Last summer my brother and I traveled across the Canadian Rockies for a family reunion in Alberta. During that trip we visited this lonesome graveyard. Most of the graves you can see are those of members of our extended family dating back a hundred and fifty years or more. This landscape is so vast that for those of us who live amongst mountains it is a bit daunting, though it has an austere beauty. I take this opportunity to wish you all the happiest of New Years.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, December 30, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
When the sun does come out the light is somehow still different from the summer isn't it? I love these vines with their fluffy seed pods, I'm unsure of the name of course. They remind me of Dr. Suess and the hair he would often give his characters don't you think? - Fern
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Here on the West Coast it has been a damp holiday weekend. This was taken from Fleming Beach facing towards Saxe Point and beyond it, Naden Navy Base. The wind was blowing the rain sideways when we were there and we were soaked through before too long. - Fern
Monday, December 26, 2011
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Well, here it is Christmas Eve and I'm still posting photos of birds I've recently seen, this one being the Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani). However, I do have an excuse for not being more seasonal: I'm in the process of moving so everything is helter-skelter this weekend. In any case, all you kind folks who visit here have my very best wishes for a Merry Christmas. I hope it finds you in good health and good heart. Happy Holidays!
Friday, December 23, 2011
Here's another of those "little brown birds" that I find so hard to identify. I believe this one is a Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia). Winter must be a hard season for these little guys and I'm happy to see that some good souls occasionally scatter a little birdseed for them.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
There is a large evergreen tree growing in Centennial Square next to Victoria's City Hall that is always a pleasure to see, but especially when it is decorated for Christmas. It doesn't look like we're going to have a white Christmas this year though the mornings lately have been pretty frosty but those of us who have reached the age of discrimination are happy with a green Christmas.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
While I'm on a bird jag (see last week's posts) I might as well add another of what I call "those little brown birds" - those hard-to-identify little birds that flutter and forage near the outside tables at Starbucks and such places, finding food amongst the cookie crumbs. This one is more identifiable than most with its distinctive yellow and black cap, the feature that gives this bird its name, the Golden Crowned Sparrow (Zonitrichia atricapilla).
Monday, December 19, 2011
What exactly is going on here you may be wondering? This is actually a project I did for an art class; we constructed small sculptures from wooden matchsticks and then lit them on fire! I think most people find fire mesmerizing, I know I certainly do. - Fern
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
To complete this week's roundup of recent bird sightings, here is a Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) perched overlooking Lime Bay near Spinnakers Brewpub on the Westsong Walkway.
Friday, December 16, 2011
This is the Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus), a year round resident here who always seems to be more visible in the winter. I think it's because these large members of the sparrow family like to hang out in bushes where they can hide behind dense leaves during the summer. When the leaves fall they become more visible.
Nearly two years ago I posted another photo of this bird and if you click HERE you can see today's post and that post together for a comparison. The older post was taken with a different camera (Sony Alpha 200 - 10 megapixel sensor) and an old Minolta 75-300 mm zoom lens. Today's shot was taken with a newer camera (Sony Alpha A55 - 16 megapixel sensor) and a new Tamron 70-300 mm zoom lens. Most of the improvement visible in the more recent photo can be credited to the improved kit since the settings were nearly the same. However, I think my technique is getting a little better too since the most recent photo was shot with a smaller aperture that contributed to the increased sharpness.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Yesterday some other winter visitors turned up along the shore, these Harlequin Ducks, favorites of mine because of their wonderful colors and markings. Above are a male and female.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
I mentioned yesterday that there were lots of birds on the West Bay Walkway on Sunday morning and here is another, the Dark-Eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis). This variety is also known as the Oregon Junco.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Sunday morning was bright and sunny and that seemed to bring out many more birds than I've seen lately on the West Bay Walkway. While I was busily photographing the robins and the chickadees, I suddenly noticed this Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) posing on a nearby boulder. I've been waiting for about three years to get a shot of this bird like this and just happened to have everything set up just right to capture it. Good thing I was ready because with the usual shyness of flickers, this one took flight within a few seconds.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Once again while the rest of you were submerged in swinish slumber the Victoria Daily Photo photographers were out in the frosty pre-dawn to capture the latest celestial event, this morning's total lunar eclipse. Why is the moon red? When it passes behind the earth it is still lit by refracted sunlight which turns it red. An hour later (below) it had begun to regain its normal pearly brightness.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Excuse me please while I fiddle with the regular photo format in an attempt to fix the posting problem I described yesterday. The photo above is of the Westsong Walkway looking towards the city as one approaches Songhees Point.Please click on the photo to see a larger version.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
I am in some distress this morning since Blogger has apparently arbitrarily decided to change its interpretation of photo resizing so that the procedures I normally use to post photos here no longer work. What's worse is that the changes they have made are retroactive, meaning that most of the photos I've posted for the last three or four years now look like they were shot using the bottom of a coke bottle for a lens. Take a look at yesterday's photo of Shoal Point which I posted partially because I was pleased with what a sharp, clear image it was. Click on it to see the larger version and you will see how crisp it is compared to the murky version Blogger is now producing for the default image. Well, I'm looking (and have asked Blogger) for a solution to this but it doesn't look good.... (Today's photo is posted using Blogger's new method and it looks OK. My main concern is the last 1000 photos I've posted here that all now look terrible.)