Ingham Nature Photography Inc.: Blog https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog en-us (C) Ingham Nature Photography Inc. (Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) Mon, 23 May 2022 01:47:00 GMT Mon, 23 May 2022 01:47:00 GMT https://www.inaturephoto.com/img/s/v-12/u812883816-o112298866-50.jpg Ingham Nature Photography Inc.: Blog https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog 120 91 "DO PORCUPINES ONLY SLEEP DURING THE DAY?" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/5/-do-porcupines-only-sleep-during-the-day---porcupine-north-american "DO PORCUPINES ONLY SLEEP DURING THE DAY?"

Porcupine (North American) - 9 Photos

 

In response to that age old question :) - "Do porcupines only sleep during the day?". Here are some photos with captions to document the answer.

 

 

PHOTO #1 - "COME ON - PUT EM UP" (a boxing porcupine???)

PHOTO #2 - "YOGA FOR PORCUPINES - THE LOTUS POSE"

PHOTO #3 - "HOWDY!" (Porcupines are certainly friendly!)

PHOTO #4 - "TIME FOR A BELLY RUB - NOT!"

PHOTO #5 - "LOOK MA - ONLY ONE HAND!"

PHOTO #6 - "I'M ALMOST THERE"

PHOTO #7 - "I CAN SEE THE LIGHT"

PHOTO #8 - "I'M SURE MY GPS SAID THIS WAY" (When it is convenient, turn around.)

PHOTO #9 - "GROUND ZERO"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/5/-do-porcupines-only-sleep-during-the-day---porcupine-north-american Mon, 23 May 2022 01:47:27 GMT
"EACH ONE DESERVES RESPECT & PROTECTION" - Great Horned Owls https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/5/-each-one-deserves-respect-protection---great-horned-owls "EACH ONE DESERVES RESPECT & PROTECTION"

Great Horned Owl (Adults & Owlet) - 7 Photos

 

WARNING - Some individuals may find some parts of this blog upsetting.

 

Having said the above, there is much to rejoice regarding one Great Horned Owl family. The female & male have managed to raise an owlet to fledging status. The owlet is now managing to scale trees with some wing flapping. Within a few weeks, hopefully it will graduate to flight, which will be one more huge step to full independence.

 

The photos of the female owl were taken on a very windy day prior to the little owlet fledging. The owlet was all cozied up in the tree trunk safe from the elements. As the female owl was sitting sideways to the wind on top of the nest, her feathers blew aside and you can clearly see in Photo #1, the opening for her true ear and eardrum. Photo #2 is a grooming shot, which shows off her beautiful feathers.

 

The photos of the male owl were taken during the similar time frame. I had been walking along the path & turned to look backwards, when I came face to face with Mr. Owl (Photo #3). Hence that big yellow eye stare. But no worries, got a few shots with the camera and then Mr. Owl went back to his well deserved nap. Photo #4 was taken on a separate day when the male was grooming.

 

Photos #5, #6 & #7 are of the lovely owlet with its mother. It seems to be a real "Mummy's Owlet", probably suffering from Only Owlet Syndrome" :)!

 

Moving on:

A friend has a cabin on MacGregor Lake, just southeast of Calgary, Alberta. For the past few years, a pair of Great Horned Owls have nested in fir trees close to his property. This year, for the first time during the Snow Geese migration, dead and sick Snow Geese have been found around the lake. Mammal predators like the coyote have not touched the carcasses. And yes, the cause of the illness is Avian Flu.  Some time during the past weeks, the male owl was found dead on the ground, some distance from the nest. 

 

As there was no movement in the nest for sometime, my friend had the unenviable task of using a ladder to scale the tree. As he got closer to the nest, he could see the female was erect but not moving. She too had passed but still on watch with her wings spread across the three owlets who had also died. Truly truly a sad outcome for five beautiful Great Horned Owls and huge heartbreak for my friend.

 

Owls do not scavenge but were most likely feeding on small birds that had been infected with the virus by the Snow Geese. Other birds that owls prey upon include small waterfowl. All five owls, of course, had died from Avian Flu.

 

The tree has now been cleaned and everyone in the area is hoping for the return of a nesting pair of owls in the next year or two.

 

And this is where the title of this blog comes from. Every owl is precious and even if a pair of owls have only one owlet, we should share in the joy with its parents, but always with respect as with all things wild. 

 

N.B. The Great Horned Owl is the Provincial bird of Alberta

 

PHOTO #1

Great Horned Owl - FemaleGreat Horned Owl - Female"HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE LOCATION OF AN OWL'S EAR?"

PHOTO #2

Great Horned Owl - FemaleGreat Horned Owl - Female'GROOMING ON A WINDY DAY"

PHOTO #3

Great Horned Owl - MaleGreat Horned Owl - Male"WHAT BIG YELLOW EYES YOU HAVE!"

PHOTO #4

Great Horned Owl - MaleGreat Horned Owl - Male"GROOMING"

PHOTO #5

Great Horned Owl - Female & OwletGreat Horned Owl - Female & Owlet"MUM GROOMING THE OWLET - Part 2"

PHOTO #6

Great Horned Owl - Female & OwletGreat Horned Owl - Female & Owlet"MUM GROOMING THE OWLET - Part 1"

PHOTO #7

Great Horned Owl - Female & OwletGreat Horned Owl - Female & Owlet"STRETCHING OUR WINGS"

 

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/5/-each-one-deserves-respect-protection---great-horned-owls Mon, 16 May 2022 01:49:58 GMT
"LATE TO THE PARTY - PARTY ANIMAL" - Weasel (Long Tailed) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/5/-late-to-the-party---party-animal---weasel-long-tailed "LATE TO THE PARTY - PARTY ANIMAL"

Weasel (Long Tailed) - 6 Photos

 

This is the first weasel that appeared in the May 7th, 2022 blog. As you can see, the colour of her coat is even more transformed into its summer wardrobe. Although it still is not as contrasting as the second weasel of that blog.

 

A second set of photos will appear in another blog in late Spring/early Summer but for now, here is our fierce predator chasing down pocket gophers. When it went into the gopher hole, dug it out further and then disappeared for some time, I really thought it would pop out with a rodent but unfortunately for both of us, no success.

 

And then off it pranced (there is no other word for it), onto the next venue.

 

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/2022/5/-late-to-the-party---party-animal---weasel-long-tailed Sun, 15 May 2022 02:55:43 GMT
"WHAT ARE THOSE OSPREYS DOING NOW?" - Ospreys https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/5/-what-are-those-ospreys-doing-now---ospreys "WHAT ARE THOSE OSPREYS DOING NOW?"

Ospreys - 10 Photos

 

 

So this pair of ospreys are back from their deep south Winter vacation and appear to be attempting to nest in their new site.

 

There has been at least 10 days of mating rituals so hopefully the female will soon be laying her eggs and the pair can begin the process of raising offspring.

 

The following photos were taken over two consecutive days. The second day had extremely changeable weather, going from partially cloudy to blue sky to ominous dark clouds with impending rain, which led to some interesting lighting conditions.

 

The first of the two days, I managed to capture the pair side by side on a tree branch close to the nest. (Photo #1) A rare opportunity for me as they are generally busy doing their nest building and fishing, independently. Usually they can be found side by side on the nest.

 

Photos #2 through 6 are of the incoming male, gently landing on the female and then departing.

 

Photo #7 is the male flying over the nest site.

 

Photo #8 is the female bringing in a rather large piece of wood (no small branches for her), to add to the nest. An amazing feat of flying and balancing with strong winds.

 

Photo #9. It appeared the male came in without being called, subsequently mated but not with a happy female and then was sent off, only to return with another large piece of wood material. The winds were so strong at this point, that he opened up his talons and dropped the piece onto the nest (Photo #10). I would say that is a look of astonishment and surprise by the female below. So I suppose even ospreys have marital spats.

 

The male returned shortly thereafter to the nest and marital bliss returned.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

PHOTO #8

PHOTO #9

 

PHOTO #10

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/5/-what-are-those-ospreys-doing-now---ospreys Tue, 10 May 2022 16:13:42 GMT
"LATE TO THE PARTY" - Weasel (Long Tailed) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/5/-late-to-the-party---weasel-long-tailed "LATE TO THE PARTY?"

Weasel (Long Tailed) - 6 Photos

 

This is a tale (not tail) of two weasels. Both were extremely cheeky & outfoxed me. Or should I should say "out weaseled me!

Weasel No. 1 was kind enough to stay in one place long enough to give the camera time to focus and take a couple of shots. Then it was off. I tried to follow its path through the wooded grove to find it at one point sitting, yes sitting, on the stump that I had just vacated. Gone again. Cheeky little weasel! :)

 

Weasel No. 2 popped up behind me as I was taking some shots of a pair of ospreys who have been putting the final touches to their nest building. I saw something out of my peripheral and there was the weasel peeking out from behind some debris. Off it scampered down the path.

 

So I tried to follow and met a couple on the path walking their dog. "You haven't seen a weasel by any chance?"  From their incredulous stares, I assumed "no". Then we all looked forward and there was the cheeky little weasel standing up on the path. "Oh, there it is", I said and caught a few quick shots.

 

And I might not be the only one late to the party.

If you compare the two weasels, you will probably see that the first one's chest & underbelly is mostly white. The second one's coat has turned that lovely tawny colour, including the underbelly. So Weasel No. 1 might be late to the party in the changeover of its coat from Winter to Spring. Or perhaps, just a different variation of colouring.

 

No matter what the reason, weasels with regard to this particular two-legged, are faster, more agile & probably even brighter. :) 

 

WEASEL NO. 1

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

 

WEASEL NO. 2

 

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/5/-late-to-the-party---weasel-long-tailed Sun, 08 May 2022 01:37:45 GMT
"BLACKBIRD SINGING ..... " - Blackbirds (Red Winged & Yellow Headed) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/5/-blackbird-singing---blackbirds-red-winged-yellow-headed "BLACKBIRD SINGING IN THE ...... "

Blackbirds (Red-Winged & Yellow Headed) - 7 Photos

 

Unlike the song by Paul McCartney, this wasn't the dead of night, close to evening though. And as for the singing, well:

 

I  have a non scientific proposal. :) :)  When Nature was giving out her gifts to the birds, they had to choose two of the three following choices.

 

1. Flight

2. Beauty

3. Song

 

The little House Wren, for example, who appears basically a dull brown in colour with no distinguishing features, chose flight and song. And what a song it is. I believe it has been described similar to the song of the nightingale.

 

The American Bald Eagle has amazing flight and a majestic presence, particularly as adults with their striking white heads & stunning feathers. If you have ever heard the chatter of Bald Eagles, it is quite sweet but for such a large predatory bird, a little on the "wimpy" side if you forgive me for saying so!

 

The little Red Winged Blackbird (male), although pretty with its red/orange wing markings, is basically black. So its choices were flight and song, which has been described as a musical trill.

 

Then we have the Yellow Headed Blackbird (male). Striking with its bright yellow/orange head colouring, contrasted against its shiny black body and white wing patch. So flight & beauty were its choices. As for song, it has been described by some sources as this:

 

"Males sing a few musical notes followed by a screeching buzz, rather like a heavy door swinging on a very rusty metal hinge". :)

 

As mentioned in the beginning, these photos were taken close to sunset. And as to the why, I was looking for beavers (who obviously were waiting for darkness) and as to the how, well there's nothing quite like getting down and dirty in the marshy area, amongst the bull rushes. If you stay quiet in one place long enough, even the birds seem to recognize you as non-threatening.

 

Red-Winged Blackbird

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

 

YELLOW HEADED BLACKBIRD

 

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/5/-blackbird-singing---blackbirds-red-winged-yellow-headed Thu, 05 May 2022 18:51:30 GMT
"SPIDERMAN, SPIDERMAN - DOES WHATEVER A ..." - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/5/-spiderman-spiderman---does-whatever-a---porcupine-north-american "SPIDERMAN, SPIDERMAN - DOES WHATEVER A ... "

Porcupine (North American) - 6 Photos

 

Now I know this is a porcupine climbing down a tree but its movements can appear a little disturbing, if not intriguing. It almost looks like a person in a porcupine suit.

 

One rarely gets to see the complete action of a porcupine's legs in the climbing process. You can see the bending from the knee (Photo #3) and the extension of the leg as it gains a foothold (Photo #4). 

 

And of course, just to clarify that this is just a beautiful porcupine carefully descending, see Photo #6. It's amazing how a different perspective gives an entirely different look. :)

 

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/2022/5/-spiderman-spiderman---does-whatever-a---porcupine-north-american Tue, 03 May 2022 15:14:35 GMT
"THE AW FACTOR" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/4/-the-aw-factor---porcupine-north-american "THE AW FACTOR"

Porcupine (North American) - 7 Photos

 

While just sitting enjoying the warm April sunshine, something appeared in my peripheral vision. Quickly glancing to the right, there was a porcupine making its way down the tree.  Someone made a movement from the other side of the creek and back it went, heading for those succulent buds at the top of the tree.

 

Eventually, it came down and went up a different tree later in the day. This was repeated twice more as evening drew in, each time going for those branches with the most buds. If the porcupine couldn't reach the buds located at the very end of the twigs, it would chew the branch through, grasp it and munch on the buds much like a child would lick a lollypop.

 

Every time I see a porcupine descend or ascend a tree, it's like the first time. I am in awe (no pun intended) of how careful but quick and agile porcupines are and how they magically disappear into the underbrush once they have reached ground. Those straw coloured quills provide tremendous camouflage. 

 

Rather than just take full body shots of this particular porcupine of its descending, ascending, etc.,  I was close enough with the long lens at maximum to take head or partial body shots.  And with close-ups, you really get to see in detail the porcupine's features, head & body. 

 

And I definitely think, this porcupine in particular, has the "aw factor".

 

PHOTO #1 - "DO PORCUPINES HAVE LIPS???"

PHOTO #2 - "THEY DEFINITELY HAVE WHISKERS"

PHOTO #3 - "AND NOSTRILS - ALL THE BETTER TO SCENT YOU WITH!!"

PHOTO #4 - "AND QUILLS IN THEIR EARS, AS WELL" - I NEVER NOTICED THIS BEFORE

PHOTO #5 - "PADS ON THEIR FEET THAT REMIND ME OF THE GRIPPY SOLES OF COMFY SLIPPERS"

PHOTO #6 - "LONGISH LEGS SO BETTER TO CLIMB WITH"

PHOTO #7 - "THE AW FACTOR!" :)

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/4/-the-aw-factor---porcupine-north-american Tue, 26 Apr 2022 19:11:17 GMT
"THE DEMONIC MINK" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/4/-the-demonic-mink---mink-north-american "THE DEMONIC MINK"

Mink (North American) - 4 Photos

 

Now I am almost certain this "demonic" look in the eyes of the mink is due to eyeshine and the trick of shadows & light but it certainly gives this little mustelid a different perspective.

 

On the general side, this little mink was making use of the logs as scratching posts, particularly around his neck area (believe this is a male from its size and head shape). Like the porcupine who I have been watching who is frequently scratching, I believe this is due to both mammals trying to "brush" out winter coats. I have, in fact, seen tufts of old fur left on the porcupine's claws from scratching.

 

I did manage to catch this little mink scampering along a log but his fur behind his head is looking a little sad so I hope to be able to photograph him again once his sleek summer coat has come in and replaced that old fur.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/4/-the-demonic-mink---mink-north-american Fri, 22 Apr 2022 07:30:00 GMT
"A WINDOW INTO A PORCUPINE'S WORLD" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/4/-a-window-into-a-porcupines-world---porcupine-north-american "A WINDOW INTO A PORCUPINE'S WORLD"

Porcupine (North American) - 9 Photos

 

These photos are of the same porcupine but two different days, both days having variable weather conditions & strong gusty winds. Hence the "quill blown" look on the porcupine.

 

When there are opportunities to view a porcupine's face close up, you can see the character & expressions in its face, regardless of the dark fur.

 

That stare is probably the result of poor eyesight but the porcupine's hearing & sense of smell are strong. Like the beaver, they probably detect movement. And trust me, when you are trying to be completely silent when moving around an area, porcupines can detect the slightest sound of crunching leaves. 

 

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/2022/4/-a-window-into-a-porcupines-world---porcupine-north-american Wed, 20 Apr 2022 15:49:54 GMT
"A PREDATOR'S LIFE IS NOT AN EASY ONE" - Coyote https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/4/-a-predators-life-is-not-an-easy-one---coyote "A PREDATOR'S LIFE IS NOT AN EASY ONE"

Coyote - 11 Photos

 

The coyote was travelling along the ridge line across the river, out for late afternoon patrol and scouting for food (Photos #1 to #5).

 

A predator by nature and sometimes a scavenger, the coyote like other predators does not make a kill every time, whether that be with small or large prey. And it can be many attempts, before a successful hunt. 

 

This coyote had spotted something moving down on the shoreline and made that amazing leap down the incline, landing on the rocky shore (Photos #6 to #8). Perhaps it was a muskrat or a small rodent, but whatever it was, it was a miss for the coyote (Photo #9).

 

It jumped up the incline and back on its way, looking for more potential prey (Photos #10 & 11).

 

Coyotes are great opportunists and will easily take advantage of a free meal whether that be a carcass from a wild animal (including road kill) or garbage not secured. It is something to keep in mind, particularly in urban areas close to green spaces & parks. And, of course, as humans we must remember, "Never feed coyotes directly or indirectly."  This can potentially avoid human/coyote conflicts.

 

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/2022/4/-a-predators-life-is-not-an-easy-one---coyote Tue, 19 Apr 2022 16:32:01 GMT
"NOT JUST ANY WALK IN THE PARK" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/4/-not-just-any-walk-in-the-park---porcupine-north-american "NOT JUST ANY WALK IN THE PARK"

Porcupine (North American) - 10 Photos

 

This porcupine session began at 10:30 a.m. in the morning & I left for the day at approximately 4:30 p.m. I did take two brief walking tours around the area in the morning and the afternoon, leaving this fellow asleep (hopefully) in the sunshine and returned to my rather comfortable partially open fallen tree trunk each time. You just have to love Nature's furniture, luckily in this instance in a great viewing spot, with close proximity to the tree where the porcupine was lying.

 

As the afternoon wore on, the wind picked up with strong gusts and the clouds rolled in. It was at this point our quilled rodent decided to make his way down the tree. He had already partially climbed down previously, taking a position in the "V" of the tree to hang out and sample some of the new buds (another blog to come) & climbed back up, but this time it was the full descent.

 

I took a position to the north side of the tree and watched the porcupine, as it approached the first tree ledge. I had checked the area previously for any oncoming people traffic but as the weather had turned nasty, there was no one about. Now as he got closer to the bottom of the trunk, to the east I could see a young couple approaching with a Border Collie on a lead.

 

I stood away from the tree and made a hand signal to stop. Now this may be a surprise to some, but not everyone heeds a "stop sign". Some individuals who see an individual with a camera just carry on with an attitude. Fortunately, this time, the young couple who thought I was trying to photograph a bird, stopped some distance away. It shortly became evident to them there was a rather large porcupine trying to make his way down the tree. And it was a little tricky, because the wind gusts were not only blowing his quills around, but probably pushing on his body as well.

 

Then he made the final step onto terra firma and off he went, first parallel to me crossing the gravel trail and heading towards the tall grasses. I don't know whether he heard the clicking sound of the shutter or perhaps had got a sniff of me (but the wind was in the direction where it didn't carry my scent) but he suddenly turned and headed straight down the path towards the couple & their dog.

 

With some quick thinking, the young fellow scooped up the collie and the two stepped back off the trail. This time, our prickly friend must have caught their scent (most likely the dog's) did an immediate about face and headed back south into the tall grasses, where he, of course, disappeared and hopefully made it back safely to the grove of trees, with fallen logs, etc. to take refuge from the weather in its den.

 

I walked back to the threesome and thanked them for being so thoughtful and wildlife aware. They were both thrilled. The young woman had managed to take her phone out and get some awesome photos of the porcupine from both the side and coming towards them.  They said they had seen a porcupine only once before and were amazed at its size & colouring and to see one on the ground walking, well .....

 

So porcupines wherever you are, I am always willing to watch your back as you make that descent to the ground and act as, the British call them, your "lollypop lady", a woman who stands at crossings & holds up a stop sign to help, in this instance, porcupines cross the trails safely.

 

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

PHOTO #8

PHOTO #9

PHOTO #10 - And this is what a porcupine looks like before it completely disappears. The "pointy end" is always the business end! :)

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/4/-not-just-any-walk-in-the-park---porcupine-north-american Mon, 11 Apr 2022 19:12:58 GMT
"BYE FOR NOW" - Swans (Trumpeter) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/4/-bye-for-now---swans-trumpeter "BYE FOR NOW"

Swans (Trumpeter) - 8 Photos

 

The Trumpeter & Tundra Swans have been in their full migration mode for the past few weeks, winging their way to the far North to nest, lay their eggs and raise their offspring.

 

As a final farewell to the Trumpeter Swans, here are a final set of photos highlighting their beauty & grace. What a true success story they have, having been brought back from the brink of extinction.

 

 

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/2022/4/-bye-for-now---swans-trumpeter Sat, 09 Apr 2022 00:50:47 GMT
"MY FAVOURITE RODENTS" - Beaver, Porcupine & Muskrat https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/4/-my-favourite-rodents---beaver-porcupine-muskrat "MY FAVOURITE RODENTS"

Beaver, Porcupine & Muskrat - 9 Photos

 

It may be a strange title but most of the time, I forget these three are members of the order of Rodentia, the single largest group of mammals. They are characterized by a single pair of continuously growing incisors in both the upper & lower jaws.

 

That being said, when you think of rodents, you don't think cute or even adorable. But hopefully that opinion will change seeing the following group of photos.

 

Beaver (North American)

 

PHOTO #1 (Taken July 2021)

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

Porcupine (North American)

 

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

Muskrat

 

PHOTO #7

PHOTO #8

PHOTO #9

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/4/-my-favourite-rodents---beaver-porcupine-muskrat Tue, 05 Apr 2022 23:43:38 GMT
"NO VERTICAL LIMIT" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/4/-no-vertical-limit---porcupine-north-american "NO VERTICAL LIMIT"

Porcupine (North American) - 7 Photos

 

One of the most frequent comments I overhear from people when seeing porcupines in trees is, "I didn't know they climbed trees".

 

It is one of their favourite places to hang out, nap and sometimes munch during the colder months and in early Spring, when buds start to appear on the tree branches.

 

And can they ever climb. They are cautious and deliberate climbers whose technique reminds me of a rock climber scaling a precipice. 

 

This young porcupine decided it had had enough of napping in the sun and it was time for the descent, ascent and final descent to terra firma. It was back to its earth bound den for some resting up before venturing out again after sunset.

 

PHOTO #1

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"SUNSHINE"

PHOTO #2

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TREE"

PHOTO #3

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"FACE HOLD"

PHOTO #4

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"GETTING IN DEEP"

PHOTO #5

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"LONG WAY DOWN"

PHOTO #6

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"SPIDER P"

PHOTO #7

 

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"STUCK ON THE LEDGE?"

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/4/-no-vertical-limit---porcupine-north-american Fri, 01 Apr 2022 07:30:00 GMT
"IT DOESN'T GET MORE CANADIAN THAN ...." - Beaver (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/3/-it-doesnt-get-more-canadian-than---beaver-north-american "IT DOESN'T GET MORE CANADIAN THAN ..... "

Beaver (North American) - 10 Photos

 

It doesn't get more Canadian than a beaver on the ice (Photo #1). It probably could handle a hockey stick (Photos #2 & #3) but I'm not too sure whether helmets come in beaver sizes! :)

 

These photos were taken just before sunset and as you can see some of the ice still remains. Once that ice melts, the beavers will have access to their full "waterpark" and finding them will be more difficult.

 

The beaver expressions seemed to call out for some captions. So here we go!

 

It Doesn't Get More Canadian Than A Beaver On Ice

PHOTO #1

Beaver - North AmericanBeaver - North American"WHAT COULD BE MORE CANADIAN THAN A BEAVER ON THE ICE!"

 

Hockey Stick Practice

PHOTO #2

Beaver - North AmericanBeaver - North American"HOCKEY STICK PRACTICE #1"

PHOTO #3

Beaver - North AmericanBeaver - North American"HOCKEY STICK PRACTICE #2"

 

I'm NOT Chubby. Does This Coat Make Me Look Fat?

PHOTO #4

Beaver - North AmericanBeaver - North American"I'M NOT CHUBBY! DOES THIS COAT MAKE ME LOOK FAT??"

 

Of All The Ponds In All The Park, She Had to Walk Into Mine (An Homage to Casablanca)

PHOTO #5

Beaver - North AmericanBeaver - North American"OF ALL THE PONDS, IN ALL THE PARK, SHE HAD TO WALK INTO MINE" - Homage to Casablanca

 

I Wish I Knew What This Beaver Was Thinking

PHOTO #6

Beaver - North AmericanBeaver - North American"I WISH I KNEW WHAT THIS BEAVER WAS THINKING"

 

Glad That I Didn't Know What This Beaver Was Thinking

PHOTO #7

Beaver - North AmericanBeaver - North American"GLAD THAT I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THIS BEAVER WAS THINKING!"

 

Hopefully, It's True A Beaver's Vision Isn't All That Great (Hearing On the Other Hand!)

PHOTO #8

Beaver - North AmericanBeaver - North American"HOPEFULLY WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT A BEAVER'S VISION BEING POOR IS TRUE. HEARING ON THE OTHER HAND ...."

 

No, That's Not An Orangutan. Just A Wet Young Beaver

PHOTO #9

Beaver - North AmericanBeaver - North American"NO, THAT'S NOT AN ORANGUTAN. IT'S A YOUNG WET BEAVER"

 

The Beaver Rainbow Connection

PHOTO #10

Beaver - North AmericanBeaver - North American"THE BEAVER RAINBOW CONNECTION"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/3/-it-doesnt-get-more-canadian-than---beaver-north-american Tue, 29 Mar 2022 16:24:37 GMT
"THE NOT SO HUMBLE MUSKRAT" - Muskrat https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/3/-the-not-so-humble-muskrat---muskrat "THE NOT SO HUMBLE MUSKRAT"

Muskrat - 11 Photos

 

I do have some sympathy for the little muskrat. He/she is at the top of what seems to be, everyone's menu. That list includes but is not limited to coyotes, foxes, wolverines, raccoons and yes, herons (both Great Blue & Night Heron). 

 

Always thought of this rodent as prey and like its bigger cousin, the beaver, eater of plants, grasses.

 

That was until the other day. I saw this muskrat exiting the water and sitting on an ice shelf close to the shore. Set the camera settings and off I went. Who doesn't like a good muskrat on ice! Caught some shots while it scratched (Photo #1) and then it dived into the water. 

 

It swam under a sheet of ice and when it emerged, well at first I thought it was a mouthful of vegetation. Not!! (Photo #3 & Photo #4)

 

The muskrat had caught a sizeable fish. Our little rodent hauled it onto another ice shelf (luckily facing me), took a few minutes to admire its catch and then prepared to dine. It took about 15 to 20 minutes to finish off the well deserved meal, starting at the head and finishing off with the fins (bones & all). (Photo #5 to Photo #11) The muskrat then licked its paws and off it popped back into the water, swimming downstream, probably to have a nap. :)

 

Those white spots in Photo #11 are from a snow squall that descended upon the area. Pellets of snow and sunshine at the same time. Lasted about 10 minutes.

 

I checked out some general knowledge and unlike beavers who eat aquatic plants, woody material, grasses, etc., the muskrat eats aquatic plants as well as fish, frogs, crayfish and other small animals. So the "not so humble" muskrat can be a predator.

 

An osprey, eagle or mink would have thought this to be a sizeable meal. Well done, little muskrat. You certainly have shown you are not at the bottom of the food chain but keep watching over your shoulder. You never know who might be in the neighbourhood! :) 

 

 

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PHOTO #11

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/3/-the-not-so-humble-muskrat---muskrat Sat, 26 Mar 2022 23:30:19 GMT
"NORTHERN EXPOSURE" - Beaver (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/3/-northern-exposure---beaver-north-american "NORTHERN EXPOSURE"

Beaver (North American) - 4 Photos

 

I guess making that decision to go with the less expensive willow blinds which don't give total privacy was an error in judgement! :)

 

Believe this is one of the two adults who live in the lodge. I saw a total of six this particular evening. I assume the two "teenagers" last year have hopefully found their own accommodation. Last year's two kits have now grown into young adults and with the addition of two new kits, that makes six.

 

As the sun set further behind the horizon, all six eventually came out of the pond and hit the banks, munching on willow shoots. One of the kits paired up with the other adult, too far away and too enclosed with grasses to achieve a clear shot, but a sweet moment nevertheless. 

 

 

PHOTO #1

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PHOTO #4

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/3/-northern-exposure---beaver-north-american Wed, 23 Mar 2022 19:17:32 GMT
"BAND OF BEAVERS" - Beaver (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/3/-band-of-beavers---beaver-north-american "BAND OF BEAVERS"

Beaver (North American) - 9 Photos

 

So I drove by the beaver pond early in the morning and it was almost clear of ice, the middle still being frozen. Might be a good time in the evening to see if there is any beaver activity.

 

When I arrived early evening, the ice because of the warmer temperatures, had completely melted and the beavers were already out.

 

I believe I saw three different ones, probably two adults and one youngster (probably just over a year old). They were, of course, busy doing their busy beaver activities, collecting branches and muddy grasses for their lodge, with some time out for munching on some beaver snacks. 

 

Having reviewed the photos, I could identify the two adults because one has particularly clear & prominent eyes, perhaps female? (Photo #6 & Photo #7) The other large beaver had to be "Dad".

 

There was one brief moment when the youngster approached an adult with that soft "mewing" sound and they circled each other and then touched noses (Photo #9). I say mewing. It's the sound I have heard before when beavers audibly communicate with each other. It's almost a cross between a mew and a whimper and ever so sweet.

 

The other sweet sound was the chewing of twigs, etc. of the beavers, as they munched close to shore. It's one of those times, where there was just too much grass in the way to achieve a clear shot so the best option is to sit back and listen to some contented rodents.

 

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PHOTO #9


 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/3/-band-of-beavers---beaver-north-american Sun, 20 Mar 2022 17:13:17 GMT
"DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME BEGINS" - Swans (Trumpeter & Tundra) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/3/-daylight-savings-time-begins---swans-trumpeter-tundra "DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME BEGINS"

Swans (Trumpeter & Tundra) - 10 Photos

 

Managed to get out early enough (with the time change) to catch a few Trumpeter Swans before they moved to a different location for the day.

 

The threesome wasn't there long & caught one photo in the departure (Photo #1).

 

Photo # 2 to Photo #4 are of the Trumpeters as they flew over the river later in the morning. They were in two groups and came in directly overhead. And no, they had no intention of landing. There wasn't the slightest indication of "landing gear" coming down even from viewing them from a distance. It did, however, provide a special opportunity to catch a couple close up in flight (Photo #5 & Photo #6).

 

The remaining four photos are of the female Tundra Swan & her youngster. They spent the entire morning feeding in the river non-stop. I assume they are now feeding up even more for the long migration north, which should be very shortly. The morning was particularly quiet and because of the stillness, I could frequently hear a very faint "hoo-hoo". At first I thought it might be a Great Horned Owl close by but then when I looked at the two Tundra Swans eating side by side, I realized it was them, softly talking to each other, particularly the young one. I have heard the sounds of Trumpeters & Tundras before, particularly as they are in flight but this was a first for me. And it genuinely touched my heart.  The things you hear in Nature when the air is still & no one is near. :)

 

Later in the afternoon, they moved upriver to a shoal where they spent some quality time together grooming those all important feathers. (Photo #7 to Photo #10)

If the youngster decides to return to his mother's wintering ground at the end of this year, its feathers will be completely white but most likely it will follow the rest of its species and proceed further south.

 

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PHOTO #10

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/3/-daylight-savings-time-begins---swans-trumpeter-tundra Tue, 15 Mar 2022 16:17:03 GMT
"IT'S ALMOST TIME TO HEAD NORTH" - Trumpeter Swans https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/3/-its-almost-time-to-head-north---trumpeter-swans "IT'S ALMOST TIME TO HEAD NORTH"

Trumpeter Swans - 9 Photos

 

The swans that have over wintered in Calgary, Alberta this year will very soon be heading north to nest and start families. Hopefully, they will have a head start of the swans that flew further south.

 

So thank you so much for brightening up those cold winter days with your angelic wings.

 

These three swans spent the early part of a morning, together. I believe it must be two parents & one youngster, born last year. You can see from Photo #1, Photo #3 and Photo #4 , its wings are mottled with some darker colouring.

 

And in this instance, managed to line the camera up just as they passed in front to catch the splashing as they began their long take-off.

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/3/-its-almost-time-to-head-north---trumpeter-swans Sun, 13 Mar 2022 01:18:59 GMT
"BIRDS IN FLIGHT (OR ALMOST)" - American Bald Eagle & Trumpeter Swans https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/3/-birds-in-flight-or-almost---american-bald-eagle-trumpeter-swans "BIRDS IN FLIGHT (OR ALMOST)"

American Bald Eagle & Trumpeter Swans - 7 Photos

 

Here is a combination of "bird of prey" and waterfowl take-offs & almost take-offs.

 

On one side you have the quick dynamics of the American Bald Eagle with its acrobatic abilities. On the other, you have the 100 metre dash of the Trumpeter Swan with its 25 pound plus weight to achieve lift-off.

 

Once airborne, both demonstrate the beauty and grace of flight which we, as humans, can only dream of attaining.

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/3/-birds-in-flight-or-almost---american-bald-eagle-trumpeter-swans Wed, 09 Mar 2022 17:26:25 GMT
"FIR BABY" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/3/-fir-baby---porcupine-north-american "FIR BABY"

Porcupine (North American) - 9 Photos

 

This sequence of photos was taken on a rather dismal snowy cold day between Christmas & New Year's Eve 2021.

 

Was just completing a walk in the frigid temperatures, when I looked up into a tall fir tree and saw something definitely moving across the branches. Yes, it was a large porcupine in its full winter coat, all fluffed up against the Winter weather.

 

I have never seen a porcupine dining on fir needles and cones before, but along with a diet of seeds, buds & bark - why not? And he was certainly chowing down, seemingly oblivious to the snowy weather.

 

And I refer to this porcupine as a "he" because of his size. When this porcupine sits around a tree, he really sits around a tree. (See Photo #5 to see his full length.) Now I guess we should allow some leeway for his wintery finery, but from the photo, as he is hanging from the branch, you can see his size from head to tail. He is one big porcupine.

 

After an hour or so,  I left" Mr. Fluffy" and headed back to the car. The porcupine & my camera battery both had outlasted me in the cold. 

 

PHOTO #1

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/3/-fir-baby---porcupine-north-american Fri, 04 Mar 2022 08:30:00 GMT
"WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT" - American Bald Eagle https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/3/-whats-love-got-to-do-with-it---american-bald-eagle "WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT"

American Bald Eagle (Male & Female) - 9 Photos

 

Further to the blog, "Feathered Royalty" of February 18 , 2022, I decided to combine the two remaining blogs into this one. (The sun was slowly coming round the tree where the eagles were perching, hence the combination of back light & side light.)

 

As mentioned previously,  I discovered the male Bald Eagle of the pair, sitting on one of his favourite branches overlooking the river. Took some shots and then from the south, came a second adult which landed close to him on the same branch. Going by some general knowledge, the female American Bald Eagle is generally one-third larger than the male. 

 

Some lovely eagle chatter ensued (Photo #5) and then the two just hung out together for approximately 20 minutes. The male then flew off and fifteen minutes the female followed, unfortunately away from me.

 

So here we have some photos of the gorgeous female Bald Eagle (Photo #1 to Photo #4 ). Photo #5 to Photo #8  are of the pair side by side. Photo #5 is the female doing that endearing eagle chatter.

 

Photo #9 is of the male in flight after he completed a fly-by.

 

American Bald Eagles mate for life and still court/re-declare their vows each year. And last weekend, I saw one of the pair heading toward the nest with nesting material. Hopefully, young eaglets will soon be on the way! :)

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/3/-whats-love-got-to-do-with-it---american-bald-eagle Wed, 02 Mar 2022 18:23:47 GMT
"MORNING HAS BROKEN" - Swans (Trumpeter) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/2/-morning-has-broken---swans-trumpeter "MORNING HAS BROKEN"

Trumpeter Swans - 12 Photos

 

To come across and approach Trumpeter Swans and not have the immediate take-off, is almost a surreal experience. Add in some soft early morning light and it can be magical.

 

Photos #1 through #7 are of the swans grooming and stretching their wings after a period of resting along the icy shore, taken just as the sun rose above the river channel.

 

Photos #8 through #12 are of several take-offs. It really is a 100 yard dash. It takes that long for a Trumpeter Swan which weighs more than 25 pounds to get airborne. They hit the water surface hard and it can sound like galloping horses before they achieve lift-off.

 

And then, of course, there is the non-angelic side of swans. Check out Photo #7. I chose one of a series of four, where one Trumpeter actually bit the other and I don't believe it was a love bite.

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/2/-morning-has-broken---swans-trumpeter Sun, 27 Feb 2022 02:29:31 GMT
"AS THE SUN SLOWLY SETS" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/2/-as-the-sun-slowly-sets---porcupine-north-american "AS THE SUN SLOWLY SETS"

Porcupine (North American) - 8 Photos

 

One porcupine, one clear branch & a late afternoon.

 

From late afternoon until almost dusk, you can see the change of light as the sun slowly moved around to the West. And yes, it was seriously blowing that afternoon, so you can see on some of the photos, the quills being parted by the wind.

 

Porcupines do not appear to like to have the sun shining directly into their faces nor do they like to face into the wind. So this little snuggle bug was cozied up with its back to the wind, enjoying the warmth of the sunshine on its body.

 

 

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PHOTO #8

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/2/-as-the-sun-slowly-sets---porcupine-north-american Wed, 23 Feb 2022 16:54:00 GMT
"NO, IT'S NOT THE ARCTIC" - Swan (Tundra) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/2/-no-its-not-the-arctic---swan-tundra "NO, IT'S NOT THE ARCTIC"

Swan (Tundra) - 11 Photos

 

It may look like the bleak Arctic but it's not. It's an iced shoal in a river in Calgary, Alberta, CA after a dump of snow and - 16 degree C temperatures. And yes, it did stop snowing at the time the photos were taken and the sun every so often peaked out from behind the clouds.

 

This adult Tundra swan (who I assume is a female) and her offspring from last Spring were hunkering down on the ice, wrapped up in their beautiful feathers. Usually, they are relatively close together, even when feeding in the river, but in this instance, the female was closest to the shore where I was sitting. The youngster was on the opposite side of the "iceberg", probably 60 feet away. 

 

Perhaps, there had been some parent/teenager incident prior to my arrival. :) As you will see from Photo #9 , the adult had decided enough with the sleeping and grooming, it was time for some food and entered the water. She repeatedly called to her offspring to come & join her and eventually after many soft calls, it answered. Answered only, it did groom occasionally but the majority of the time, it went back to snuggling down into those white feathers. I suppose it just didn't want to "get out of bed". I couldn't blame it's reluctance. Who wants to leave a warm bed for a very icy cold venue.

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/2/-no-its-not-the-arctic---swan-tundra Mon, 21 Feb 2022 04:23:36 GMT
"FEATHERED ROYALTY" - American Bald Eagle https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/2/-feathered-royalty---american-bald-eagle "FEATHERED ROYALTY"

American Bald Eagle - 11 Photos

 

This will be the first of three blogs, featuring this particular pair of American Bald Eagles. This blog includes photos of the male of the pair. The second blog will have photos of the female and the third & final blog will be of this magnificent pair together, side by side. 

 

The pair have a nest close by but in an extremely safe & protected location. I believe they have nested in that same tree for several years now probably due to its seclusion from prying eyes & its proximity to a constant food source. They can be observed from a distance flying back & forth to the nest area, hopefully preparing it for laying this Spring.

 

This particular tree branch is a favourite of the eagles. It overlooks the river and surrounding forested area. 

 

There is one sure thing about eagles, particularly in relatively open spaces, they see you. They know you are there, particularly if you are sitting on a log close by and waiting for that all important departure, hopefully not in the opposite direction.

 

Am not certain what this eagle was looking at. Yes, looking down towards the river made sense and perhaps hoping to spot a careless duck or a fish but I could not determine what it was spying on the ground below. Hopefully, it wasn't some very unlucky weasel hunting rodents. It would be a very difficult decision for me as to which animal to cheer for, Team Eagle or Team Weasel! :)

 

Maybe he was just striking poses for the camera, giving me that thoughtful look, or that tough eagle look or even that sly glance. Anyways, I was so involved in keeping a close eye on departure times, that when the eagle did take off and I turned the camera towards the direction of the river, I had not noticed that a blue sky had been creeping up on me from behind, replacing the hazy blue sky with a bright blue one. Just love it when a plan comes together even when there is no plan.

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/2/-feathered-royalty---american-bald-eagle Sat, 19 Feb 2022 00:22:00 GMT
"BE MINE" - Trumpeter Swans https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/2/-be-mine---trumpeter-swans "BE MINE"

Trumpeter Swans - 8 Photos

 

It's after Valentine's Day but this still is a love story.

 

A bevy of Trumpeter Swans were chilling (no pun intended) in the icy waters of the river. Around them were Canada Geese, Mallard Ducks, Common Golden-Eyes and other waterfowl.

 

It seemed everyone other than the swans, were at it - chasing off rivals, pursuing mates, etc. The swans just looked on at first, watching all the splashing & listening to the squawking and honking.

 

Then one pair of swans moved to the "center stage" of the river. Enough of this nonsense, they showed how it should be done, with an elegance and tenderness I have not witnessed before. Although there was an amount of wing flapping & display, on the male's part (the cob), there was no aggressiveness, only a mutual partnership.

 

Swans usually mate for life and this pair certainly demonstrated their commitment. And yes, there was some head bobbing and quiet honking not captured by still photography.

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/2/-be-mine---trumpeter-swans Tue, 15 Feb 2022 23:49:31 GMT
"WINTER CROSSING" - Coyote https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/2/-winter-crossing---coyote "WINTER CROSSING"

Coyote - 5 Photos

 

It was the swans in the water but close to shore,  that sounded the alert that a coyote was close by.

 

He/she had been hunting in the grassy terrain but took a small detour along the icy shoreline. Perhaps it was to gain some ground quickly with the flat surface or perhaps it was to check out any potential prey such as small ducks on shore or anything it could scavenge.

 

Whatever the reason, the coyote definitely was on a mission with a brisk trot, covering the ground effortlessly.

 

After the brief icy interlude, it returned once again to the tall grasses of the meadow, hopefully to find voles/mice etc. who may also have come closer to the surface to enjoy the Winter sunshine.

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/2/-winter-crossing---coyote Sun, 13 Feb 2022 03:12:14 GMT
"WHAT GOES ON BEHIND THE SCENES" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/2/-what-goes-on-behind-the-scenes---porcupine-north-american "WHAT GOES ON BEHIND THE SCENES"

Porcupine (North American) - 11 Photos

 

So it's back to one of my favourite rodents, again, the North American porcupine (also known as the Canadian porcupine?). It is a member of the New World porcupine family.

 

Now if you haven't seen the 1987 old classic advert for Kit Kat chocolate bars, starring two pandas (actors dressed in costumes), search it out. I believe it to be every wildlife photographer's nightmare. But again what you don't see, you don't miss.

 

I had that particular moment (thank goodness as a viewer) a week or so ago while watching a porcupine sleeping in a tree, close to a walking path. It was asleep with its back towards me and its furry brown face looking into the branches on the other side.

 

I hadn't been there long when a young couple approached, out for their afternoon walk and came across me. Anytime someone sees you with a camera, looking up, there is the inevitable question, "What are you looking at?". "Look behind you and up", I replied. They looked and were surprised & thrilled to see a porcupine in the wild. Unfortunately, at first glance, its backend was all you could see. Then after a few minutes, the porcupine turned sideways and they could see its face in profile.

 

After a few questions and thank you's, they continued on walking.

 

It couldn't have been more than 10 minutes, when "P" (let's call him that for now), woke up and moved from one side of the trunk to the other side via the limb network. He then proceeded to climb down the tree and into the surrounding shrubbery & log pile. You couldn't see much of P, what with the tall grass and logs but you could hear him munching away on some dead leaves. Occasionally you could see a few quills moving & the top of his head. So I just stood there taking it all in and watching his back (literally and figuratively) so that no harm would come to him. And no one came.

 

Then only minutes later, P climbed back up the tree to his original position and fell asleep. And that's when I left him.

 

I looked back as I proceeded down the path and if porcupines snore, P certainly would be. And yes, seconds later I met someone coming the other way. We exchanged "hello's" and then I watched as the individual passed by the sleeping porcupine, totally unaware of all the activity that had occurred over the duration of the past 5 to 10 minutes. 

 

As porcupines go, even though I think they are all so sweet, this one has so much expression in its face, you would love to give him a "virtual" hug.

 

PHOTO #1

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"PEEK-A-BOO"

PHOTO #2

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"MAKING OUR WAY ACROSS"

PHOTO #3

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"SPOTTED?"

PHOTO #4

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"RUN FOR IT"

PHOTO #5

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"GET SET"

PHOTO #6

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"IT'S SCRATCH THE LEG TIME"

PHOTO #7

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"NOW ON TO THE TAIL"

PHOTO #8

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"AND IT'S DOWN WE GO!"

PHOTO #9

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"AND ANOTHER STEP"

PHOTO #10

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American'TAIL UP GOING DOWN"

PHOTO #11

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"A BIRD'S EYE VIEW"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/2/-what-goes-on-behind-the-scenes---porcupine-north-american Tue, 08 Feb 2022 20:18:47 GMT
"THE WARY COYOTE" - Coyote https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/2/-the-wary-coyote---coyote "THE WARY COYOTE"

Coyote - 5 Photos

 

I first saw this coyote on the edge of a walking path. At first, I thought it was a dog that had gotten loose from a dog walker I had just passed. It had quickly looked at me, looked at the dogs and their owner and had gone in the complete opposite direction from us.

 

As all her three dogs were very small terriers (all on leads), I took a second look and the coyote had disappeared into the underbrush like a ghost. I met her again on the way back. She, too, had spotted the coyote and had decided to change the direction of her walk to move away from it just in case. 

 

By following along a parallel path, I managed to catch up to the coyote from a distance. Again a gentleman walking his Great Pyrenees on leash had spotted it in the meadow. He took a few minutes to wait for the coyote to go in deeper and then walked on. Although his dog repeatedly pulled him over to the edge of the path, the coyote continued to go deeper into the grasses. At one point, it actually sat among some shrubbery, keeping a low profile (Photo #4). It stayed there for some time until both man and dog had gone some distance before coming out and going on its way, looking for prey in the meadow.

 

As you will see from the photos, this is one beautiful example of "Canis latrans", which translates to "barking dog". He/she demonstrated how we can all live in harmony with wildlife providing we, as humans, follow the following rules:

 

1. Do not feed wildlife. It may be hard for us to understand but they do very well on their own, keeping to their natural diet.

2. When in areas where signage indicates "All dogs must be on leash", please adhere to that rule. We may not see wildlife such as coyotes but they certainly see us. Coyotes can have dens and/or pups in an area and like all parents, are very protective of their young.

3. If the area is an off leash area, please ensure your dog has excellent recall and returns to you immediately you call. And always keep an eye on your pet so that it doesn't go too deep into an area where there are not only coyotes but deer and other wildlife such as porcupines. Off leash doesn't guarantee without hazards.

 

This canid certainly showed how respectful it was of humans. We should always try to reciprocate just like the two individuals above walking their dogs.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/2/-the-wary-coyote---coyote Mon, 07 Feb 2022 16:44:11 GMT
"HAS ANYONE ELSE CHANGED THEIR MIND?" - Muskrat https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/2/-has-anyone-else-changed-their-mind---muskrat "HAS ANYONE ELSE CHANGED THEIR MIND?"

Muskrat - 11 Photos

 

So here is our little muskrat again, quickly becoming my second favourite rodent (the beaver & porcupine being tied for first place). :)

 

This time, captured our semi-aquatic mammal on a V-shaped branch caught up in the ice, making its foray back and forth, with shoots & water plants to nibble on. Mild winter times must be halcyon days for muskrats. Food is aplenty in fresh running water, with ice shelves and debris such as this branch to relax on. And with predators such as herons, etc. enjoying their time down south in warmer climates, muskrats can bask in sunshine a little more out in the open without so much anxiety of becoming someone's next meal.

 

For such a small brown mammal, there is such great character in expression of its face, hands & feet. So I couldn't resist providing the following photos with their own captions (but not necessarily serious ones).

 

Hopefully, I am not the only one out there who has changed their mindset from "ooh, rodent :("  to "ooh, cute furry mammal :)"!

 

 

PHOTO #1  - "Say Cheese Or Whatever Is The Muskrat Equivalent"

Muskrat (North American)Muskrat (North American)'SAY CHEESE OR WHATEVER IS THE MUSKRAT EQUIVALENT"

PHOTO #2 - "Woof!"

Muskrat (North American)Muskrat (North American)"WOOF"

PHOTO #3 - "Oh No, Where Did I Put It?"

Muskrat (North American)Muskrat (North American)"OH NO - WHERE DID I PUT IT??"

PHOTO #4 - "Chubby Cheeks & Hands"

Muskrat (North American)Muskrat (North American)"CHUBBY CHEEKS & HANDS"

PHOTO #5 - "On The Beach, The Ice Beach That Is!"

Muskrat (North American)Muskrat (North American)"ON THE BEACH, THE ICE BEACH THAT IS"

PHOTO #6 - "Giving Thanks To Nature"

Muskrat (North American)Muskrat (North American)"OH SO GOOD!"

PHOTO #7 - "The Itsy Bitsy Muskrat Climbed Up The Wooden Stick"

Muskrat (North American)Muskrat (North American)"THE ITSY BITSY MUSKRAT CLIMBED UP THE WOODEN STICK"

PHOTO #8 - "Who Is That Cool Dude Down There?"

Muskrat (North American)Muskrat (North American)"WHO IS THAT COOL LOOKING DUDE DOWN THERE?"

PHOTO #9 - "TGIF or Toes Go In First!"

Muskrat (North American)Muskrat (North American)"TGIF OR TOES GO IN FIRST"

PHOTO #10 - "Even A Muskrat Has A Serious Side"

Muskrat (North American)Muskrat (North American)"EVEN A MUSKRAT HAS ITS SERIOUS SIDE"

PHOTO #11 - "Can A Muskrat Enjoy Music?"

Muskrat (North American)Muskrat (North American)"CAN MUSKRATS ENJOY MUSIC?"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/2/-has-anyone-else-changed-their-mind---muskrat Mon, 31 Jan 2022 23:04:21 GMT
"SNOW WARRIOR" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/1/-snow-warrior---porcupine-north-american "SNOW WARRIOR"

Porcupine (North American) - 5 Photos

 

Caught in the snow landscape, this porcupine with its relatively short stature, certainly can take on wintery conditions & snow covered slopes. And no snowshoes required.

 

I only wish I could cover the snow as quickly and as smoothly as this rodent can.

 

Photo #1 could be a portrayal of the "Mohawk" character from a "Mad Max" movie, pointy mohawk and all! :)

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

 

 

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/1/-snow-warrior---porcupine-north-american Sun, 30 Jan 2022 02:54:19 GMT
"THE MIGHTY MUSKRAT" - Muskrat https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/1/-the-mighty-muskrat---muskrat "THE MIGHTY MUSKRAT"

Muskrat - 9 Photos

 

Coming up from downriver late in the afternoon, I spotted a muskrat swimming across the river, then another one. When I investigated further, I could see a little brown ball of fur sitting on a small ice shelf, out of the water.

 

I then went into that internal discussion with myself. Do I or don't I pursue it? Muskrats, with good reason, are extremely wary & have great hearing. (In the warm months and the birds have returned from the south, they are a favourite food source of herons, both Great Blue & Night Herons.) 

 

It will probably hear me and dive back into the water. Oh what the heck - it's on the way back to the car anyways. So in my stealth mode (with heavy winter boots and noisy traction treads for the icy conditions), I followed the path down, stepped around a large pile of logs, turned around and low and behold the little muskrat was still there. 

 

(The muskrat was sitting on a sheet of clear ice with a small amount of water on the surface. Some of the images contain reflections and some (such as the tail and feet) are the actual mammal just under water.)

 

Snapped a few shots. The muskrat went quietly back in the water and returned again with some yummy shoots from the river bed. It did that time and time again. At one point, it was joined by a larger muskrat (Photos #7 & #8), who I assume was its parent.

 

This went on for some time as the sun slowly began to set. And then a large flat rectangular piece of ice came down the river, hit the shelf and scared both of them into the water.

 

Muskrats are probably not everyone's favourite rodent but they do have cute faces and resemble the water vole of Britain. They can cohabitate with beavers in lodges and have been seen with the use of an inside trail camera, doing needed repairs on the inside of the beaver lodge. So no free ride there! And am sure the beavers appreciate the extra help.

 

And that log pile I stepped around, was a small beaver lodge!

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5 - There is something very "Gandolf" from "Lord of the Rings" about this one! :)

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

PHOTO #8

PHOTO #9

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/1/-the-mighty-muskrat---muskrat Tue, 25 Jan 2022 17:40:05 GMT
"ON THE WINGS OF ANGELS" - Trumpeter Swans https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/1/-on-the-wings-of-angels---trumpeter-swans "ON THE WINGS OF ANGELS"

Trumpeter Swans - 9 Photos

 

From a species that was almost driven to extinction early in the 20th century to a species whose numbers are increasing, seeing these magnificent birds, once again, overwintering in Calgary, Alberta, CA is truly an amazing sight.

 

This pair flew in to join an adult Tundra Swan & juvenile (another blog to come) already settled on an ice shelf along the river's edge. Interestingly, the two Tundra Swans moved further in on the shelf to allow the Trumpeters sufficient room to manoeuvre. There appears to be a quiet politeness among the swans. :)

 

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/2022/1/-on-the-wings-of-angels---trumpeter-swans Mon, 24 Jan 2022 00:28:25 GMT
"SNOW BABY" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/1/-snow-baby---porcupine-north-american "SNOW BABY"

Porcupine (North American) - 7 Photos

 

Opportunities such as the one evidenced below don't come along very often. Sometimes it's only once in a lifetime! 

 

And thank goodness that although porcupines have acute senses of smell & hearing, their vision (like their larger cousin, the beaver) is relatively poor. I probably looked like some short irregular 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/2022/1/-snow-baby---porcupine-north-american Mon, 17 Jan 2022 05:08:21 GMT
"THE WEASEL'S ALTER EGO" - Weasel (Long Tailed) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/1/-the-weasels-alter-ego---weasel-long-tailed "THE WEASEL'S ALTER EGO"

Weasel (Long Tailed) - 3 Photos

 

If anyone has ever seen a weasel, be it in the wild, on television or in photos, I am certain that most would agree they are extremely cute, if not down right adorable.

 

But, of course, there is the other side of weasels. It is not an evil side. Their hunting skills are their way of surviving. Unlike humans, predatory wildlife do not have the luxury of heading out to the grocery store to obtain their next meal.

 

And they are an integral part of the balance of Nature. Without weasels, owls, coyotes, etc., we would be overrun with rodents, etc. which would destroy trees, shrubbery and greenery in the environment. It is a careful balance. Decimate a prey source such as prairie dogs or snowshoe hares and you eliminate mammals such as the Black Footed Ferret (in the case of prairie dogs) and the Canadian Lynx (in the case of snowshoe hares). As one source increases in numbers, so does the other. One decreases and the predator follows suit.

 

This may be the answer to a question humans often pose, "What could possibly go wrong?" Nature knows all too well.

 

PHOTO #1

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"UNDER THE ARCHES"

PHOTO #2

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"ON THE LOOK OUT"

PHOTO #3

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"THE LEANING WEASEL"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/1/-the-weasels-alter-ego---weasel-long-tailed Sat, 15 Jan 2022 02:46:43 GMT
"TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/1/-take-a-walk-on-the-wild-side---porcupine-north-american "TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE"

Porcupine (North American) - 7 Photos

 

 

So the following is a Step-By-Step "How To" with photos for porcupines on climbing trees. Not that they need any assistance but let's have some fun! :)

 

Step 1 - Locate a suitable tree

PHOTO #1

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"LOCATE A SUITABLE TREE"

 

Step 2 - Evaluate size & location. In this instance, "No too small"!

PHOTO #2

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"EVALUATE SIZE & LOCATION - IN THIS CASE, "NO TOO SMALL""

 

Step 3 - Stake out your claim

PHOTO #3

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"STAKE OUT YOUR CLAIM"

 

Step 4 - Stand tall with our tail for balancing

PHOTO #4

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"STAND TALL WITH OUR TAIL FOR BALANCING"

 

Step 5 - A long climb starts with the first step (check out the rear foot as it lifts from the ground)

PHOTO #5

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"A LONG CLIMB BEGINS WITH THE FIRST STEP - CHECK OUT THE REAR FOOT AS IT LIFTS FROM THE GROUND"

 

Step 6 - All feet in contact with the tree. Start climbing.

PHOTO #6

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"ALL FEET IN CONTACT WITH THE TREE. START CLIMBING"

 

Step 7 - Keep on climbing until you reach your destination

PHOTO #7

Porcupine - North AmericanPorcupine - North American"KEEP ON CLIMBING UNTIL YOU REACH YOUR DESTINATION"

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/1/-take-a-walk-on-the-wild-side---porcupine-north-american Tue, 11 Jan 2022 23:27:57 GMT
"PULLED ON MY HEART STRINGS" - Raven (Common) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/1/-pulled-on-my-heart-strings---raven-common "PULLED ON MY HEART STRINGS"

Raven (Common) - 3 Photos

 

Ravens can appear in folklore as positive or negative entities.

 

In Northwest Coast mythology, Raven is the powerful figure who transforms the world.

 

In the natural world, some view them as dark, noisy birds who can be quite intimidating because of their attitude, size and plain looks.

 

Two years ago, a pair of ravens decided for some reason to build their nest in my columnar fir tree in my backyard. They decided not to go with the huge fir trees in the green space close to my property. Perhaps they felt it was too busy with dog walkers, etc.

 

As it was early Spring, I did need to access the backyard to gardening, etc.  On my first attempt, I was greeted by two somewhat vocal ravens. So we had a "quiet discussion". "You can have that quarter of the garden undisturbed by me for the duration of your nesting period and I need to access the other three quarters". And after that, no issues.

 

It was a great pleasure to watch these parents fly back and forth bringing food to their two youngsters once they had hatched and then to see the two fledglings sitting on the wooden fence waiting for their parents to bring back the goods. 

 

Unfortunately, they did not return to nest the following year. Maybe they were new nesters and realized that there were much bigger trees out there to raise a family. I did miss them.

 

Ravens mate for life and like American Bald Eagles, they usually confirm (or re-confirm) their "vows" early in the New Year. Last year I was very fortunate to witness and photograph a pair of Bald Eagles doing just this in a tree and it went on for quite some time.

 

I happened upon this couple in the process of their vow exchange and it literally pulled at my heart strings. Their looks are so tender and the silver colouring in their wings, striking as the sun brought out the highlights. May they have a long and successful partnership!

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/1/-pulled-on-my-heart-strings---raven-common Fri, 07 Jan 2022 08:30:00 GMT
"ME AND MY SHADOW" - Weasel (Long Tailed) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/1/-me-and-my-shadow---weasel-long-tailed "ME AND MY SHADOW"

Weasel (Long Tailed) - 8 Photos

 

 

Think it might have been the one day change in the weather to much milder temperatures that brought this charming predator out and more visible. With warmer temperatures, one would assume that small prey such as voles and mice would be coming closer to the surface of the snow.

 

I'll take any reason to see and photograph a busy weasel. Luckily this one, took some pauses and time for poses, in its busy work schedule. 

 

With the sun behind me and shade provided by surrounding trees & shrubbery, it was the perfect scenario for shadow play. 

 

So here is one delightful weasel playing "Me and My Shadow"! (Oh and in Photos #3 & 4 - I swear that's a weasel smile :) !)

 

PHOTO #1

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"NO, THIS ISN'T A PHOTO STUDIO"

PHOTO #2

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"SURVEYING THE SURROUNDINGS"

PHOTO #3

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"THERE'S THAT WEASEL SMIRK!"

PHOTO #4

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"A SQUINT & A SMILE"

PHOTO #5

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

PHOTO #6

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"WHITE SNOW WITH A WHITE WEASEL"

PHOTO #7

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"A SNOW SQUINT"

 

PHOTO #8

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ANY CREATURE THAT IS SO CUTE & YET SUCH A DEADLY PREDATOR?"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/1/-me-and-my-shadow---weasel-long-tailed Tue, 04 Jan 2022 08:30:00 GMT
"THE SUN DOGS WERE BARKING" - Beaver (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/1/-the-sun-dogs-were-barking---beaver-north-american "THE SUN DOGS WERE BARKING IT WAS SO COLD!"

Beaver (North American) (2 Photos) & American Bald Eagle (2 Photos)

 

The last 10 days have been brutally cold in Southern Alberta, with air temperatures of - 29 degrees C and wind chills of -35 degrees C. 

 

When temperatures are that cold, ice crystals appear in the air and produce "sun dogs". Usually vertical in orientation, they appear as rainbows in close proximity to the sun.

 

No unfortunately I don't have any stellar shots of sun dogs, but I managed to capture two animals who braved the frigid temperatures.

 

First is a beaver, who appeared from downstream of the Bow River, Calgary and it is one huge beaver, even by "Castor" standards. He (had to be male being that size) came swimming along the shoreline (Photo #1), then dived. He appeared moments later (Photo #2) with his prize from the river bed. He then dived once more and disappeared. I never did see him resurface.

 

Now beaver, sir, if you could please remove the tree you have taken down on the west shore of the river, which is blocking the walking path, it would be much appreciated. You might consider having the "night shift" take charge! :)

 

And you know it's cold, when Bald Eagles tuck their heads into the feathers to take some relief from the cold wintery wind (Photo #3). Photo #4 demonstrates the icy build-up around its eyes, as the eagle surveyed the shoreline below looking for a frozen duck dinner.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

 

PHOTO #4

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2022/1/-the-sun-dogs-were-barking---beaver-north-american Sun, 02 Jan 2022 04:04:14 GMT
"SHOULD HAVE BROUGHT MY HARD HAT!" - Woodpeckers (Pileated) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/12/-should-have-brought-my-hard-hat---woodpeckers-pileated "SHOULD HAVE BROUGHT MY HARD HAT"

Woodpeckers (Pileated) -11 Photos

 

Opportunity certainly came knocking when I exited the parking lot and started walking down the path into the park. I heard that distinct banging of a woodpecker hammering away at a tree.

 

A few steps in and there was a Pileated Woodpecker busily chipping away at an old stump, wood flying everywhere, some pieces quite large. And that "snow" in some of the photos isn't snow but wood chips/shavings as the woodpecker drilled away. Yes, I should have worn my construction hard hat as I was now in a Woodpecker demolition zone.

 

It definitely knew it hit the motherload because it kept making the hole deeper & deeper and finally that woodpecker tongue came out to scoop out its prize. (Photos #4 & #5 ) Because it was so intent on drilling, I had ample opportunity to take different shots of its activities.

 

And at one point, the woodpecker took time out to have a scratch from the tip of its head to its beak, something I've never had a chance to witness before. (Photos #6 & #7) Photo #6 could be entitled "The Thinker"! :)

 

After approximately 20 minutes, its mate appeared. The first one flew off, allowing its other half a chance to partake of any goodies in the newly created hole.

 

Then up onto a horizontal branch flew the second woodpecker and then it too headed for new horizons and fresh trees.

 

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/2021/12/-should-have-brought-my-hard-hat---woodpeckers-pileated Tue, 28 Dec 2021 02:35:47 GMT
"BELOW ZERO" - American Bald Eagle (Immature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/12/-below-zero---american-bald-eagle-immature "BELOW ZERO"

American Bald Eagle (Immature) - 3 Photos

 

So only American Bald Eagles & crazy wildlife photographers venture out in snowy weather, with temperatures at -26 degrees C with wind chill at -35 degrees C.

 

But when you have to hunt to eat, there are no snow days (for eagles, that is).

 

At the time, I spotted the eagle, the snow had stopped and there was some sun behind the clouds, which gave a soft blue look to the sky. And those white spots, are ice crystals in the air.

 

The last photo is an area of in the Provincial Park that freezes each year and does not melt until late May due to its shady location. The freezing of the water into icicles demonstrates the chilliness of the air.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/12/-below-zero---american-bald-eagle-immature Mon, 27 Dec 2021 01:01:54 GMT
"HERE COMES KRAMPUS" - American Bald Eagle (Immature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/12/-here-comes-krampus---american-bald-eagle-immature "HERE COME'S KRAMPUS!"

American Bald Eagle (Immature) - 7 Photos

 

Okay, okay so it's not "Krampus", the anti-Santa Claus but this young eagle certainly bears a remarkable resemblance!

 

Have included a few other photos, just to prove that it is, indeed, a beautiful young eagle and not a creature here to spoil the Christmas Spirit! :)

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

 

PHOTO #1 - An eagle's impersonation of "Krampus"

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/2021/12/-here-comes-krampus---american-bald-eagle-immature Sat, 25 Dec 2021 02:32:06 GMT
"LOVE IS IN THE AIR" - White Tailed Deer (Male) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/12/-love-is-in-the-air---white-tailed-deer-male "LOVE IS IN THE AIR"

White Tailed Deer (Male) - 7 Photos

 

These photos are of three different handsome bucks taken over the past few weeks. All were in pursuit of does in the near vicinities and those does were definitely playing hard to get. "If you want to get amorous, you're going to have to work for it."

 

Particularly, in Photo #3, you can see the flaring nostrils as the male was catching the female's scent.

 

In Photo #5, Photo #6 and Photo 7 (taken on a very overcast & wet afternoon), the buck was a little more defensive of his potential "paramour" and as he was close to the walking path, I ensured that as I left I made a wide berth around his area and left him calm, cool and collected. Even so, I was more nervous trying to walk out with that particular buck in the area than I was with the very calm (and not so amorous) moose I encountered in the park this year.

 

Being that it is now a few weeks on, I'm sure all the "hook-ups" are complete and we can look forward to a new bunch of darling fawns in May/June next year!

 

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/2021/12/-love-is-in-the-air---white-tailed-deer-male Wed, 22 Dec 2021 16:48:45 GMT
"A FRESH FACE IN THE FOREST" - American Bald Eagle (Immature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/12/-a-fresh-face-in-the-forest---american-bald-eagle-immature "A FRESH FACE IN THE FOREST"

American Bald Eagle (Immature) - 7 Photos

 

 

No matter how many times I have a sighting of an American Bald Eagle (no matter what age), it never gets old. 

 

This particular young eagle even from a distance, appeared to be slightly different from most youngsters. At first I thought it was the morning light but once I got closer and got some shots off, I realized that it is quite dark even for a youngster.

 

Most likely an offspring from this year, he/she is experiencing its first taste of very cold weather and snowy conditions. Even its eyes seem to have that "fresh look" and that sense of wonder of everything is new and the world is ready to be conquered by a young Bald Eagle.

 

And what better way to celebrate the Winter Solstice than with a new fresh face! :)

 

 

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/2021/12/-a-fresh-face-in-the-forest---american-bald-eagle-immature Sun, 19 Dec 2021 21:56:29 GMT
"WEASEL WINTER WONDERLAND" - Weasel (Long Tailed) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/12/-weasel-winter-wonderland---weasel-long-tailed "WEASEL WINTER WONDERLAND"

Weasel (Long Tailed) - 3 Photos

 

Well for all that wildlife who change their coat colours in the Winter, can now breathe a sigh of relief. Snow now blankets Alberta, including the southern parts.

 

So now when scouting for weasels, it's a matter of watching for that little bundle of bouncing "snow" against the landscape and for this little one, and a black tipped tail at the end of that snowball.

 

And for something different, Photo #3 is done in black & white. Who doesn't like a little "retro weasel"! :)

 

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/12/-weasel-winter-wonderland---weasel-long-tailed Wed, 15 Dec 2021 19:43:57 GMT
"TRANSFORMATION" - American Bald Eagle (Immature & Adult) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/12/-transformation---american-bald-eagle-immature-adult "TRANSFORMATION"

American Bald Eagle (Immature & Adult) - 5 Photos

 

Nature is continually in transformation. Some of the most striking transformations can be the seasonal change of the coats of Jack Rabbits & Weasels or the metamorphosis of caterpillars into butterflies and moths.

 

One transformation that takes up to approximately 5 years is the American Bald Eagle. That's the time that it takes a young eagle to go from its mottled brown feathers to the iconic white headed eagle that is so recognizable. 

 

That being said, to me it is another amazing feat of Nature, who never fails to surprise.

 

The young eagle below, I believe, is probably two years old, maybe three. It wasn't born this year as already the white "mask" is appearing on its head. 

 

So a few years on, this young eagle, providing it manages to stay out of trouble and learns to hunt well, will go  

 

FROM THIS:

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

 

TO THIS:

 

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/12/-transformation---american-bald-eagle-immature-adult Mon, 13 Dec 2021 16:28:55 GMT
Porcupine (North American) - "THE EYES HAVE IT" https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/12/porcupine-north-american---the-eyes-have-it "THE EYES HAVE IT"

Porcupine (North American) - 4 Photos

 

The following photos were taken several weeks ago, just at sunset (which unfortunately these days is way too early).

 

Generally, a porcupine's eyes are almost invisible. Porcupines are usually too high up in trees or because of their nocturnal habits, under a cloak of darkness. However, with the aid of photography, there's no denying those beautiful brown eyes, which appear to look into your soul.

 

To paraphrase Nietzsche's quote, "If you gaze long enough into a porcupine, the porcupine will gaze back into you".  :) 

 

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/12/porcupine-north-american---the-eyes-have-it Sat, 11 Dec 2021 22:50:12 GMT
"BIRDS IN THE HOOD" - Hooded Merganser https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/12/-birds-in-the-hood---hooded-merganser "BIRDS IN THE HOOD"

Hooded Merganser - 7 Photos

 

So I caught these travelers one snowy overcast Saturday afternoon.

 

As they approached from upstream of a small creek, I was perplexed as to what type of duck I was seeing. My first impression was that they were very small but they couldn't be ducklings at this time of the year.

 

And as they got closer, I could make out their "hoods" and as they proceeded to dive into the water, I thought "mergansers".

 

From what I could ascertain from The Cornell Lab's "All About Birds" website, Hooded Mergansers breeding West of the Rocky Mountains migrate west and south to the Pacific. They are late Fall migrants, sometimes moving just ahead of Winter ice. 

 

These two were certainly cutting it close. Soon within the next week or so, the creeks in this area of Calgary will be frozen solid, with the only open water being the Bow River. And that small white substance in the photos is snow! 

 

With their elongated heads shaped by their hoods, they almost seem to resemble some alien presence out of the "Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" movie. :)

 

If you would like to view more information on "Hooded Mergansers, you can check out the following website by The Cornell Birds Lab or just search the internet for "All About Birds" website from The Cornell Birds Lab.

 

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Hooded_Merganser/maps-range

 

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/2021/12/-birds-in-the-hood---hooded-merganser Tue, 07 Dec 2021 03:35:07 GMT
"ONE WAY IN, ONE WAY OUT" - Weasel (Long Tailed) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/12/-one-way-in-one-way-out---weasel-long-tailed "ONE WAY IN, ONE WAY OUT"

Weasel (Long Tailed) - 5 Photos

 

 

While watching this weasel, I was reminded of an incident told to me by a friend several years ago.

 

She was in limbo between jobs and was, for the first time, at home most of the day with her two dogs. The dogs followed her everywhere she went. When they both followed her into the downstairs bathroom, she called a time out. "Okay", she said. "You can wait for me at the closed door. One way in, one way out. I'm not escaping anywhere."

 

So when this weasel went into a small hole in a log with no other exit, I knew all I had to do was wait.

 

Unfortunately, for the weasel there was no food "in the pantry" but for me, there was a great opportunity to catch this little mustelid exiting the log. And although the hole looks like a cavern, it was probably no wider than 8 inches wide.

 

"ONE WAY IN"

PHOTO #1 

 

"ONE WAY OUT"

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/12/-one-way-in-one-way-out---weasel-long-tailed Thu, 02 Dec 2021 08:30:00 GMT
"AUTUMN CARRIES MORE GOLD IN ITS POCKETS ......" - Coyote https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/11/-autumn-carries-more-gold-in-its-pockets---coyote "AUTUMN CARRIES MORE GOLD IN ITS POCKETS ....."

Coyote - 9 Photos

 

The entire quote is as follows:

 

"Autumn carries more gold in its pockets than all the other seasons" - Jim Bishop

 

The quote seemed fitting for the time of the year and the light this particular afternoon. Then when you add in the opportunity to catch a coyote prowling the river's edge, with a time out for a quick drink at the river, the day was truly golden :)

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3


PHOTO

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

PHOTO #8


PHOTO #9

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/11/-autumn-carries-more-gold-in-its-pockets---coyote Tue, 30 Nov 2021 08:30:00 GMT
"WEASEL TREE GYM" - Weasel (Long Tailed) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/11/-weasel-tree-gym---weasel-long-tailed "WEASEL TREE GYM"

Weasel (Long Tailed) - 7 Photos

 

It's a cruel joke that Nature pulls on the Long Tailed Weasel. It changes its coat colour from tawny/cream to snow white as daylight hours decrease and Winter approaches. Landscape in late Autumn in Calgary, Alberta can be snow covered or completely brown with fallen leaves and dead shrubbery. 

 

Unfortunately, this year it has been the latter and for this weasel, it's a "Hello, I'm a Weasel" statement, particularly as it climbs along and up trees.

 

But there is no denying, although a fierce predator, weasels are darn cute and have whiskers that a cat would 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/2021/11/-weasel-tree-gym---weasel-long-tailed Thu, 25 Nov 2021 16:10:22 GMT
"THE EAGLE & THE LION" - American Bald Eagle_Porcupine https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/11/-the-eagle-the-lion---american-bald-eagle_porcupine "THE EAGLE & THE LION"

American Bald Eagle (Adult) & Porcupine - 9 Photos

 

Caught an American Bald Eagle (Photo #1 & Photo #2) and shortly thereafter a porcupine on an afternoon outing. 

 

The position of the porcupine in Photo #3 (the first of the porcupine series) reminded me so much of a male lion lying beneath the setting sun - hence the title.

 

Photos #4 through Photo #9 were taken previously and have entitled this series "Shakin All Over". I managed to catch the quilly creature while he shook out his coat & quills. A video would probably have done more justice but the whole process is literally a few seconds. It does, however, provide some interesting posturing from the porcupine.

 

And, of course, there's that really lovely thick furry face. Does Nature know something we don't about the coming Winter??

 

"THE EAGLE"

PHOTO #1 

PHOTO #2

 

"AND THE LION"

PHOTO #3

"SHAKIN ALL OVER" (Porcupine)

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

PHOTO #8

PHOTO #9 (Deer in the Headlights Look!)

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/11/-the-eagle-the-lion---american-bald-eagle_porcupine Tue, 23 Nov 2021 17:42:37 GMT
"BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR" - American Bald Eagle https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/11/-be-careful-what-you-wish-for---american-bald-eagle "BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR"

American Bald Eagle (Adult) - 9 Photos

 

So there I was walking along the path that enters the woods when I looked up and saw a pair of American Bald Eagles soaring together high up in the sky. "If only one would come closer and perhaps even land", I thought.

 

Well as I was exiting the tree grove, I looked left and saw one eagle coming in for a landing to a tree just off the path.

 

So I followed the path around to the other side of the trees and entered the meadow and there in a tree was perched an adult American Bald Eagle. And this is one mature eagle. (Check out the size of the talons in the photos below.)

 

Now if it would only stay a few minutes to allow me to achieve a clear view and get a few shots off. 

 

That being done, I managed to take a seat in the long grass. The eagle proceeded to groom and relax and if you are wondering why the light changes in the photos below, it's because for the next 2 hours, the sky went from bright blue to overcast to hazy cloud to total cloud and finally to disappearing light. Be careful what you wish for :) 

 

And that's where I left this gorgeous eagle as sunset fell, still perched in the tree, just hanging out. I don't know if it intended to settle in for the night, waiting for its mate and perhaps roost but I was so thankful for those hours and the opportunity.

 

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/2021/11/-be-careful-what-you-wish-for---american-bald-eagle Wed, 17 Nov 2021 03:02:28 GMT
"THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY" - American Bald Eagle (Adult) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/11/-the-one-that-got-away---american-bald-eagle-adult "THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY"

American Bald Eagle (Adult) - 9 Photos

 

 

I first spotted this Bald Eagle sitting on the rocks in the water, across the river. Shortly thereafter, it flew into a tree on the far side where it remained perched and vigilant looking down at the river.

 

And then faster than you could say American Bald Eagle, it was off and down.

 

I have seen eagles hunt duck on the river before but this was my first experience watching one fish. And what a fish! 

 

Unfortunately it only managed to catch the fish with one talon. Probably due to the fish's size and squirming, the fish dropped back into the river much to my dismay (and much more the eagle's as well).

 

After a few flying tours, the eagle landed back on the tree. And then some time after, it flew back upstream hopefully to have better fortune with another fish.

 

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/2021/11/-the-one-that-got-away---american-bald-eagle-adult Sun, 14 Nov 2021 01:45:00 GMT
"WE ARE ALL SENTIENT" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/11/-we-are-all-sentient---porcupine-north-american "WE ARE ALL SENTIENT"

Porcupine (North American) - 5 Photos

 

The photos below are of five different porcupines of both sexes and various ages.

 

Perhaps, I have been spending too much time alone observing porcupines but their faces appear to be taking on more human attributes.

 

How can you look into the eyes and face of this creature and not recognize a sentient mammal. 

 

We should remember we and by "we", I mean "furries & feathereds" as well as humans, are all sentient. We all experience joy, sadness, pain, etc. 

 

And who could not resist that large furry rodent face :) !

 

PHOTO #1 - Porcupine #1

PHOTO #2 - Porcupine #2

PHOTO #3 - Porcupine #3

PHOTO #4 - Porcupine #4

PHOTO #5 - Porcupine #5

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/11/-we-are-all-sentient---porcupine-north-american Mon, 08 Nov 2021 17:47:16 GMT
"ROCKPORT" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/11/-rockport---mink-north-american "ROCKPORT"

Mink (North American) - 7 Photos

 

This mink was having a field day (or perhaps that's a "rock day"), fishing from the shoreline, going under a "stonehenge" and rubbing itself against the rocks. 

 

I believe it was trying to dislodge some "fishy" parts from its mouth (hence the teeth baring), as well as cleaning and distributing the oil through its fur for water protection.

 

From its stance on those small rocks, you can be a king over your domain!

 

 

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/2021/11/-rockport---mink-north-american Wed, 03 Nov 2021 15:38:35 GMT
"HOW NOW BROWN OWL?" - Great Horned Owl https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/10/-how-now-brown-owl---great-horned-owl "HOW NOW BROWN OWL?"

Great Horned Owl (Adult) - 5 Photos

 

"It was a dark & stormy day"! :) Well actually it was just dark and sleeting. 

 

Came across this Great Horned Owl, snuggled up to a tree trunk and trying to catch some owl "z's".

 

And yes, those feathers which give this owl its name are at complete attention. First it was mobbed by a group of chickadees. Then came a raven which landed on a nearby branch and called in reinforcements. Eventually that pair left the area too. And finally a barking dog came by which caught the owl's attention, probably because it was already on edge.

 

Finally, peace, once again, was restored and as you can see from Photo #4 and Photo #5, shut-eye was not far away.

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/10/-how-now-brown-owl---great-horned-owl Sat, 30 Oct 2021 23:58:19 GMT
"PERCEPTION IS NOT ALWAYS REALITY" - Coyote https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/10/-perception-is-not-always-reality---coyote "PERCEPTION IS NOT ALWAYS REALITY"

Coyote - 7 Photos

Kananaskis, Alberta, CA

 

PLEASE NOTE: ALL PHOTOS TAKEN FROM A SAFE DISTANCE & SAFE LOCATION

 

What we see and perceive is not always what is actually occurring. This can often be the case in Nature.

 

These photos were taken in the Kananaskis mountain area of Alberta, just at dusk. 

 

I have put up the third photo taken as the first photo. I would assume anyone's reaction would be this is not a very happy coyote & in fact, it looks extremely aggressive and angry.

 

Scroll down to the the remaining six photos which are then in sequence and you will see that this is merely a coyote on the hunt and the teeth baring merely a "chowing" down of its prize meal, a grouse caught in the grasses.

 

And in the very last photo, is a very happy coyote finishing off that gourmet dinner with a swipe of its tongue.

 

In all my experiences with coyotes, particularly in Fish Creek Provincial Park, Calgary, AB, (perhaps I should be touching some wood on this), my only issue is that I can't get the camera focused quickly enough before the coyote disappears as far from my human presence as possible. That is why, on those rare occasions, when I can capture them with the camera, I see it as a privilege

 

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/2021/10/-perception-is-not-always-reality---coyote Wed, 27 Oct 2021 17:03:43 GMT
"THERE'S STILL SOME GROWING TO DO" - Weasel (Long Tailed) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/10/-theres-still-some-growing-to-do---weasel-long-tailed "THERE'S STILL SOME GROWING TO DO"

Weasel (Long Tailed) - 6 Photos

 

I sometimes wish I had the reflexes and speed of a weasel, in order to capture the weasel's movements. And add to that some tricky lighting conditions. 

 

I spotted the tell tale (pardon the pun) sign of the weasel's lion cub like tail disappearing along a log, as I stepped off a path to let some people go by. 

 

I thought I had lost it when I saw one magpie fly over to a downed tree stump, followed by another. They both were on a low branch, looking directly down. "No, it can't be," I thought when out came the weasel and disappeared again.

 

Well thanks to my two informants who flew to a second downed log, I found the little mustelid. Had a number of photos without heads which is where the wish comes from but here is one cute weasel. Because of those big ears, I believe it was born this Spring. And as a side note, a friend had taken a photo of another Long Tailed Weasel a few days ago and it was in the transition stage, not quite yet white. So perhaps, the youngsters take a little longer into metamorphosing to their pure white winter coats.

 

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/2021/10/-theres-still-some-growing-to-do---weasel-long-tailed Sat, 23 Oct 2021 21:05:52 GMT
"MINK ON THE ROCKS" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/10/-mink-on-the-rocks---mink-north-american "MINK ON THE ROCKS"

Mink (North American) - 7 Photos

 

This was my first experience catching a mink fishing along the river, in a shoal close to the shoreline.

 

I think it's a male from its squat face, large ears and some slight scarring on the left side of the face but only the mink knows for sure :)

 

It came back a couple of times during a short time period. One of the reasons may have been there was a lovely flat rock that rested across the landscape (almost mini Stonehenge in appearance) which the mink liked to go into and preen, completely safe from any predation.

 

And although this might look like the ocean, it is indeed a river view with a beautiful little mink to accent the landscape.

 

 

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/2021/10/-mink-on-the-rocks---mink-north-american Wed, 20 Oct 2021 00:32:07 GMT
"MORNIN' SUNSHINE!" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/10/-mornin-sunshine---porcupine-north-american "MORNIN' SUNSHINE!"

Porcupine (North American) - 9 Photos

 

So I don't know why I find porcupines so endearing. Perhaps it's the fact that they have a certain air of mystery. Generally, they are only seen during daylight hours sleeping in trees and if you do catch the odd glimpse of them "grounded" during the day it's extremely brief. Their active periods on the ground are at from dusk into the night darkness.

 

Or perhaps it's their furry brown faces which sometimes seem to resemble little monkeys. 

 

And at times, when they lie stretched out on tree branches, they take on a gigantic caterpillar appearance.

 

The following photos are of Chewy P. She gave birth to Hap P this past Spring. I did manage to catch Hap P this summer in a tree late one evening but that is the only time I have seen her these past few months.

 

Chewy was high up on a tree branch, soaking up some early morning light (Photo #1 - Photo #3). After a short time, she made her way down to the crook in the tree (Photo #4 - Photo #7) before climbing up again on a nearby branch (Photo #8 - Photo #9.)

 

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/2021/10/-mornin-sunshine---porcupine-north-american Wed, 13 Oct 2021 07:30:00 GMT
"AUTUMN GLORY" - American Bald Eagle https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/10/-autumn-glory---american-bald-eagle "AUTUMN GLORY"

American Bald Eagle - 7 Photos

 

To capture any Bald Eagle is a gift. To capture an adult in flight - glorious. To capture an adult Bald Eagle about to take flight in amongst the gold of autumn leaves - sensational!

 

The golden brown autumn leaves appear to accent the eagle's beak and talons and highlight this bird's beauty.

 

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/2021/10/-autumn-glory---american-bald-eagle Sun, 10 Oct 2021 00:17:14 GMT
"SLEEP P" - Porcupine (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/10/-sleep-p---porcupine-north-american "SLEEP P"

Porcupine (North American) - 7 Photos

 

So it appears the start of "Porcupine Tree Viewing" season may have begun. That time of the year when mating takes place and porcupines look for some warming up time out of their dens and into the trees.

 

This is "Little Bo P" born this past Spring. He has grown somewhat but he is still as cute as a button (well, I think so!). He spent the day in his favourite tree sunbathing and snoozing. Most of the time, he had his little porcupine face hidden behind a tree branch but a few times he did turn around to check out the world and tend to some scratching.

 

I can't blame him for not wanting "to get out of bed". We probably all know that warm cuddly feeling of sleeping in and that "just another five minutes" scenario. :)

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/10/-sleep-p---porcupine-north-american Wed, 06 Oct 2021 07:30:00 GMT
"THE FOX ROCKS - Part 2" - Fox (North American Red) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/9/-the-fox-rocks---part-2---fox-north-american-red "THE FOX ROCKS - PART 2"

North American Red Fox - 9 Photos

Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada

 

I most likely will never have an encounter like the one documented in this blog and the previous one. On a "Far Side" point of view, I thought one of the fox's friends was going to appear and pass the hat around looking for donations for viewing privileges! 

 

These photos include the second set where the fox moved down from Rock #1 to Rock #2, and then went on a hunting expedition. 

 

Definitely a very relaxed fox but one that knew its wild boundaries, never once thinking about making any type of contact with humanity. 

 

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

 

PHOTO #1

Fox (Red) - North AmericanFox (Red) - North American"CHECKING OUT THE TERRAIN"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #2

Fox (Red) - North AmericanFox (Red) - North American"A STEP CLOSER"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #3

Fox (Red) - North AmericanFox (Red) - North American"DOWN"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #4

Fox (Red) - North AmericanFox (Red) - North American"RELAXED"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #5

Fox (Red) - North AmericanFox (Red) - North American"CHECKING OUT WHAT MIGHT BE AVAILABLE"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #6

Fox (Red) - North AmericanFox (Red) - North American"READY STEADY FREDDY FOX"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #7

Fox (Red) - North AmericanFox (Red) - North American"A LOOK BACKWARDS"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #8

Fox (Red) - North AmericanFox (Red) - North American"FOX IN THE GRASS"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, C)

PHOTO #9

Fox (Red) - North AmericanFox (Red) - North American"JUMP!"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 


 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/9/-the-fox-rocks---part-2---fox-north-american-red Wed, 29 Sep 2021 07:30:00 GMT
"THE FOX ROCKS" - Red Fox https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/9/-the-fox-rocks---red-fox "THE FOX ROCKS (noun & verb)!"

Part 1

Red Fox - Kananaskis, Alberta, CA - 7 Photos

 

So was just about to enter one of the Provincial Parks in Alberta when I saw what I thought, for a micro second, was a new piece of commissioned art at the park entrance. Alberta Parks have been updating signs, etc. so for that split second I envisioned statue.

 

Well it wasn't. Thank the stars, it was a gorgeous red fox sitting absolutely still on top of a flat rock, completely clear of vegetation. The rock was one of two flat boulders and as it was late afternoon, I believe this member of the canid family was warming itself on the surface of the rock. It must have been really toasty with the late summer heat of the sun. Perhaps a fox's form of hot stone massage therapy :) At the same time, the rocks provided an excellent vantage point (safe from view and sound) of the rodent population which I am certain was living in the underbrush.

 

And then there is the colour coordination between the fox's fur and the lichen on the rock. Hmmmm?

 

Over the course of the next 30 minutes (yes, that would be 30 minutes), it changed positions and then eventually moved down the rocks into the grassy area and finally down the hill to the creek below.

 

I've only seen foxes once before in Alberta and that was young kits. Click on the link below if you wish to view the photos taken in Southern Alberta, several years ago. However, this latest experience was one for my photography books! 

 

https://www.inaturephoto.com/redfox-whatsblackwhiteredallover

 

After some scrutiny of the photos, I believe this fox to be a young female and what a stunner she is. Her entire demeanor was relaxed but never missing "the big picture" of hunting. 

 

This is Part 1 of 2 blogs featuring this North American Red Fox. Part 2 will follow approximately one week from now.

 

And finally,

 

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

 

PHOTO #1

Fox (Red) - North AmericanFox (Red) - North American"I AM FOX READY"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #2

Fox (Red) - North AmericanFox (Red) - North American"ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME? ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME??"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #3

Fox (Red) - North AmericanFox (Red) - North American"HO HUM ...."
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #4

Fox (Red) - North AmericanFox (Red) - North American"LYING DOWN ON THE JOB"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #5

Fox (Red) - North AmericanFox (Red) - North American"A COMPLETE TURN AROUND"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 

PHOTO #6

Fox (Red) - North AmericanFox (Red) - North American"TURN"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #7

Fox (Red) - North AmericanFox (Red) - North American"SIDE PORTRAIT"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/9/-the-fox-rocks---red-fox Fri, 24 Sep 2021 07:30:00 GMT
"COYOTES HOWLING HALLELUJAH" - Coyote https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/9/-coyotes-howling-hallelujah---coyote "COYOTES HOWLING HALLELUJAH"

(Chorus from Gord Bamford's song "Heaven on Dirt")

Coyote (Kananaskis, Alberta, CA) - 8 Photos

 

This line of a chorus from the Alberta raised, country music singer, Gord Bamford's song "Heaven on Dirt", I felt was fitting for this canid spotted in the tall grass in Kananaskis, Alberta.

 

The coyote was hunting in the tall grass just outside of the tree line. It definitely had something in its sights as it kept returning to the same area and trying to dig out whatever was underground.

 

The eyes "have it"! What a truly beautiful example of "Canis latrans", decked out in its warm winter coat, healthy and surviving and most importantly - thriving.

 

To see a coyote in the wild going about the business of hunting was truly a privilege and as highlighted below, all photos were taken from a safe location and distance. One of the great advantages of a long lens :)

 

NOTE:  ALL PHOTOS TAKEN FROM A SAFE LOCATION AND DISTANCE

 

PHOTO #1

CoyoteCoyote"FROM OUT OF THE GRASSES"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #2

CoyoteCoyote"COYOTES HOWLING HALLEUJAH"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #3

CoyoteCoyote"DOWN WIND"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #4

CoyoteCoyote"SCOUTING OUT PREY"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #5

CoyoteCoyote"ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME?"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #6

CoyoteCoyote"EXITING THE UNDERBRUSH"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #7

CoyoteCoyote"WATCHING"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

PHOTO #8

CoyoteCoyote"MOVING ON"
(Kananaskis, Alberta, CA)

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/9/-coyotes-howling-hallelujah---coyote Wed, 22 Sep 2021 15:57:56 GMT
"THE LAST DANCE" - American White Pelican https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/9/-the-last-dance---american-white-pelican "THE LAST DANCE"

American White Pelican - 9 Photos

 

As September is rapidly coming to a close, the pelicans visiting Alberta will be soon departing for warmer climates for the Winter.

 

I haven't seen a group fishing for some time, so it was a great treat to see a number fishing a shallow shoal on the Bow River, Calgary, Alberta. 

 

Their white fluffy feathers and their tipping back and forth in and out of the water, is so coordinated that it is almost ballet like, tutus and all! :) So this is "The Last Dance" for now.

 

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/2021/9/-the-last-dance---american-white-pelican Sun, 19 Sep 2021 01:55:42 GMT
"NATURE'S LIFE LESSONS" - Common Merganser https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/9/-natures-life-lessons---common-merganser "NATURE'S LIFE LESSONS"

Common Merganser (Female & Immatures)

 

In the natural world, wildlife's offspring learn by watching & doing to achieve those important life lessons which will enable them to survive and thrive.

 

The following photos depict to different families of Common Mergansers. The first series (Photos #1 - 5) are of a young family & their mother, who chose to take some time out to groom and rest up on the shoreline of a creek, having had a tiring trip upstream. The photos were taken at the very end of July when we were still experiencing some smoky air conditions.

 

The second series (Photos #6 - 9) are of a family I caught recently, fishing in a division of the Bow River. It was quite entertaining watching them scooting along the surface of the water, diving and chasing the fish along a shallow shoal. Am not certain who of the family of five made this awesome catch but from its excitement, it was very pleased to have caught such a dinner. And yes, it went down in one swallow and then onto the next one.

 

PHOTO #1 - Momma Merganser Grooming

PHOTO #2 - Getting All Those Feathers Oiled

PHOTO #3 - A Stunning Example of a Female Merganser

PHOTO #4 - Grooming Lesson

PHOTO #5 - A Very Tiring Morning

PHOTO #6 - Hit the Jackpot

PHOTO #7 - Landing It

PHOTO #8 - We Have It "In Bill"

PHOTO #9 - On the Way Down

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/9/-natures-life-lessons---common-merganser Wed, 15 Sep 2021 16:09:33 GMT
"THE FAWN DAWN" - White-Tailed Deer (Immature) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/9/-the-fawn-dawn---white-tailed-deer-immature "THE FAWN DAWN"

White-Tailed Deer (Immature) - 6 Photos

 

Thought I had better post these before Summer comes to an end and the spots completely "wear off" :) !

 

These are different fawns. There were twins with one doe and a single fawn with the other. 

 

The soft early morning light in the first two photos certainly intensified those "soft" deer eyes.

 

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/2021/9/-the-fawn-dawn---white-tailed-deer-immature Sat, 11 Sep 2021 15:53:21 GMT
'MYTHICAL VS PREHISTORIC" - Great Blue Heron https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/9/mythical-vs-prehistoric---great-blue-heron "MYTHICAL VS PREHISTORIC"

Great Blue Heron - 8 Photos

 

It was early in the morning. The sun was slowly filtering through the fir trees when I spotted this Great Blue Heron relaxing & grooming high up in a nearby evergreen tree.

 

The colouring is exactly what the camera shot. I don't know if it was the contrast of the dark green against the blue of the heron or the filtered morning light that produced, what I believe to be, surreal photos of this beautiful bird. (Photos #1 - # 5)

 

The next weekend, I spotted a different heron (I believe) in the far west end of the pond, across the water from the fir trees. I think it might be a younger bird but the light in this instance is late afternoon and reflected by the pond water. Let there be no doubt that birds are probably the closest remaining relatives of dinosaurs. Pterodactyl comes to mind. :)  (Photos #6 - #8)

 

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/2021/9/mythical-vs-prehistoric---great-blue-heron Wed, 08 Sep 2021 16:10:15 GMT
"NOTCHO, NOTCHO MINK" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/9/-notcho-notcho-mink---mink-north-american "NOTCHO NOTCHO MINK!"

Mink (North American) - 4 Photos

 

One day last year I had sat down near what I thought would be a great bird/mammal fishing area and had a very short glimpse of a mink.
 

Being that the creek where I usually see the family of four mink this year was almost completely dry due to lack of rain, I thought I would give this site a try again to see if I could establish another viewing area.

 

I was there for awhile and then three people sat down a short distance away from me on some logs, behind the tree where I was sitting. They were there quietly chatting when I saw a small brown mammal move amongst the fallen logs across from where we were. It was hidden from their view.

 

About 10 minutes after, the others left. After about 15 minutes, out popped a head. Yep - one mink! It had waited for the "all clear" (Photo #1 & Photo #2).

 

From there it dashed into the river and popped up again in the channel (Photo #3).  It dived in again and re-emerged on some fallen debris (Photo #4). 

 

Mink are not very large mammals but from the size of this one (and I think it's big in mink sizing), I believe it to be a male. And if you check out its right ear, it has a notch, probably from a skirmish with prey, another male mink or perhaps a little too overzealous female during "courting"! Hence the name "Notcho"! Also, the left side of his face appears to have some significant scarring. More than a playful skirmish?

 

 I don't think I will have the frequency of sightings in this new spot due to the size of the fishing area but any sighting of a mink is a great sighting :) 

 

PHOTO #1 - "HAVE THEY GONE?"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"HAVE THEY GONE?"

PHOTO #2 - "THEY'VE GONE BUT I KNOW YOU'RE STILL HERE!"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"THEY'VE GONE BUT I KNOW YOU'RE STILL HERE!"

PHOTO #3 - "BOO!"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"BOO!"

PHOTO #4 - "NOTCHO" (Check out the "v" shaped notch in his right ear)

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"NOTCHO NOTCHO MINK!"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/9/-notcho-notcho-mink---mink-north-american Thu, 02 Sep 2021 15:49:15 GMT
"HEY DUDE, AM I PHOTO WORTHY NOW?" - Northern Water Thrush https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/8/-hey-dude-am-I-photo-worthy-now---northern-water-thrush "HEY DUDE, AM I PHOTO WORTHY NOW?"

Northern Water Thrush (5 Photos)

 

So there I was, sitting on a log at the new potential mink location.

 

I kept seeing these small birds darting along and in among the logs. In the gloominess of the area, I couldn't see any colouring, only little brown birds.

 

One kept walking along the fallen log in front of me, back & forth it went. Eventually, when I looked over, its head appeared strange, like its head had a growth of some sort. 

 

"HEY DUDE, AM I PHOTO WORTHY NOW?" So I aimed my camera and the little creature came into view, complete with an insect in its mouth, bigger than its head. And much to my surprise, I had a series of photos of the Northern Water Thrush, supposedly a very shy but extremely pretty bird, probably on its migration route. Guess it wanted some recognition for its great accomplishment. 

 

So here you are NWT!

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5


 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/8/-hey-dude-am-I-photo-worthy-now---northern-water-thrush Tue, 31 Aug 2021 16:01:55 GMT
"CURIOUS GEORGE" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/8/-curious-george---mink-north-american "CURIOUS GEORGE"

Mink (North American) - 10 Photos

 

It was early afternoon when Mink #2 now named "George" appeared from the top of the creek. He scampered down (Photo #1 - Photo #5) and then took up the fishing spot where his mother (LG) caught her Prussian Carp. (See Blog of August 12, 2021, "The Fishing Derby".)

 

It is part of the overhanging bank where the fish apparently like to hide in the shallows and it was probably the first real opportunity I have had to photograph a mink hunting/fishing. Generally, they are in and out of water so quickly and when they are submerged, they look like "mud puppies".

 

Unfortunately, George was not successful. He tried where there is a small run-off of the water from the creek (Photo #6 - Photo #8) and re-emerged onto the rocks (Photos #9 - #10). And then off he went back upstream and into the grasses where he disappeared.

 

Generally in the past, from what I have seen with his mother and grandmother, this little creek is usually the last stop before heading home, from the big ponds. So hopefully, Curious George had already had his fill of fish and was just looking for a quick top up!

 

As time passes, I will probably still see LG (Little Girl or Mink Mum) occasionally but generally the offspring spread out and find their own territories. So I traced down a new mink "wishing" area to supplement my obsession, having seen a mink briefly there last year!  I think because the fishing area is huge, it will be more of a "hit and miss" viewing. However, there will be a future blog featuring the latest mink "Notcho" and all will come clear why this latest mustelid has been named "Notcho".

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

PHOTO #8

PHOTO #9

PHOTO #10

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/8/-curious-george---mink-north-american Fri, 27 Aug 2021 07:30:00 GMT
"MERLIN THE MAGICIAN" - Merlin https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/8/-merlin-the-magician---merlin "MERLIN THE MAGICIAN"

Merlin (Adult & Juvenile) - 7 Photos

 

So I was at the new potential mink site by a division of the Bow River, when I looked north and noticed two Merlins perched high in a dead tree. This tree is frequented by Ospreys and American Bald Eagles because of its proximity to great fishing waters.

 

I was a little perplexed as to why they would be perched in a tree so near water and facing that water and not looking towards the meadow/treed area to the east.

 

A few minutes later, one of the Merlins flew downstream towards me and landed in a nearby tree and then all became clear. The adult was catching dragonflies for its meal. It did this several times flying above the river and then into the creek area. It probably caught three dragonflies in a short time. A little while after, the fluffy juvenile showed up. By its appearance, it had gotten a little too close to the water. Probably an unsuccessful attempt having watched its parent perform the amazing aerobatics.

 

I have seen a Merlin with a swallow but this is the first time, I have witnessed them pluck dragonflies from the air! That has to be "Top Gun" material! 

In some of the photos, you will see mayflies, a favourite meal for the dragonflies. So once again, the predator becomes the prey.

 

And yes, you will see a difference in the sky colour. A "gift" from Nature as the sun disappeared behind clouds, partially and then completely and a haze was still in the air.

 

PHOTO #1 - "Free Fall" (Adult)

PHOTO #2 - "Dragonfly Legs - Yum" (Adult)

PHOTO #3 - "Having a Dragonfly for Dinner" (Adult)

PHOTO #4 - "That's No Ice Cream Cone!" (Adult)

PHOTO #5 - "A Clean Beak is a Clean Bird" (Adult)

PHOTO #6 - "Fluffy" (Juvenile)

PHOTO #7 - "Are Those Flies Easy to Catch?" (Juvenile)

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/8/-merlin-the-magician---merlin Wed, 25 Aug 2021 01:27:53 GMT
"MINK CANDIDS" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/8/-mink-candids---mink-north-american "MINK CANDIDS"

Mink (North American) - 6 Photos

 

A definition of a "candid shot" can be "a candid photo of an unplanned moment". I suppose that's a description of all the wildlife photography that I have done and will do. Nothing is ever planned and I never know who is going to appear in frame, let alone what they will do. That's the wonderful aspect of wildlife photography and it can be the disappointment as well. But those moments when everything comes together, is why I enjoy & love it so much.

 

So here are some "candid" shots of our mink family. And yes, I have given them names. I know that's considered "anthropomorphism" or the attribution of human traits, emotions or intentions to animals but frankly, I can't go on calling them Mink #1, Mink #2 and Mink #3. I will probably not recognize them on their own but hopefully, maybe I can.

 

PHOTO #1 - "YEAH RIGHT, WE'VE ALL SEEN THAT OLD STEVE MARTIN GAG" - (Sparky - What else could you call a star fisherman)

  Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"YEAH RIGHT, WE'VE ALL SEEN THAT OLD STEVE MARTIN GAG OF THE ARROW THROUGH THE HEAD:)" - Sparky

 

PHOTO #2 "PAWS IN THE ACTION" - (Sparky again)

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"PAWS IN THE ACTION"
(Male - Juvenile) - Sparky

PHOTO #3 - "THE CAVERN" - (Minnie - The little female who looks like a mini version of her mother)

 

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"THE CAVERN"
(Female - Juvenile) - Minnie Me

PHOTO #4 - "SHY" (Minnie Again)

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"TENTATIVE"
(Female - Juvenile) - Minnie Me

 

PHOTO #5 - "MUG SHOT" (George - don't ask. He just struck me as a George. What with those squat ears & broad face.)

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"CURIOUS GEORGE - George

PHOTO #6 - "WEB OF DISGUISE" (LG/Little Girl or Mum)

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"WEB OF DISGUISE"
(Adult Female) - LG or Little Girl (Mum)

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/8/-mink-candids---mink-north-american Thu, 19 Aug 2021 15:30:39 GMT
"A WOODPECKER'S EVEREST" - Pileated Woodpecker https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/8/-a-woodpeckers-everest---pileated-woodpecker "A WOODPECKER'S EVEREST"

Pileated Woodpeckers - 8 Photos

 

So I was following a White-Tailed Deer & her twin fawns, when there came a knocking. Not the gentle tap tap of a Downy or Hairy Woodpecker but that one that sounds as if you are in a construction zone, with a jackhammer.

 

First one flew in, then a second and finally the third. It was Pileated Woodpecker juveniles, born this Spring. And on their quest for food. I did manage to get a shot or two with two together. The third one was hitting the west side.

 

They finally settled on an old dead tree for which I was grateful. I not only had them all in one spot but the tree was full of character and provided a great background for their insect searches. Check out Photo #4 and the tongue extended from the woodpecker's beak!

 

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/2021/8/-a-woodpeckers-everest---pileated-woodpecker Wed, 18 Aug 2021 07:30:00 GMT
"THE FISHING DERBY" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/8/-the-fishing-derby---mink-north-american "THE FISHING DERBY"

Mink (North American) - 7 Photos

 

The day prior I had managed to capture the entire mink family on perhaps one of their first full excursions out. 

 

I went back the next day, hoping for at least a glimpse of one of them again. One or two sometimes return to the same area.

 

Well firstly Mum appeared (LG). She quickly went into the overhang of the bank, where the creek narrows into the bull rushes. And out she comes with what I believe is a "Prussian Carp". That's the open mouth you can see. (Photo #1)

 

Very shortly thereafter, upstream, comes what I believe is the oldest/largest of the three youngsters, with a very big fish, another "Prussian Carp". And jumping and scampering along the rocks, he/she came. And if you can read mink faces, extremely proud of itself. Looks like he/she was heading back home to show off to Mum what a clever & talented mink it was!

 

Well this little one is definitely a chip off the old block! Its mother is an excellent fisherman & so was its grandmother. And in this area, they are certainly hard at it,  catching the invasive "Prussian Carp" before the fish have an opportunity to make it to the Bow River. We now have three generations of Nature's own eco-warriors!

 

The two smallest minks kept trying their paws at fishing in the small pools but with no success and they eventually scampered off.  Hopefully to share in the catches back at the den.

 

PHOTO #1

Mink (North American) - Adult FemaleMink (North American) - Adult Female"MOMMA MINK - HOW IT'S DONE!"

PHOTO #2

Mink (North American) - JuvenileMink (North American) - Juvenile"READY"

PHOTO #3

Mink (North American) - JuvenileMink (North American) - Juvenile"GO!"

PHOTO #4

Mink (North American) - JuvenileMink (North American) - Juvenile"STEADY"

PHOTO #5

Mink (North American) - JuvenileMink (North American) - Juvenile"JUMP"

PHOTO #6

Mink (North American) - JuvenileMink (North American) - Juvenile"FLY"

PHOTO #7

Mink (North American) - JuvenileMink (North American) - Juvenile"LAND"

 

 

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/8/-the-fishing-derby---mink-north-american Thu, 12 Aug 2021 16:24:52 GMT
"OSPREY AIRLINES" - Osprey https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/8/-osprey-airlines---osprey "OSPREY AIRLINES"

Osprey (& Eastern Kingbird) - 9 Photos

 

NONE OF THE PHOTOS CONTAINED IN THIS BLOG HAVE BEEN PHOTOSHOPPED

 

As identified on my Home Page, I do not photoshop. I use basic editing and developing. There is no photo layering. Sometimes, Nature just gives you some amazing gifts. Some of the photos may have a "gold" or "ruddy" tone. That's not a camera filter but another gift (if you can call it that) from Nature. We have been experiencing huge amounts of smoke cover the last few weeks, blown in from the forest fires raging in British Columbia.

 

 

I was sitting along the Bow River, taking some shots of a male Osprey in a tree. He had just flown the short distance east from the nest to perch on a tree. After a few minutes, he flew off heading for the ponds due east of the river.

 

Only ten minutes later he re-appeared flying across the river. I focused the camera in and was thrilled to see he had a complete fish in his talons. And then I noticed a strange appendage, which appeared to be "fluttering" just behind his head. Couldn't really see what it was until everything came into view.

 

Obviously the Osprey had been pursued by this Kingbird who had managed to perch on top of the Osprey, just behind his head. Don't you just hate those backseat drivers!!

 

Eventually, probably due to aerodynamics it had to fly off. And the final three photos are of the Osprey taking home lunch for the his partner and their two youngsters.

 

So a new airline has been established - "Osprey Airlines". And their motto:

 

"WE NOT ONLY CARRY CARGO BUT WE TAKE PASSENGERS AS WELL!"

 

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/2021/8/-osprey-airlines---osprey Wed, 11 Aug 2021 07:30:00 GMT
"AND THEN THERE WERE FOUR" - Mink (North American) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/8/-and-then-there-were-four---mink-north-american "And Then There Were Four"

Mink (North American) - 7 Photos

 

I hadn't managed to catch the mink (Little Girl or LG for short) for some weeks now. The last times I had caught sight of her, she was catching fish and carrying her catch quickly off downstream.

 

And then came Sunday! First LG appeared. She is distinctive by her narrow female but long face/nose. I got some shots off as she came through the boulder and then she was gone. I waited for about 15 minutes but no more LG.

 

And then upstream, appeared not one, not two but three smaller mink. One after another and seemingly from nowhere. I assume now they had come up with their mother not through the creek bed but through the grassy banks that run alongside. It was similar to a video game where the animated creatures pop up out of the blue.

 

Where and which mink to shoot???

 

So here they are. From what I can determine from the photos, there is one male, one female (the smallest who looks just like her mother) and one other, gender unknown. LG's mum would be so proud. This is probably her first litter and to raise three healthy minks to a stage where they can go it alone, is truly an accomplishment.

 

And their story has another chapter to come! :) 

 

PHOTO #1 - "LG (Mum)"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"INDIANA JONES MINK"
(Female - Adult) - Little Girl or LG (Mum)

PHOTO #2 - "LG (Mum)"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"SLIDE OUT"
(Female - Adult) - LG or Little Girl (Mum)

PHOTO #3 - "Little Mink No. 1 (Gender Unknown)"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"A GIANT LEAP FOR MINK KIND"
(Male -Juvenile) - Sparky

PHOTO #4 - "Little Mink No. 1 (Gender Unknown)"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"CONFIDENT)
(Male - Juvenile) - Sparky

PHOTO #5 - "Little Mink No. 2 (Male? - from large ears and broad face)"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"CURIOUS GEORGE"

PHOTO #6 - "Little Mink No. 3 - (Mini LG)"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"WELL HELLO THERE"
(Female - Juvenile) - Minnie Me

PHOTO #7 - Little Mink No. 3 (Mini LG - You can really see the resemblance here)"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"PEEK A BOO"
(Female - Juvenile) - Minnie Me

 

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/8/-and-then-there-were-four---mink-north-american Thu, 05 Aug 2021 23:06:41 GMT
"FINDING HIS WAY IN THE WORLD" - Moose (Male) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/8/-finding-his-way-in-the-world---moose-male "FINDING HIS WAY IN THE WORLD"

Moose (Male) - 9 Photos

 

After hearing from two people, there was a moose sighted in the area, I went out looking for a very large dark brown mammal.

 

The first attempt was unsuccessful but having taken some advice on from a friend, who suggested that moose like deer, like to lie down and chew their cud late morning, early afternoon, I decided to take a break from "mink waiting" at the creek and go back out into the woods. Walking along the Bow River's edge and about to cross the creek, there across the creek in an open meadow was this beautiful young bull moose, quietly grazing & munching.

 

Crossed the bridge and started taking photos. We then sort of went on a "moose" saunter together around the woods. And if you wonder how one can miss such a huge mammal, check out Photo # 6, where the moose decided to lie down against a fallen tree and recover from the heat. I sat down across the gully a distance away and watched this moose quietly eat and relax. The large gully is full of fallen trees, branches and forest debris. With the gully between us, the log behind the moose and the woods tight around, I am certain the moose felt quite "tucked up" for his moose nap.

 

Then about half an hour later, up he popped and continued on his moose meander. At one point, I thought he was heading for the river as he continually sniffed the air in that direction but instead kept on through the woods and eventually headed south for what I assumed was his final retreat out of the Provincial Park and hopefully along and into the Bow River.

 

This is the time of year when young moose now on their own for the first time, have to find their way into wilderness areas where they can thrive and grow. This young moose must have thought he had found a moose's version of "The Garden of Eden", when he arrived in Fish Creek Provincial Park what with the river and the plentiful trees and lush vegetation.

 

For more photos, visit the gallery:

 

https://www.inaturephoto.com/moose_finding_his_way_in_the_world/slideshow#hf76494d4

 

As a side note, although not common sightings in the park, moose can occasionally be seen. One of the reasons it is so important to keep your pets leashed while visiting. The forested areas, particularly along the river, can appear to be free from wildlife and great places to let dogs run free but a deer encounter is stressful enough, a moose one could turn extremely dangerous.

 

PHOTO #1

Moose - MaleMoose - Male"I DON'T HAVE ANY BAD SIDES"

PHOTO #2

Moose - MaleMoose - Male"MOOSE IN THE LANDSCAPE"

PHOTO #3

Moose - MaleMoose - Male"GRAZING IN THE GRASS"

PHOTO #4

Moose - MaleMoose - Male"SEE IF YOU EAT YOUR GREENS, YOU TOO CAN GROW UP BIG & STRONG!"

PHOTO #5

Moose - MaleMoose - Male"THE BEST ARE AT THE TOP OF THE TREE"

PHOTO #6

Moose - MaleMoose - Male"A MOOSE NAP"

PHOTO #7

Moose - MaleMoose - Male"CANADIAN MOOSE"

PHOTO #8

Moose - MaleMoose - Male"S-T-R-E-T-C-H"

PHOTO #9

Moose - MaleMoose - Male"MOOSE MEADOW"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/8/-finding-his-way-in-the-world---moose-male Wed, 04 Aug 2021 01:04:45 GMT
"EVEN HUMMERS CAN BE GREEN" - Hummingbird (Calliope) - Juvenile https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2021/7/-even-hummers-can-be-green---hummingbird-calliope---juvenile "EVEN HUMMERS CAN BE GREEN"

Calliope Hummingbird (Juvenile) - 6 Photos

 

So there I was sitting by the creek, hoping for a mink sighting (sigh) and watching two American Goldfinches flying in and around.

 

Wouldn't it be a great shot, I thought, if one of the finches would land on the newly opened flowers of a thistle, about five feet off to my right. What a great photo opportunity of the bright yellow bird against the pink.

 

Then something caught my eye. At first I thought it was a dragonfly flitting about the thistle flower, then my brain went to "hawk moth" and then it suddenly dawned on me, it was a hummingbird! And as soon as I thought "hummingbird",  a little songbird flew by and scared it off.  That was another "darn".

 

So I waited and maybe 10 minutes later, back came the little darling again. I guess the nectar in that thistle flower was just so tempting.

 

It hovered to the back of the flower and then finally flew clear so I could get some shots. After about 8 minutes, it flew away, leaving me in awe. And for this extremely tiny little bird, just one stop on its long migration south. How such a small creature can make such a journey of thousands of miles, is one of Nature's incredible stories.

 

I sent the photo off to Brian Keating, the Calgary naturalist who is a regular guest on Calgary's & Edmonton's CBC Radio. He kindly reached out to three brilliant colleagues of his, who all identified it as a juvenile Calliope Hummingbird. 

 

So even some Hummers can be green!

 

And please check out Brian's amazing sighting on a hiking trip to Sunshine Meadows in Banff, Alberta, CA. Link below:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/brian-keating-naturalist-calgary-black-squirrel-melanism-1.6118054

 

 

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/2021/7/-even-hummers-can-be-green---hummingbird-calliope---juvenile Wed, 28 Jul 2021 16:28:04 GMT
"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, she looks like she is almost smiling. On the dark side, she 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"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"READY?"

PHOTO #2 - "EYES CLOSED"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"GET SET"

 

 

PHOTO #3 - "TWIST"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"ROLL THE OTHER WAY"

PHOTO #4 - "SHAKE"

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"ROLL"

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

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"YOU DIDN'T TAKE THAT PHOTO, DID YOU?"

 

 

 

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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

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"IT'S FISH FOR THE FAMILY TONIGHT!"

PHOTO #2

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"CAUGHT A FISH!"

PHOTO #3

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"ALMOST DOWN"

PHOTO #4

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"HOLD ON TO IT!"

PHOTO #5

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"A SHORT BREAK"

 

 

 

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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

CoyoteCoyote"WHAT A LOVELY SMILE"

PHOTO #2

CoyoteCoyote"THAT LOOK"

PHOTO #3

CoyoteCoyote"LOOK UP, WAY UP"

PHOTO #4

CoyoteCoyote"LOOKS DON'T ALWAYS APPEAR TO BE WHAT THEY TRULY ARE"

PHOTO #5

CoyoteCoyote"TAKING THE WAY OUT"

PHOTO #6

CoyoteCoyote"TAKE A LOOK AROUND"

PHOTO #7

CoyoteCoyote"THINKING ABOUT LEAVING?"

PHOTO #8

CoyoteCoyote"YOWSER"

PHOTO #9

CoyoteCoyote"CAMOUFLAGE"

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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

CoyoteCoyote"SHAKING IT ALL OUT"

PHOTO #2

CoyoteCoyote"THE HEAD TOSS"

PHOTO #3

CoyoteCoyote"CATCH A FALLING SNOWFLAKE"

PHOTO #4

CoyoteCoyote"SNOW SCULPTURE"

PHOTO #5

CoyoteCoyote"SNOW PAWS"

 

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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

Bald Eagle (American) - AdultsBald Eagle (American) - Adults"FOREVER TOGETHER"

PHOTO #2

Bald Eagle (American) - AdultsBald Eagle (American) - Adults"A PAIR FOR LIFE"

PHOTO #3

Bald Eagle (American) - AdultBald Eagle (American) - Adult"ONE OF TWO"

PHOTO #4

Bald Eagle (American) - AdultsBald Eagle (American) - Adults"LOVE ACTUALLY"

PHOTO #5

Bald Eagle (American) - AdultsBald Eagle (American) - Adults"RE-AFFIRMING OUR VOWS"

PHOTO #6

Bald Eagle (American) - AdultsBald Eagle (American) - Adults"SHOUT IT FROM THE TREE TOPS"

PHOTO #7

Bald Eagle (American) - AdultsBald Eagle (American) - Adults"LEAVING FOR NOW"

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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

 

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"EXIT RIGHT"

 

 

 

 

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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

Swan - TrumpeterSwan - Trumpeter

PHOTO #2

Swan - TrumpeterSwan - Trumpeter

PHOTO #3

Swan - TrumpeterSwan - Trumpeter

PHOTO #4

Swan - TrumpeterSwan - Trumpeter

PHOTO #5

Swan - TrumpeterSwan - Trumpeter

 

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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.

 

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"PHANTOM OF THE OPERA"

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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"

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"THE CREVASSE"

 

TO:

 

"PREDATOR"

 

"BLINK"

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"A HEAD ABOVE"

 

"SIAMESE CAT"

Weasel - Long TailedWeasel - Long Tailed"THE SIAMESE CAT LOOK"

 

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(Ingham Nature Photography Inc.) https://www.inaturephoto.com/blog/2020/8/-masqu