Tuesday, May 1, 2012 3:32:02 PM
I'm in the middle of resolving some laptop issues (nothing lost, but somewhat irksome) and don't currently have access to my full set of editing software. But here are a couple of recent photos anyway:
American kestrels are a bit smaller than their European cousins and this is the first one that I've ever been able to capture on camera
And great horned owls - well, they've been on here often enough. But the pose of this one made me wonder if she's brooding a clutch of eggs. I'll certainly be watching out for owlets
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 2:47:55 AM
That is what they used much of the great plains south of the border, and it seems appropriate for the Canadian section as well of late. I'm not sure that the temperature has been logged higher than 32c (about 90F) but in a land with no shade, that feels at least ten degrees higher. The days are burning, the twilights long and golden, and the evening skies clear.
The heat has woken the crickets, and much other invertebrate life
Prey for the frogs, then, and also for the swarm of summer migrants whose calls have been increasingly enlivening the prairie hillsides as the idea of springtime takes hold.
Some of them are new to me. This is a chestnut-collared longspur, keeping watch on a boulder near the gate of the park.
And this...well, it's definitely one of the Accipiter hawks. Telling Cooper's and sharp-shinned hawks apart
is a challenge for people who see far more of either species than I do, but I'm tending towards the latter here, if only because the legs seem quite long and the head quite small.
Down in the Frenchman Valley, I saw a bird whom I did recognise - with a module of surprise given that the clock read about 10am!
Meanwhile, the bison are still being watched (willingly or otherwise) by the trailcams.
And the raccoons are still curious!
Monday, March 26, 2012 3:51:42 PM
The prairie dogs are watching, and being watched
The coyotes are still hanging around the towns, as indeed are the golden eagles
Coyotes are known as "song dogs" because they are truly quite noisy, and their music is usually more lively than the sombre howls of the grey wolf. But they're far from the only singers. Meadowlark voices rise here and there
And the prairie dogs themselves...well, you can hear their yipping from afar. But when the slow prairie twilight comes...
...the towns melt into a more peaceful light.
Night hunters awake, but they won't catch the dogs, who are strictly diurnal. This is a great horned owl, one of eight owl species in the area.
Apart from its living treasures, Grasslands NP is also the world's largest Dark Sky Preserve. Light pollution is so low that no orange glow is visible even on star photos taken from my back garden in the village. And a vista like this just has to be photographed
Left to right: Orion, Aldebaran / Taurus, Pleiades, Venus, Luna and Jupiter