Archive For The “birds” Category
Look closely and you will see the white head of a bald eagle perched in a tree at MK Bay, taken from MK Bay West Park.
A great blue heron stalks the Kitimat waterfront at MK Bay in a stormy fall rain squall.
The weather in Kitimat has been awful during most of the fall, cold, windy, rainy, foggy and generally miserable. Not unexpected in a La Nina year.
I went down to Kitamaat Village for the monthly bird count in a rain squall. So the visibility was pretty bad. As I was about to leave, a half dozen northwestern crows landed right beside me, in the pouring rain and stayed long enough for me to shoot their portraits.
It was forty years ago, in August, 1980, that a friend and I drove from Vancouver, BC, where I was living at the time, to spend a weekend at Florence, Oregon, which inspired Frank Herbert to write the famous novel Dune.
Like many at the time, I was entranced by Dune as soon as I picked it off a drug store bookshelf probably in 1965. It was sometime later that I read someplace that it was Florence that first inspired Frank Herbert to write about ecology when he originally visited back in 1953 when he was trying to write an article about a US Forest Service project to use dune grass to keep the sand in check. After all that research, as Herbert said in the collection of his essays, Frank Herbert, the Maker of Dune (1987): “Before long I had far too much for an article and far too much for a short story.. But I had an enormous amount of data, with angles shooting off at angles to gather more.” The result, of course, was the blockbuster novel, then more novels, then spinoffs by his son, a movie concept that was never made, an awful movie that was made, a pretty good miniseries and a new movie that we hope to see this Christmas (if there are movies in theatres).
That trip has been a wonderful memory for years, so to mark the anniversary, I found some of the old slides, taken on Kodak Ectachrome, with my old Minolta SRT101 and scanned them. For a some where the colour did not survive four decades, I converted to black and white.
Sand dunes are like waves in a large body of water; they are just slower. (Frank Herbert, “The Sparks Have Flown” in Frank Herbert The Maker of Dune).
The decade of the 2020s came in like a mountain lion on January 3, 2020 here in Kitimat, with (up until now) 75 centimetres or 30 inches of snow.
I came inside after digging out the first time (I would dig out twice more today) and sat down for lunch only to see at least a dozen juncos at my feeder in the midst of the wind and blowing snow. I have an older camera on the table so I can photograph any birds that might come to the feeder. A varied thrush flew down, scattering the juncos. The varied thrush was too big for the feeder (or at least it thought it was) so it waited while the juncos gorged themselves and picked up and seeds that dropped from the feeder.
About an hour later a steller’s jay joined the group. The thrush and the steller’s jay seemed to get along at first but later this was a confrontation between the two while the juncos watched. The steller’s jay, being a smarter bird (like all corvids) did find a away to get at the feeder.
Most of the juncos and the varied thrush were still there a few hours later as it began to get dark.