EXITING THE WOODLANDS"

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/2/photo-of-the-week---part-1---woodland-creature---coyote Sun, 21 Feb 2021 01:11:32 GMT
Photo of the Week - "Flights of Fantasy" - American Bald Eagle (Adult) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/2/photo-of-the-week---flights-of-fantasy---american-bald-eagle-adult "FLIGHTS OF FANTASY"

American Bald Eagle (Adult) - 9 Photos

 

Has anyone else had this experience? Whereby when you have taken a shot (in this case an eagle in flight) and you can't believe the camera has caught it in such detail and sharpness.

 

This blog is about two eagles.

 

The first was an eagle that landed some distance away on a small island and upstream from a group of swans I was watching. I knew there was no point in attempting to approach the eagle but kept an eye on it. Eventually it flew and much to my surprise, it headed towards me downstream along the channel where I sat across from the swans. It flew past me and landed in a tree a little ways downstream.

 

I only wish I had recorded the sounds coming from the waterfowl, a mixture of ducks, geese & swans as the eagle flew over the water. It was quite a symphony of honking, quacking, trumpeting, etc. as they all recognized that this eagle meant business. (See Photo #3.) Well, it obviously didn't see anything it wanted from the "lunch menu" although there were a couple of solitary Goldeneyes. It then eventually flew off further south.

 

The second eagle I approached from some distance. It kindly stayed posed in a tree and waited until I arrived before flying off. It then did a lovely banked manoeuvre which allowed for some great captures.

 

Both flights captured digitally seem almost surreal. Now if only I can remember going forward how I achieved the shots. 

 

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

PHOTO #8

PHOTO #9

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/2/photo-of-the-week---flights-of-fantasy---american-bald-eagle-adult Sun, 14 Feb 2021 22:46:01 GMT
"YOU KNOW IT'S COLD WHEN - " - Trumpeter Swan & Muskrat https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/2/-you-know-its-cold-when-----trumpeter-swan-muskrat "YOU KNOW IT'S COLD WHEN ....... "

Trumpeter Swan (Adult) & Muskrat (3 Photos)

 

I can usually tolerate most temperatures outside but at -29 degrees C with a wind chill factor of -41 degrees C, even I was pushed to the limit. Managed to capture a few shots of the overwintering Trumpeter Swans, who being birds that come down from the far North and the Arctic, probably find these temperatures beach weather.

 

However, the adult swan, in particular, looked more like an ice sculpture than a feathered creature.

 

And the muskrat, well it kept swimming upstream against the current. Eventually, it decided to take the quick way home and caught a ride on some floating ice. It was quite amusing at it floated by on its little "ice boat".

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

 

PHOTO #3

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/2/-you-know-its-cold-when-----trumpeter-swan-muskrat Fri, 12 Feb 2021 22:47:30 GMT
Photo of the Week - "LIFE BELOW ZERO" (North American Porcupine) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/2/photo-of-the-week---life-below-zero-north-american-porcupine "LIFE BELOW ZERO"

North American Porcupine - 6 Photos

 

Well I had someone else in mind for Photo of the Week and then this mammal appeared this afternoon. I caught him (let's call this porcupine a "him" for now) as he was ascending a tree, getting close to the top. 

 

Other than his absolute cuteness, he deserves Photo of the Week. It took a lot of work to get to where he was going and oh my, you could just kiss that little snowy porcupine face. He didn't seem to be perturbed by the snow or the temperature. As you can see from the photos, the sky is a stunning blue but with those clear skies came temperatures of -32 degrees C with the wind chill factor.

 

Just call him "Frosty"!

 

PHOTO #1

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"FROSTY, THE PORCUPINE WAS A VERY HAPPY SOUL"

PHOTO #2

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"ONE MORE RUNG ON THE TREE LADDER TO GO"

PHOTO #3

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"WHAT? I CAN'T HEAR - I HAVE SNOW IN MY EARS!"

PHOTO #4

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"A PORCUPINE LADDER"

PHOTO #5

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"I'M TIRED"

PHOTO #6

 

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"REST STOP"

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/2/photo-of-the-week---life-below-zero-north-american-porcupine Mon, 08 Feb 2021 00:21:53 GMT
"JUST WHO ARE YOU CALLING BALDY!" - American Bald Eagle (Adult) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/2/-just-who-are-you-calling-baldy---american-bald-eagle-adult "JUST WHO ARE YOU CALLING BALDY!"

American Bald Eagle (Adult) - 7 Photos

 

It can be somewhat unnerving when you can get this close to an American Bald Eagle. This one particularly looks like "Grumpy Pants" but the fact that it posed in this dead tree for quite a while, I think it enjoyed its "tough bird" look and was fairly relaxed.

 

It stayed for some time while it gave me its "pumped" look and then flew downstream to hopefully find a great duck or fish dinner.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/2/-just-who-are-you-calling-baldy---american-bald-eagle-adult Sat, 06 Feb 2021 00:11:58 GMT
"THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE" - Coyote https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/1/-the-truth-is-out-there---coyote "THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE"

Coyote

 

This probably won't be an all time favourite of the photos I have taken of coyotes but I thought its sighting might help demonstrate why the rule of "All Dogs Must be Leashed" exists in Alberta's Provincial Parks.

 

It was 2:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon and I was sitting on the other side of the creek, (right of the coyote)  not much more than 60 yards away as the coyote took a route through the shrubbery and thicket and then south, following a path through the densest part of the grasses near the creek. 

 

I would have preferred a straight ahead look from the coyote but I think it was keeping its eyes on the snowy path to its left. The wind was coming towards the coyote and me and because I was motionless & silent, it didn't even glance my way. And it was on a mission by the amount of ground it was covering with that effortless trot, probably back home.

 

Not more than 15 minutes earlier from the appearance of the coyote and then not more than 10 minutes after it had moved on,  there were individuals walking with children and dogs and some individuals walking just with dogs on that used snowy path.  At least one set had their dog off leash. No one had spotted it and the dogs were totally unaware.

 

The coyote, however, was taking the "high ground" and was keeping an eye out in order to avoid any confrontations. There was never a second where it showed any intent other than heading home.

 

A few seconds either way and there may have been an "incident", with off leash dogs and in no way, would it have been the fault of the coyote. This is its home. We are only visitors in these parks and that includes pets. 

 

For the safety of the dogs, people and the coyote, please keep your dogs on leash when visiting the parks. It's not a matter of following the rules, it is respecting the wildlife in their natural environment so that we may all enjoy Nature.

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/1/-the-truth-is-out-there---coyote Mon, 01 Feb 2021 01:07:12 GMT
Photo of the Week - The Polar Bear Swim - Beaver (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/1/photo-of-the-week---the-polar-bear-swim---beaver-north-american "THE POLAR BEAR SWIM"

Beaver (North American) - 3 Photos

 

No, it's the other iconic Canadian mammal - the beaver!

 

Was watching the Trumpeter Swans near the Bow River in Calgary, Alberta, when a dark shape appeared on the surface of the water, off to my right.

 

At first glance, I thought "muskrat" as I have seen them there before but somehow the wave created by the swimming wasn't quite right. Well, it dove under the water and disappeared.

 

Fifteen minutes passed and then close to my right, up popped the beaver. I know they have a lodge nearby but to see one in the icy waters close to noon was the highlight of the day (sorry swans). He/She didn't stay long and then back underwater and when it resurfaced the second time, it was heading downstream quite a distance away.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/1/photo-of-the-week---the-polar-bear-swim---beaver-north-american Sat, 30 Jan 2021 08:00:00 GMT
"FROZEN" - Trumpeter Swans https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/1/-frozen---trumpeter-swans "FROZEN"

Trumpeter Swans (6 Photos)

 

With a wind chill factor of -20 degrees C and a lacy addition of hoar frost on the trees and shrubs, these overwintering Trumpeter Swans were spending their morning, feeding and washing & grooming their feathers to remove the icy build-up. (And yes that is floating ice in the water!)

Interestingly, there were a large number of Canada Geese just upstream but they had chosen to sleep in on the ice edge. By the time, they had hit the water, the swans had gotten up, "washed & dressed", eaten breakfast and had "gone back to bed". In this case, to the early bird go the spoils!

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

 

PHOTO #6

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/1/-frozen---trumpeter-swans Fri, 29 Jan 2021 08:30:00 GMT
Photo of the Week - "PYJAMA PARTY" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/1/photo-of-the-week---pyjama-party---porcupine-north-american "PYJAMA PARTY"

Porcupine (North American) - 6 Photos

 

If porcupines could change into pyjamas, this one certainly would. He/She is one sleepy (semi-hibernating) porcupine. The photos were taken over two sessions. Never had a porcupine who likes to cozy up to a branch for two weekends in a row, same branch, same spot. And I believe it has been there all week.

 

And if you ever want to chill out (and I don't mean be outside in Below Zero temperatures), sit close to a tree where a porcupine is sleeping. There must be something in their relaxed energy as they nap in the sun.

 

PHOTO #1 - "Hey Down There!"

PHOTO #2 - "I'm Awake"

PHOTO #3 - "Can You See Me Now?"

PHOTO #4 - "Porcupine Pin-up"

PHOTO #5 - "Oh, Oh - I've Got That Itchy Spot"

PHOTO #6 - "Sometimes Porcupines Remind Me of a Pekinese Dog"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/1/photo-of-the-week---pyjama-party---porcupine-north-american Sat, 23 Jan 2021 23:34:33 GMT
Photo of the Week - "Snow Day" - Long Tailed Weasel https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/1/photo-of-the-week---snow-day---long-tailed-weasel "SNOW DAY"

Long Tailed Weasel - 6 Photos

 

The second half of the session from last weekend, these having been taken in the shade. Perhaps, not so much "portrait" as "snow day". 

 

I recently had some puzzles made from a few mammal photos for family members, as Christmas gifts. Am thinking that puzzles from these photos (being white on white on white with a tiny pink nose & ears) might cause some frustration and not such a great choice for Christmas 2021! :)

 

And yes, check out the last photo, Photo #6.  Have always thought this is what happens behind my back when I'm not looking or perhaps it's a comment on my technique! I suppose one could add "a little pink tongue" to the list above.

 

PHOTO #1

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"SNOW SLOPE"

PHOTO #2

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"RELAXING IN THE SNOW"

PHOTO #3

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"MADE YOU BLINK"

PHOTO #4

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"MOVING ON DOWN"

PHOTO #5

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"POP UP"

PHOTO #6

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"IS THAT YOUR FINAL COMMENT, WEASEL??"
 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/1/photo-of-the-week---snow-day---long-tailed-weasel Mon, 18 Jan 2021 22:24:57 GMT
Photo of the Week - The Weasel Portrait Studio (Long Tailed Weasel) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/1/photo-of-the-week---the-weasel-portrait-studio-long-tailed-weasel "THE WEASEL PORTRAIT STUDIO"

Weasel (Long Tailed) - 5 Photos

 

When you have just the right components, Nature provides her own portrait studio. (I think this may be the same young weasel caught this summer, now in his bright white winter coat. Same hunting area & he certainly has that fresh face & ears look!)

 

1. An adorable subject;

2. Beautiful natural light;

3. A backdrop that accents the subject (in this case, some very dark fallen tree trunks to contrast with the snow and ice);

4. A trick of the lighting (or perhaps it was frost or snow) that truly brings the subject to "superstar model" status. (Check out Photos 4 & 5 (which is a cropped format). Are those really "stars in the eyes & nose"? I always knew this weasel was star material! :) 

 

PHOTO #1

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"WHO ARE YOU CALLING ADORABLE?"

 

PHOTO #2

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"THE WEASEL PORTRAIT STUDIO"

PHOTO #3

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"SQUINT"

PHOTO #4

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"STARS IN OUR EYES (AND ON OUR NOSE)"

PHOTO #5

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"STAR MATERIAL"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/1/photo-of-the-week---the-weasel-portrait-studio-long-tailed-weasel Sun, 10 Jan 2021 23:24:14 GMT
"WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING " - Great Horned Owl https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/1/-while-you-were-sleeping---great-horned-owl "WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING"

Great Horned Owl (3 Photos)

 

 

While you were sleeping, Great Horned Owl, Nature kissed you with the morning hoar frost. 

 

A definition of hoar frost is a grayish-white crystalline deposit of frozen water vapour formed in clear still weather on vegetation, fences, etc. and YES, SOMETIMES AN OWL, who having finished a night's hunting, fell asleep in a tree.

 

The frost does present some spectacular landscape opportunities for photography but I don't think this Great Horned was impressed as it woke up. The morning sunshine gently melted the frost and warmed up its wings. It was able to fly to a nearby branch and by the afternoon, it was back grooming its beautiful feathers.

 

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/1/-while-you-were-sleeping---great-horned-owl Sun, 10 Jan 2021 00:18:16 GMT
Muskrat Bliss - Muskrat https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/1/muskrat-bliss---muskrat "MUSKRATTY"

Muskrat - 7 Photos

 

Muskrats are large rodents and related to mice, lemmings and voles.

 

This adorable creature (well, I think it's adorable) reminded me of "Ratty" in the book "The Wind in the Willows" (who was supposed to be a water vole.)

 

To quote Ratty & Kenneth Grahame, who wrote "The Wind in the Willows:; "Beyond the Wild Wood comes the Wild World."

 

PHOTO #1

Muskrat (North American)Muskrat (North American)"NO, NOT A CARROT STICK"

PHOTO #2

Muskrat (North American)Muskrat (North American)"WHAT BIG ORANGE TEETH YOU HAVE"

PHOTO #3

Muskrat (North American)Muskrat (North American)"A LITTLE GRACE"

PHOTO #4

Muskrat (North American)Muskrat (North American)"PAUSE FOR A POSE"

PHOTO #5

Muskrat (North American)Muskrat (North American)"GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN ITS HANDS!"

PHOTO #6

Muskrat (North American)Muskrat (North American)"WHAT BIG NAILS YOU HAVE FOR DIGGING!"

PHOTO #7

Muskrat (North American)Muskrat (North American)"Numm, numm, ....."

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/1/muskrat-bliss---muskrat Sun, 03 Jan 2021 00:37:14 GMT
Photo of the Week - "LOVE ACTUALLY" - Bald Eagles (Adults) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/1/photo-of-the-week---love-actually---bald-eagles-adults "LOVE ACTUALLY"

American Bald Eagles (Adults) - 7 Photos

 

American Bald Eagles apparently seek out a mate or re-confirm their commitment to each other around this time of the year. They mate for life.

 

I was fortunate to catch up with this pair after they had successfully chased off a third adult. Having said "fortunate", it did entail tramping through some deep snow, crossing a creek and then re-crossing the creek as they moved to a better tree.

 

I followed the chattering to the "pairing" tree where they stayed for over twenty-five minutes. The male (the smaller bird) was in the higher branch with the female (the larger bird) taking the lower perch. It was Romeo and Juliet but with Romeo in the balcony and Juliet in the "courtyard". The female constantly was on watch looking up and around and keeping a close watch on the skies.

 

Twenty minutes in, they turned and looked at each other and began an intense eagle conversation which lasted 10 minutes. As you can see from the photos, there was a great deal of eye contact and each eagle, "crowing" upwards. At the end, the male flew off first (maybe to seek out a duck dinner to complete the evening) and the female shortly thereafter.

 

It was a privilege to have a window into such an intimate moment in the lives of two large birds of prey. And will be forever grateful to be granted such an opportunity.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/1/photo-of-the-week---love-actually---bald-eagles-adults Fri, 01 Jan 2021 23:49:43 GMT
"TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS" - Weasel (Long Tailed) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/12/-twas-the-night-before-christmas---weasel-long-tailed "TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS"

 

or perhaps

"THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS "

Weasel (Long Tailed)

 

'Twas the Night Before Christmas, when all through the house. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;" (Clement Clarke Moore)

 

"SAY WHAT!!!!! THAT BETTER NOT BE TRUE!"

Perhaps, a weasel's worst nightmare.  

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"FROM OUT OF THE SHADOWS"

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/12/-twas-the-night-before-christmas---weasel-long-tailed Thu, 24 Dec 2020 08:30:00 GMT
Photo of the Week - Part 2/2 - "YOUNG THUNDERBIRDS" - Bald Eagle (Immature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/12/photo-of-the-week---part-2/2---young-thunderbirds---bald-eagle-immature "YOUNG THUNDERBIRDS" - Part 2/2

American Bald Eagle (Immature) - 5 Photos

 

Some final photos of the youngest eagle and its departures & flights. Will never tire of seeing these magnificent birds take to the skies and cruise the river in search of food. Winter in Calgary, Alberta, Canada may bring cold weather & snow but its onset also brings more American Bald Eagles to the area.

 

Have included the link below for the previous blog, which was Part 1.

https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/12/photo-of-the-week---part-1/2---young-thunderbirds---bald-eagles-immature

 

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/12/photo-of-the-week---part-2/2---young-thunderbirds---bald-eagle-immature Mon, 21 Dec 2020 02:25:13 GMT
Photo of the Week - Part 1/2 - "YOUNG THUNDERBIRDS" - Bald Eagles (Immature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/12/photo-of-the-week---part-1/2---young-thunderbirds---bald-eagles-immature "YOUNG THUNDERBIRDS"

Part 1/2

American Bald Eagles (Immature) - 6 Photos

 

The Thunderbird is a legendary creature found in some North American indigenous peoples' mythology. It is usually attributed to a very strong spirit taking the form of a large bird.

 

These young eagles may not be mythical but they certainly "own the sky" when they take flight.

 

There were probably three in total chasing each other and landing in trees. Occasionally one would land on the very far side of the river where there appeared to be the carcass of a small waterfowl. 

 

There is a distinct difference in feathering between the two I managed to capture. One appears to be older perhaps by a year. You can see one has more "ragged" feathers in its tail feathers, probably a youngster hatched this year. And being the less mature, was the one that was more tolerant of a photographer watching and waiting for its departure from its perches. 

 

Photos 1 to 4 are of the younger immature eagle. Photos 5 and 6 are of the older one.

 

The day presented its own challenges with overcast skies and flat light due to a Chinook front, with occasional sun peering through from the bottom of the cloud layer.

 

To to continued tomorrow:

 

 

PHOTO #1 

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/12/photo-of-the-week---part-1/2---young-thunderbirds---bald-eagles-immature Sat, 19 Dec 2020 23:50:11 GMT
Photo of the Week - "A LITTLE NOSTAGLIA" - Grizzly Bears (Adult & Cub) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/12/photo-of-the-week---a-little-nostaglia---grizzly-bears-adult-cub "A LITTLE NOSTALGIA"

Grizzly Bears (Adult & Cub) - 3 Photos

(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 

A little nostalgia for a cold overcast Winter day in Calgary, Alberta, CA. The photos were taken in September 2020.

 

I would think that this Mother Grizzly (who I have nicknamed Mountain Mamma) and this cub, along with its  two siblings, are now hopefully stocked up on body fat and are fast asleep in their mountain den.

 

The cubs will be over two years ago when they emerge in Spring so this may be their last cozy sleep with their mother.

 

You might want to take a close look at "Mountain Mamma's" eyes in Photo #2. So soft and yet alert. Don't think in this instance, her eyes are "bigger than her stomach" as she spies the berries within some shrubbery.

 

 

Note: ALL PHOTOS TAKEN FROM A SAFE DISTANCE & LOCATION.

 

PHOTO #1

Grizzly Bear - JuvenileGrizzly Bear - Juvenile"LOOK OUT - HERE I COME!"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #2

Grizzly Bear - AdultGrizzly Bear - Adult"FRUIT STAND"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #3

Grizzly Bear - Adult & JuvenileGrizzly Bear - Adult & Juvenile"MUM WITH CUB IN TOW"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/12/photo-of-the-week---a-little-nostaglia---grizzly-bears-adult-cub Sun, 13 Dec 2020 17:57:32 GMT
"Waiting in The Wings" -Trumpeter Swans (Immature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/12/-waiting-in-the-wings--trumpeter-swans-immature "Waiting in the Wings"

Trumpeter Swans (Immature) - 6 Photos

 

 

"Waiting in the Wings" can be related to the fact that stage actors wait in the wings at the side of the stage until it's time for them to play their part in the drama. 

 

Thought that was a good description of these young swan siblings on their first migration south.

 

They were accompanied by one parent at the time and watching them one early morning, it became apparent through their parent's vocalizations that it would call them in to groom and then finally, after some time, getting them into formation for their take-off together. (That splashing at the left of the last photo is the adult's.)

 

And yes, there was sibling rivalry. A little of biting each other's feathers and teasing each other. In Photo #5, the youngster does not seem very impressed with its sibling's display of feathers! Yep, I've got a set of those myself. No dressing to impress here.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/12/-waiting-in-the-wings--trumpeter-swans-immature Sat, 12 Dec 2020 18:38:44 GMT
Photo of the Week - "Shadow Play" - Weasel (Long Tailed) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/12/photo-of-the-week---shadow-play---weasel-long-tailed "SHADOW PLAY"

Weasel (Long Tailed) - 3 Photos

 

Little weasel had retreated into the shade with a grove of shrubbery & trees so it made clear shots a little difficult.

 

However, as she kindly waited to have her portrait taken and what she had accomplished in the minutes prior, I felt this young weasel deserved "Photo of the Week".

 

Had been a little concerned in that in the time I have seen her over that last couple of weeks, I had seen a lot of hunting but no results. However, today she made her mother proud. The "little darling" had weaseled her way passed me, came out with a rodent and made a dash through the grass with her catch. Not my best catch but certainly the weasel's. Check out Photo #3 and the size of the rodent against the weasel's head.

 

I assume she had stashed her catch and to quote that old Southern saying, "She looked as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs"! :) 

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/12/photo-of-the-week---shadow-play---weasel-long-tailed Sun, 06 Dec 2020 23:56:40 GMT
"DAWN PATROL" - Weasel (Long Tailed) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/12/-dawn-patrol---weasel-long-tailed "DAWN PATROL"

Weasel (Long Tailed) - 2 Photos

 

While out foraging the landscape, sometimes it's only seconds that the weasel will pause long enough for a couple of shots with the camera and then off it goes again, usually through undergrowth.

 

I have read that the cheetah has the designation of the fastest land mammal. Well the authorities have never tried to follow a weasel while it runs through woodland looking for its next meal :) !

 

PHOTO #1

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"HUNTING WITHIN THE FALLEN TREES"

PHOTO #2

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU WILL FIND ON TREES!"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/12/-dawn-patrol---weasel-long-tailed Thu, 03 Dec 2020 17:36:39 GMT
Photo of the Week - "Nature's Metamorphosis" - Weasel (Long Tailed) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/11/photo-of-the-week---natures-metamorphosis---weasel-long-tailed "NATURE'S METAMORPHOSIS"

Weasel (Long Tailed) - 5 Photos

 

Was thrilled to capture this young weasel hunting in the woods. Had seen lots of tracks for sometime but no mammal. It appears young from its hunting technique so perhaps this year's offspring.

 

Nature's metamorphosis of the weasel's fur coat from Spring/Summer to Autumn/Winter is amazing if not magical. The first four are the recent photos. I have included a shot of a young weasel (same species) taken this August. The transformation is astounding.

 

Some years ago, I met a couple while viewing a Great Horned Owl (adult) in a tree. They had inquired as to the species and when I responded with "Great Horned Owl", they said it couldn't be as Great Horned Owls were brown, almost dark brown. This one was more gray & silver. Now I am a wildlife photographer and do not call myself a birder but I do know a Great Horned Owl when I see one, particularly close up. I asked them where they came from and they replied - Ontario.

 

In the Calgary area and vicinity, our trees are birch, etc. and more gray and silver in colour. Trees in Eastern Canada are generally Maple & Oak, more of a dark brown hue. So Nature in her wisdom, adapts the species to its surroundings. 

 

So as long as we don't experience any serious Chinook winds which will melt the snow, this little predator can remain camouflaged as its pursues its prey. But like our Jack Rabbit whose coat also turns to white come Winter, if that snows disappears, all will be revealed.

 

PHOTO #1

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"WHAT WAS THAT?"

PHOTO #2

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"YOU TALKING TO ME!?"

PHOTO #3

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"BACK TO WORK"

PHOTO #4

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"LOOKING DOWN THAT WEASEL NOSE INTO THE TRUNK CAVITY"

PHOTO #5

 

 

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/11/photo-of-the-week---natures-metamorphosis---weasel-long-tailed Sat, 28 Nov 2020 22:17:58 GMT
"DUCK!!" - American Bald Eagle (Juvenile) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/11/-duck---american-bald-eagle-juvenile "DUCK!!!"

American Bald Eagle (Juvenile)

 

Sometimes it just takes one shot to convey a moment! This young juvenile was sitting in a tree for the longest time (and I mean the longest time) surveying the river and watching the abundance of geese and ducks.

 

Eventually it flew and then dived. The light was flat and it was a downward shot. One of those you dread looking at the display on the camera to see if you got it slightly right. 

 

Nature was with me. Interestingly the geese didn't seem too surprised. It was sort of "Duck!" and the one far right of the shot with its head up - saying "that's not a duck"! (No silly the verb not the noun.)

 

After this swoop attempt, the youngster landed in a tree on the other side of the river. Shortly thereafter, an adult showed up. It must have been a parent because the two had a bit of a friendly "eagle" chatter before the adult flew upstream (and away from the camera - darn). Perhaps the conversation was along the lines - "Good try but as this is your first Winter, next time try for something a little smaller and perhaps not too lively!"

 

Digital photography is so wonderful. Having shot with a 35mm camera early on, one should remember - just shoot, nothing ventured, nothing gained. It's almost unlimited space on the camera and immediate satisfaction.

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/11/-duck---american-bald-eagle-juvenile Mon, 23 Nov 2020 17:41:57 GMT
Photo of the Week - "Tis The Season" - American Bald Eagle (Juvenile & Adult) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/11/photo-of-the-week---tis-the-season---american-bald-eagle-juvenile-adult "TIS THE SEASON"

American Bald Eagle (Juvenile & Adult) - 6 Photos

 

No - not that season :) ! It's late November drawing into early December - that magical time of the year when American Bald Eagles migrating south from Alaska and Northern Canada arrive in Calgary, many of whom decide to spend their winter here.

 

As the Bow River in Calgary remains partly open during the Winter, fish can still be caught. And because of the open waters, hundreds of Canada Geese & various ducks remain here as well, rather than do a long migration, making for some waterfowl meals.

 

For the waterfowl, it also gives them a head start in nesting in the Spring. Unfortunately, that means that some of the Canada Geese decide to give the Osprey nests a go for laying their eggs prior to the arrival of their builders. By the time, the geese realize that this is "not such a great idea", the Ospreys have arrived and begun building new nests. But that's another story!

 

Taken on two separate days, the first day was a juvenile and an adult in one tree. Assume this was a parent but as you will see from the photos, it still have some dark streaks on its head and tail feathers. 

 

The second day was one, perhaps two different juveniles. The first flew south eventually and when I eventually made it downstream, there was a juvenile in a tree (perhaps an hour later). Might have been the same one. I love the young juveniles. They are so elegant, standing so tall in their long brown feathers. So much promise ahead for these young birds of prey.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/11/photo-of-the-week---tis-the-season---american-bald-eagle-juvenile-adult Mon, 23 Nov 2020 17:02:43 GMT
Photo of the Week - "Snipe Snippets" - Common Snipe https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/11/photo-of-the-week---snipe-snippets---common-snipe "SNIPE SNIPPETS"

Common Snipe - 4 Photos

 

I know it's an actual term but I do cringe every time I put up an animal that has the term "Common" in its name. It may not be a more unusual member of a species but rarely are they mundane or common.

 

Caught this small bird a couple of weeks ago,  as it flew into the creek for a quick respite, most likely from its southern migration. It may be a "Common Snipe" but it made my day.

 

PHOTO #1

Snipe - CommonSnipe - Common"MIGRATION STOP-OVER"

PHOTO #2

Snipe - CommonSnipe - Common"A DIP INTO THE CREEK"

PHOTO #3

Snipe - CommonSnipe - Common"CREEK WADER"

PHOTO #4

Snipe - CommonSnipe - Common"SNIPE SNIPPET"

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/11/photo-of-the-week---snipe-snippets---common-snipe Mon, 16 Nov 2020 02:21:47 GMT
"AGAINST THE WIND" - Trumpeter Swan https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/11/-against-the-wind---trumpeter-swan "AGAINST THE WIND"

Trumpeter Swan (5 Photos)

 

The preferred method of take-off, the Trumpeter Swan is so stunning but it takes quite the runway and effort to achieve lift off but what an opportunity to catch the dynamics in the execution.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/11/-against-the-wind---trumpeter-swan Sat, 07 Nov 2020 18:18:41 GMT
Photo of the Week - "The Great White North" - Trumpeter Swans (Mature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/11/photo-of-the-week---the-great-white-north---trumpeter-swans-mature "THE GREAT WHITE NORTH"

Trumpeter Swans (Mature) - 4 Photos

 

Canada has often been referred to as 'The Great White North". One reference suggests the basis of this description is that Canada is "Great' as size wise it is the second largest country in the world. It is "White" because of the amount of frozen Arctic tundra and snow within the country and it is "North" of the United States of America. Hence, "Great White North".

 

Perhaps we can add some beautiful white Trumpeter Swans into the mix. These were two of a group of 20 which included Tundra swans, as well as immature youngsters on their first migration south. Hopefully, a few will stay within the area as they have in past years.

 

And finally, yes that is snow in the background. Photos were taken on October 25.2020) at a temperature of -17 degrees C. It certainly felt like the "The Great White North". In true Calgary fashion, temperatures rose to Plus 11 degrees C later in the week.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/11/photo-of-the-week---the-great-white-north---trumpeter-swans-mature Sun, 01 Nov 2020 17:02:54 GMT
"MUSICAL INTERLUDE FOR MUSTELIDS" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/10/-musical-interlude-for-mustelids---mink-north-american "MUSICAL INTERLUDE FOR MUSTELIDS"

North American Mink (3 Photos)

 

Here is "Little Girl" mink again. (Perhaps, not so little or inexperienced now.) A few musical tunes came to mind with these three captures.

 

PHOTO #1 - "THE WOLVERINE (SUBSITUTE "MINK") MARCH BY JOHN PHILIP SOUSA

 

PHOTO #2 - "WALKING ON SUNSHINE" BY KATRINA & THE WAVES

 

PHOTO #3 - "SLIP SLIDING AWAY" BY PAUL SIMON

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/10/-musical-interlude-for-mustelids---mink-north-american Fri, 30 Oct 2020 17:41:40 GMT
Photo of the Week - "NATURE IS HERE TO KEEP US HUMBLE" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/10/photo-of-the-week---nature-is-here-to-keep-us-humble---mink-north-american "NATURE IS HERE TO KEEP US HUMANS HUMBLE"

Mink (North American) - 4 Photos

 

Probably most wildlife photographers have had that experience where they have been watching for long periods of time and at the moment, they are distracted that owl or eagle flies from the tree or that weasel comes out of the log and runs across, etc. 

 

I had one of those experiences yesterday with the mink. Had been waiting for hours, diligently watching the creek. I turned to look up to see what the weather was doing behind me when - yep, don't blink there goes the mink!

 

I rarely take calls when out doing photography but sometimes it can't be avoided. On several occasions, the moment I have taken the call and started a conversation, the mink has come trotting along. And yes, generally, I can talk and view mink at the same time so I have got my photographer's mojo in gear and got the shots. It's almost as if the mink has been waiting just out of sight and knows I am distracted. 

 

We've all had that feeling at some time of being watched or stared at and generally, it's true. It probably has something to do with our primal instinct going way back and the interaction of prey and predator.

 

I try not to anthropomorphize (giving animals human characteristics) but I do believe that those "furries" and "feathers" out there have maintained and are in tune with all their senses and are far superior to ours. And that is why I am always thankful to the mink when she allows me those golden opportunities to capture her essence and daily life. There is no doubt she is aware of my presence.

 

The link below may be of some interest. It is an article from National Geographic describing a migration event of Golden-Winged Warblers which took an unexpected (from a human's standpoint) turn of events. And that brings me to the title of this blog - "Nature is Here to Keep us Humble". Her capabilities and senses far outdistance ours. Perhaps by being more in "sync" with Nature, we can be better humans.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/12/141218-birds-weather-tornadoes-science-animals-environment/

 

And here are the photos from last week obviously :)

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/10/photo-of-the-week---nature-is-here-to-keep-us-humble---mink-north-american Sun, 18 Oct 2020 00:51:14 GMT
"GIVING THANKS TO NATURE" https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/10/-giving-thanks-to-nature "GIVING THANKS TO NATURE"

 

It's Thanksgiving weekend in Canada and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Nature for all her many opportunities she has gifted me this year so far. There are many more such as the Porcupine, the Bald Eagle, etc. land hopefully they won't hold it against me for not including their photos at this time.

 

I like to paraphrase a certain saying and state  When the world wearies & ceases to satisfy, there is always Nature. She just "is".

 

Here are a few of the many animals who allowed me some moments to look into their daily goings on. 

 

PHOTO #1 - My Favourite Mink

PHOTO #2- Little Rocky Mountain Sheep

PHOTO #3 - Momma Grizzly & One of Her Three Cubs

PHOTO #4 - Long Tailed Weasel (You just have to love the curiosity of youth)

PHOTO #5 - The Young Osprey (Only one to this pair year but what a star!)

PHOTO #6 - Great Blue Heron 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/10/-giving-thanks-to-nature Mon, 12 Oct 2020 01:59:23 GMT
Photo of the Week - "Berried Treasure" - Grizzly Bear (Female Adult) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/10/photo-of-the-week---berried-treasure---grizzly-bear-female-adult "BERRIED TREASURE"

Grizzly Bear (Adult Female) - 7 Photos

Rocky Mountains, Alberta, CA

 

These photos were taken on that extraordinary day in the mountains. 

 

While the three cubs scampered around, their mother got down to business and found the "Mother" berry load, so to speak. To see a large adult Grizzly Bear harvest berries was one of those "lifetime" viewings, particularly with her offspring tearing around (and doing some photo bombing). You can see the little "fuzzies" in some of the foregrounds.

 

N.B. ALL PHOTOS TAKEN FROM A SAFE DISTANCE & LOCATION
 

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

Grizzly Bear - AdultGrizzly Bear - Adult"NATURE'S AMAZING GIFT"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #3

Grizzly Bear - AdultGrizzly Bear - Adult"SHAKING THE BERRY BUSH - #2"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #4

Grizzly Bear - AdultGrizzly Bear - Adult"ROCKY MOUNTAIN ICON"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #5

Grizzly Bear - AdultGrizzly Bear - Adult"MOUNTAIN MAMMA"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #6

Grizzly Bear - AdultGrizzly Bear - Adult"RE-APPEARANCE FROM THE GREENERY"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #7

 

Grizzly Bear - AdultGrizzly Bear - Adult"AUTUMN SPLENDOR"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/10/photo-of-the-week---berried-treasure---grizzly-bear-female-adult Sat, 10 Oct 2020 17:18:07 GMT
Photo of the Week - "ROCKY MOUNTAIN SCRAMBLE" - Grizzly Bear Cubs https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/9/photo-of-the-week---rocky-mountain-scramble---grizzly-bear-cubs "ROCKY MOUNTAIN SCRAMBLE"

Grizzly Bear Cubs - Rocky Mountains, AB, Canada - 7 Photos

 

Was thinking a title for this series could have been "WILD SUGAR BERRY HIGH"!

 

These three cubs were keeping fairly close together but they were tearing around through the shrubbery and around their mother. i don't know if it was all that berry sugar or just the changing of the seasons, but with all their antics, it was difficult to keep track of them. I've included a link below for the gallery which featured the cubs from June 2019. It makes for an interesting comparison of colouring & development a year later.

 

https://www.inaturephoto.com/grizzlybear-cubscouts

 

 

PHOTO #1

Grizzly Bear - JuvenileGrizzly Bear - Juvenile"BERRY SUGAR RUSH"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #2

Grizzly Bear - JuvenileGrizzly Bear - Juvenile"MOVING THROUGH THE WOODS"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #3

Grizzly Bear - Juvenile(s)Grizzly Bear - Juvenile(s)"TANDEM"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #4

Grizzly Bear - JuvenileGrizzly Bear - Juvenile"GRAZING GRIZZLY CUB"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #5

Grizzly Bear - JuvenileGrizzly Bear - Juvenile"ROCKY TRAILS"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #6

Grizzly Bear - JuvenileGrizzly Bear - Juvenile"RUNAWAY"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #7

Grizzly Bear - JuvenileGrizzly Bear - Juvenile"CHARGE!"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/9/photo-of-the-week---rocky-mountain-scramble---grizzly-bear-cubs Sun, 27 Sep 2020 07:30:00 GMT
"GONE FISHING" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/9/-gone-fishing---mink-north-american "GONE FISHING"

Mink (North American) - 6 Photos

 

In the event anyone has been wondering what has happened to the adult female mink's offspring:

 

Have not seen the young male since that initial "break-out". However, the young female has followed her mother upstream and to the creek on a number of occasions. (You know you have spent a lot of time with minks when you can identify them individually :)

 

Had one great morning to catch her trying her paws at fishing in the creek itself. She certainly is "like mother, like daughter".

 

PHOTO #1

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"LITTLE GIRL"

PHOTO #2

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"FISH TRAWLING"

PHOTO #3

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"CHECKING THE WATERS"

PHOTO #4

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"IN THE SHADOWS"

PHOTO #5

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"ROCK SLIDE"

PHOTO #6

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"FISHING ON THE ROCKS"

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/9/-gone-fishing---mink-north-american Sat, 26 Sep 2020 21:06:30 GMT
Photo of the Week - "IF YOU SHOULD GO IN THE WOODS TODAY ..." - Grizzly Bear https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/9/photo-of-the-week---if-you-should-go-in-the-woods-today---grizzly-bear "IF YOU SHOULD GO IN THE WOODS TODAY ...."

Grizzly Bear (3 Photos) - Rocky Mountains, Alberta, CA

 

A quick trip to the mountains and Nature truly outdid herself.

 

I had seen this mother Grizzly Bear and her three cubs in June 2019. The female has a distinct slack lower lip.

 

She nurtured her three cubs through another Winter, into Spring and Summer and there they were three extremely well fed and healthy Grizzly Bears. She is truly a Mountain Mamma. One more Winter in hibernation with her three cubs and they will be on their own next year.

 

Be forewarned, this will be the first of several forthcoming blogs featuring this magnificent Grizzly Bear and her offspring. The world is a such a better place with her species thriving.

 

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN FROM A SAFE DISTANCE & LOCATION.

 

 

PHOTO #1 - "IF YOU SHOULD GO IN THE WOODS TODAY....."

Grizzly Bear - AdultGrizzly Bear - Adult"POP UP"
(Kananaskis, AB, CA)

PHOTO #2 - "MOUNTAIN MAMMA"

Grizzly Bear - AdultGrizzly Bear - Adult"IF YOU SHOULD GO DOWN IN THE WOODS TODAY"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #3 - "BEAR BUTTS"

Grizzly Bear - Adult & JuvenileGrizzly Bear - Adult & Juvenile"BEAR BOTTOMS"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/9/photo-of-the-week---if-you-should-go-in-the-woods-today---grizzly-bear Sun, 20 Sep 2020 22:44:23 GMT
Rocky Mountain Stand Off - Rocky Mountain Sheep https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/9/rocky-mountain-stand-off---rocky-mountain-sheep "ROCKY MOUNTAIN STAND-OFF'

Rocky Mountain Sheep ( 3 Photos)

 

It may not be the large rams deciding who is "King of the Mountain" but the ladies in the nursery group can have their moments as well!

 

PHOTO #1
Rocky Mountain SheepRocky Mountain Sheep"ON YOUR MARK"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)
TO #2

Rocky Mountain SheepRocky Mountain Sheep"GET SET"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #3

Rocky Mountain SheepRocky Mountain Sheep"GO!!"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/9/rocky-mountain-stand-off---rocky-mountain-sheep Sat, 19 Sep 2020 18:24:34 GMT
Photo of the Week - "SUNRISE, SUNSET" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/9/photo-of-the-week---sunrise-sunset---mink-north-american "SUNRISE, SUNSET"

Mink (North American) - 2 Photos

 

Two photos of the adult mink. One taken near sunrise and one sunset.

 

Two very different perspectives. The first photo taken from the mink's point of view while fishing, One of the most striking details is the length of the mink's tail. Never really appreciated what a "rudder" it had for navigating the waterways, including the river and the power behind.

 

The second photo of the mink taken late afternoon, is almost "otter" like.

 

PHOTO #1

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"THE MINK'S FISHING POINT OF VIEW"

PHOTO #2

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"NO - IT'S NOT AN OTTER"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/9/photo-of-the-week---sunrise-sunset---mink-north-american Mon, 14 Sep 2020 15:48:45 GMT
"SIZE OF A KITTEN - HEART OF A LION" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/9/-size-of-a-kitten---heart-of-a-lion---mink-north-american "SIZE OF A KITTEN - HEART OF A LION"

Mink - North American

 

Sometimes you only get one shot of this and the mink kindly paused ever so briefly on its way home with its catch. From the size of its prize, I didn't think it would be returning to fish anytime soon.

 

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"McFish"

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/9/-size-of-a-kitten---heart-of-a-lion---mink-north-american Thu, 10 Sep 2020 16:06:45 GMT
Photo of the Week Sep 6, 2020 - "THE HEART OF A FAMILY" - Osprey https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/9/photo-of-the-week-sep-6-2020---the-heart-of-a-family---osprey "THE HEART OF A FAMILY"

Osprey (Immature) - 6 Photos

 

 

I fear I may have neglected our "feathered" friends the past few weeks.

 

The two ospreys who appeared in a previous link, where they were re-establishing their partnership had a late start in their nest building. The shorter period in which to raise offspring, resulted in only one offspring, instead of the usual two or three. This may have been due to only one egg being laid and incubated .

 

In any event, all their efforts into raising one chick has certainly paid dividends. This youngster is well fed, large and a super flyer. No issues here with the migration south, soon to occur, albeit there may have been some "only child" symptoms, such as incessant chirping while on the nest & hiding out of sight in the trees once it had gained its flight status and not responding to its mother.

 

I caught these shots shortly after a brief flight to a nearby tree. In Photo #1, I had just put the lens on maximum to capture a head shot, when it shook out its feathers. It wasn't only until I downloaded the photos, that I noticed the almost perfect heart shape marking on its chest feathers, just below its neck feathers (right of the photo). 

 

It is after all only a random marking but Nature does have her ways!

 

PHOTO #1

Osprey - ImmatureOsprey - Immature"HEART OF THE FAMILY"

PHOTO #2

Osprey - ImmatureOsprey - Immature"A YOUNGSTER'S POSE"

PHOTO #3

Osprey - ImmatureOsprey - Immature"OSPREY GLORY"

PHOTO #4

Osprey - ImmatureOsprey - Immature"POLE POSITION"

PHOTO #5

Osprey - ImmatureOsprey - Immature"STATUESQUE"

PHOTO #6

Osprey - ImmatureOsprey - Immature"FLIGHT SUCCESS"

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/9/photo-of-the-week-sep-6-2020---the-heart-of-a-family---osprey Sun, 06 Sep 2020 00:17:16 GMT
"PHANTOM OF THE OPERA??" - Long Tailed Weasel https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/9/-phantom-of-the-opera---long-tailed-weasel "PHANTOM OF THE OPERA???"

Long Tailed Weasel

 

Good try, Kid Weasel!! But anyone would recognize that cute weasel face with that shadow "Phantom of the Opera" mask! :) You just have to love shadow play.

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/9/-phantom-of-the-opera---long-tailed-weasel Fri, 04 Sep 2020 07:30:00 GMT
Photo of the Week - Aug 30, 2020 - "IF YOU GAZE LONG ENOUGH INTO THE MINK ..." - Mink https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/8/photo-of-the-week---aug-30-2020---if-you-gaze-long-enough-into-the-mink---mink "IF YOU GAZE LONG ENOUGH INTO THE MINK ..."

North American Mink (3 Photos)

 

To paraphrase that famous quote:

 

"If you gaze long enough into the mink, the mink will gaze back at you."

 

This is the adult female mink and she was generous enough to allow me to follow her from the bank downstream and then pop her head out and pose for several minutes before she emerged and swam down the creek.

 

Gazing into her eyes through the camera lens drew me into her beauty and uniqueness. There was no fear from either party. I can only think she had caught fish that morning and was relaxed in her exit. This creek is full of places to go, hide and disappear without a trace and yet she chose to look out and wait as I arrived. Even her departure was unhurried (albeit the pose of the south end of a mink going north). 

 

Perhaps not the total cuteness of her cousin, the weasel, but truly a fine example of the Mustalidae family. 

 

PHOTO #1

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"THE ABYSS - #3"

PHOTO#2

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"THE ABYSS - #2"

PHOTO #3

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"THE ABYSS - #1"

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/8/photo-of-the-week---aug-30-2020---if-you-gaze-long-enough-into-the-mink---mink Sat, 29 Aug 2020 22:34:03 GMT
"MASQUERADING WEASEL - PART 2" - Long Tailed Weasel https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/8/-masquerading-weasel---part-2---long-tailed-weasel "MASQUERADING WEASEL - PART 2"

Long Tailed Weasel - 4 Photos

 

He's back! These photos as well as those from the previous blog are all from the same 12 - 15 minute period that I saw this little weasel. One weasel - so many faces!

 

"FROM MOUNTAINEER"

 

TO:

 

"PREDATOR"

 

"BLINK"

 

"SIAMESE CAT"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/8/-masquerading-weasel---part-2---long-tailed-weasel Tue, 25 Aug 2020 15:38:17 GMT
Photo of the Week - Aug 23, 2020 - "Masquerading Weasel" - Part 1 https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/8/photo-of-the-week---aug-23-2020---masquerading-weasel---part-1 "MASQUERADING WEASEL" - Part 1

(Long Tailed Weasel) - 3 Photos

 

Apologies, Mink! You've been sidelined  today.

 

This little weasel actually played hide & seek with me for almost 15 minutes. An eternity in weasel photo time. So far, that's an event not repeated. After a few minutes, I did get concerned and stepped back to allow sufficient space for the little weasel to exit. And what does he do. he follows me to wherever I moved!

 

There will be a few blogs starring this little mustelid. Depending on light and pose, he seemed to transform into various animals.

 

So firstly, we have the "Long Tailed Mountain Lion Weasel". Lying in wait from the top of his rocky hideout, (a boulder of about 18 inches high), he surveys the surrounding creek looking for the unsuspecting wildlife photographer :) 

 

THE LONG TAILED MOUNTAIN LION WEASEL

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/8/photo-of-the-week---aug-23-2020---masquerading-weasel---part-1 Sun, 23 Aug 2020 00:34:49 GMT
"Cast a Giant Shadow" - Weasel (Long Tailed) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/8/-cast-a-giant-shadow---weasel-long-tailed "CAST A GIANT SHADOW"

Weasel (Long Tailed)

 

Watch your back, Mink - there's a new Mustelid in town!

 

It's Kid Weasel (Long Tailed) that is! And here's a preview of this very precocious weasel!

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/8/-cast-a-giant-shadow---weasel-long-tailed Tue, 18 Aug 2020 01:07:02 GMT
Photo of the Week - Aug 16, 2020 - "SUPER HERO'S LAIR" - North American Mink https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/8/photo-of-the-week---aug-16-2020---super-heros-lair---north-american-mink SUPER HERO'S LAIR

North American Mink (4 Photos)

 

All super heroes have a lair. Well it may not be Batman's Cave and it is only used as a tunnel and somewhere to temporarily stash all those fish (including the invasive Prussian Carp), this little eco-warrior mink certainly has the master of disguise when it comes to camouflage & stealth.

 

OUTSIDE THE LAIR

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

 

INSIDE THE LAIR:

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/8/photo-of-the-week---aug-16-2020---super-heros-lair---north-american-mink Sat, 15 Aug 2020 23:42:41 GMT
"MAGICAL MUSTELIDS" - Mink (North American) & Long Tailed Weasel https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/8/-magical-mustelids---mink-north-american-long-tailed-weasel "MAGICAL MUSTELIDS"

Mink (North American) & Long Tailed Weasel - 3 Photos

 

From the little mink to the mysterious wolverine, they are all members of the Mustelidae family.

 

Because of their ability to contort their long thin bodies into very small spaces, the minks & weasels that I have observed seem to at times disappear in front of your eyes & then quickly re-appear some distance away.

 

I was watching Momma Mink fishing in the creek when she went from the creek into the east bank and disappeared into the tall grass. Only seconds later, a Long Tailed Weasel popped out, jumping from the spot where the mink had gone in, and landed on a rock. Quicker than you could say "mustelid", it jumped onto the west bank of the creek and it was gone! 

 

Okay so not only can mustelids teleport but they also have "shapeshifting" in their super power arsenal as well! :) 

 

A few minutes later, the mink came out again and then went her merry mink way downstream.

 

Joking aside, I have included a photo of the mink just as she dived under the water in the pond, chasing down a fish. Seriously, she looks like the "Creature from the Black Lagoon" or a mud creature & unless you had seen her go under the water, one would most likely never have known there was a fishing mink underwater.

 

PHOTO #1 - "THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON" - North American Mink

PHOTO #2 - "CREEK SIDE" - North American Mink

PHOTO #3 - "WHY DO THESE WEASELS REMIND ME OF AFRICAN LION CUBS?" - Long Tailed Weasel

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/8/-magical-mustelids---mink-north-american-long-tailed-weasel Thu, 13 Aug 2020 15:34:30 GMT
Photo of the Week - Aug 9, 2020 - "M & M's" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/8/photo-of-the-week---aug-9-2020---m-ms---mink-north-american "M & M's"

Mink (North American) - Adult & 2 Juveniles

 

Another first for this photographer, not one but three minks.

 

The first mink (Momma) scampered across the rocks and then around the pond wall, a favourite route of hers before exiting and then dashing across a path to the huge pond on the other side. Normally, unless she is fishing, this is done at mink lightning speed but this time, she paused several times, including a stop to stretch down and check out the pond.

 

Now it was a matter of seeing of whether she would return the same way, so I walked back to the little pond. It could only have been a couple of minutes at most, when up from the creek from the other side, popped the second mink. I often joke that mink can blink once and disappear and blink again and re-appear a short distance away but when the third mink of the day ran towards the second mink, I knew these must be the first mink's two kits.

 

The first one to appear followed where its mother had gone, pausing where she had paused even to where it stretched down where she had. I believe this must have been the little kits' first fishing expedition out with their mother. How would they know where to go as their mother had long disappeared? No, they are not telepathic. That little mink was following its mother's scent trail which she had left as she paused periodically.

 

The second kit re-appeared having gone into the long grass and began fishing in the creek. Am not certain whether it was more independent by fishing on its own or less independent and didn't want to venture to far out in the big wide world.

 

Photo #2 is of the first kit that appeared. From its wide head & large nose and the attitude conveyed in that face, I thought it had to be a male and I named him "Big Boy".

 

Photo #3 is the second kit. It definitely has delicate and narrow features so I think it is a female. Her mother has created a "Mini Me"! I have named her "Little Girl" because of her smaller size.

 

Photo #1 is, of course, their mother. What a mink!

 

PHOTO #1 - "Momma Mink"

PHOTO #2 - "Big Boy"

PHOTO #3 - "Little Girl"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/8/photo-of-the-week---aug-9-2020---m-ms---mink-north-american Sun, 09 Aug 2020 01:45:07 GMT
" A STAR IS BORN" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/8/-a-star-is-born---mink-north-american "A STAR IS BORN"

Mink (North American)

 

To catch a great expression, it's extremely helpful to have a very photogenic subject.

 

This is a "sneek-a-peek" for future blogs. 

 

Caught this little mink as she (and the mink is definitely a "she") poked her head out from a boulder in the creek. I have a few others but only this one has what I assume is an insect to the left of the mink.

 

It did seem appropriate as the mink has definite star power to have Nature bring in her own "star"!

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/8/-a-star-is-born---mink-north-american Fri, 07 Aug 2020 01:39:26 GMT
Photo of the Week - July 26, 2020 - "A Mink's 40 Winks" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/7/photo-of-the-week---july-26-2020---a-minks-40-winks---mink-north-american "A MINK'S 40 WINKS"

North American Mink (2 Photos)

 

So how much is a "wink" of sleep. Well, one source says it's "much longer than a jiffy and about the same time  as a shake of a lamb's tail" . :) LOL

 

These two photos were taken very late Spring after a successful fishing expedition by this little mink. It had found somewhere in the shade where it could lounge and probably clean and oil its fur against the rocks.

 

Catching a mink in such a leisurely pose was indeed a rare occurrence for me. The "time out" definitely did not last long, maybe a little longer than a "few shakes of a lamb's tail"!

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/7/photo-of-the-week---july-26-2020---a-minks-40-winks---mink-north-american Sun, 26 Jul 2020 01:01:46 GMT
Photo of the Week - July 19, 2020 - Nature's Structured Housing (Pileated Woodpecker) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/7/photo-of-the-week---july-19-2020---natures-structured-housing-pileated-woodpecker "NATURE'S STRUCTURED HOUSING"

Pileated Woodpecker (Juvenile) & Gray Squirrel - 7 Photos

 

In grabbing some shots of this young Pileated Woodpecker, (which I named PJ for short, i.e. Pileated Junior),  a small head caught my eye as it poked out of the small hole in the trunk below that of the bird.

 

It appears the Pileated Woodpecker family took possession of the "penthouse" in this tree trunk and the Gray Squirrel occupies the suite (or in this case the smaller hole) below.

 

The young bird repeatedly called for its parents and at various intervals, retreated into the hole where it began to drill into the "pantry" for small insects. Of course, I couldn't see this action but I could certainly hear it and no doubt, so did the squirrel, which it probably popped out to investigate.

 

We all probably have heard stories of the grumpy neighbour downstairs complaining about the noise from upstairs, whether it be whining children or banging. And this squirrel appears from its demeanor, very unhappy and you could hear it chattering away every time the woodpecker banged on the walls of the tree from inside. 

 

And check out Photo #4. That's not polite, PJ, you shouldn't stick your tongue out at your older neighbour!

 

Even in Nature, you can't choose your neighbours. Cheer up, Grumpy Pants, it appears this little woodpecker will soon be fledged and peace will once again reside in the tree!

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/7/photo-of-the-week---july-19-2020---natures-structured-housing-pileated-woodpecker Sun, 19 Jul 2020 01:59:47 GMT
Photo of the Week - July 12, 2020 - "HOW COULD YOU NOT LOVE THAT FACE" - Mink https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/7/photo-of-the-week---july-12-2020---how-could-you-not-love-that-face---mink "HOW COULD YOU NOT LOVE THAT FACE"

Mink (North American) - 3 Photos

 

And if there ever was an instance where looks are deceiving - oh so cute but what a predator. All members of the Mustelid family, from the mink up to the wolverine, are extremely successful predators. The mink is probably the smallest but definitely does not lack in ability and definitely not in looks!

 

PHOTO #1

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"MINK PROFILE"

PHOTO #2

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"LONG NECK"

PHOTO #3

 

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"POP GOES THE MINK"

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/7/photo-of-the-week---july-12-2020---how-could-you-not-love-that-face---mink Mon, 13 Jul 2020 16:52:42 GMT
Photo of the Week - July 5, 2020 - "THE MINKSTER" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/7/photo-of-the-week---july-5-2020---the-minkster---mink-north-american "THE MINKSTER"

Mink (North American) - 4 Photos

 

Okay, I am the first to admit to it. I love this little member of the Mustelid family. Perhaps, it's the fact they can be difficult to find and photograph (they are oh so quick) or the fact there is a lion's heart within that little mink.

 

But that face - oh my!

 

PHOTO #1 - "The MINKSTER"

PHOTO #2 - "IS THAT A MOUSEKETEER OR A MINKSKETEER?"

PHOTO #3 - "SHH - FISHING IN PROGRESS"

PHOTO #4 - "I WEAR MY SUNGLASSES AT NIGHT!"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/7/photo-of-the-week---july-5-2020---the-minkster---mink-north-american Mon, 06 Jul 2020 01:07:50 GMT
Photo of the Week - June 28, 2020 - "MAGIC IN THE WILLOWS" - Moose & White Tailed Deer https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/6/photo-of-the-week---june-28-2020---magic-in-the-willows---moose-white-tailed-deer "MAGIC IN THE WILLOWS"

Moose & White Tailed Deer (6 Photos)

 

Am still looking for a photo opportunity to catch the Beaver. However, its engineering is clearly evident around this series of ponds. A large lodge sits at one edge and through their damming and canal work, the beavers have engineered a network of connecting the various ponds.

 

Their work has resulted in a habitat complete with "willow forests" on islands edged by water, full of plant material and nutrients.

 

The habitat has now attracted ducks of various species, muskrats, mink, at least two species of herons, deer and YES, a moose!

 

I caught the moose height deep in lush willow vegetation and waited a few minutes for it to step out so I could get a clear shot of that distinct moose face. After a few minutes, it stepped into the vegetation forest and disappeared. It is amazing how a creature over 5 feet tall and weighing more than 600 pounds can just disappear.

 

On a small hill, a safe distance from the "island", I waited to see if the moose would re-appear. After almost an hour, large ears appeared but the wrong colour. Out from the willows, appeared a lovely White Tailed Deer doe who meandered up the hill. She then rejoined a small group of does a small distance to the west, who also appeared apparently from nowhere but was actually from another marsh area tall in vegetation where they returned and disappeared to graze.

 

Beavers do "cut" down trees to engineer their dams and lodges but all the vegetation is also used, including the bark and leaves for food. As we cut down more of their natural habitat for roads and new housing developments, we push them into smaller spaces.  Sometimes, they are referred to as destructive but they create much needed eco-systems, where birds and mammals can survive & thrive in areas where they would probably be pushed out by urban development.

 

So Beavers! Am looking for those opportunities to photograph the engineers behind these wild spaces. Canada Day is fast approaching! :) In the interim, thanks for all the other opportunities you have provided.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/6/photo-of-the-week---june-28-2020---magic-in-the-willows---moose-white-tailed-deer Sun, 28 Jun 2020 18:05:43 GMT
Game of Thrones - Avian Version (Double Crested Cormorant & Osprey) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/6/game-of-thrones---avian-version-double-crested-cormorant-osprey "GAME OF THRONES - AVIAN VERSION"

Double Crested Cormorant & Osprey (6 Photos)

 

A young Cormorant made an error in picking a branch above an osprey nest to make its landing. Needless to say, it was soon chased away. 

 

However, its initial landing immediately brought to mind some mythical creature from "Game of Thrones" and with the Osprey's talons and look, it made for perhaps the avian version.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/6/game-of-thrones---avian-version-double-crested-cormorant-osprey Sun, 28 Jun 2020 00:33:37 GMT
Wildlife Wednesday - Cedar Branch - Cedar Waxwings https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/6/wildlife-wednesday---cedar-branch---cedar-waxwings "CEDAR BRANCH"

Cedar Waxwings

 

Male flew in with an insect and landed. Shortly thereafter, female flew in and sat beside. Wonder if he was planning to share?

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/6/wildlife-wednesday---cedar-branch---cedar-waxwings Wed, 24 Jun 2020 18:41:48 GMT
Photo of the Week - June 21, 2020 - "SPLISH SPLASH - I WAS TAKING A BATH - Amer. Goldfinch https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/6/photo-of-the-week---june-21-2020---splish-splash---i-was-taking-a-bath---amer-goldfinch "SPLISH SPLASH - I WAS TAKING A BATH"

American Goldfinch (3 Photos)

 

Probably showing my age here - but does anyone remember that song recorded by Bobby Darin:

 

"Splish, splash, I was takin' a bath

Long about a Saturday night, yeah ....."

 

Well this little goldfinch really got into a bath in the creek. It then went up into the trees for a "fluff & dry"!

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO ##3

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/6/photo-of-the-week---june-21-2020---splish-splash---i-was-taking-a-bath---amer-goldfinch Tue, 23 Jun 2020 15:47:00 GMT
Photo of the Week- Jun 14, 2020 - "WHEN DAY TURNS TO NIGHT" - Black Crowned Night Heron https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/6/photo-of-the-week--jun-14-2020---when-day-turns-to-night---black-crowned-night-heron "WHEN DAY TURNS TO NIGHT"

Black-Crowned Night Heron (Immature) - 3 Photos

 

Sometimes you go looking for one of Nature's subjects and sometimes it finds you.

 

Just sitting down and taking a moment for a quick snack in the warm Spring morning sunshine, when this youngster flew in and sat on a nearby post.

 

Sometimes it's better to "be lucky than good"!

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/6/photo-of-the-week--jun-14-2020---when-day-turns-to-night---black-crowned-night-heron Mon, 15 Jun 2020 02:21:27 GMT
"CAPED CRUSADER" - Grackle (Common) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/6/-caped-crusader---grackle-common "CAPED CRUSADER"

Grackle (Common) - 5 Photos

 

One of the best things of wildlife photography is that it gives one an opportunity to observe and have Nature show you the unexpected.

 

I was looking for the mysterious mink when in and out of the creek, these grackles kept flying, landing and leaving with what I thought were grubs or insects they had harvested out of the reeds.

 

Heck not! Took a quick shot as one emerged from the grasses and they were fishing in the creek for small Prussian Carp. So no matter how small you may think you are, you can always help with the balance of the environment and the health of our eco-system.

 

Oh and mink, better watch out, someone is raiding that fish bowl of yours and helping themselves to some "goldfish cracker" snacks!

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/6/-caped-crusader---grackle-common Sun, 14 Jun 2020 03:00:52 GMT
Photo of the Week - Jun 7, 2020 - "ECO WARRIOR" - Mink https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/6/photo-of-the-week---jun-7-2020---eco-warrior---mink "ECO-WARRIOR"

North American Mink (3 Photos)

 

This little mink is my eco-warrior hero. Saw it at the end of a creek holding its prize, a large Prussian Carp, an invasive fish species to Alberta waters. 

 

After a few minutes, it went into a space between some boulders. As I could see around the area and any potential exits, decided to follow my usual plan, wait and see. The mink would eventually come out, with or without fish.

 

After approximately half an hour, out of the space came a little brown head with its catch. The little mink exited slowly which allowed me a great photo opportunity to catch this eco-warrior, including some final shots as it hit the creek with its catch, to feast somewhere further down the creek in privacy & safety.

 

So the next time you see a mink, give him/her a nod and say thanks for helping keep our Albertan waterways a little healthier. That's one less Prussian Carp. 

 

PHOTO #1

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"MINK WITH PRUSSIAN CARP"

PHOTO #2

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"ON THE WAY HOME WITH DINNER"

PHOTO #3

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"SWIMMING AWAY WITH A GREAT CATCH"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/6/photo-of-the-week---jun-7-2020---eco-warrior---mink Sun, 07 Jun 2020 22:10:44 GMT
"The Griffon" - Osprey (Adult) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/6/-the-griffon---osprey-adult "THE GRIFFON"

Osprey (Adult) - 3 Photos

 

Osprey certainly have a striking appearance. 

 

These photos were taken as the male osprey flew directly up from one branch to the one above it, to the nest to check on its partner. In those moments of ascent, what struck me was its resemblance to a creature of Greek mythology - the Griffon.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/6/-the-griffon---osprey-adult Sat, 06 Jun 2020 23:50:14 GMT
Photo of the Week - May 31/2020 - "GOT MILK - SORRY THAT'S GOT MINK!" - North American Mink https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/5/photo-of-the-week---may-31/2020---got-milk---sorry-thats-got-mink---north-american-mink "GOT MILK - SORRY THAT'S GOT MINK!"

North American Mink (3 Photos)

 

Don't know if anyone remembers that ad campaign for a dairy industry that had the slogan "Got Milk?" which featured various individuals with the "milk moustache". It's a shame that it doesn't run anymore because I have found a great new star for the advertisement.

 

And in the case of the last photo, well I had lost sight of the mink in the grass. I could see movement with a brief dash of brown but suddenly all went still. In my head, I heard a whistle & a "Hey stupid, down here!". I looked down and there in the parting of the grass next to the creek was the mink, moustache and all!

 

PHOTO #1

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"GOT MINK - NO MILK" - #2

 

PHOTO #2

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"GOT MINK - NOT MILK" #2

PHOTO #3

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"YO - DOWN HERE!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/5/photo-of-the-week---may-31/2020---got-milk---sorry-thats-got-mink---north-american-mink Sun, 31 May 2020 22:44:18 GMT
"PEEK-A-BOO" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/5/-peek-a-boo---mink-north-american "PEEK-A-BOO"

Mink (North American) - 2 Photos

 

Certainly no "snake in the grass". Just a cheeky mink. Like so many predators (regardless of size) - oh so cute & oh so deadly.

 

PHOTO #1 - "Peek-A"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"PEEK-A-BOO" #1

PHOTO #2 - "BOO!"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"PEEK-A-BO0" - #2

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/5/-peek-a-boo---mink-north-american Thu, 28 May 2020 21:37:04 GMT
Photo of the Week - May 24, 2020 - "DON'T BLINK, MINK!: - North American Mink https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/5/photo-of-the-week---may-24-2020---dont-blink-mink---north-american-mink "DON'T BLINK, MINK!"

North American Mink (3 Photos)

 

I probably have that same fixated stare when I am looking into the creek for mink. You can almost hear the mink's inside voice saying to the fish, "You are getting sleepy, very sleepy."

 

PHOTO #1

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"EYE SPY WITH MY MINK EYE"

PHOTO #2

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)'WAIT FOR IT!"

PHOTO #3

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"DON'T BLINK - MINK!"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/5/photo-of-the-week---may-24-2020---dont-blink-mink---north-american-mink Mon, 25 May 2020 00:51:57 GMT
"CARPENTER BIRDS" - Pileated Woodpecker https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/5/-carpenter-birds---pileated-woodpecker "CARPENTER BIRDS"

Pileated Woodpecker (7 Photos)

 

Woodpeckers are sometimes referred to as "carpenter" birds and that certainly can be descriptive of the Pileated Woodpecker. 

 

These photos were taken late April and I didn't spot them first, I heard them. It sounded like a pair of jackhammers in the woods. And to find one was amazing, to find a pair drilling away, extraordinary. Sometimes, I think it is advisory to wear a hard hat under trees where Pileateds are excavating.

 

Over the course of an hour or so, they flew from tree to tree and then from downed tree trunk to downed tree trunk, so busy in their pursuit of insects, they didn't much care about having their exploits recorded by photography. And no, I have not seen them since. Assume they have now found a great tree cavity somewhere to raise their new brood.

 

To view more photos, click on the link below:

https://www.inaturephoto.com/woodpecker-pileated_-_carpenter_birds

 

 

 

PHOTO #1 - "A PAIR OF CONSTRUCTION WORKERS"

PHOTO #2 - "EXCAVATION OF THE LOWER LEVELS"

PHOTO #3 - "NO HARNESS OR SCAFFOLDING REQUIRED"

PHOTO #4 - "I KNOW IT'S IN HERE SOMEWHERE. I CAN HEAR IT!"

PHOTO #5 - "IS THIS A GOOD ENOUGH POSE?"

PHOTO #6 - "WATCH OUT FOR THOSE FLYING WOOD CHIPS"

PHOTO #7 -"TIME TO TACKLE THE TOP SIDE"

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/5/-carpenter-birds---pileated-woodpecker Fri, 22 May 2020 17:34:03 GMT
Photo of the Week - May 17, 2020 - "AN OSPREY & ITS FISHING TACKLE" - Osprey https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/5/photo-of-the-week---may-17-2020---an-osprey-its-fishing-tackle---osprey "AN OSPREY & ITS FISHING TACKLE"

Osprey (4 Photos)

 

So what is in an Osprey's "fishing tackle box" that contribute to its fishing prowess.

 

Well, ospreys fly without a net (fishing net, that is) but here are three of its adaptations.

 

PHOTO #1 - Vivid yellow eyes with sharp vision which allow the osprey to see past the surface of the water & spot the fish below.

PHOTO #2 - Those awesome wings. Ospreys have an average wingspan of 5 feet. With their oily feathers, on their ascension from the water, they can shake & shed off the water.

PHOTO #3 - Those amazing talons. Those toes are lined with short stiff spikes for extra grip.

PHOTO # 4 - Add up those three elements and here is the final result.

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/5/photo-of-the-week---may-17-2020---an-osprey-its-fishing-tackle---osprey Mon, 18 May 2020 02:43:09 GMT
"COLOR MY WORLD" - Yellow-rumped Warbler https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/5/-color-my-world---yellow-rumped-warbler "COLOR MY WORLD"

Yellow-rumped Warbler

 

Was looking for the elusive mink, when in and out of the creek area flew various little warblers.

 

Normally, I don't take up the challenge as soon as you twitch, they're gone.

 

However, in this instance,this little warbler not only stayed but just as the camera took the shot, it turned his head which definitely set the pose.

 

I am not one to track down and photograph small birds but I really have to admit with the light of early evening and the background of the creek bed rocks, this is one of my favourite photos of not only a small bird but animals in general. This little warbler definitely "colored my world".

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/5/-color-my-world---yellow-rumped-warbler Thu, 14 May 2020 22:23:28 GMT
Photo of the Week - May 10, 2020 - "New Beginnings" - Osprey https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/5/photo-of-the-week---may-10-2020---new-beginnings---osprey "NEW BEGINNINGS"

Osprey (8 Photos)

 

it's Spring in Calgary and the ospreys have returned. (It is snowng today!). Having been binge watching on Nature programmes, it has come to mind that we are truly blessed in Calgary to view close-up Ospreys, from nest building, re-affirmation of their pairing, fishing and of course, the arrival of this year's offspring

 

Ospreys' flight prowess not only in their fishing skills but the ability to break off large branches, bring them back to the nest & land successfully is an amazing aerodynamic skill (Photos 1, 2, 3).

 

As it was particularly quiet the morning the photos were taken, while the male was gone from the nest, I could hear a very soft chirp from the female who was in the nest. I have head several different chirps from the ospreys over the years, from the territorial & warning chirps to other ospreys, to the little ones chirping to their parents and Mum's "Where is our fish" call to the male out hunting.This was different and shorty thereafter, she flew out of the nest and landed (thank you) on a single branch at the top of the tree. Shortly thereafter, the male flew back and landed extremely gently on the back of the female. (Photos 4, 5, 6, 7)

 

Initiated by the female and lasting only seconds, there may have been a lot of wing flapping and posturing by the male, but even to the placement of his talons, this was not a rough affirmation of their bonding and only one of several.  And then the male departed (Photo 8), off for more branches for their nest.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

PHOTO #8

 

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/5/photo-of-the-week---may-10-2020---new-beginnings---osprey Sun, 10 May 2020 16:33:35 GMT
"HAVE SOME OF US LOST OUR CONNECTION TO NATURE?" - Wildlife Wednesday (May 6, 2020) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/5/-have-some-of-us-lost-our-connection-to-nature---wildlife-wednesday-may-6-2020 "HAVE SOME OF US LOST OUR CONNECTION TO NATURE?"

(Wildlife Wednesday - May 6, 2020)

 

Three conversations came to mind for today's Wildlife Wednesday. Although amusing on the surface, they are somewhat disturbing as they demonstrate how some of us have lost our connection to Nature & wildlife. And yes, not everyone is an expert (I'm definitely not) and perhaps, doesn't have the incentive to read up what we see "out there". 

 

The first two are separate conversations I had with two friend photographers within the past month or so. These are the conversations they had had and relayed to me. I would add that the three of us are not confrontational in our replies to other people and are generally happy to just nod & smile.

 

FIRST CONVERSATION - Puffins (Sorry don't have a photo of any puffins so substituted pelican as it came up in the conversation). Photo taken September 2019.

Third Party - "Saw a group of puffins yesterday on the Bow River (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)"

Photographer Friend - "Oh you mean "pelicans".

Third Party - "No - Puffins. I know what a pelican looks like!"

Photographer Friend relayed to me that he was tempted to ask "Were they Atlantic or Pacific Puffins? but refrained from the retort. I told him he could add "Prairie Puffins" to that mix (LOL). What did they see, we asked ourselves!

Oh dear, we may have been on to what might have been one of the rarest sightings ever. (We do not have puffins in Alberta, as we are a landlocked province, with mountains and prairies surrounding us.)

 

SECOND CONVERSATION - Ospreys. Photo taken May 2020

Third Party - "That's odd." - commenting on a newly constructed osprey nest deep in a tree next to a river.

Photographer Friend  - "Ospreys do migrate here in the Spring to have their offspring."

Third Party - "No, not that. What an odd place for a nest - a tree? They build on road signs & constructed platforms."

Oh dear, unfortunately for the poor osprey, with more of their habitat and good natural nesting areas being cut down or removed, they have improvised in order to lay their eggs and raise their offspring. 

 

THIRD CONVERSATION  (and my personal favourite) - Grizzly Bears. Photo taken June 2017.

I  had this conversation with a friendly & helpful Conservation Officer in Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada in September 2018, late one Saturday afternoon at an Information Centre.

He told me that he had been approached by some overseas visitors earlier in the summer, inquiring as to when was the best time of the day to see wildlife and in particular Grizzly Bears. This I can understand - sighting a bear (hopefully from the safety of a vehicle) is always a highlight. 

He advised that most likely early morning or early evening (and probably also gave them the chat about "Bear Safety"). 

Wait for it - "No," they said. "WHAT TIME IN THE DAY DO YOU OPEN THE BEAR ENCLOSURES TO LET THEM OUT?"

Oh, dear. The job of a Conservation Officer is not an easy one, even at the best of times.

 

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/5/-have-some-of-us-lost-our-connection-to-nature---wildlife-wednesday-may-6-2020 Tue, 05 May 2020 18:33:25 GMT
Photo of the Week - May 3, 2020 - "IT'S ALL 'GREBE' TO ME" - Red Necked Grebe https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/5/photo-of-the-week---may-3-2020---its-all-grebe-to-me---red-necked-grebe "IT'S ALL 'GREBE' TO ME"

Red Necked Grebes - Adults (5 Photos)

 

Was privileged to witness some intimate moments of a pair of newly arrived Red Necked Grebes this weekend. The play on the saying "It's All Greek to Me" will come apparent hopefully.

 

In their breeding plumage, although perhaps not as striking as some other species of grebes, their appearance can surprise when seen under the scrutiny of a camera.

 

One interesting aspect is how tall they are when they stand which they do when jumping onto the nest or while mating. Yes, while mating (well at least for the male). It was one of those "oh my" moments. In actual fact, the male reminded me of a penguin. (Grebes, of course, can fly - penguins - not.)

 

So thanks again to Nature for allowing me a viewing of this pair during their breeding time. Eggs, hopefully, will soon be on the way, followed by baby passenger grebes!

 

PHOTO #1 - "Shake, Rattle & Roll"

PHOTO #2 - "Step Up" - Take a look at those feet!

PHOTO #3 - "Nest Building"

PHOTO #4 - "Ancient Greek Warrior" - Check out the crowned feathering during the mating which reminded me of an ancient Greek Warrior and that is Mrs. sliding out the back.

PHOTO #5 - "AND YES, A SWEET & GENTLE AFFIRMATION OF PAIRING" - Grebes are monogamous. 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/5/photo-of-the-week---may-3-2020---its-all-grebe-to-me---red-necked-grebe Mon, 04 May 2020 21:06:25 GMT
"IT'S NOT NICE TO FOOL MOTHER NATURE" - American Bald Eagle (Immature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/5/-its-not-nice-to-fool-mother-nature---american-bald-eagle-immature "IT'S NOT NICE TO FOOL MOTHER NATURE"

American Bald Eagle (Immature)

 

So this weekend belongs to the what I like to call the "Feathers" as opposed to last weekend the "Furries", i.e. porcupine.

 

Am probably showing my age here, as this was a line from an advertisement for a margarine many years ago. However, it's probably more true in the general sense greater than ever.

 

(And it's also not nice to "mess" with Mother Nature either!)

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/5/-its-not-nice-to-fool-mother-nature---american-bald-eagle-immature Sun, 03 May 2020 23:36:45 GMT
Photo of the Week - Apr 26, 2020 - "Porcupine Peek-A-Boo (PPAB)" https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/4/photo-of-the-week---apr-27-2020---porcupine-peek-a-boo-ppab "PORCUPINE PEEK-A-BOO (PPAB)"

North American Porcupine (3 Photos)

 

 

 

One porcupine up in a tree on a very very windy morning.  (Photo #1)

It had been windy the night before so I don't know why he chose this port in the storm to take in some rays. As the wind gusts got stronger and stronger and the branches swayed more, this porcupine called it quits and started its descent, to what I thought would be the lower branch.

 

Now comes the decision to I try to get the shot going down the tree from the other side which potentially would be shooting into the sun and would involve some fancy footwork crossing the terrain or do I just wait and see.

 

So I chose the second option and no it didn't take the lower branch, he climbed down all the way and onto ground level.  So some fancy footwork from this end, trying to be quiet and not too much movement and caught him as he came through the grasses. (Photo #2)

 

And then after a few moments of holding my breath as the porcupine hesitated and checked out his surroundings, he came through the grass and into the clearing where I managed to capture what I think makes a porcupine so adorable and special. (Photo #3)

 

He then turned tail (so to speak) and headed away across a tree trunk through trees and into a fallen log. And if you think porcupines are slow, from tree descent to tree den, took maybe five minutes. In the back of my thoughts, was that line from "The Mask of Zorro" - "The pointy end goes in the other guy". 

 

Thank you Nature & porcupine for such a wonderful but brief and happy encounter. And I know the porcupine was either not aware of my presence and was certainly not stressed, as I didn't get that "poofed" look when they "draw their quills" to attention to make themselves look bigger and warn off potential danger.

 

New Gallery Link Below:

https://www.inaturephoto.com/porcupine_-_someone_to_watch_over_me/ee7c0142f

 

PHOTO #1 - "The Watcher Being Watched"

PHOTO #2 - "From Out of the Woods, Came ...."

Porcupine (North American)Porcupine (North American)"PORCUPINE PEEK-A-BOO OR PPAB"

PHOTO #3- "Ground Zero" - (Thanks, Porcupine!)

Porcupine (North American)Porcupine (North American)"GROUND ZERO"

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/4/photo-of-the-week---apr-27-2020---porcupine-peek-a-boo-ppab Mon, 27 Apr 2020 16:31:41 GMT
Celebrating Earth Day - April 22nd, 2020 - "I'M IN LOVE" - Grizzly Bear (Juvenile) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/4/celebrating-earth-day---april-22nd-2020---im-in-love---grizzly-bear-juvenile "I'M IN LOVE"

Grizzly Bear (Juvenile)

Kananaskis, Alberta, CA

 

NOTE: PHOTO TAKEN SEPTEMBER 2018

 

In celebration of Earth Day and bearing (pardon the pun) in mind that trees are so vital to our environment, planet and all who dwell on our Earth. Could this be the origin of the term "tree hugger"?

 

Grizzly Bear - JuvenileGrizzly Bear - Juvenile"I'M IN LOVE!"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/4/celebrating-earth-day---april-22nd-2020---im-in-love---grizzly-bear-juvenile Tue, 21 Apr 2020 16:18:11 GMT
Photo of the Week - Apr 19, 2020 - "THAT FEELING WHEN YOU HAVE FOUND THAT ANNOYING ITCH" https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/4/photo-of-the-week---apr-19-2020---that-feeling-when-you-have-found-that-annoying-itch "THAT FEELING WHEN YOU HAVE FOUND THAT ANNOYING ITCH"

North American Porcupine

 

Am certain we all have had that satisfaction when you finally find that itchy spot and a good scratch can bring such relief.

 

By managing to catch the porcupine on its side, some of the hidden attributes of this large rodent became apparent. 

 

1. Check out the pad on the bottom of the back foot.

2. Then there are those amazing claws. Great for ascending & descending trees and excavating bark.

3. My personal favourite - the reveal of the soft fur of the porcupine's stomach. Unfortunately, the only time you usually see this underside is on the roadside when a porcupine has been hit by a car. Fishers, bobcats and coyotes can prey upon porcupine but they know the only way in to a successful hunt is to flip it over. No mean feat as porcupines are well aware of their "Achilles Heel" or in this case "Achilles Stomach" and are ready to defend any takers with that tail full of quills.

 

But wouldn't you just like to have the opportunity to stroke that furry tummy!

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/4/photo-of-the-week---apr-19-2020---that-feeling-when-you-have-found-that-annoying-itch Mon, 20 Apr 2020 01:23:55 GMT
"BIRD FASHIONISTA" - Northern Flicker, Bohemian Waxwing, etc. https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/4/-bird-fashionista---northern-flicker-bohemian-waxwing-etc "BIRD FASHIONISTA"

Northern Flicker, Bohemian Waxwing, etc. - 6 Photos

 

As we are spending more time in our homes, perhaps for some, pyjamas might be the new fashion trend.

 

However, in the bird world, it's a time of baths and personal grooming, etc. as courtship and pairing is well in hand. 

 

This was the first opportunity I have had to see a Northern Flicker groom. Usually, they are busy birds, drumming, calling & digging out insects from trees. And who made that rule; "You can't mix polka dots with stripes". The flicker certainly wears both in splendour!

 

PHOTO #1 - "YES, YOU CAN WEAR POLKA DOTS & STRIPES IN ONE OUTFIT" - Northern Flicker

PHOTO #2 - "HOW SWEET IS THIS!" - Northern Flicker

PHOTO #3 - "BEHIND THE CURTAIN" - Northern Flicker

PHOTO #4 - "TAKE A GANDER AT THOSE FEATHER LEGGINGS" - Bohemian Waxwing

PHOTO #5 - "A FEW SHARP CONTRASTING 'PIECES' TO MAKE THAT OUTFIT" - Bohemian Waxwing

PHOTO #6 - "WHEN LESS IS MORE & ALL YOU NEED IS NATURAL BEAUTY" - American Bald Eagle

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/4/-bird-fashionista---northern-flicker-bohemian-waxwing-etc Sat, 18 Apr 2020 17:43:36 GMT
Photo of the Week - Apr 12, 2020 - "DESCENDING THE DECIDUOUS" - North American Porcupine https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/4/photo-of-the-week---apr-12-2020---descending-the-deciduous---north-american-porcupine "DESCENDING THE DECIDUOUS"

North American Porcupine (5 Photos)

 

You never can tell which way a porcupine is going to climb, up or down. In this instance, the porcupine climbed down to a lower branch to hang out. And yes, there was some excitement from me that we might make the full trek down to the fallen tree that sits at the bottom of this grove but with a warm sunny afternoon, think this porcupine was just going to take in more rays until dusk.

 

I try to be always ready for the unexpected but was so very grateful for the photo opportunities that this porcupine presented on its partial descent.  My first rule of wildlife photography is that the animal's welfare & safety are paramount and capturing those golden moments with no interference from the photographer. Yes, there was a lot of mental wishing for that ground shot but I know that by respecting Nature, rewards will come at some future time.

 

I have included below the link to my previous blog "Someone to Watch Over Me" which highlighted this porcupine,  as I think those words are fitting for all wildlife and something to keep in mind, as National Wildlife Week draws to a close.

https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/4/-someone-to-watch-over-me---north-american-porcupine

 

 

PHOTO #1 - "It's a Long Way Down"

Porcupine (North American)Porcupine (North American)"PREPARING FOR THE DESCENT"

PHOTO #2 - "Don't Look Down, Don't Look Down"

Porcupine (North American)Porcupine (North American)"ALMOST TO THE NEXT BRANCH"

PHOTO #3 - "ALMOST THERE"

Porcupine (North American)Porcupine (North American)"DESCENDING THE DECIDUOUS"

PHOTO #4 - "ALMOST AT THE END OF THE TREK"

PHOTO #5 - "TA-DA & Time for a Pose"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/4/photo-of-the-week---apr-12-2020---descending-the-deciduous---north-american-porcupine Sat, 11 Apr 2020 19:52:22 GMT
"SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME" - North American Porcupine https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/4/-someone-to-watch-over-me---north-american-porcupine "SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME"

North American Porcupine (3 Photos)

 

To paraphrase some of the words from  that beautiful song by George & Ira Gershwin,:

 

"I'm a little lamb (sorry that's porcupine) who's lost in the woods (well maybe not lost);

I know I would always be good;

To one who who'll watch over me ......."

 

And why is this porcupine asleep? (And has to be right up there for sweetness with regard to sleeping mammals!) It's probably because it's regular job, from dusk until dawn, is foraging n the woods and the fallen trees, for food, mainly bark and old plant matter at this time of year.

 

PHOTO #1 - "LET SLEEPING PORCUPINES LIE"

Porcupine (North American)Porcupine (North American)"SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME"

OR

Perhaps, it's tiring and hard work  to be a Porcupine Super Model during the daytime hours.  See photos below. Blogs this weekend will continue this large rodent's escapades. (And yes, porcupines are members of the rodent family.)

 

PHOTO #2 - "PORCUPINE SUPER MODEL #1"

Porcupine (North American)Porcupine (North American)"PORCUPINE WITH MOHAWK"

PHOTO #3 - "PORCUPINE SUPER MODEL #2"

Porcupine (North American)Porcupine (North American)"PORCUPINE SUPER MODEL"

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/4/-someone-to-watch-over-me---north-american-porcupine Fri, 10 Apr 2020 19:31:35 GMT
Photo of the Week - Apr 5, 2020 - "SPRING HAS SPRUNG ...." - North American Mink https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/4/photo-of-the-week---apr-5-2020---spring-has-sprung---north-american-mink "SPRING HAS SPRUNG & THE MINK HAS COME!"

Mink (North American)

 

Although over the early part of this year I have seen numerous tracks of the little mink in the snow, including where it has plowed through deep snow to access the Bow River, this is the first sighting (albeit brief) I have had in some months.

 

From its appearance, "ice fishing" has gone well this winter and this little "mustelid" looks to be in good form, well fed and a shiny coat. And what beautiful bright eyes!

 

So it's back soon to hopefully watching for a darting little fisherman and keeping my reflex levels up.

 

(N.B. Location was reached after an hour's walk one way as all Alberta Provincial Parks are now closed to traffic. Access is, however, permitted by foot or bike.)

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/4/photo-of-the-week---apr-5-2020---spring-has-sprung---north-american-mink Sun, 05 Apr 2020 18:33:10 GMT
"BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY" - Bohemian Waxwings https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/4/-bohemian-rhapsody---bohemian-waxwings "BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY"

Bohemian Waxwings (6 Photos)

 

Personally, I usually hear these delightful birds first. If you have never heard them in the trees, to me it sounds like a harmonious whirring sound, which intensifies as more and more individual birds join the flock.

 

So followed the sound into a densely forested thicket, stopped and looked up. It was one of those "Are You Kidding Me" moments, as the birds were not high in the trees but landing onto fallen trees, close by. For whatever reason, they were happy to land close in, stay a few minutes and then fly, returning a short time later.

 

The session probably lasted 30 to 40 minutes at which time, they flew as a flock into another area. For me, it was such a tremendous opportunity to capture the beauty and character of these waxwings from a short distance. 

(N.B. Please note these photos were taken after more than one hour's walk, through a deserted park, as all Alberta Provincial Parks are now closed to traffic. Access is permitted on foot or bike.)

 

PHOTO #1

 

PHOTO #2 

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/4/-bohemian-rhapsody---bohemian-waxwings Fri, 03 Apr 2020 22:38:45 GMT
Photo of the Week - Mar 29, 2020 - WHEN THE WORLD WARIES ..........." - Porcupine https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/3/photo-of-the-week---mar-29-2020---when-the-world-waries---porcupine "WHEN THE WORLD WEARIES & CEASES TO SATISFY ..."

North American Porcupine - 3 Photos

 

To paraphrase a line of poetry by "Winnie Aumonier":

 

"When the world wearies & ceases to satisfy, there is always nature". (Winnie Aumonier's actual wording was "When the world wearies & ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden".)

 

And how does Nature handle stress. For one porcupine, perhaps some ideas.

 

(These photos were taken in an area that requires an hour (one way) walk through a deserted provincial park, as all Alberta Provincial Parks are now closed to traffic.)

 

PHOTO #1 - Enjoying Some Sunshine & Fresh Air (Porcupines are solitary animals!)

PHOTO #2 - Having a Great Scratch & Groom

PHOTO #3 - Branch Dancing?

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/3/photo-of-the-week---mar-29-2020---when-the-world-waries---porcupine Tue, 31 Mar 2020 17:36:19 GMT
"THE CASE OF THE VANISHING PORCUPINE, A MOTHER NATURE'S MYSTERY" https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/3/-the-case-of-the-vanishing-porcupine-a-mother-natures-mystery "THE CASE OF THE VANISHING PORCUPINE, A MOTHER NATURE'S MYSTERY"

PORCUPINE (NORTH AMERICAN) - 3 Photos

 

I think most of us have heard of "the pub quiz", well this is "the porcupine quiz".

 

This porcupine will feature in tomorrow's Photo of the Week. However, in the interim, there was a moment that I caught on camera while the porcupine was doing its antics in the tree.

 

The tree where the porcupine was hanging out was right next to a paved path in a park. It was truly enjoying the Spring sunshine (as will be demonstrated tomorrow). However, at one point, the porcupine decided to slide back into the crevice of the tree trunk. It disappeared into the trunk, somehow righted itself within the crevice and crawled back out for some more sunshine. 

 

That's when I left and a short time later, returned with a friend who had only just seen the porcupine hanging out. And NO PORCUPINE. There are no other trees even close to this one and the surrounding area is bounded by a well used paved path and an open meadow, partially covered in snow. Not somewhere a porcupine would be heading if it had climbed down on a busy afternoon. 

 

My theory is that porcupine crawled along like this, righted itself within the crevice and disappeared into the trunk for a nap, which would not take that long. This may explain the strange positioning of the porcupine as it approached the hole.

 

Here are three photos. The first is as it was shot, with a bit of cropping.

 

As I had some difficulty in determining which end was up (so to speak), I over lighted it to see the shadows more clearly and what parts of the porcupine were in the crevice (2nd Photo).

 

In the third photo, I have "marked" what I believe are the facial features and paws of the porcupine.

 

What does everyone think?

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/3/-the-case-of-the-vanishing-porcupine-a-mother-natures-mystery Sat, 28 Mar 2020 22:20:36 GMT
Photo of the Week - Mar 21, 2020 - "MY PERSONAL TRAINER" - Weasel (Long Tailed) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/3/photo-of-the-week---mar-21-2020---my-personal-trainer---weasel-long-tailed "MY PERSONAL TRAINER"

Weasel (Long Tailed) - 5 Photos

 

Believe in these restricted times, I have found my new "personal trainer" - yes, it is a Long Tailed Weasel in its winter coat.

 

The distances this little member of the Mustalid family travels at speed is incredible. Was fortunate enough to catch some close-up shots but also having had the chance to watch it from afar, am tempted to nickname this little one, "Usain Bolt" or perhaps "Usaine Bolt" (depending upon its gender). (Apologies to the world class sprinter but am certain Mr. Bolt would be impressed at the speed and stamina this weasel, for its size, can maintain.)

 

It has a bit of a dirty face & paws at the moment, digging into the vole tunnels but those little patches of red on its neck are related, I believe, to a recent rodent meal.

 

PHOTO #1

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"A SHORT RESPITE FROM THE ACTION"

PHOTO #2

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"A RODENT'S WORST NIGHTMARE"

PHOTO #3

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"A STALKING POSE"

PHOTO #4

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"TREE STALK"

PHOTO #5

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"CHECKING OUT A POTENTIAL"

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/3/photo-of-the-week---mar-21-2020---my-personal-trainer---weasel-long-tailed Mon, 23 Mar 2020 20:54:29 GMT
Photo of the Week - Mar 14, 2020 - "INDIVIDUALS ALL!" - American Bald Eagle (Mature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/3/photo-of-the-week---mar-14-2020---individuals-all---american-bald-eagle-mature "INDIVIDUALS ALL!"

American Bald Eagle (Mature) - 8 Photos

 

We do recognize people as individuals within our species. However, we should remember that individuality does not only apply to humans but to animals as well. As with people, animals have individual looks as well as personalities. 

 

These three mature eagles (one almost achieving its white head) have very distinct appearances. As they are  living and hunting in a relatively small area, it is a pleasure and bonus to be able to distinguish one from another with photography and understand some of their behaviours, eg. are they perching in trees looking for prey or having had a successful morning hunting, are relaxed and are in the process of grooming.

 

Eagle No. 3, would suspect, from its size and plumage, is a mature female eagle.

 

 

EAGLE NO. 1

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

EAGLE NO. 2

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

 

PHOTO #6

EAGLE NO. 3

PHOTO #7

PHOTO #8

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/3/photo-of-the-week---mar-14-2020---individuals-all---american-bald-eagle-mature Sat, 14 Mar 2020 17:36:08 GMT
Photo of the Week -- Mar 8, 2020 - "WAR & PEACE" - Canada Geese, etc. https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/3/photo-of-the-week----mar-8-2020---war-peace---canada-geese-etc "WAR & PEACE"

Canada Geese, etc. - 6 Photos

 

Spring may be in the air (although more snow in Calgary, AB yesterday) and with that love. And with courtship, comes competition. Out of dozens of Canada Geese onshore, these two decided to take each other on with feather grabbing & wing thumping.

 

And any competition would be amiss without one impartial spectator (Photo #6).

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/3/photo-of-the-week----mar-8-2020---war-peace---canada-geese-etc Mon, 09 Mar 2020 01:09:57 GMT
"FAMOUS FIVE" - Trumpeter Swans (Adult & Immature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/3/-famous-five---trumpeter-swans-adult-immature "FAMOUS FIVE"

Trumpeter Swans (Adult & Immature) - 7 Photos

 

Have been fortunate on several occasions,  to photograph this group of swans, who appear to be one adult (potentially female) & four immature offspring.

 

Some individuals who have observed the swans while I have been in the throes of photography have made inquiries as to the species, as against the Canada Geese it is obvious they are not geese.

 

I would say that everyone, no matter what their age or background, have been thrilled to discover that the birds they have sighted are not only swans, but indeed Trumpeter Swans. To see these magnificent white birds close up and to think that not so many years ago, they may have disappeared from our planet is truly a gift from Nature. Hopefully, we may have many more success stories of species that have or are recovering from low numbers.

 

For full gallery, please see clink on link to gallery below:

https://www.inaturephoto.com/Swans_Trumpeter_-_The_Famous_Five

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4- "THEY WENT THAT-A-WAY!"

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/3/-famous-five---trumpeter-swans-adult-immature Sat, 07 Mar 2020 22:36:21 GMT
Photo of the Week - Mar 2, 2020 - "OH, DEER!" - White Tailed Deer https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/3/photo-of-the-week---mar-2-2020---oh-deer---white-tailed-deer "OH DEER!"

White Tailed Deer (2 Photos)

 

A small herd of White Tailed Deer were catching some quiet time in late afternoon sunshine. All were either snuggled up or just enjoying some winter rays.

 

Caught one relaxed individual who looks as if it is trying out the deer equivalent of the "comb over"!

 

PHOTO #1 - "Is This A Deer's Answer to the "Comb Over?"

PHOTO #2 - "Winter Sunshine"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/3/photo-of-the-week---mar-2-2020---oh-deer---white-tailed-deer Mon, 02 Mar 2020 23:39:27 GMT
Photo of the Week - Feb 23, 2020 - "BATTLE OF THE BIRDS" - Trumpeter Swans (Immature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/2/photo-of-the-week---feb-23-2020---battle-of-the-birds---trumpeter-swans-immature "BATTLE OF THE BIRDS"

Trumpeter Swans - Immature (5 Photos)

 

The adult swan had had a one on one encounter with one particular Canada Goose. Not certain the cause as it was the only one she attacked and it wasn't the one following close behind as she paddled up food from underneath the water. Sure she had her reasons - perhaps some derogatory comment about her offspring.

 

In any event, the youngsters took it to the shore and showed "Swans Rule". At the end, as the adult swan made its way onshore, one swan pushed and actually "bit" its sibling off the shoreline, perhaps to make room for the adult and earn points! However, in the end all ended well and we were all back to being friends.

 

PHOTO #1 - "BATTLE OF THE BIRDS"

PHOTO #2 - "RUN"

PHOTO #3 - "OKAY GOOSE - DUCK! THAT'S THE VERB NOT THE NOUN"

PHOTO #4 - "Make Room for Mum"

PHOTO #5 - The Three Amigos

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/2/photo-of-the-week---feb-23-2020---battle-of-the-birds---trumpeter-swans-immature Sun, 23 Feb 2020 23:19:15 GMT
"SWANS ON ICE" & "DANCING WITH SWANS" - Trumpeter Swans (Immature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/2/-swans-on-ice-dancing-with-swans---trumpeter-swans-immature "SWANS ON ICE" & "DANCING WITH THE SWANS"

Trumpeter Swans (Immature) - 5 Photos

 

I find Trumpeter Swans, not matter whether adult or youngster, truly graceful and one can see why they are the subject of legends and folklore.

 

In this particular grouping, there are four immature swans and one adult. Managed to catch some of the youngsters up to some antics, which show they are not just "pretty faces".

 

In the first two photos, "SWANS ON ICE", this particular swan discovered that if it flapped its wings as it walked across the icy shoreline, it could propel itself forward by "skating" with its webbed feet.

 

In the last three photos, "DANCING WITH THE SWANS", one youngster having been picked on by one of its siblings, took to the field behind the water, where the Canada Geese were resting. Between its half flying and running, at one stage it almost need to twirl around with the hilly area behind it, and break into a chorus of "The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music"!

 


SWANS ON ICE

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

DANCING WITH THE SWANS

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/2/-swans-on-ice-dancing-with-swans---trumpeter-swans-immature Sun, 23 Feb 2020 00:51:09 GMT
Photo of the Week - Feb 17, 2020 - "EAGLE SCOUT" - American Bald Eagle (Mature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/2/photo-of-the-week---feb-17-2020---eagle-scout---american-bald-eagle-mature "EAGLE SCOUT"

American Bald Eagle - Mature (6 Photos)

 

One scenario for photographing American Bald Eagles:

 

1. Wear suitable traction footwear & clothing;

2. Locate one, hopefully in a tree with little or no branch interference for a clean shot;

3. Walk thousands of steps while trying to look nonchalant;

4. Plead for an audience & allowance to get into range;

5. Work with the light Nature gives you. In this instance, it was a soft morning light with the sun slightly off to the right of the photo.

 

It certainly is much easier to shoot with the light source behind you but this particular subdued lighting provided some striking contrasts & gave this gorgeous bird of prey an almost mythical appearance. (Photos 1 - 3)

And yes, it may have only been seconds before the eagle flew "Stage Right", but it was a little unnerving to stare a Bald Eagle in the eyes as it heads for what appears to be directly down the camera lens! (Photos 4 - 6)

 

 

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4


PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/2/photo-of-the-week---feb-17-2020---eagle-scout---american-bald-eagle-mature Mon, 17 Feb 2020 00:41:34 GMT
"ON THE WINGS OF A SWAN" - Trumpeter Swan (Adult) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/2/-on-the-wings-of-a-swan---trumpeter-swan-adult "ON THE WINGS OF A SWAN"

Trumpeter Swan - 6 Photos

 

There is something otherworldly about swans.

 

In particular, Trumpeter Swans with their "back from the brink from extinction" success never cease to inspire with their beauty & grace.

 

This adult swan was accompanied by four immature ones, all overwintering near the Bow River, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. When you can be that close to watch their daily routines, a few take-offs just add to the experience.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/2/-on-the-wings-of-a-swan---trumpeter-swan-adult Sat, 15 Feb 2020 23:27:09 GMT
"What's in a Name?" - Mammals of North America https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/2/-whats-in-a-name---mammals-of-north-america "WHAT'S IN A NAME?"

Mammals of North America - 4 Photos

 

Last week's Photo of the Week - "Tree Climber" created some controversy on my Twitter account, i.e. Long Tailed Weasel versus Stoat.

 

For those not familiar with my profile, I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and currently all the photos of  the animals featured on this website were taken in and around Calgary and southern Alberta and in the Rocky Mountains west of Calgary.

 

There is good reason for Scientific/Latin names for animals and having done some brief research, here are three examples of "What's In a Name" for the books!

 

PHOTO #1 - In North America, we refer to these as "Elk"

North American ElkNorth American Elk"ENGAGEMENT"
(Banff, Alberta, CA)

 

PHOTO #2 - In Europe, for example, these are referred to as "Eurasian Elk". In North America, we call that a "Moose".

North American Moose - FemaleNorth American Moose - Female"NOW WHERE DID THOSE CALVES GO?"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 

PHOTO #3 - Bears similar to the one below if found "Inland" are referred to as "Grizzly Bears". While those on the coasts are referred to as "Brown Bears". (From some research, it appears Grizzly Bears are a subspecies of Brown Bears)

Grizzly BearGrizzly Bear"GOT THE MUNCHIES!"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA_

 

And, of course, the infamous, Long Tailed Weasel. If one types in "Stoats in Canada" or "Stoats in Alberta" at "Google" for example, up pops (pardon the pun) references to the three species of Weasel. I have included some links to websites below for reference purposes. 

And yes, it has also been referred to as "Nature's Little Psychopath!" :)

https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/weasel

 

http://www.saskschoolsinfo.com/animals/weasel.html

 

 

To end, really like those words that I have been exposed to through "National Geographic" - "Nature Just Is".

 

PHOTO #4 - Long Tailed Weasel

Weasel -  Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"LITTLE HUNTER"

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/2/-whats-in-a-name---mammals-of-north-america Wed, 12 Feb 2020 23:27:46 GMT
Photo of the Week - Feb 9, 2020 - "TREE CLIMBER" - Long Tailed Weasel https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/2/photo-of-the-week---feb-9-2020---tree-climber---long-tailed-weasel "TREE CLIMBER"

"Long Tailed Weasel (3 Photos)

 

"Symphony in White #2" with the adult Trumpeter Swan will appear next week.

 

Some days you can have a great walk but not many subjects "available" for photographs and then other days all those hours can pay off.

 

I had seen this Long Tailed Weasel two days in a row but it was on a mission, not stopping more than a "blink" and then today, something very unexpected happened.

 

It did not pause on a fallen tree or log but climbed up a tree (and that answers that question of "Can Weasels Climb Trees?" and checked out a hole. There was a flicker at the top of the tree but no action there. 

 

So not only a deadly predator with one of the cutest faces in the woods but an aerial acrobat as well. So much for only looking on the ground and into hollow logs for this little member of the Mustalid family but will have to look up as well.

 

PHOTO #1

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"TREE CLIMBER"

PHOTO #2

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"DON'T LOOK DOWN!"

PHOTO #3

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"CHECK STAGE RIGHT"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/2/photo-of-the-week---feb-9-2020---tree-climber---long-tailed-weasel Sun, 09 Feb 2020 23:21:51 GMT
Symphony in White - Trumpeter Swans (Immature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/2/symphony-in-white---trumpeter-swans-immature SYMPHONY IN WHITE #1

Trumpeter Swans (Immature) - 5 Photos

 

Was privileged to have some close up views of an adult swan accompanied by two immature young swans. This blog will feature the youngsters, which are more on the dusky side particularly their heads but gorgeous none the less. 

 

The Trumpeter Swan is a success story in that the species was brought back from the brink of extinction and from the appearance & health of these two youngsters, there is so much hope for the future. Their swan song belongs to the "horn" section of an orchestra in that it sounds much like an old car horn. 

 

PHOTO #1 - "SYMPHONY IN WHITE #1"

PHOTO #2 - "NOT EVEN CLOSE, CANADA GOOSE!"

PHOTO #3 - "SHEER POETRY"

PHOTO #4 - "PAUSE FOR REFLECTION"

PHOTO #5 - "EYES TIGHT SHUT"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/2/symphony-in-white---trumpeter-swans-immature Sat, 08 Feb 2020 23:58:04 GMT
Photo of the Week - Feb 2, 2020 - "A PORCUPINE'S AIR B&B" - North American Porcupine https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/2/photo-of-the-week---feb-2-2020---a-porcupines-air-b-b---north-american-porcupine "A PORCUPINE'S AIR B&B"

North American Porcupine (6 Photos)

 

 

Just love porcupines & their furry dark brown faces BUT to use that old abbreviation "NIMBY" - Not in my backyard, please. You are welcome to a bed but no breakfast for you in my tall silver birch.

 

This porcupine lives in a huge provincial park, in its natural environment, far from any residential area, i.e. one home sweet home for this porcupine. 

 

So one very happy porcupine enjoying some fresh air, out of its den, and taking advantage of a bed & a breakfast.

 

PHOTO #1 - "DON'T YOU JUST LOVE TREES!"

PHOTO #2 - "JUST A LITTLE BREAKFAST BEFORE BED"

PHOTO #3 - "A PORCUPINE'S RECLINER"

PHOTO #4 - THE VIEW FROM THE TOP"

PHOTO #5 - JUST WHO ARE YOU LOOKING AT - DO I HAVE ANYTHING ON MY FACE?"

PHOTO #6 - "GOOD TO THE LAST BITE"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/2/photo-of-the-week---feb-2-2020---a-porcupines-air-b-b---north-american-porcupine Sun, 02 Feb 2020 08:30:00 GMT
"CAUGHT IN THE ACT" - North American Porcupine https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/2/-caught-in-the-act---north-american-porcupine "CAUGHT IN THE ACT"

North American Porcupine

 

"Honestly - the branch looked like this when I climbed up here!"

 

Nothing liked being caught porcupine handed! More photos in tomorrow's blog - Photo of the Week - "A Porcupine's Air B&B".

 

PHOTO #1

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/2/-caught-in-the-act---north-american-porcupine Sat, 01 Feb 2020 22:41:21 GMT
Photo of the Week - Jan 26, 2020 - "ROGUE'S GALLERY" - North American Porcupine https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/1/photo-of-the-week---jan-26-2020---rogues-gallery---north-american-porcupine "ROGUE'S GALLERY - EYES WIDE OPEN"

North American Porcupine - 2 Photos

 

So it warms up and basically all the birds & mammals disappear? Perhaps my timing is just a little off. 

 

So here is my favourite porcupine in a few gallery portrait poses.

 

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/1/photo-of-the-week---jan-26-2020---rogues-gallery---north-american-porcupine Mon, 27 Jan 2020 00:02:00 GMT
"DOE A DEER" - White Tail Deer https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/1/-doe-a-deer---white-tail-deer "DOE A DEER"

White Tail Deer (3 Photos)

 

Unfortunately, I have now got that song in my head. Apologies for any similar occurrences!!  

 

PHOTO #1 - "DOE"

PHOTO #2 - "A DEER"

PHOTO #3 - "DEER RUN"

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/1/-doe-a-deer---white-tail-deer Sun, 26 Jan 2020 02:22:43 GMT
Photo of the Week - Jan 19, 2020 - "P" IS FOR PORCUPINE - North American Porcupine https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/1/photo-of-the-week---jan-19-2020---p-is-for-porcupine---north-american-porcupine "P" IS FOR PORCUPINE

North American Porcupine - 7 Photos

 

As it was a balmy (LOL) - 27 degrees Celsius at just past mid day with a windchill factor of "Oh My Goodness", even with a beautiful blue clear sky and lots of sunshine, other than some frosted feathered waterfowl snuggling up along the Bow River shoreline, not much was stirring.

 

So it was into the wooded area to investigate and there on a tree branch low down on its trunk, was the porcupine, taking in some sunny rays.

 

Trekking uphill through the snow, managed to get into position and capture some relative close-ups of what I believe is one of the most adorable faces in the mammal world (Photos 1 to 3). Apologies Coyotes, I said you were one of my favourite mammals, not the only one and you didn't show up for a photo shoot!

 

After some time, the porcupine slowly climbed to the top of the branch (Photos 4 & 5), where it settled down for a nap (something I suppose we all do having enjoyed some sunny rays) - (Photo #6).

 

And that's where I left the "Sleeping Beauty" (Photo #7), all tucked up and snug, while I went to seek out a warmer venue to defrost. 

 

Gallery link is below:

https://www.inaturephoto.com/P_IS_FOR_PORCUPINE

 

 

 

PHOTO #1 - "P" IS FOR PORCUPINE

Porcupine - North AemricanPorcupine - North Aemrican"P" IS FOR PORCUPINE

PHOTO #2 - "A SUN BED FOR A PORCUPINE"

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"SUN BED FOR A PORCUPINE"

PHOTO #3 - "READY FOR MY CLOSE-UP"

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"READY FOR MY CLOSE-UP"

PHOTO #4 - GETTING READY TO CLIMB INTO BED

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"MAKING OUR WAY UP TO BED"

PHOTO #5 - SOMETIMES IT SEEMS TO TAKE FOREVER TO GET INTO BED

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"SOMETIMES IT FEELS IT TAKES FOREVER TO GET INTO BED"

PHOTO #6  - CHECK OUT THE FROSTED EYE (RIGHT SIDE OF THE PHOTO)

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"FROSTED EYE"

PHOTO #7 - "SLEEPY HEAD" OR IS THAT THE ULTIMATE "BED HEAD"?

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American:SLEEPY HEAD OR ULTIMATE BED HEAD"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/1/photo-of-the-week---jan-19-2020---p-is-for-porcupine---north-american-porcupine Mon, 20 Jan 2020 00:56:55 GMT
"YOU CAN FLY BUT YOU CAN'T HIDE" - American Bald Eagle (Immature) & Magpies https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/1/-you-can-fly-but-you-cant-hide---american-bald-eagle-immature-magpies "YOU CAN FLY BUT YOU CAN'T HIDE!"

American Bald Eagle (Immature) & Magpies - 4 Photos

 

When photographing wildlife, one of my primary goals is to minimize any stress to the subject. I try to always give the animal its space where it feels comfortable & never harass or have it feel threatened. Tomorrow's "Photo of the Week" mammal, for example, may not have the sharpest vision but has great hearing so I tried to minimize movement and any sound. (This can be a little challenging when trying to quietly move through undergrowth & branches covered by 2 feet of snow!)

 

However, today's young eagle photography involves wildlife being harassed by other wildlife. 

 

The eagle and I were enjoying some quality time, the eagle taking some time out from searching the river for a meal by resting in a tree and well, I was trying my best to capture the stunning attributes of this young eagle, when along came not one but five magpies who chased the bird from one tree to another. 

 

In the end, it settled in a tree among some branches. Unfortunately, followed by the magpie gang. Hopefully, the young eagle will survive its first year and mature. It needs time to grow some white head & tail feathers and then tell those bully birds to take a fly!

 

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/1/-you-can-fly-but-you-cant-hide---american-bald-eagle-immature-magpies Sat, 18 Jan 2020 23:30:46 GMT
Photo of the Week - January 12, 2020 - "WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE" - Coyote https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/1/photo-of-the-week---january-12-2020---where-the-wild-things-are---coyote "WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE"

Coyote (4 Photos)

 

Coyotes are one of my favourite mammals to photograph. This young coyote offered some brief opportunities before disappearing into the frozen marshland and continuing on its pursuit of prey.

 

Thankfully, I have had longer sessions, particularly when a coyote has been diving repeatedly into the snow for voles but generally like other friends who are wildlife photographers, the camera doesn't have time to focus before the coyote moves off quickly into the distant landscape.

 

From my experience, where coyotes have appeared occasionally to linger a little longer in an area or have been drawn in a little closer, there has been a dog walker with a small dog which has been barking rapidly & excitedly, usually accompanied by erratic movements. I can only surmise that this type of behaviour can mimic a small animal in the wild in distress, which to any predator is a signal to take note as injured prey may be close by.  (I would add here that the behaviour from the little dog is usually caused by my walking past.)

 

I am an avid dog lover and luckily have never witnessed any direct confrontations between a coyote and a dog on a walk. However, as we are walking in parks, etc. where coyotes roam and do call their home, that we remember to keep our dogs on leads in those on-leash areas and in those off-leash areas, be aware of coyotes who may be following their hunting routes. (Bobcats are also now being sighted more frequently in these areas.)

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/1/photo-of-the-week---january-12-2020---where-the-wild-things-are---coyote Sun, 12 Jan 2020 18:06:51 GMT
"YOUTHFUL EXUBERANCE" - American Bald Eagle (Immature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/1/-youthful-exuberance---american-bald-eagle-immature "YOUTHFUL EXUBERANCE"

American Bald Eagle (Immature) - 2 Photos

 

Any encounter, albeit brief, is always thrilling. This young eagle was watching waterfowl on the river below, when it decided to take to the skies and pursue a "ready made meal" further north.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/1/-youthful-exuberance---american-bald-eagle-immature Sat, 11 Jan 2020 21:41:40 GMT
Photo of the Week - Jan 5, 2020 - "ECO-WARRIOR & INVASIVE SPECIES" - North American Mink https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/1/photo-of-the-week---jan-5-2019---eco-warrior-invasive-species---north-american-mink "ECO-WARRIOR & INVASIVE SPECIES"

North American Mink - 3 Photos

 

The December 15th, 2019 - Photo of the Week - "If Wishes were Fishes" highlighted the North American Mink. (Please see link below for the actual blog.)

https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/12/photo-of-the-week---dec-15-2019---if-wishes-were-fishes---mink-north-american

 

Having had no success in identifying the fish that this lucky mink caught, I finally went to the experts at "Fish Tales Fly Shop Ltd." n Calgary, Alberta. At the shop, their staff quickly identified the fish as a "Prussian Carp", an invasive species in Alberta's waterways. Well, that's one less one to worry about thanks to the little brown "Eco-Warrior" mink. I hope this mink and members of its species keep up the good work in Calgary.

 

The following link is from an Alberta Government's website, identifying invasive fish species in Alberta and the protocols that should be followed in order to protect Alberta's waterways. It includes a pictorial representation of the "Prussian Carp".

https://www.alberta.ca/invasive-fish-species.aspx

 

Invasive species can be defined as animals or plants from another region of the world that don't belong in their new environment. In this instance, the Prussian Carp is the invasive species and the North American Mink, native to this area, an asset in its control. However, in the United Kingdom, for example, the North American Mink is an invasive species. It is believed it escaped from "mink farms" into the natural environment where it has successfully adapted to its new living conditions and is known to be predator of native species such as the Water Vole, which is classified as "endangered".

 

So let's work to keep the environment and its inhabitants, "native"  wherever we may live and avoid introducing "invasive species". And thanks, little mink, for your contribution in your native environment for doing your part.

 

And I would also like to thank Nancy & Matt, at "Fish Tales Fly Shop Ltd." in Calgary, AB for their wonderful assistance. I've included the link to their website as my way of saying thanks for taking the time to solve my "riddle". If fishing is a passion, check them out! 

https://fishtalesflyshop.com/

 

 

PHOTO #1 - "SNOW MINK"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"MINK IN WINTER"

PHOTO #2 - "BLINK MINK"

Mink  (North American)Mink (North American)"MINK MOUSTACHE"

PHOTO #3 - "NORTH AMERICAN MINK & PRUSSIAN CARP"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"IF FISHES WERE WISHES"

 

 

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/1/photo-of-the-week---jan-5-2019---eco-warrior-invasive-species---north-american-mink Sun, 05 Jan 2020 23:40:56 GMT
"ICE SWAN" - Trumpeter Swan (Immature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/1/-ice-swan---trumpeter-swan-immature "ICE SWAN" 

Trumpeter Swan (Immature) - 3 photos

 

Caught this beautiful young Trumpeter Swan in among hundreds of Canada Geese & ducks. Perhaps a little dusky in colour, it still couldn't hide in the regular waterfowl.

 

With its white icy feathering, it resembles those swan sculptures one would see in ice sculpting displays.

 

With the Bow River open, particularly as it runs through the City of Calgary, this youngster will have a head start in the Spring migration north later this year. No need for air miles here. 

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/1/-ice-swan---trumpeter-swan-immature Sun, 05 Jan 2020 01:10:01 GMT
Photos of the Year - 2019 - Birds (Night Heron, Osprey & Great Horned Owl) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/12/photos-of-the-year---2019---birds-night-heron-osprey-great-horned-owl Photos of the Year (2019) - Birds

Night Heron, Osprey & Great Horned Owl (6 Photos)

 

For Part 2 of Photos of the Year - 2019, here are three of my favourite bird subjects from 2019. The last two pairs are young fledglings, but no less of character or charisma of their parents.

 

For 2020, wishing everyone:

 

1. The boldness of the small Night Heron. It may be short in stature but huge in personality;

2. The learning aptitude of the young Osprey;

3. The wisdom of the owl.

 

Happy New Year!

 

 

PHOTO #1 - Night Heron (Adult)

PHOTO #2 - Night Heron (Adult)

PHOTO #3 - Osprey (Immature)

PHOTO #4 - Osprey (Immature)

PHOTO #5 - Great Horned Owl (Immature)

PHOTO #6 - Great Horned Owl (Immature)

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/12/photos-of-the-year---2019---birds-night-heron-osprey-great-horned-owl Wed, 01 Jan 2020 01:43:20 GMT
Photos of the Year (2019) - December 31, 2019 - Mammals https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/12/photos-of-the-year-2019---december-31-2019---mammals PHOTOS OF THE YEAR 2019

Mammals - 6 Photos (Bobcat, Grizzly Bear & Long Tailed Weasel)

 

As another year draws to a close & a new decade is about to commence, I thought I would share some of my favourite animals for 2019. These photos have not been posted previously. A second set will follow for birds.

 

Having reviewed the attributes of these mammals, in 2020 may you have the:

 

1. The charisma & agility of the bobcat;

2. The strength & love between a Mother Grizzly Bear & her cubs; and

3. The tenacity & will power of the Long Tailed Weasel. (Although not extremely graphic, some individuals may find the photos of the weasel & its prize slightly disturbing.)

 

PHOTO #1 - Bobcat (Juvenile)

PHOTO #2 - Bobcat (Adult Female)

PHOTO #3 - Grizzly Bear (Juvenile) - Check out the right side of the photo for the bee, which has caught this little darling's attention!

PHOTO #4 - Grizzly Bear (Female)

PHOTO #5 - Weasel (Long Tailed) & Rabbit

PHOTO #6 - Weasel (Long Tailed) & Rabbit

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/12/photos-of-the-year-2019---december-31-2019---mammals Mon, 30 Dec 2019 22:11:09 GMT
"HAPPY CHRISTMAS!" - American Bald Eagle (Adult) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/12/-happy-christmas---american-bald-eagle-adult "HAPPY CHRISTMAS!"

American Bald Eagle (Adult) - 3 Photos

 

Happy Christmas, everyone and that includes all the feathered and furries as well!

 

Wishing all an excellent Christmas. And yes, Nature gives the best gifts!

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/12/-happy-christmas---american-bald-eagle-adult Wed, 25 Dec 2019 23:35:54 GMT
Photo of the Week - Dec 22, 2019 - "How Much Wood Does a Woodchuck Chuck" - Porcupine https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/12/photo-of-the-week---dec-22-2019---how-much-wood-does-a-woodchuck-chuck---porcupine "HOW MUCH WOOD DOES A WOODCHUCK CHUCK"

Porcupine (North American) - 5 Photos

 

Apologies for the delay in posting. One of those computer software upgrades which required a subsequent upgrade to correct the glitch.

 

A woodchuck is supposedly a type of ground squirrel but in this instance, that old tongue twister came to mind while watching the porcupine chew on a part of a large tree limb.

 

The last photo (Photo #5) is the porcupine in its other favourite pastime - napping!

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/12/photo-of-the-week---dec-22-2019---how-much-wood-does-a-woodchuck-chuck---porcupine Mon, 23 Dec 2019 22:39:15 GMT
"DO PORCUPINES SLEEP ON QUILLOWS?" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/12/-do-porcupines-sleep-on-quillows---porcupine-north-american "DO PORCUPINES SLEEP ON QUILLOWS?"

Porcupine (North American) - 2 Photos

 

A day that went from bright blue sunny skies (which is probably why this porcupine climbed into a tree to sun itself) to an overcast haze with still mild temperatures.

 

Each animal in the wild provides its own challenges to photograph and capture its unique attributes. Porcupines, in particular, with their dark furry faces and distinctive quills being much lighter in colour can be somewhat difficult at times. However, their adorable faces and porcupine "antics" make it well worth the effort.

 

Tomorrow's "Photo of the Week" will highlight this beautiful porcupine and a couple of its favourite porcupine activities.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

 

 

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/12/-do-porcupines-sleep-on-quillows---porcupine-north-american Sat, 21 Dec 2019 20:49:42 GMT
Photo of the Week - Dec 15, 2019 - "IF WISHES WERE FISHES" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/12/photo-of-the-week---dec-15-2019---if-wishes-were-fishes---mink-north-american "IF WISHES WERE FISHES"

Mink (North American) - 4 Photos

 

Well it looks like this little mink caught its Christmas wish early. In this instance, it definitely has its mouth full. Can't get over that the fish is bigger than the mink's head (Photo #4).  In this case, however, I don't think the mink's eyes are bigger than its stomach. Fish on, little mink! You may, however, need a creel (a wicker basket for carrying fish) at some stage (Photo #3).

 

To view all the photos, click on the link below:

https://www.inaturephoto.com/Mink-NorthAmerican-TheFishingHole

 

 

PHOTO #1

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"NO NET REQUIRED"

PHOTO #2

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"EYES DEFINITELY NOT BIGGER THAN A MINK'S STOMACH"

PHOTO #3

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"SOMEONE NEEDS A CREEL OR A WICKER BASKET TO CARRY FISH!"

PHOTO #4

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"IF FISHES WERE WISHES"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/12/photo-of-the-week---dec-15-2019---if-wishes-were-fishes---mink-north-american Sun, 15 Dec 2019 00:46:21 GMT
"REGAL EAGLE" - American Bald Eagle https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/12/-regal-eagle---american-bald-eagle "REGAL EAGLE"

American Bald Eagle - 7 Photos

 

Was fortunate to spot one adult American Bald Eagle and two youngsters in one tree. One would assume this would be the two offspring of the adult as they were all hanging out together very amicably. 

 

Did not have an opportunity to grab a shot of all three (one of the disadvantages of the long lens) but did manage a shot of one Immature and one Adult, (Photo #1)  before the Immature flew off to join its sibling somewhere downriver.

 

The adult must have eaten well some time that day as it hung out for an extremely long time. The weather, again, was a bit bleak with snow in the air but with some sun trying to shine out from behind the clouds.  The eagle seemed more concerned about surveying its surroundings and keeping warm, which probably worked better for the feathered subject than the two legged photographer :) (Photos #2, 3 & 4).

 

I have an adage - "You can't sneak up on a Bald Eagle (because of their extraordinary eyesight), you must be granted an audience." That came to mind when a raven landed in the tree down from the adult (Photos #5 & 6).  In Photo #5, it almost looks like the raven is bowing its head in reverence and permission. In Photo #6, it has raised its head to meet the eagle eye to eye, having patiently waited.

 

And certainly, this is one Regal Eagle (Photo #7), having fluffed up against the cold wind and its feathers speckled with snow, it appears to have donned a royal mantle.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/12/-regal-eagle---american-bald-eagle Fri, 13 Dec 2019 23:21:34 GMT
Photo of the Week - Dec 8, 2019 - "THE FISHING HOLE" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/12/photo-of-the-week---dec-8-2019---the-fishing-hole---mink-north-american "THE FISHING HOLE"

Mink (North American) - 5 Photos

 

As promised, here is the mink again. A star in its own right but to have an opportunity to witness its fishing prowess - totally amazing.

 

Unlike the photo on the December 7th, 2019 blog, the weather had changed from sunny & clear blue skies to bleak, overcast with snow in the air & a cold north wind. But mink, like Nature herself, doesn't take snow days! And when the "pantry" is empty, it's time to fish. (Not being a fisherman myself, I have heard from friends who do, that overcast days can be great for fishing & this little mink proved that right.)

 

And the fish tale will continue next week.

 

PHOTO #1

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"THE FISHING HOLE"

PHOTO #2

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"ARE THE FISH BITING?"

PHOTO #3

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"ICE FISHING"

PHOTO #4

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"SQUINTING"

PHOTO #5 

 

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"NO CATCH & RELEASE HERE"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/12/photo-of-the-week---dec-8-2019---the-fishing-hole---mink-north-american Sun, 08 Dec 2019 23:16:56 GMT
"GOT MILK - SORRY THAT'S GOT MINK!" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/12/-got-milk---sorry-thats-got-mink---mink-north-american "GOT MILK - SORRY THAT'S GOT MINK"

Mink (North American)

 

Although this mink appears to be quite relaxed and bathing in the sunshine, it had actually paused and was keeping a close eye (and ears) on a magpie that was hanging around in a tree close by. 

 

For once, this busy little member of the mustelid family presented an opportunity which would show off all its "minky" attributes in some soft almost Winter sunlight. 

 

It may not have been so relaxing for the mink, but each time I view this photo, it brings a sense of serenity.

 

Tomorrow's Photo the Week stars this little mink in a more active mode under some fairly bleak conditions. (What a difference a day can make!)

 

 

Mink (north American)Mink (north American)"GOT MILK - SORRY THAT'S GOT MINK!"

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/12/-got-milk---sorry-thats-got-mink---mink-north-american Sun, 08 Dec 2019 02:51:38 GMT
Photo of the Week - Dec 1, 2019 - "LOOKIN' FOR LOVE" - White Tailed Deer (Male) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/12/photo-of-the-week---dec-1-2019---lookin-for-love---white-tailed-deer-male "LOOKIN' FOR LOVE"

White Tailed Deer (Male) - 4 Photos

 

Now here's a lip curl that would rival Elvis's! With that amount of scenting, there must have been a female close by.

 

Shortly thereafter, a young doe popped out of the underbrush. Breeding season must be fast approaching. And what a handsome fellow! ("Thank you - thank you very much!")

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/12/photo-of-the-week---dec-1-2019---lookin-for-love---white-tailed-deer-male Sun, 01 Dec 2019 23:56:29 GMT
"SHOWING OUR AGE" - American Bald Eagle (Adult) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/11/-showing-our-age---american-bald-eagle-adult "SHOWING OUR AGE"

American Bald Eagle - Adult (3 photos)

 

One thing is for certain - this mature American Bald Eagle is at least 5 years old, as it has its complete white head and tail feathers. And not shy of showing off those assets.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/11/-showing-our-age---american-bald-eagle-adult Sat, 30 Nov 2019 23:38:01 GMT
Photo of the Week - Nov 24/19 - Part 2 - "SECRETIVE PORCUPINE ANATOMY" - Porcupine https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/11/photo-of-the-week---nov-24/19---part-2---secretive-porcupine-anatomy---porcupine "SECRETIVE PORCUPINE ANATOMY"

Porcupine - 4 Photos

 

One of the blessings of wildlife photography is to give you an up close view of an animal's anatomy that you may not generally see (or not safely see!). Here are four photos showing some aspects of porcupines that one may never see.

 

PHOTO #1 - "What Lies Beneath" - You wouldn't want to be standing under a porcupine to check out the quills underneath its throat, etc.

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"WHAT LIES BENEATH"

PHOTO #2 - "Porcupines Do Have Soles!" - I have a pair of slippers with soles that look like this.

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"CHECK OUT THOSE FOOT PADS!"

PHOTO #3 - "Pads & Claws"

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"PADS & CLAWS"

PHOTO #4 - "Whiskers" - No, not the cat food!

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"SMILE & WHISKERS"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/11/photo-of-the-week---nov-24/19---part-2---secretive-porcupine-anatomy---porcupine Sun, 24 Nov 2019 23:15:42 GMT
Photo of the Week - Nov 24/19 - Part 1 - "A STAR IS BORN" - Porcupine https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/11/photo-of-the-week---nov-24/19---part-1---a-star-is-born---porcupine "A STAR IS BORN"

Porcupine (4 Photos)

 

To me, it's amazing, that a porcupine with its dark furry face can be so expressive.

 

PHOTO #1 - "Fabio" - (Am showing my age here - for those that remember the Italian supermodel who did shampoo ads!)

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"FABIO"

PHOTO #2 - "Smile" - Check out those whiskers!

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"SMILE & WHISKERS"

PHOTO #3 - "K-9 Alert" - Part 1 - There was a very aggressive dog barking at another one passing on a path quite a distance away. No danger to the porcupine in the tree but enough of a noise to wake a porcupine from its slumber and take a more defensive pose. (Please remember to keep dogs on leads when in the Provincial & National Parks to keep all parties safe and non-stressed.)

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"K-9 ALERT NO. 1"

PHOTO #4 - "K-9 Alert" Part 2

 

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"K-9 ALERT NO. 2"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/11/photo-of-the-week---nov-24/19---part-1---a-star-is-born---porcupine Sun, 24 Nov 2019 23:01:47 GMT
Photo of the Week - Nov 17, 2019 - "LICENSE TO QUILL" - Porcupine https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/11/photo-of-the-week---nov-17-2019---license-to-quill---porcupine "LICENSE TO QUILL"

Porcupine - 5 Photos

 

Thanks to a fellow photographer, had some quality time (and quiet) with this porcupine, who spent its day warming in the sunshine and mild temperatures. And the secret of photographing porcupines, "Adopt the Pace of Nature: her secret is patience." (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

 

Another title for this set of photos could also be "Let Sleeping Porcupines Lie"!

 

Gallery link below:

https://www.inaturephoto.com/LicensetoQuill

 

 

PHOTO #1

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American

PHOTO #2

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American

PHOTO #3

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American

PHOTO #4

Porcupine - North AmericnPorcupine - North Americn

PHOTO #5

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/11/photo-of-the-week---nov-17-2019---license-to-quill---porcupine Mon, 18 Nov 2019 02:58:40 GMT
Photo of the Week - Nov 10/19 - "BEWITCHED, BEWITCHING, BEGUILING" - North American Mink https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/11/photo-of-the-week---nov-10/19---bewitched-bewitching-beguiling---north-american-mink "BEWITCHED, BEWITCHING, BEGUILING"

North American Mink - 4 Photos

 

It's been over a week since Halloween has come and gone but Nature has her own schedule.

 

I have to admit this little member of the mustelid (or weasel) family has me bewitched. And it is bewitching - it's not only Harry Potter who has a "cloak of invisibility". I am almost certain that with one blink of its eyes, it becomes invisible and with another blink, it re-appears somewhere else :) 

 

As for beguiling, don't let that adorable brown face, pink nose & delightful whiskers, fool you - check out this little mink's left ear. There is a small tear in the top part. What stories of its fishing escapades and near escapes from predators, one little mink could tell!

 

Gallery link below:

https://www.inaturephoto.com/MinkNorthAmericanBewitchedBewitchingBeguiled

 

 

PHOTO #1

Mink - North AmericanMink - North American"CAN YOU SEE ME?"

PHOTO #2

Mink - North AmericanMink - North American"BEWITCHING"

PHOTO #3

Mink - North AmericanMink - North American"BEWITCHED"

PHOTO #4

Mink- North AmericanMink- North American"BEGUILING"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/11/photo-of-the-week---nov-10/19---bewitched-bewitching-beguiling---north-american-mink Sun, 10 Nov 2019 08:30:00 GMT
"REMAINS OF THE DUCK" - American Bald Eagle (Mature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/11/-remains-of-the-duck---american-bald-eagle-mature "REMAINS OF THE DUCK"

American Bald Eagle (Mature) - 2 Photos

 

It may have been overcast and cold but it appears this American Bald Eagle had almost completed its main entree. 

 

In Calgary in late Autumn & Winter, particularly along the Bow River, American Bald Eagles (of all ages) migrate from the northern regions to overwinter and partake of the food sources that the river provides. As it never completely freezes, fish and non-migrating waterfowl are aplenty (and anything else that may come ashore).

 

Being opportunist birds of prey, whether it be fish or fowl, feathered or furred, living or non-living, a meal is a meal Let's hear it for the "clean-up" crews that perform a vital function that maintains the river's healthy ecosystem.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/11/-remains-of-the-duck---american-bald-eagle-mature Sat, 09 Nov 2019 23:11:08 GMT
Photo of the Week - Nov 3, 2019 - "SHAKE, ROCK & ROLL" - North American Mink https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/11/photo-of-the-week---nov-3-2019---shake-rock-roll---north-american-mink "SHAKE, ROCK & ROLL"

North American Mink

 

Caught this fierce little predator coming out of the water. And yes, they shake off the excess water just like the the family dog!

 

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"SHAKE, ROCK & ROLL"

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/11/photo-of-the-week---nov-3-2019---shake-rock-roll---north-american-mink Sun, 03 Nov 2019 15:53:37 GMT
"TRUMPETING THE WINTER MIGRATION" - Trumpeter Swans https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/11/-trumpeting-the-winter-migration---trumpeter-swans "TRUMPETING THE WINTER MIGRATION"

Trumpeter Swans (7 Photos)

 

Caught these two migrating Trumpeter Swans in amidst some Canada Geese, taking a brief respite from their migration. One never really appreciates their size until seen against a Canada Goose, which is no small bird in its own right. 

 

I suppose another title for some of these photos would have been "Wing Envy"!

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/11/-trumpeting-the-winter-migration---trumpeter-swans Sun, 03 Nov 2019 15:47:53 GMT
Photo of the Week - Oct 27, 2019 - "HOME, HOME ON THE RANGE" - American Bison https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/10/photo-of-the-week---oct-27-2019---home-home-on-the-range---american-bison "HOME, HOME ON THE RANGE"

American Bison (5 Photos)

(Southeastern Alberta, CA)

 

All photos taken from a safe distance & location.

 

A little tricky for lighting as these shots were taken facing east, just after sunrise but when your subject is close in for only a short time, you are grateful for the experience.

 

These bison are similar to the millions that once roamed the prairie grasslands many years ago and their re-introduction into a prairie conservation area brings hope that for this area, at least, the prairie will remain as those grasslands which fostered native plants, grasses and animals.

 

For viewing additional photos, see link below:

 

https://www.inaturephoto.com/bisonnorthamerican

 

 

PHOTO #1 - "HOME, HOME ON THE RANGE"

American BisonAmerican Bison"HOME, HOME ON THE RANGE"
(Southeastern Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #2 - "HAPPY TRAILS"

American BisonAmerican Bison"HAPPY TRAILS"
(Southeastern Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #3 - "RUMBLE ON THE PRAIRIES"

American BisonAmerican Bison"TWO OR MORE BISON MAKE A HERD"
(Southeastern Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #4- "BURLY BISON"

American BisonAmerican Bison"BURLY BISON"
(Southeastern Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #5 - "PRAIRIE SUNRISE"

American BisonAmerican Bison"PRAIRIE SUNRISE"
(Southeastern Alberta, CA)

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/10/photo-of-the-week---oct-27-2019---home-home-on-the-range---american-bison Sun, 27 Oct 2019 20:34:56 GMT
"THOSE CRAZY BIRDS!" https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/10/-those-crazy-birds 'THOSE CRAZY BIRDS"

5 Photos

 

Sometimes the camera catches animals during the course of their everyday life but the captures appear to have "captions".

 

PHOTO #1 - "BOTTOMS UP!" SAID THE MAGPIE" (Magpie & American Bald Eagle - Immature)

 

PHOTO #2 - "A-ONE-ANNA-TWO" - Black Crowned Night Heron (Adult). Have seen a Great Blue Heron pick up a long stick like this one. Don't know the rationale. Fishing pole??? Or perhaps conducting a wildlife orchestra? 

Black-Crowned Night Heron - AdultBlack-Crowned Night Heron - Adult"ORCHESTRA WAND OR FISHING POLE"
(Southwest Calgary, Alberta, CA)

 

PHOTO #3 - "TRUNK LINE DANCING" - Great Horned Owl (Immature). All the cool owls are doing it.

Great Horned Owl - ImmatureGreat Horned Owl - Immature"TRUNK LINE DANCING - ALL THE COOL OWLS ARE DOING IT!"

PHOTO #4 - "RUD-D-D-Y DUCK" - Where do those baby blue bills come from?

 

 

PHOTO #5 - "NOT ON MY WATCH, YOU DON'T!" - Trumpeter Swan & Canada Goose (Taken January 2019)

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/10/-those-crazy-birds Fri, 25 Oct 2019 22:02:23 GMT
Photo of the Week - Oct 20, 2019 - "AUTUMNAL MOOSE" - North American Moose https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/10/photo-of-the-week---oct-20-2019---autumnal-moose---north-american-moose "AUTUMNAL MOOSE"

North American Moose (6 Photos)

 

It may not be a huge bull with a large rack but catching a moose enjoying some autumn bounty is always a gift and a healthy stunning moose nonetheless. 

 

PHOTO #1

MooseMoose"STOOPING TO TASTE THE EDIBLES"

PHOTO #2

MooseMoose"A MOOSE'S GARDEN"

PHOTO #3

MooseMoose"DOWNWARD INTO THE MEADOW"

PHOTO #4

MooseMoose"A QUICK POSE"

PHOTO #5

MooseMoose"BEING TALL HAS GREAT ADVANTAGES"

PHOTO #6

MooseMoose"CANT'T TALK RIGHT NOW"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/10/photo-of-the-week---oct-20-2019---autumnal-moose---north-american-moose Sun, 20 Oct 2019 19:00:40 GMT
"SO WHY DOES THE MOOSE HAVE SUCH A SHORT TAIL?" - North American Moose https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/10/-so-why-does-the-moose-have-such-a-short-tail---north-american-moose "SO WHY DOES THE MOOSE HAVE SUCH A SHORT TAIL?"

North American Moose

 

I don't know either. It seems so inadequate - not even good fly swishing material.

 

Perhaps, it was last in the line-up when Nature was giving them out and that was all that was left! 

 

So then it ended up with a dewlap or bell, that flap of skin that hangs from the moose's chin, as compensation. The dewlap appears to be larger in bull moose. During the rut, the bull moose rubs the cow with his chin and so it is believed the dewlap transfers the bull's scent to the female.

 

In any event, even though moose seem to be made up of left over body parts from other mammals, I love their regal and tall stature.  (Must remember, though, to carry that shorter lens!)

 

MooseMoose"THE TALL DARK STRANGER"

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/10/-so-why-does-the-moose-have-such-a-short-tail---north-american-moose Fri, 18 Oct 2019 22:00:08 GMT
Photo of the Week - Oct 13, 2019 - "RIVER CRUISING" - American Bald Eagle (Immature) & Magpie https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/10/photo-of-the-week---oct-13-2019---river-cruising---american-bald-eagle-immature-magpie "RIVER CRUISING"

American Bald Eagle (Immature) & Magpie (6 Photos)

 

This young eagle was featured in the previous blog entitled "The Eagle Star". 

 

Prior to landing in the tree where the previous photos were shot, it had landed on a piece of driftwood, sitting along the shore of the Bow River. (One of those "Are You Kidding Me" moments for me!") There it had company from a magpie. I suppose every superhero has to have an annoying sidekick!

 

So one stunning young American Bald Eagle, one pesky magpie & one beautiful background of the Bow River in Calgary, Alberta. 

 

PHOTO #1 - "So Said the Magpie, "How's the Weather Up There?"

PHOTO #2 - "Some Interesting Tail Feathers" (At first glance on the camera display, thought this was some strange feathering on the eagle.)

PHOTO #3 - "Looking Down From Our Lofty Perch"

PHOTO #4 - "Oh So Serious Bird of Prey"

PHOTO #5 - "Turn, Turn, Turn"

 

PHOTO #6 - "Behind The Mask of A Superhero"

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/10/photo-of-the-week---oct-13-2019---river-cruising---american-bald-eagle-immature-magpie Mon, 14 Oct 2019 00:25:24 GMT
"THE EAGLE STAR" - American Bald Eagle (Immature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/10/-the-eagle-star---american-bald-eagle-immature "THE EAGLE STAR"

American Bald Eagle (Immature) - 6 Photos

 

I have mentioned in the past that like many photographers, I am always looking for those iconic Adult American Bald Eagles with their striking white heads. However, the young eagles have a presence around them that leaves me in awe. 

 

What they lack in white feathers, they more than make up with their potential and stunning young looks. They may have four to five years to mature but during that period, the transformation of their colouring for all to see, to me, is remarkable. Like the Monarch caterpillar's transformation into the gorgeous Monarch butterfly, it is only one example of Nature's prowess.

 

"Nature never hurries. Atom by atom, little by little, she achieves her work." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

PHOTO #1 

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/10/-the-eagle-star---american-bald-eagle-immature Sun, 13 Oct 2019 00:50:17 GMT
Photo of the Week - Oct 6, 2019 - "WISHING WELL" - North American Mink https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/10/photo-of-the-week---oct-6-2019---wishing-well---north-american-mink "WISHING WELL"

North American Mink (5 Photos)

 

Having not seen a mink for almost two months, was seriously going into withdrawal. 

It was such a treat to see this little member of the weasel family back fishing, albeit a very short visit. 

 

It had chosen to check out the fish in a walled in pond and as you will see from the last photo, it caught not a fish but its reflection.

 

PHOTO #1 - "CHECKING OUT THE POOL"

PHOTO #2 - "ON THE HUNT"

PHOTO #3 - "TAKING THE LONG WAY DOWN"

PHOTO #4 - "WHAT IS THAT IN THE WATER?"

PHOTO #5 - "MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL, WHO'S THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL?"

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/10/photo-of-the-week---oct-6-2019---wishing-well---north-american-mink Mon, 07 Oct 2019 01:31:22 GMT
"RIDDLE - WHAT'S WHITE & FLUFFY & FREQUENTS SOUTHERN ALBERTA?" - https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/9/-riddle---whats-white-fluffy-frequents-southern-alberta "RIDDLE - WHAT'S WHITE & FLUFFY & FREQUENTS SOUTHERN ALBERTA?"

American White Pelicans (5 Photos)

 

It's hard to believe these were taken just over a week ago along the Bow River in Fish Creek Provincial Park. And no bird brains here, they left shortly thereafter! 

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/9/-riddle---whats-white-fluffy-frequents-southern-alberta Sun, 29 Sep 2019 16:40:23 GMT
Photo of the Week - Sept 29, 2019 - "THE BUCK STOPS HERE" - White-Tailed Deer (Male) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/9/photo-of-the-week---sept-29-2019---the-buck-stops-here---white-tailed-deer-male "THE BUCK STOPS HERE"

White-Tailed Deer (Male) - 5 Photos

(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 

The following set of photos were taken a week or so ago. Today in Southern Alberta a blanket of snow is covering all that greenery.

 

This young buck was caught just before sunset. He already displays stunning good looks and hopefully, he will have an opportunity to grow into a magnificent stag in later years.

 

Note: A new gallery has been set up containing all the "cute" Rocky Mountain Sheep Nursery shots featured (and more) in last week's "Photo of the Week". Just follow the link below.

https://www.inaturephoto.com/rockymountainnurseriessheep

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/9/photo-of-the-week---sept-29-2019---the-buck-stops-here---white-tailed-deer-male Sun, 29 Sep 2019 15:49:30 GMT
Photo of the Week - Sept 22, 2019 - "ROCKY MOUNTAIN NURSERIES" - Rocky Mountain Sheep https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/9/photo-of-the-week---sept-22-2019---rocky-mountain-nurseries---rocky-mountain-sheep "ROCKY MOUNTAIN NURSERIES"

Rocky Mountain Sheep (Ewes & Juveniles) - 6 Photos

(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 

Two separate sightings of Rocky Mountain Sheep in nursery herds. The rams, no doubt, are on much higher ground battling out for "King of the Mountain".

 

The sheep in Photo #4, #5 and #6 were clustered on a rather steep cliff with overhanging edges. A group of ravens close by were diving at the young lambs, which is why there an intensity in their looks and gazing. Can only surmise they were trying to send a youngster tumbling down the jagged cliff. Soon thereafter, the herd of sheep moved from the edges to a flatter meadow further up in amongst the trees.

 

PHOTO #1

Rocky Mountain Sheep - FemaleRocky Mountain Sheep - Female"MAMMA"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #2

Rocky Mountain Sheep - Female & JuvenileRocky Mountain Sheep - Female & Juvenile"A YOUNG ONLOOKER"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #3

Rocky Mountain Sheep - JuvenileRocky Mountain Sheep - Juvenile"A HOP, SKIP & A JUMP"
l(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #4

Rocky Mountain Sheep - Females & JuvenilesRocky Mountain Sheep - Females & Juveniles"WE'RE ON TOP"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #5

Rocky Mountain Sheep - Females & JuvenilesRocky Mountain Sheep - Females & Juveniles"NURSERY GROUPING"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #6

Rocky Mountain Sheep - Female & JuvenileRocky Mountain Sheep - Female & Juvenile"ON GUARD"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/9/photo-of-the-week---sept-22-2019---rocky-mountain-nurseries---rocky-mountain-sheep Sat, 21 Sep 2019 22:25:30 GMT
"FLY AWAY HOME" - Ospreys (Male & Immature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/9/-fly-away-home---ospreys-male-immature "FLY AWAY HOME"

Ospreys (Male & Immature) - 6 Photos

 

The photos that follow were taken a week ago. It now appears that the male osprey and the last fledgling have finally started their migration south to warmer climates for the Winter A little sad but very happy that all the fledglings have now started on their first trip south.

 

The male osprey the last few days hung out with the last youngster, ensuring that it made the most of its fishy meals. In Photo #1, the male osprey is defending its freshly caught fish against a marauding magpie. In the end - Osprey - 1, Magpie - 0.

 

When Spring returns next year, there will hopefully be new nestings and new amber eyed and chocolate winged youngsters.

 

PHOTO #1 - "A DEBATE OVER DINNER" - Adult & Magpie

PHOTO #2 - "OSPREY - 1, MAGPIE - 0" - Adult (& fish)

PHOTO #3 - "PARENTAL SUPERVISION" - Adult Male & Immature

PHOTO #4 - "SWEET CHILD OF THE AIR" - immature

PHOTO #5 - "DEPARTURE" - Adult

PHOTO #6 - "FLY AWAY HOME" - Immature

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/9/-fly-away-home---ospreys-male-immature Sat, 21 Sep 2019 01:06:26 GMT
Photo of the Week - Sept 8, 2019 - "RETURN OF THE CATS" - Bobcat (Female & Kitten) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/9/photo-of-the-week---sept-8-2019---return-of-the-cats---bobcat-female-kitten "RETURN OF THE CATS"

Bobcats (Lynx rufus) - Female & Kitten - 4 Photos

 

Four additional photos of these two members of the cat family. (Didn't realize how many "sayings" there are with the word "cat" in them.)

 

PHOTO #1 - "Kitten in a Tree - Don't Call the Fire Department!"

Bobcat (Lynx Rufus) - JuvenileBobcat (Lynx Rufus) - Juvenile"KITTEN IN A TREE - DON'T CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT!"

PHOTO #2 - "Tree for Two"

Bobcat (Lynx rufus) -Adult (Female) & JuvenileBobcat (Lynx rufus) -Adult (Female) & Juvenile"TREE FOR TWO"

PHOTO #3 - "The Catwalk"

Bobcat (Lynx rufus) - Adult (Female) & JuvenileBobcat (Lynx rufus) - Adult (Female) & Juvenile"THE CATWALK"

PHOTO #4 - "That's the Cats' Whiskers"

Bobcat (Lynx rufus) - Adult (Female) & JuvenileBobcat (Lynx rufus) - Adult (Female) & Juvenile"THAT'S THE CATS' WHISKERS"

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/9/photo-of-the-week---sept-8-2019---return-of-the-cats---bobcat-female-kitten Sun, 08 Sep 2019 21:42:27 GMT
"FOLIES BERGERE" - Great Blue Heron https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/9/-folies-bergere---great-blue-heron "FOLIES BERGERE"

Great Blue Heron 

 

Walking back from photographing young ospreys, spotted this Great Blue Heron relaxing and grooming in a tall tree.

 

Having managed to gradually work my way through the shrubbery and into the woods, achieved some close-ups of a content heron enjoying a late summer's day in the treetops. The photography was shot in the shade but with the afternoon sunlight coming in onto the heron and diffused through the trees and leaves. 

 

It was enjoying a stretch prior to flying but with all its underside feathers revealed, it appeared to be something out of a Paris cabaret.

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/9/-folies-bergere---great-blue-heron Sun, 08 Sep 2019 19:08:10 GMT
Photo of the Week - Sept 1, 2019 - "OWL HOUSEKEEPING" - Great Horned Owl (Immature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/9/photo-of-the-week---sept-1-2019---owl-housekeeping---great-horned-owl-immature "OWL HOUSEKEEPING"

Great Horned Owl - Immature (5 Photos)

 

 

The bobcats will return next week. However, this young owl, born this year, granted me some extraordinary hours of watching as it groomed, slept and stretched from its vantage point of a fallen tree trunk. Having taken a few minutes to have a quick snack, I looked up after hearing our young owl clicking its beak in warning, to see a White Tailed Deer mother and its fawn passing close to the owl. Thanks for the heads-up, Owl and keeping me apprised of what was in the area. The pair moved quickly on through the dense grass. 

 

I have seen owls groom, stretch, "pellet" and sleep but this was the first opportunity to see one plucking at grass and pulling it through its talons and beak. Having done some brief research, this appears to be a way of cleaning both of blood and vestiges of food. If anyone has also seen this activity, please let me know either via email or Twitter.

 

PHOTO #1 - "Draped in Feather Apparel"

Great Horned Owl - ImmatureGreat Horned Owl - Immature"FORMAL DRESS"

PHOTO #2 - "Floss After Every Meal"

Great Horned Owl - ImmatureGreat Horned Owl - Immature"OWL FLOSSING"

PHOTO #3 - "Grasp Grass Tightly Between The Talons"

Great Horned Owl - ImmatureGreat Horned Owl - Immature"GRASP THE GRASS"

PHOTO #4 - "How Does an Owl Wash Its Face?"

Great Horned Owl - ImmatureGreat Horned Owl - Immature"BEAK CLEANING"

PHOTO #5 - "All Clean & Ready for an Evening Out"

Great Horned Owl - ImmatureGreat Horned Owl - Immature"YOU BLINK FIRST"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/9/photo-of-the-week---sept-1-2019---owl-housekeeping---great-horned-owl-immature Sun, 01 Sep 2019 21:02:45 GMT
"WASH & SHINE" - American Bald Eagle (Adult) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/8/-wash-shine---american-bald-eagle-adult "WASH & SHINE"

American Bald Eagle (Adult) - 3 Photos

 

As Summer draws to a close and Autumn  quickly approaches, I look forward to the migration of the American Bald Eagles from the North to spend their Winters fishing and hunting along the Bow River in Calgary.  (One of those great positive happenings when the temperatures dip to way below freezing.)

 

However, this adult is most likely one of our "all year round residents". 

 

There had been some showers the evening before and it appears this magnificent bird is drying out in the morning sun. I love the way it has stretched down through the entire leg as the wing is opened out. (Photo #2) 

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/8/-wash-shine---american-bald-eagle-adult Sat, 31 Aug 2019 19:56:33 GMT
Photo of the Week - Aug 25, 2019 - "TYGER! TYGER! BURNING BRIGHT" - Bobcat https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/8/photo-of-the-week---aug-25-2019---tyger-tyger-burning-bright---bobcat "TYGER! TYGER! BURNING BRIGHT"

(William Blake)

Bobcat (Lynx rufus) - 4 Photos

 

Using a line from a poem by William Blake seems to fit this stunning female (and mother) bobcat. This is not just another cat up a tree!

 

PHOTO #1

Bobcat (Lynx rufus) - Adult (Femal)Bobcat (Lynx rufus) - Adult (Femal)"TYGER, TYGER - BURNING BRIGHT"

PHOTO #2

Bobcat (Lynx rufus) - Adult (Female)Bobcat (Lynx rufus) - Adult (Female)"LOOK-OUT"

PHOTO #3

Bobcat (Lynx rufus) - Adult (Female)Bobcat (Lynx rufus) - Adult (Female)"A MOTHER'S WATCHFUL EYE"

PHOTO #4

Bobcat (Lynx rufus) - Adult (Female)Bobcat (Lynx rufus) - Adult (Female)"LEOPARD SPOTS & TIGER STRIPES"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/8/photo-of-the-week---aug-25-2019---tyger-tyger-burning-bright---bobcat Sun, 25 Aug 2019 23:12:23 GMT
"ALL ASHORE THAT'S GOING ASHORE" - North American Mink https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/8/-all-ashore-thats-going-ashore---north-american-mink "ALL ASHORE THAT'S GOING TO SHORE"

North American Mink (Mustela vision) - 5 Photos

 

And who said the "wet look" is outdated. Small in size but huge in cuteness. Don't let that adorable "mink" face fool you, this little member of the weasel family is a fierce predator. Supposedly, the mink is also known to emit a purring sound, similar to those made by content felines. Keeping in mind its potential aggressive attitude, I don't know if I really want to get close enough to hear if that is true!

 

PHOTO #1

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"MINK PAUSE/PAWS #1"

PHOTO #2

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"MINK PAUSE/PAWS #2"

PHOTO #3

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"MINK PAUSE/PAWS #3"

PHOTO #4

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"ALL SHORE THAT IS GOING ASHORE"

PHOTO #5

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"WET LOOK"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/8/-all-ashore-thats-going-ashore---north-american-mink Sat, 24 Aug 2019 02:22:28 GMT
Photo of the Week - Aug 18, 2019 - "CAT GOT YOUR TONGUE" - Bobcat https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/8/photo-of-the-week---aug-18-2019---cat-got-your-tongue---bobcat "CAT GOT YOUR TONGUE"

Bobcat (Lynx rufus) - Female & Kitten (3 Photos)

 

The definition of "cat got your tongue" is to be rendered speechless. Add to that dumbfounded, spellbound & to use the British slang "gobsmacked". It was more like "Out of Africa" than "Out of Alberta".

 

Bobcats have been on my "Animals I Would Like an Opportunity to Photograph" bucket list forever. To have an opportunity to catch one with the camera in the wild was totally amazing. To catch a mother with kittens - well we just won't go there. 

 

Momma bobcat had two kittens but I only saw one, the naughty one! Thanks to that little kittie, who kept teasing its mother, running up to her and then darting away to explore,  offered a number of opportunities to catch both in some extraordinary poses. 

 

I shoot with a 150mm - 600mm lens which allows for some great close-ups without impacting the subject's space. That being said, the only time Momma seemed concerned was when a couple approached with a dog on the walking path. Before they could get too close, I did stop them and explained what was ahead. They completely understood and decided to take another route. There had been a few people around when the cat family was first seen but as the mother did not appear to be concerned in the least with humans at a safe distance, I assume she was used to seeing people due to the proximity of the park area to residential housing.

 

Eventually mother and kitten exited at which point she must have caught up with the second kitten and headed for the thick woods.

 

These two will appear again in future blogs. How could they not! I have to admit I am primarily a dog lover but these felines won my heart with their characters and stunning beauty. I wish I was so photogenic!

 

PHOTO #1 - OUT ON A LIMB

Bobcat (Lynx rufus) - Adult (Female) & JuvenileBobcat (Lynx rufus) - Adult (Female) & Juvenile"TREETOP TWOSOME"

PHOTO #2 - BOBBY SOCKS 

Bobcat (Lynx rufus) - JuvenileBobcat (Lynx rufus) - Juvenile"TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL"

PHOTO #3 - THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT

Bobcat (Lynx rufus) - Adult (Female)Bobcat (Lynx rufus) - Adult (Female)"THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/8/photo-of-the-week---aug-18-2019---cat-got-your-tongue---bobcat Sun, 18 Aug 2019 23:35:00 GMT
"SALUTE TO THE SUN (SURYA NAMASKAR)" - Great Horned Owl (Immature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/8/-salute-to-the-sun-surya-namaskar---great-horned-owl-immature "SALUTE TO THE SUN (OR SURYA NAMASKAR)"

Great Horned Owl (Immature) - 3 Photos

 

It may be a sequence executed in yoga, traditionally performed in the early morning to greet the day (sun salutations). However, all animals (birds and mammals) need to stretch to maintain their flexibility and abilities. And in their case, all movements are done in Nature's "backyard".

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/8/-salute-to-the-sun-surya-namaskar---great-horned-owl-immature Fri, 16 Aug 2019 20:12:49 GMT
Photo of the Week - Aug 11, 2019 - "DINING IN FISH CREEK" - North American Mink https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/8/photo-of-the-week---aug-11-2019---dining-in-fish-creek---north-american-mink "DINING IN FISH CREEK"

North American Mink (6 Photos)

 

Caught this little mink on its swim and successful "trawling" for fish. Am not quite certain what the "entree" was but it certainly hit the spot.

 

PHOTO #1 - "DINING IN FISH CREEK"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"DINING IN FISH CREEK"

PHOTO #2 - "CLEANING THE PALETTE"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"CLEANING THE PALETTE"

PHOTO #3 - "TONGUE SMACKING GOOD!"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"TONGUE SMACKING GOOD!"

PHOTO #4 - "ALL GONE?"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"ALL GONE?"

PHOTO #5 - "ONE IS NEVER ENOUGH!"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"ONE IS NEVER ENOUGH!"

PHOTO #6 - "ON THE PROWL AGAIN"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"ON THE PROWL AGAIN"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/8/photo-of-the-week---aug-11-2019---dining-in-fish-creek---north-american-mink Sun, 11 Aug 2019 17:18:29 GMT
"HERE BE DRAGONS" - Double- Crested Cormorant (Adult & Juvenile) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/8/-here-be-dragons---double--crested-cormorant-adult-juvenile "HERE BE DRAGONS"

Double-Crested Cormorants (Adult & Immature) - 7 Photos

 

When I have seen Double-Crested Cormorants (particularly in numbers) perched in trees, because of their black colouring and hooked bills, they remind me at times of vultures. However, having managed to capture a few over the course of some days, that image has developed to one of mythical dragons. And when you can examine the black feathers close-up, their shading almost give the appearance of scales.

 

My opinion of perhaps a timid, easily frightened fishing bird also changed when I watched one aggressively defend itself against a magpie. I have seen magpies on some occasions bully American Bald Eagles (adult & juvenile) to where the eagles will fly from their perches. Not so "our dragon". It literally stood its perch and the magpie appears perplexed - "That's odd, that tactic works on eagles?" (Photo #2)

 

The second set of photos (Photos 5,6 & 7) are of an immature cormorant, the first I have ever had an opportunity to see and photograph. I love its contrasting black & cream feathers.

 

 

PHOTO #1 - Cormorant (Adult)

 

PHOTO #2 - Cormorant (Adult) & Magpie

PHOTO #3 - Cormorant (Adult)

PHOTO #4 - Cormorant (Adult)

PHOTO #5 - Cormorants (Adult & Immature)

PHOTO #6 - Cormorant (Immature)

PHOTO #7 - Cormorant (Immature)

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/8/-here-be-dragons---double--crested-cormorant-adult-juvenile Sun, 11 Aug 2019 02:35:23 GMT
"THE MOUNTAINS ARE CALLING" - Great Horned Owl (Juvenile) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/8/-the-mountains-are-calling---great-horned-owl-juvenile "THE MOUNTAINS ARE CALLING"

Heritage Day in Alberta - August 5, 2019

Great Horned Owl (Juvenile)

 

August 5th, 2019 is Heritage Day in Alberta and as the Great Horned Owl is our Provincial Bird, what better way to celebrate our past,present and future.

 

And of course, add to that the Rocky Mountains and a familiar beckoning for me, "The Mountains are Calling"!

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/8/-the-mountains-are-calling---great-horned-owl-juvenile Sun, 04 Aug 2019 22:51:36 GMT
Photo of the Week - Aug 4, 2019 - "IT CAME FROM THE DEPTHS" - American Mink https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/8/photo-of-the-week---aug-4-2019---it-came-from-the-depths---american-mink "IT CAME FROM THE DEPTHS"

American Mink (3 Photos)

 

Okay so it is only out of the rocks of a creek but with this little mink stretched out to capacity, one can appreciate its slinky and long body. And then we compact that length to a pose similar to a cat looking for a mouse. In this case, it's the little fish trapped between the rocks!

 

PHOTO #1

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"IT CAME FROM THE DEPTHS" - #2

PHOTO #2

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"IT CAME FROM THE DEPTHS" - #1

PHOTO #3

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"CAN ALMOST HEAR THE PURR"

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/8/photo-of-the-week---aug-4-2019---it-came-from-the-depths---american-mink Fri, 02 Aug 2019 22:44:59 GMT
"OWL PORTRAIT STUDIO" - Great Horned Owls (Juveniles) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/8/-owl-portrait-studio---great-horned-owls-juveniles "OWL PORTRAIT STUDIO"

Great Horned Owls (Juveniles) - 5 Photos

 

Owls certainly have beautiful "children". And these young Great Horned Owls are no exception. So photogenic and so much character. Even their body language leads to "photo captions".

 

PHOTO #1 - "OWL PORTRAIT STUDIO"

 

PHOTO #2 - "I FEEL A DANCE NUMBER COMING ON!"

 

PHOTO #3 - "YAH, BUT CAN YOU DO THIS?"

 

PHOTO #4 - "DON'T LOOK DOWN, DON'T LOOK DOWN, ...."

 

PHOTO #5 - "WHAT'S UP?"

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/8/-owl-portrait-studio---great-horned-owls-juveniles Fri, 02 Aug 2019 01:28:49 GMT
Photo of the Week - Jul 28, 2019 - "HOLY LEAPING MINK, BATMAN!" - American Mink https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/photo-of-the-week---jul-28-2019---holy-leaping-mink-batman---american-mink "HOLY LEAPING MINK, BATMAN!"

American Mink (4 Photos)

 

The Great Horned Owlet will return in the next blog. 

 

I was really torn for this week's "Photo of the Week" but I don't have many opportunities to see these little fishermen and I really do have a soft spot for the Mustelids or Weasel family members. They are a fierce predator, have huge attitude and are so darn cute!

 

PHOTO #1

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"HOLY FLYING MINK BATMAN! - #1

PHOTO #2

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"HOLY FLYING MINK BATMAN!" #2

PHOTO #3

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"PLANTED IT"

PHOTO #4

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/photo-of-the-week---jul-28-2019---holy-leaping-mink-batman---american-mink Mon, 29 Jul 2019 00:28:34 GMT
"SENTIENT" - Great Honed Owl (Juvenile) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/-sentient---great-honed-owl-juvenile "SENTIENT"

Great Horned Owl (Juvenile) - 2 Photos

 

By one definition:

"Sentient animals are aware of their feelings and emotions. These could be negative feelings such as pain, frustration and fear. It is logical to suppose that sentient animals also enjoy feelings of comfort, enjoyment, contentment, and perhaps even great delight and joy."

 

Having seen beavers "surf" in rapids just for pure fun and pelicans glide and soar in thermals over prairie meadows, in my mind, our furry and feathery friends not only feel pain and stress but absolute joy as well.

 

It's amazing how an owl face (in this case a fledged juvenile born this Spring) can show so many different expressions. Here are just two:

 

PHOTO #1 - YOU LITTLE DEVIL YOU (Now I know where those "horn feathers" come from!)

PHOTO #2 - Angel Eyes

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/-sentient---great-honed-owl-juvenile Sat, 27 Jul 2019 03:09:25 GMT
Photo of the Week - Jul 21, 2019 - "MOUNTAIN KING" - Grizzly Bear https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/photo-of-the-week---jul-21-2019---mountain-king---grizzly-bear "MOUNTAIN KING"

Grizzly Bear (Male) - 5 Photos

(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 

Note: All photos taken from a safe location and distance.

 

How could this stunning massive male Grizzly not make "Photo of the Week"! 

 

It was getting close to sunset when this bear was spotted. I was intrigued by his search for insects (I presume) by turning over huge rocks with those massive feet and claws. A new visual experience for me but a frequent activity for bears in their calorie search. 

 

Interestingly, one of the young cubs previously shown had already demonstrated a great aptitude for turning over rocks and searching underneath. This male bear was not far (by Grizzly Bear standards, that is) from that particular female and her cubs. Perhaps, youngster was "a chip off the old block" so to speak.

 

Long may the Grizzlies reign over their mountain retreats!

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

Grizzly Bear - MaleGrizzly Bear - Male"ROCK & ROLL"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #3

Grizzly Bear - MaleGrizzly Bear - Male"MOVING ON"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #4

Grizzly Bear - MaleGrizzly Bear - Male"LOOKING FOR TREASURE IN ALL THE ROCK PLACES"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #5
Grizzly Bear - MaleGrizzly Bear - Male"BACK DOWN FROM SUMMER MEADOWS"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/photo-of-the-week---jul-21-2019---mountain-king---grizzly-bear Sun, 21 Jul 2019 07:30:00 GMT
"KNIGHTS IN TRAINING" - Black-Crowned Night Heron (Juvenile) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/-knights-in-training---black-crowned-night-heron-juvenile "KNIGHTS IN TRAINING"

Black-Crowned Night Herons (6 Photos)

 

If you wait, they will come.

 

There were at least two young Black-Crowned Night Herons frequenting the area where the adults had been. Coming in, eventually flying off and then returning again. Although they did not appear to have any success, they were definitely "in training" and trying to fish in the pond. Perhaps, not too much success for the young herons in the food category but for a photographer, great opportunities.

 

PHOTO #1

Black-Crowned Night Heron - ImmatureBlack-Crowned Night Heron - Immature"GIRAFFE POSE"

PHOTO #2

Black-Crowned Night Heron - ImmatureBlack-Crowned Night Heron - Immature"HANGING OUT"

PHOTO #3

Black-Crowned Night Heron - ImmatureBlack-Crowned Night Heron - Immature"FISH TAILING"

PHOTO #4

Black-Crowned Night Heron - ImmatureBlack-Crowned Night Heron - Immature"SLY BY NIGHT"

PHOTO #5

Black-Crowned Night Heron - ImmatureBlack-Crowned Night Heron - Immature"POND PATROL"

PHOTO #6

 

Black-Crowned Night Heron - ImmatureBlack-Crowned Night Heron - Immature"POST POSITION GREEN"

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/-knights-in-training---black-crowned-night-heron-juvenile Sat, 20 Jul 2019 14:42:42 GMT
Photo of the Week - Jul 14, 2019 - "GRIZZLY BEAR MOTHER - WHERE NURTURE MEETS NATURE" https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/photo-of-the-week---jul-14-2019---grizzly-bear-mother---where-nurture-meets-nature "GRIZZLY BEAR MOTHER - WHERE NURTURE MEETS NATURE"

Grizzly Bear (Female) - 5 Photos

(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 

NOTE:  ALL PHOTOS TAKEN FROM A SAFE LOCATION & DISTANCE

 

Grizzly Bear mothers are known for their fierce protective nature when it comes to their offspring and rightly so, with all the obstacles they must overcome to rear their cubs to an independent age.

 

To watch from a safe distance, a mother Grizzly graze with her three cubs, born this year, was indeed an experience and an amazing gift, one that I will never forget.

 

She let them explore but never too far from her protection. One cub had already mastered the technique of overturning stones to look for food. With glances towards its mother, it seemed to be saying, "Hey, Momma, I got this!" Then gathering the "troops" in a close line, she led them quickly across the road, into the meadow and up the mountain.

 

PHOTO #1

Grizzly Bear - FemaleGrizzly Bear - Female"ONE DIRECTION"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #2

Grizzly Bear - FemaleGrizzly Bear - Female"THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #3

Grizzly Bear - Female & CubGrizzly Bear - Female & Cub"WHERE NATURE MEETS NURTURE"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #4

Grizzly Bear - FemaleGrizzly Bear - Female"LADY OF THE MOUNTAIN"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #5

Grizzly Bear - FemaleGrizzly Bear - Female"MOMMA BEAR"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/photo-of-the-week---jul-14-2019---grizzly-bear-mother---where-nurture-meets-nature Mon, 15 Jul 2019 01:15:35 GMT
"INTO THE HIGH COUNTRY" - Coyote https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/-into-the-high-country---coyote "INTO THE HIGH COUNTRY"

Coyote (2 Photos)

(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 

On an evening hunting patrol, this coyote was certainly making tracks in to the mountains. Its effortless and long stride made easy work of the distances. And now in full summer apparel, a handsome and healthy creature essential to the balance and composition of the mountain environment.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/-into-the-high-country---coyote Fri, 12 Jul 2019 22:10:56 GMT
Photo of the Week - Jul 7, 2019 - "CUB SCOUTS" - Grizzly Bear https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/photo-of-the-week---jul-7-2019---cub-scouts---grizzly-bear "CUB SCOUTS"

Grizzly Bear Cubs & Female (6 Photos)

(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 

NOTE: ALL PHOTOS TAKEN FROM A SAFE LOCATION & DISTANCE.

 

The following photos are of two sets of bear cubs, all born early this year. The last one is one of the cubs with its "Cub Leader". Each cub has its own distinct colouring and demonstrating individual personalities. Although they may be exploring their new world, they are not far from their mothers.

 

PHOTO #1

Grizzly Bear - CubGrizzly Bear - Cub"FIRST SUMMER"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

Grizzly Bear - CubGrizzly Bear - Cub"BLONDIE"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #4

Grizzly Bear - CubGrizzly Bear - Cub"ROCKY ROAD"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #5

Grizzly Bear - CubGrizzly Bear - Cub"HEAD FOR THE HILLS"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #6

Grizzly Bear - Female & CubGrizzly Bear - Female & Cub"CUB SCOUT & LEADER"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/photo-of-the-week---jul-7-2019---cub-scouts---grizzly-bear Sun, 07 Jul 2019 21:59:56 GMT
"NIGHT SHIFT" - Black-Crowned Night Heron https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/-night-shift---black-crowned-night-heron "NIGHT SHIFT"

Black-Crowned Night Heron (6 Photos)

 

So what do Black-Crowned Night Herons get up to on the Night/Day shift. There is the usual fishing, posing & flying and hunting (perhaps not no usual). 

 

NOTE: Some individuals may find the last photo a little disturbing. Black-Crowned Night Herons apparently also like to have a muskrat "for dinner".

 

PHOTO #1

Black-Crowned Night Heron - AdultBlack-Crowned Night Heron - Adult"BETWEEN TWO ROCKS"
(Southwest Calgary, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #2

Black-Crowned Night Heron - AdultBlack-Crowned Night Heron - Adult"DEPARTURE"
(Southwest Calgary, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

Black-Crowned Night Heron - AdultBlack-Crowned Night Heron - Adult"FLUFFY"
(Southwest Calgary, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #6

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/-night-shift---black-crowned-night-heron Sun, 07 Jul 2019 01:53:42 GMT
"REMEMBER TO BREATHE" - Grizzly Bear Cub https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/-remember-to-breathe---grizzly-bear-cub "REMEMBER TO BREATHE"

Grizzly Bear Cub

(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 

It is a wet July 5th, 2019. Lots of rain and cloudy skies for Stampede Parade morning.

 

So let's have a return to sunshine and smiles. Taken against evening light, this young cub and its smaller sibling (lighter and smaller) in the background enjoying some dandelion delights before following their mother back up the mountain to summer meadows.

 

Grizzly Bear -  CubGrizzly Bear - Cub"REMEMBER TO BREATHE"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/-remember-to-breathe---grizzly-bear-cub Fri, 05 Jul 2019 16:24:50 GMT
"HAPPY JULY 4TH!" - American Bald Eagle (Immature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/-happy-july-4th---american-bald-eagle-immature "HAPPY JULY 4TH"

American Bald Eagle (Immature) - 5 Photos

 

Happy July 4th to our American neighbours. Here are some photos of America's National Bird. The first is the iconic pose. 

 

PHOTO #1 - The Iconic Pose

American Bald Eagle - ImmatureAmerican Bald Eagle - Immature"THE ICONIC POSE"

PHOTO #2 - The Body Builder

American Bald Eagle - ImmatureAmerican Bald Eagle - Immature"THE BODY BUILDER"

PHOTO #3 - Fluff and Dry

American Bald Eagle - ImmatureAmerican Bald Eagle - Immature"FLUFF & DRY"

PHOTO #4 - Acknowledgement 

American Bald Eagle - ImmatureAmerican Bald Eagle - Immature"ACKNOWLEDGEMENT"

PHOTO #5 - The Eagle Has Landed

American Bald EagleAmerican Bald Eagle"THE EAGLE HAS LANDED"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/-happy-july-4th---american-bald-eagle-immature Thu, 04 Jul 2019 02:03:24 GMT
Photo of the Week - Jul 1, 2019 - "HAPPY CANADA DAY" - Grizzly Bear https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/photo-of-the-week---jul-1-2019---happy-canada-day---grizzly-bear HAPPY CANADA DAY!

Grizzly Bears (Female, Cubs & Male) - 5 Photos

(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 

NOTE:  ALL PHOTOGRAPHS WERE TAKEN FROM A SAFE LOCATION & DISTANCE.

 

Today is Canada's Birthday and as part of the festivities, let's remember to celebrate our Grizzly Bears and how truly lucky we are to have them in our natural world. They are some of the greatest ambassadors for Canada and hopefully demonstrate to the world how important Nature is to each of us. To reiterate the quotation from Gary Synder, that appears on the Home Page of my website, "Nature is not a place to visit. It is home". Let's continue to keep these bears and their habitat protected.

 

PHOTO #1 - Grizzly Bear (Male) - (Am assuming from the size and its solitary nature)

Grizzly Bear - MaleGrizzly Bear - Male"SUMMER RETREAT"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #2 - Grizzly Bear Cub (Its mother had a collar)

Grizzly Bear - CubGrizzly Bear - Cub"DANDELION RUN"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #3 - Grizzly Bear Cub (2nd Mother/Family)

Grizzly Bear - CubGrizzly Bear - Cub"WHAT DO WE HAVE HERE?"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #4 - Grizzly Bear Cub (2nd Mother/Family)

Grizzly Bear - CubGrizzly Bear - Cub"RUN FOR THE HILLS"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #5 - Grizzly Bear (Female & Mother of cubs above)

Grizzly Bear - FemaleGrizzly Bear - Female"MATRIARCH"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)))

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/7/photo-of-the-week---jul-1-2019---happy-canada-day---grizzly-bear Mon, 01 Jul 2019 02:52:07 GMT
"OH - THOSE CRAZY NIGHT HERONS" - Black-Crowned Night Heron https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/-oh---those-crazy-night-herons---black-crowned-night-heron "OH - THOSE CRAZY NIGHT HERONS"

Black-Crowned Night Heron (4 Photos)

 

These smaller herons just invite some crazy photo captions!

 

PHOTO #1 - "E.T., PHONE HOME"

Black Crowned Night HeronBlack Crowned Night Heron"E.T., PHONE HOME"

PHOTO #2 - "LIVE LONG & PROSPER"

Black Crowned Night HeronBlack Crowned Night Heron"LIVE LONG & PROSPER"

PHOTO #3 - "FETCH"

Black Crowned Night HeronBlack Crowned Night Heron"FETCH"

PHOTO #4 - "AND THEY'RE OFF & RUNNING AT HERON DOWNS"

Black Crowned Night HeronBlack Crowned Night Heron"AND THEY'RE OFF & RUNNING AT HERON DOWNS"

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/-oh---those-crazy-night-herons---black-crowned-night-heron Sun, 30 Jun 2019 23:41:58 GMT
Photo of the Week - Jun 23, 2019 - "ONE EARLY NIGHT" - Black Crowned Night Heron (Juvenile) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/photo-of-the-week---jun-23-2019---one-early-night---black-crowned-night-heron-juvenile "ONE EARLY NIGHT"

Black Crowned Night Heron (Juvenile) - 4 Photos

My first opportunity to see a juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron close-up. It is already showing the plume of adulthood but I particularly like the white spotted feathers down the front which resemble buttons. Perhaps formal attire for evening wear? 

 

PHOTO #1

Black-Crowned Night Heron (Juvenile)Black-Crowned Night Heron (Juvenile)"ONE STEP AT A TIME"

PHOTO #2

Black-Crowned Night Heron (Juvenile)Black-Crowned Night Heron (Juvenile)"GOTTA LOVE THOSE BUTTONS!"

PHOTO #3
Black-Crowned Night Heron (Juvenile)Black-Crowned Night Heron (Juvenile)"CASTING A SHADOW"

PHOTO #4

Black-Crowned Night Heron (Juvenile)Black-Crowned Night Heron (Juvenile)"A VIEW FROM THE BACK"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/photo-of-the-week---jun-23-2019---one-early-night---black-crowned-night-heron-juvenile Sun, 23 Jun 2019 15:37:38 GMT
"HUMMMMMMM-ING BIRDS" - Rufous Hummingbird https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/-hummmmmmm-ing-birds---rufous-hummingbird "HUMMMMMMM-ING BIRDS"

Rufous Hummingbird (5 Photos)

 

So much more diminutive than the American Bald Eagle in size but in no way, less attitude. And with the help of a little rain making for more fir tree perching, an opportunity to catch these masterful flyers - still - albeit for only seconds.

 

PHOTO #1

Hummingbird - RufousHummingbird - Rufous"HMMMMMMMINGBIRD!"

PHOTO #2

Hummingbird - RufousHummingbird - Rufous"DIMINUTIVE IN SIZE - HUGE IN ATTITUDE"

PHOTO #3

Hummingbird - RufousHummingbird - Rufous"A HUMMINGBIRD IN A FIR TREE"

PHOTO #4

Hummingbird - RufousHummingbird - Rufous"HUMMINGBIRD UNDERPANTS"

PHOTO #5

Hummingbird - RufousHummingbird - Rufous"BY MY CHINNY CHIN CHIN!"

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/-hummmmmmm-ing-birds---rufous-hummingbird Sun, 23 Jun 2019 00:43:25 GMT
"SKIPPING ROCKS" - Black Crowned Night Heron https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/-skipping-rocks---black-crowned-night-heron "SKIPPING ROCKS"

Black Crowned Night Heron (4 Photos)

 

The Black Crowned Night Heron standing does not appear to have a large wingspan but having caught one "skipping the rocks", the extent of its wings is quite astounding.

 

 

PHOTO #1

Black-Crowned Night Heron - AdultBlack-Crowned Night Heron - Adult"KEEPING IT TOGETHER"
(Southwest Calgary, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #2

Black-Crowned Night Heron - AdultBlack-Crowned Night Heron - Adult"SKIPPING ROCKS"
(Southwest Calgary, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #3

Black-Crowned Night Heron - AdultBlack-Crowned Night Heron - Adult"IT'S ALL IN THE BALANCE"
(Southwest Calgary, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #4

 

Black-Crowned Night Heron - AdultBlack-Crowned Night Heron - Adult"JUMP!"
(Southwest Calgary, Alberta, CA)

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/-skipping-rocks---black-crowned-night-heron Fri, 21 Jun 2019 17:48:42 GMT
Photo of the Week - Jun 16, 2019 - "MOMMA WOULD BE PROUD" - North American Black Bear https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/photo-of-the-week---jun-16-2019---momma-would-be-proud---north-american-black-bear "MOMMA WOULD BE PROUD"

North American Black Bear

(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 

Note: Photo was taken from a safe location & distance. 

 

Although you probably can't tell from the photo, this is a young Black Bear, probably its first Spring on its own. (That must have been a very rude wake-up call this year as Momma kicked him/her out of the den after a long winter's sleep!).

 

Momma would be proud, though. It looked both ways before crossing the road (waited for the vehicle to pass) and went safely into the shrubbery up from the road There the bear munched for perhaps 5 minutes before it headed up the hill to the meadows beyond. (Thank you, bear, for those precious 5 minutes.) Momma taught him/her well. And what a handsome and healthy mammal.

 

To quote that famous Vulcan, "Spock" - "Live Long and Prosper" young bear!

 

Black BearBlack Bear"MOMMA WOULD BE SO PROUD"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/photo-of-the-week---jun-16-2019---momma-would-be-proud---north-american-black-bear Sun, 16 Jun 2019 07:30:00 GMT
"THE TIE THAT BINDS" - Red Necked Grebes https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/-the-tie-that-binds---red-necked-grebes "THE TIE THAT BINDS"

Red Necked Grebes (9 Photos)

 

The following set of photos are of two pairs of Red Necked Grebes and taken over a period of several weeks, under different lighting and weather conditions.

 

The first photo, I believe, demonstrates the magic of photography and how with the right settings, the camera can slow down and catch what the eye does not see. Because of its composition, it brought to mind the title of this blog.

 

PHOTO #1 - The Tie That Binds

PHOTO #2 - This photo was taken seconds after the egg was laid. Interesting how the egg goes from a turquoise colour to the brown (as more and more mud is put on the eggs).

PHOTO #3 - For one horrible moment, I thought the female Grebe was going to step on the eggs.

PHOTO #4 - One can only imagine what these two were discussing - baby grebe rearing?

PHOTO #5 - This shot was taken on a morning when smoke from the fires in Northern Alberta blew into the area. It made for an interesting filter.

 

PHOTO #6 - This must be the Executive Sleeper Car. It comes with feathered bedding!

PHOTO #7 - Grebe Limousine!

PHOTO #8 - We certainly appear to be content (both Mrs. & baby)

 

PHOTO #9 - And with all those mouths to feed, finding the "big one" certainly helps.

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/-the-tie-that-binds---red-necked-grebes Sat, 15 Jun 2019 21:30:02 GMT
"LOOK UP IN THE SKY, IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE, IT'S A BIRD?" - Osprey (Male) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/-look-up-in-the-sky-its-a-bird-it-s-a-plane-it-s-a-bird---osprey-male "LOOK UP IN THE SKY, IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE, ... IT'S A BIRD?"

Osprey (Male)

 

But not just any bird - a magnificent male Osprey. When it comes to fishing (and flying for that matter), has his own super powers!

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/-look-up-in-the-sky-its-a-bird-it-s-a-plane-it-s-a-bird---osprey-male Fri, 14 Jun 2019 07:30:00 GMT
Photo of the Week - Jun 9, 2019 - "I LOVE MY FEATHERS, I AM ONE WITH MY FEATHERS" - Osprey https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/photo-of-the-week---jun-9-2019---i-love-my-feathers-i-am-one-with-my-feathers---osprey "I LOVE MY FEATHERS, I AM ONE WITH MY FEATHERS"

Osprey (Male & Female) - 4 Photos

 

We are extremely privileged in Calgary, Alberta where we can observe Ospreys in close proximity from the time they arrive in April, mate and then lay their eggs. And then there is the joy watching the youngsters fledge and begin the process of achieving flight and all those skills required for fishing.

 

The first three photos are of the male, the last one (in flight) is his mate. From my observations, they are not only a devoted couple but certainly are stars in the "looks" department as well. One can only imagine how talented and beautiful their offspring will be.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/photo-of-the-week---jun-9-2019---i-love-my-feathers-i-am-one-with-my-feathers---osprey Sat, 08 Jun 2019 22:42:28 GMT
"HERON ON THE ROCKS" - Black Crowned Night Heron & Great Blue Heron https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/-heron-on-the-rocks---black-crowned-night-heron-great-blue-heron "HERON ON THE ROCKS"

Black Crowned Night Heron & Great Blue Heron (2 Photos)

 

This could be a name for a new alcoholic beverage but in this case, it refers to our feathered friends. 

 

In the case of the Night Heron, managed to sneak up and catch a shot before it went "up, up and away".

 

The Great Blue Heron was standing on the near shore but then flew to the far shore of the river, where it groomed for a short period and then flew. I thought the cliffs would serve as a great background but the purple flowers were a huge bonus. Didn't even notice them until I viewed the shot on the camera. 

 

Thanks, Herons!

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/-heron-on-the-rocks---black-crowned-night-heron-great-blue-heron Fri, 07 Jun 2019 22:46:10 GMT
Photo of the Week - Jun 2, 2019 - "FANCY DRESS" - Black Crowned Night Heron https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/photo-of-the-week---jun-2-2019---fancy-dress---black-crowned-night-heron "FANCY DRESS"

Black Crowned Night Heron (4 Photos)

 

All dressed up and no place (well for the time being while taking some time out) to go. 

All photos taken in late evening. This time this little heron lived up to its name. It was still in the tree when I left it grooming at near sunset.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/photo-of-the-week---jun-2-2019---fancy-dress---black-crowned-night-heron Tue, 04 Jun 2019 16:36:44 GMT
"WHY NIGHT HERONS SHOULD HAVE THEIR OWN ANIMATED FEATURE" - Black Crowned Night Heron https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/-why-night-herons-should-have-their-own-animated-feature---black-crowned-night-heron 'WHY NIGHT HERONS SHOULD HAVE THEIR OWN ANIMATED FEATURE"

Black Crowned Night Heron (4 Photos)

 

The next blog will detail the more "glamorous" and serious side of the Black Crowned Night Heron but with their striking features (dark crown, ruby eyes, poor posture, etc.), these little herons could easily slip into animation, at least as the crazy sidekick.

 

PHOTO #1 - "FAN DANCE"

PHOTO #2 - "NOW WHERE WAS THAT FISHING HOLE AGAIN?"

PHOTO #3 - "NAPOLEON NIGHT HERON BONAPARTE"

PHOTO #4 - "ALWAYS TRY TO KEEP YOUR HEAD ON STRAIGHT"

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/6/-why-night-herons-should-have-their-own-animated-feature---black-crowned-night-heron Sun, 02 Jun 2019 21:49:56 GMT
Photo of the Week - May 25, 2019 - "WHAT SECRETS LIE WITHIN" - Red-Necked Grebe https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/5/photo-of-the-week---may-25-2019---what-secrets-lie-within---red-necked-grebe "WHAT SECRETS LIE WITHIN" 

Red-Necked Grebe (5 Photos)

 

This is my second year having opportunities to photograph Red-Necked Grebes.

 

Perhaps not The Most Exotic looking of grebes, but on a fairly cloudy morning, this Red-Necked Grebe came close enough to allow for close-up photography of its grooming, including some wing flapping which I have not seen before. What it displayed were beautiful colours and textures within its feathers, as well as a face full of character.

 

Am waiting with anticipation of the arrival of those little "stowaways" riding on the backs of their parents.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/5/photo-of-the-week---may-25-2019---what-secrets-lie-within---red-necked-grebe Sat, 25 May 2019 19:53:08 GMT
"RISE OF THE GRIFFON" - Osprey https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/5/-rise-of-the-griffon---osprey "RISE OF THE GRIFFON"

Osprey (5 Photos)

 

Taken in early evening light as two male ospreys postured and flew, competing for territory and fishing grounds. (It's a big river, boys!) 

 

Ospreys remind me of the mythical creature the Griffon. a combination of the lion and the eagle. Perhaps, it is their stance or those wings.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/5/-rise-of-the-griffon---osprey Sat, 25 May 2019 19:02:08 GMT
Photo of the Week - May 19, 2019 - "NIGHT TIME, DAY TIME" - Black Crowned Night Heron https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/5/photo-of-the-week---may-19-2019---night-time-day-time---black-crowned-night-heron "NIGHT TIME, DAY TIME"

Black Crowned Night Heron (4 Photos)

 

I am so happy these little herons don't appear just at night. And a tree pose is always a huge bonus!

 

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/5/photo-of-the-week---may-19-2019---night-time-day-time---black-crowned-night-heron Mon, 20 May 2019 03:01:03 GMT
"A TRULY CANADIAN ENGINEERING PROJECT" - Great Blue Heron https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/5/-a-truly-canadian-engineering-project---great-blue-heron "A TRULY CANADIAN ENGINEERING PROJECT"

Great Blue Heron

 

The beaver is Canada's national symbol. They are a family orientated mammal, mate for life and excel in engineering, as evidenced by their lodges and dams.

 

This Great Blue Heron had been on the back of a near by beaver dam, fishing, when it flew across into a pond and settled on the front of the beaver lodge, itself.

 

The heron will probably re-appear in close-ups on future blogs but knowing how tall the Great Blue Heron (3 1/2 feet to 4 1/2 feet) is, believe the landscape shot demonstrates the magnitude of this beaver family's engineered home. All it needs is a patio and it would qualify as a luxury waterfront property.

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/5/-a-truly-canadian-engineering-project---great-blue-heron Fri, 17 May 2019 17:03:46 GMT
"IT'S STILL EAGLE SEASON" - American Bald Eagle (Immature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/5/-its-still-eagle-season---american-bald-eagle-immature "IT'S STILL EAGLE SEASON"

American Bald Eagle (Immature) - 7 Photos

 

Yes, it's Spring & May in Calgary. Taken only three days from the photos appearing in the last blog and Calgary's first snowfall of May. Well, obviously prime Eagle Season hasn't finished. 

 

This young eagle, perhaps a little miffed by the snow (yes, that is snow accumulation on the tree) but still keeping an eye on some coots that were swimming in the river. It was very congenial and allowed for some shots while it groomed and surveyed the landscape.

 

As mentioned in the past, I love all stages of the Bald Eagle and the mature are certainly striking but this young eagle in all its young elegance and beauty is certainly equally a winner and so much promise for the future for its species.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/5/-its-still-eagle-season---american-bald-eagle-immature Mon, 13 May 2019 23:44:25 GMT
Photo of the Week - May 12, 2019 - "FISHING DERBY WINNER" - Osprey (Male) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/5/photo-of-the-week---may-12-2019---fishing-derby-winner---osprey-male "FISHING DERBY WINNER"

Osprey (Male) - 5 Photos

 

And first prize goes to (drum roll) - the male Osprey!

 

Having harvested a few more sticks, this osprey flew by and then landed in a nearby tree, with a fish that would have most fishermen envious. Obviously a huge trout.

 

Then making him the mate of the year, he ate the tongue and some tasty bits, flew back to the nest and collected his mate. They both flew back to the same tree where she sat eating the remainder of the fish and he flew off, harvesting more sticks and making deliveries to the nest. What a bird!

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5 - Comment: Have never seen an Osprey with that "Can't Believe I Ate The Whole Thing" look.

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/5/photo-of-the-week---may-12-2019---fishing-derby-winner---osprey-male Mon, 13 May 2019 22:57:39 GMT
Photo of the Week - May 5, 2019 - "SECRET LIFE OF THE OSPREY" - Osprey https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/5/photo-of-the-week---may-5-2019---secret-life-of-the-osprey---osprey "SECRET LIFE OF THE OSPREY"

Osprey (5 Photos)

 

The morning these shots were taken had been preceded by a Spring snowfall. Sometime after sunrise, the snow stopped and pale blue skies with fluffy white clouds were replaced with bright blue clear skies.

 

The ospreys probably having been heavily snowed on the night before, seemed to delight in the warmth of the sunshine. I was fortunate to see some of the actions of two ospreys, devoted to each other and getting on with their Spring preparations in nest preparation. According to sources, ospreys are generally monogamous and mate for life. (Believe they do take separate Winter holidays after their Southern migration, returning to the same nesting site in the Spring.

 

 

 

PHOTO #1 - "A LOOK TO THE FUTURE"

PHOTO #2 - "DEAD STICK LANDING"

PHOTO #3 - "JUST FLYING IN"

PHOTO #4 - "GIVE YOUR HEAD A SHAKE"

PHOTO #5 - "OSPREY MATING RITUAL"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/5/photo-of-the-week---may-5-2019---secret-life-of-the-osprey---osprey Sun, 05 May 2019 21:43:59 GMT
"LANDING GEAR" - Osprey https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/5/-landing-gear---osprey "LANDING GEAR"

Osprey (4 Photos)

 

The ospreys have returned for their Spring nesting. Unfortunately, in some cases, the pairs have had to start from "scratch" as Canada Geese have taken over their nests. (And yes, that is in tall trees, platforms and poles.)

 

It does, however, provide some wonderful opportunities to catch ospreys in flight as they make their trips back and forth for twigs and nesting material for new homes.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/5/-landing-gear---osprey Sat, 04 May 2019 16:51:15 GMT
Photo of the Week - Apr 28, 2019 - "THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS" - Muskrat https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/4/photo-of-the-week---apr-28-2019---the-wind-in-the-willows---muskrat "THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS"

Muskrat - 4 Photos

 

In a small pond dammed at one end by beavers, discovered a pair of muskrats swimming, eating and generally enjoying a day in sunshine albeit a little windy.

 

Assume the smaller muskrat to be the female. The larger muskrat eventually headed towards a small bank and inlet, which was overlooked by a small wooden pedestrian bridge. It was a great spot to achieve some close-ups and monitor the little fellow. 

 

On review, it appears this muskrat has had some rough encounters, whether that be with another muskrat or a narrow escape from a predator. Unfortunately, for muskrats, they are the favourite "go to" meal for coyotes, bobcats, herons, hawks, foxes, to name just a few in this area alone. 

 

Muskrats like to co-habit with beavers and therefore, have some security in beaver lodges. And no they are not freeloaders, they help out with lodge repairs such as patching holes with mud, etc.

 

On an "aside", while sitting among the reeds and meadow grasses, I heard some scurrying and every so often, a little vole would pop up and pop back down, usually accompanied by some squeaking. It's that time of year and "Spring is in the air"!. One of my rules while taking some time out is to ensure all openings in my camera bag are zipped shut. Love all of Nature's creatures big or small but I don't want to be bringing any surprise little friends home!

N.B. if you would like to see more photos of the muskrats, visit the link below. The gallery is also currently in "Featured" on the Home Page.

 

Wind in the Willows

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/4/photo-of-the-week---apr-28-2019---the-wind-in-the-willows---muskrat Mon, 29 Apr 2019 00:59:09 GMT
"SKY CHALLENGER" - American Bald Eagles (Mature & Juvenile) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/4/-sky-challenger---american-bald-eagles-mature-juvenile "SKY CHALLENGER"

 American Bald Eagle (Mature & Juvenile) - 3 Photos

 

Having had limited success at the "muskrat" pond (See tomorrow's star & Photo of the Week), walked down river and spotted a bird of prey across the river. At first it was difficult to determine whether it was a young eagle or osprey, as it was obscured by a branch and its back to me. 

 

It then changed position and you could see from its stance and beak shape and size, an eagle. It was some distance away but thought from its location, there was a potential for flight shots if it headed in my direction. So waited and waited and waited ......

 

Eventually it took that departure stance and I aimed the camera. And it wasn't until I continued shooting, I discovered why it had flown, i.e. attack from behind the bird. 

 

Unlike people, in the bird world, youngsters do not get to move back with the parents once they have fledged and perhaps, this was the cause for the challenge. There is an eagle nest close by with what appears to be a nesting pair. 

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/4/-sky-challenger---american-bald-eagles-mature-juvenile Sat, 27 Apr 2019 15:31:19 GMT
"NEVER SAY 'NEVER'" - American Bald Eagle (Adult) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019/4/-never-say-never---american-bald-eagle-adult "NEVER SAY 'NEVER'"

American Bald Eagle (Adult) - 4 Photos

 

Well - what a wonderful surprise to find this adult American Bald Eagle perching in a tree. There are resident Bald Eagles in Calgary but the months from November to February are generally when their numbers are higher.

 

Assume this may be one of a pair residing in Calgary, perhaps nesting along the Bow River. It certainly was watching the creek below, perhaps in hope of catching a meal for itself or its mate.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2019