Serendipitous Find: The Osprey Family

Whenever I go out birding, I’ve this expectant mindset: ‘Surprise me,’ or, ‘Make my day.’

Here’s one serendipitous find a few weeks ago. The Osprey family. I’ve since gone back to visit them many times and see their baby grow.

Papa watching over the family home:

Mama and baby in the nest. I’ve since learned that other than just the size or the plumage, I can tell the difference between an adult and a juvenile Osprey by the colour of their eyes. Mom’s are yellow, baby’s orange. You can’t see here in this small pic, but on my laptop they’re dramatic.

A nice spot to build a home, by the river:

Just a couple weeks later, baby has come out of the nest. Sunbathing with Mom. Baby’s the one closer to the nest. Yes, almost as tall as Mom.

And a few days later, trying his wings. Who taught Baby to fly? I never saw any training wheels. You might ask, how do you know it’s Baby and not Mom? The secret’s in the eyes.

Even blew a raspberry at me:

Kids these days, sure grow up fast.

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A Whole New World: Saturday Snapshot September 15

An Autumn birdwatching course I just started brings me to a whole new world I haven’t explored before. Of course I’ve observed birds, appreciated and even photographed them occasionally, but never so up close and personal, and purposeful.

Some in my group are equipped with long 400mm lens, nature paparazzi. But we leave nature be, of course, and being so far away from our subjects, no invasion of privacy. This pensive Gull isn’t a bit bothered by us.

With just a 50-200mm lens, this is the best I can do. The Osprey is harder to capture of course. With a little help from iPhoto, here’s a closer look of her/him perched high up in a tree, and even farther cruising in the bright blue sky.

I can only wonder why it has taken me so long to come to such a fascinating world. 12 more weeks to go, yes, into the snow likely.

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Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce of At Home With Books.

From a Country Garden

Finding Internet access has not been easy.  But I have to post these pictures.  The log home has been vacant for almost 10 months.  So when I found what were in the garden, I was pleasantly surprised.  With the temperature reaching 30C here in southern Alberta, and the amount of rain we’ve been getting in the last month, the garden has started to grow, albeit with all the unwanted weeds as well.

I can tell from the design and the variety, this country garden wrapping around the log home was once cultivated with much TLC.  Even among the thorns and thistles now, and without human maintenance, I can see beautiful flora, ferns, and bushes blooming in resilience.  Here are a few samples from this once glorious garden.  I also must admit my ignorance in naming some of them…although the Alberta wild rose I can readily recognize…No, that wasn’t the Alberta wild rose as one commenter corrected me. These must be some kind of cultivated garden roses.

All you green thumbs, nature lovers, bird watchers, and naturalists, please help me out here.  I’d appreciate if you’d identify these other beautiful flowers and creatures:

another view here:

These look like lilacs, but I’ve always seen purple, not white:

And these lovely ones with blue petals:

Forgot its name:

And this creature…with it’s black stripes on a brown body, and the buzzing sound it gave out, I thought I was photographing a wasp of some kind.  So after a few quick shots, I stepped out of its way.  But when I saw it on my computer, I was amazed it had such beautiful wings…is it just a moth?

And this bird that gets so attached to the feeder on the fence…first the front view:

and the back:

Looking at the exuberance and beauty of life here in this derelict patch, I’m reminded of a precious quote:

Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable you are than birds!

……….

Consider how the lilies grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!

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