The fall colors in the Calgary area are not typically very colorful, but very beautiful nonetheless! I was taking pictures of birds on the lake at Carburn Park when my camera chose to focus on this nearby leaf instead of the far away birds. I loved the golden hues and the creamy background in the scene, so I immediately made the image.
I was at Carburn Park for a walk with my family this morning and there were photographers and bird watchers all over the place. Many of the photographers were set up on the small pond watching a Grebe that was hanging out in the middle. Not wanting to disturb the birds (ie. scare them away from the other observers) we continued on our way around the park. When we got back to the pond I noticed that many of the photographers had bunched together to chat, and that the Grebe that they were watching was still way out in the middle of the pond.
But I also saw that a second bird had come to the surface around the corner from them, and that it very close to shore. I started walking towards it and then ran the rest of the way as soon as it dove back under the water. I wanted to be as close as possible to it, without scaring it away when it surfaced again. Fortunately it came back up in almost the same spot and I was able to make some really nice images!
Although it has been very cold in the mornings, the last few days have warmed up very nicely in the afternoons and it has felt very much like spring is here.
I went for a walk at Carburn Park this evening and saw many signs that spring is on its way. There were squirrels chittering and chattering away in the trees. They were chasing each other all over the place. Squirrels don’t actually migrate or hibernate in the winter, but we definitely don’t see them very often either. When they come out to play it’s a pretty good sign that spring is here.
While walking I saw a lot more people in the park than I’ve seen lately. It was a beautiful evening and there were plenty of people out walking, running, and even just sitting while enjoying it. There were also many more birds than I’ve seen in a long time. There were plenty of chickadees, magpies, sparrows, and huge squadrons of Canada Geese flying high overhead. Although I didn’t see it I’m pretty sure I even heard a blackbird singing. I did see one American Robin which I haven’t seen at Carburn Park in months. Robins are occasionally known to spend the winter in the Calgary area, but they are very rare, and when they return it is usually a very good sign that spring is coming soon.
Overall it was a beautiful night to go for a walk in the park!
One of my favorite places to look for birds and animals is right in the city (Calgary) near my home. Carburn Park is a man-made city park on the banks of the Bow River. Although it was developed to be very accessible to everyone, including a paved path all the way around the park, it also has large stretches of naturalized areas and has become home to thousands of birds and animals. It is a very beautiful park and it is a fantastic place to go birding in all seasons.
Although not as common as the deer that can always be found in the park, I have recently seen Coyotes several times. I had seen this animal earlier in the evening while it sauntered across the frozen lake. There were people walking all around the park and it really did nothing to avoid them. I eventually found it again a little further back in the woods.
The park is home to very large herd of White-tailed Deer. There were quite a few deer wandering around in the woods while I looked for the coyote, and they were very skittish when the coyote passed close by. They are very used to people and completely ignored me however.
I have seen the Deer in the park many times before, and I knew that the resident herd was quite large, but I really had no idea just how many live there were until I saw people feeding them just before sunset. A man whistled a couple of times and then dozens of deer came running from all over the park. They were obviously accustomed to being summoned for a free meal.
I don’t understand why these people think it is necessary to feed wild animals. I really doubt that they understand the danger they are putting these deer in. There were at least two coyotes skulking around in the park that night and I’m sure they would love to take advantage of some fat, grain-fed deer that weren’t paying attention to anything other than the easy meal in front of them.
The bigger question is what the deer will do when these people stop feeding them, as eventually they will. The animals have clearly become habituated to having their meals delivered to them, and they have completely lost their fear of people. If it gets so bad that they come to depend on the people to provide their food, then what will happen to them when the food wagon stops rolling in?
I love going to Carburn Park and I’m always excited to see the birds and animals that live there, but knowing what I know now about these deer, I am terribly conflicted about photographing them… I’d love to here what other people think about this issue?