This bird is a new find for me! I had heard several reports of Horned Larks having been seen in the area recently, which many take to be a good sign of spring approaching. So I was very excited when I actually saw this one perched on a post. It was singing away and at first I mistook it for a Western Meadowlark. Although the two species are very similar at first glance, the tufts on the head of the Horned Lark are a sure giveaway and make them very easy to tell apart.
This is another image I made way back in the spring when the Blackbirds had first returned to the prairies near Calgary. I was very excited to have them back in the area because they are very curious and even more fun to watch. They sing all the time and are never too shy to pose for the camera! I watched this one for a long time before we were both ready to move on.
The winter landscape on the prairies can be so beautful that sometimes I find it hard to decide what image to make next. This was one of those examples where I was torn between wanting to make images of the grain bins that I knew would be glowing a beautiful red as the sun rose, or to try to create the starburst effect you see here just as the sun peeked over the horizon. In the end I managed to do both, but I really only got to try one composition for the starburst shot, and then I ran back over to the bins to make a few more images there. Fortunately this old fence was close enough to the bins that I was able to use it to give the starburst shot some foreground interest.
I’ve been dreaming of warmer and sunnier times lately, and so I’ve gone back to work on some old images that I never got around to processing. These are pictures of Western Bluebirds that I found while on a trip with my Dad just outside of Winfield, BC (North of Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley).
These are beautiful little birds that shimmer in the sun. They are very curious and easy to spot, but you have to know where to look… I’ve learned a lot about Bluebirds by searching for Mountain Bluebirds in the foothills South East of Calgary. I was quite surprised to discover that the Western variety are extremely similar in both appearance and habit. It was a thoroughly enjoyable trip and I’m looking forward to next spring and summer when I’ll get to go on another Bluebird search!
I drive the prairie roads almost every day and I’m always searching for something new and interesting to make images of. Although I find the prairies extremely beautiful, I have to admit that sometimes it all starts to look the same. Sometimes I really have to look really hard to find something different than all the images I’ve made before. Sometimes that can be extremely difficult. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen.
But there are other times when the picture just jumps out of the scene and there’s no question about what the final image is going to look like. When I saw the deep golden glow of the sunrise light up the farmland in front of me, I knew that if I just turned toward the sun I would see something magical. And it was.