Duck, Duck, Goose

I think this merganser is looking for a goose.
This Hooded Merganser is too cool for school.
This Goldeneye is feeling out of place.

Thanks to Our Eyes Open for hosting the Bird Weekly challenge and indulging my obsession. This week’s prompt is ducks and geese. The featured mallard found himself ditched.

Passing The Time

Pursuing feathered inspiration takes me to quiet rural settings. At home, I pour over images, and “picturate” as my husband calls it – altering the photos to create something new.

I spend time daily, crafting poetry, inspired by images, or dreams, or prompts. Often I combine the poems with the artistic photos:

(Photo taken on Vancouver Island, April 2018)

I’m also spending my time writing a community newsletter for our retirement community, and as a retired teacher, offering support to my grandchildren for their online learning. I’ve even created a YouTube account so that I can read to my granddaughters – posting videos for them to replay when they need a Grandma fix.

And in between, I am reliving the years of art I missed as a child, experimenting with pencil, ink, charcoal, and watercolour:

How are you passing this time, staying home?

(Submitted for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: pastimes)

Early Morning Recharge

The dogs stir at the first hint of daylight. I rise with them, grumbling about lack of sleep, until the sun emerges full and bright – something we haven’t seen in awhile.

“I used to be a morning person,” I say out loud. I’m am feeling the unrest of being shut in.

Ric emerges just after 7:00 am and I’m tell him I’m thinking about taking the camera out.

I drive to the centre of town, where the main street bridge crosses the river. Immediately, I spot an unfamiliar shape at the water’s edge.

Back at home, I research and find this is a Yellow Legs, although not sure whether is a Lesser or Greater. Apparently, they migrate through here.

Further down the river a pair of Mallards hover over their newborns. The shadow of an eagle passing overhead sends the family scurrying for cover.

The air is still wintry cold, but my heart is warmed by the beauty of the day. At the end of the outing, I will have encountered many different species of birds, heralding the start of warmer days. With over 400 photos to process, I am bursting with renewed energy.

Thank goodness, I didn’t just go back to bed.

The Crop and Finish

Taken last winter in Texas, this image of a Great Egret coming in for a landing just felt too busy to me, so when I saw Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Cropping the Shot; I decided to give it a try.

As much as I like the other two birds in the photo, the egret really is my focus, so I cut them out.

And then, because it’s what I do, I played with the image to create art:

Feathered Elegance

Rumours of the Tundra Swans in our neighbourhood lure us out. They migrate through here in early spring and linger for a week or two. We head to the drive along the river where the Common Mergansers are currently doing their mating dances.

Caught this female in the midst of the ritual. Love the hairdo.

Further downstream, we spotted a newcomer to town: Hooded Merganser.

Such a beautiful bird.

The swans were nowhere in sight, so we decided to drive to a nearby town. On the way, I spotted a few large white birds on a local pond:

Elegance with feathers.

( For Eugi’s Causerie weekly prompt: elegance.)

Boom, Boom, Bye, Bye

I’m focusing my lens when we both hear it – duck and I – a boom, like from a cannon.

Rattled, Mallard prepares for take off, while I try to shake off the nerves and get the shot.

The boom comes again. A hunter in our midst.

This duck escapes unmarred, as I do I. Luckily.

A Blessed Thaw

Recent activity coupled with the onset of a cold, has my body begging for more rest, but the sun is shining and a sudden mild spell has melted the snow, and my camera is begging.

Ric, whose man cold surpasses mine, hunkers in with a box of Kleenex and his flannel pjs. I’m on my own.

I take my walker and head for the trestle bridge. Judging by the loud chorus of geese, they are also enjoying the day.

A young man and his toddler pass me on the path. He’s loaded down with binoculars and fancy camera equipment.

I raise my lens to capture a chickadee and he chirps: “Just a chickadee. We spotted a fox sparrow, and now I’m on the hunt for a Snow Goose.”

Suddenly, I’m feeling very amateur, but he means well. They move along quickly, and I carry on at my snail’s pace. By the time I reach the bridge, they have stopped again, the young man very excited.

“Do you see it?” He points at a field, across the river, where hoards of geese gather and hands me his binoculars.

A snow goose. I am only able to capture this grainy image.

They move on and I snap a few pictures and head back, pleased with myself that I’ve made the effort.

Now home to rest.

(Thursdays is my day of gratitude.)