Saturday, January 31, 2009

Eastern Coyote: for Camera Critters

January 24, 2007, was my lucky day for I saw a handsome Eastern Coyote! I had been driving along the main highway and decided to check out a side road, which had open fields on both sides, thinking that I might possibly see some Snowbirds feeding there. Suddenly I saw movement to the left and, as I was braking and grabbing for my camera, a Coyote stopped abruptly, quickly turned direction, and headed for the woods bordering the field. After my first burst of pictures, I rolled down my car window just as it had reached the woods edge. Upon reaching relative safety it stopped momen -tarily to take a good look at me while I was taking several good photographic looks at it! What a beautiful sight it made through my camera lens! After watching my car for a few seconds it turned and loped off into the woods. Unlike a dog or a wolf, a Coyote runs with its tail pointed down and this was easily observed as it ran from view.

My appreciative thanks to Misty for hosting this site. To see other participant's photo contributions just click HERE or on the Camera Critters logo on the side panel.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sepia Deer: for Sepia Scenes

This is a scene I came across this morning while out for a drive before the big snowstorm, that is currently happening, started. As I often post pictures of White-tailed Deer, I thought the use of a sepia format might give an old subject a new look.

A young deer had come out on the roadside as I approached a hill and bend beyond, and after watching my car for a moment it crossed in front of me. Still on the other side to where it had crossed, a car approached from the opposite direction and both, the other driver and I, being experienced with the sudden shift of plans of these beautiful wild creatures, waited a moment. And as suspected, the deer quickly had a change of mind and dashed across the road in front of both of our vehicles. As the deer bounded over the roadside and into a field beyond the other driver and I waved as we continued on our way.

Sepia Scenes is a meme hosted by Mary/the Teach and it offers the opportunity to share with others; beautiful scenes in sepia tones.

Crowd Shots at the Lake

There is a park where I go sometimes if I want to take pictures of Mallards and Black Ducks, and I know there is an ample supply of Gulls available there too for picture taking. Yesterday I stopped by Lily Lake in Saint John, and although the lake was frozen, there were lots of hungry gulls and ducks hanging around. I just took a lot of random photos of the flow of their movements and resettling, which created all sorts of interesting groupings and flight shots. In these first two photos a Herring Gull and male Mallards settled down among some Black Ducks.

This photo above is easily a favourite as I really like the layering of Mallards in flight in the background as they pass behind, going in the opposite direction from the large one in the foreground. Clicking on these photos to enlarge them will really enhance your viewing of their beautiful colouring.
There were some Pigeons there too

editing note:
It is so easy to understand how one would be inspired to imitate nature. After posting today's pictures I kept noticing different pieces of fabric I have and I could not help but lay a few pieces together side by side to envision a male Mallard. Can you find these parts among the fabric photo: dark green head, magenta breast and brownish white sides, wings white with black and a blue patch, orange feet, yellow bill, I think I am missing some blue but there is enough here to let your imagination work for you.

Monday, January 26, 2009

male Pine Grosbeak: for Ruby Tuesday

Last week, for Ruby Tuesday, I posted photos of a female Pine Grosbeak eating red berries and the berries were the focus for the 'ruby' colour theme. This week there is no need to rely on the berries for the required red colour, for this bird, this handsome, male Pine Grosbeak is most outstanding with his rosy- red feathers. My first sighting of the male of this species on November 10th, 1999, was the beginning of my interest in birdwatching and bird photography. Now, almost ten years later, I still remain fascinated with bird photography.

To check out other Ruby Tuesday postings, just click HERE, or click on the Ruby on the side bar. My appreciative thanks to Mary/the teach for hosting this site.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fabric Starlings: for Camera Critters

star carried nomenclature
with brown-edged shale layered tail
and snow flecked winter plumage
When completing a project its often sometimes difficult to make final decisions. I was satisfied with my sky which I hoped reflected the theme of 'star' in Starling, and also I wanted it to reflect a northern setting with the beautiful colurs of the aurora borealis which I hoped to represent with the striped multi coloured fabric. I love colour and my favourite artist is Vincent VanGogh, and the words from Don McLean's song Starry, Starry Night, in his tribute to Vincent ran through my head ... "Catch the breeze and the winter chill, in colours on the snowy linen land." To snow or not to snow? My concern in this project was to reflect a winter scene but I just wasn't satisfied with my attempts to use white flecked material representing snow; it just didn't look right. I did use yellow material on the beak of the Starling; and this is a seasonal feature of an adult breeding Starling between December to August; and the leafless tree branch would indicate that this was not yet spring or summer. But to snow or not to snow? I had suddenly remembered some starched, crocheted snowflakes I had packed away just a few weeks ago, after Christmas, upon taking down our tree. They have been used as ornaments for years now and my memories are vague about their origin, but I probably had bought them at a Christmas bazaar one year. So I decided to use the snowflakes to represent the wintertime.
I'm not too sure yet about the snowflakes, but they are simply attached with thread and can easily be removed; maybe they will become a seasonal thing?But either way, which ever I decide, if it snows or not, it was a fun fabric adventure!

My appreciative thanks to Misty for hosting the Camera Critters site. To see other participant's photo contributions just click HERE or on the Camera Critters logo on the side panel.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Making of a Starling

On January 4th I made a posting titled Starling Project. Since that time I have been working on a wall hanging of a couple of Starlings and I have it just about completed. I will post the completed project tomorrow. Once a project is completed I often wonder, "What took so long?", for its not always easy to detect the detailing that has gone into its creation. So for today I thought I would explain a bit about how I went about creating the Starling I have featured.
To begin making the Starling's body I needed a pattern to use as a guide so I created templates by printing out an actual photo of a Starling on stock paper. Once having the pattern pieces I then chose fabrics to resemble the various details and textures that would comprise the colours and design of a Starling's body. I also experi- mented a bit with a white flecked fabric to suggest snow but the white just didn't work for me so I decided to represent the winter season instead in other ways.
My first choices of fabric didn't totally highlight the white flecks of a Starling's winter plumage as much as I wanted so I rearranged the fabrics a bit before hand stitching them in place.
Using a combination of methods the first Starling was completed. I machine stitched the brown outlining on the wings and tail feathers and hand stitched the single stitch details. I then sketched in the feet and claws with a black marker and hand embroidered the details. What a fun project this has been!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Red-breasted Nuthatch

I've only managed to get these four pictures of this little Red-breasted Nuthatch that I have seen checking out the dining possibilities at my feeders in Bird Alley the past couple of days. It seems very curious and I have seen it in the same spot on two different occasions. Our feeders are very busy right now with 'charms' of Pine Siskins and 'gallups' of Common Redpolls and it must be rather daunting to this little Nuthatch. I'm surprised that it hasn't tried to go to the two peanut feeders that we have for they are usually a favourite feeding place for this species, but so far I have only seen it near our old wooden pedestal feeder.
Perhaps it will be more adventurous the next time it visits.

Open Water: for Watery Wednesday

This scene totally mystifies me for despite the very cold, freezing temperatures we have had this month, this portion of running water remains unfrozen in the stream.

The theme of Watery Wednesday is water, and for a wonderful variety of watery scenes just click on its name! Thanks to 2sweetnsaxy for hosting this site.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Pine Grosbeaks and Red Berries: for Ruby Tuesday

Over the past few days some of the birds photos I have been posting have evoked the comment from several vieweres, "I've never seen that bird before!", and if that applies to you then you'll probably add this bird to your 'never seen ' list also. This is another winter, northern bird, a female Pine Grosbeak. This is the bird that got me hooked on bird watching when I had first seen the male of this species in November, 1999. This one arrived this afternoon and I immed -ately changed my plans for a planned posting on North American Indian baskets to this Grosbeak. The bird took no time getting down to feeding on the red berries of our High Bush Cranberry. You can see this one above is reaching down to get some berries and as it lifts its head again, some snow falls from the berry clump.The fleshy part of the Cranberry is quite sour but I believe it is the kernel inside that the Grosbeak eats. In the photo above the red, fleshy part is being discarded. This is my first sighting of Pine Grosbeaks this winter season. There are not many berries left but hopefully I will see more of the flock within the next few days.

I think the berries are just right for a Ruby Tuesday posting! To check out other Ruby Tuesday postings, just click HERE, or click on the Ruby on the side bar. My appreciative thanks to Mary/the teach for hosting this site.

Sharp-shinned Hawk Revisited: Originally Posted Jan. 29, 2008

Its back! Seven visits yesterday and one already early this morning! I think this might be the reason why the numbers of feeding birds have dropped so suddenly at my feeders over the past few days.

Sharp-shinned Hawks Revisted

Originally posted on Saturday, January 26th, 2008
This Sharp- shinned Hawk appeared at our feeders twice yesterday. Both times it stayed for quite a while and seemed to be in no hurry to leave, then suddenly; it would give chase to a small bird nearby.

Originally posted on January 26, 2007

My first sighting of a Sharp-shinned Hawk in our feeder area occured this week. This red-eyed, hooked beak, handsome plumaged accipiter perched in our High Bush Cranberry tree and surveyed its surroundings. Not having located any small birds to pursue in the area; after a few moments it left.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Snowbirds (Snow Buntings)

A flock of Snowbirds (Snow Buntings) create a beautiful sighting when seen flying over a snowy field in the winter; alighting gracefully. Then suddenly, as if they were a mere whirlwind of snow curving over the snowy fields, they fill the air space with their flurries, before landing again. I found some Snow Buntings yesterday, feeding along the roadside. The problem being though is that they seemed to keep the same distance from me and my car. I moved a little closer, they moved a little further away. Perhaps they are gathering their roadside seeds while they may. (shades of Robert Herrick)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Fun In The Snow: for Camera Critters

Doesn't it look like these little Redpolls are having lots of fun in the snow?My appreciative thanks to Misty for hosting this site. To see other participant's photo contributions just click HERE or on the Camera Critters logo on the side panel.

A Cold Winter Morning

These sunrise pictures weren't taken this morning although the thermometer one was! And at -31 degrees Celsius its cold!!! Yesterday a photo would have shown -34!! Its on days like this, when you can see the wood smoke rising from the chimneys in a straight line , that you're thankful that the wind isn't blowing, for an added dimension of cold is created by the wind and with a wind chill factored in it gets even colder!

These sunrise photos were taken in January, 2008