My terrific friends Bernie and Vonnie gave me a tour of their almost 500 acre Bison Ranch. A historic old piece of land set just off the Coteau Range in South Central Saskatchewan. These native Prairie animals are thriving on the ranch because of the care and attention given to them.
After the ranch tour, I was taken to see some wildlife habitat that these folks have generously given to the Province... It seems a rare thing these days to see farmland here that has any vegetation suitable for birds and animals. Most farmers are so concerned about raking the last dollar from their farm that they have stripped off all the bushes, trees and wind/ snow shelters. Not so around Bernie and Vonnie's land. It is filled with native habitat that provide homes for wild creatures...
The last photo is of a pair of Sharptail Grouse that I observed , engaged in some traditional dancing ... First time I have ever seen this ... and quite unusual to see in October. They were a long way off, but 21 sharptail grouse was a sight to see. Cheer's from S Saskatchewan.... Terry :)
Some shadow raven images from Southern Saskatchewan ..... :) (for Lorette) :)
Moose Jaw , Saskatchewan .... A way back ..... when I lived in this lovely small Prairie town, there was a thriving population of Burrowing Owls. They gradually disappeared , for reasons I do not understand... nor perhaps does anyone.
This little creature in the photo above resides at the Burrowing Owl Interpretative Centre in Moose Jaw.
In the wild these tiny owls make a den in an old gopher hole and raise their family's underground.
Comical wee birds that will make you smile with their head bobbing and antics.
I hope one day they can make a comeback .... Terry
After a most excellent home cooked lunch @ the Morse Cafe provided by David and Linda Fairfield ... I travelled West, then South along the Western edge of Reed Lake. The snow geese are really beginning to pile in there and creating quite a spectacle. After taking many photos of these birds an unusual event unfolded.
A very large and well groomed Coyote trotted right past the truck and to my amazement headed out to the mud flats to try and catch a goose for lunch! (I must tell him about the Morse Cafe) :))
Though this canine was not successful while I observed, I am guessing that he often is.
The second last photo today is an old whitetail buck spotted in the tall grass in almost the same location. The poor old fellow struggled along with a bad limp ... I think this will be his last winter. Nature is tough on those who are not in perfect condition.
As I observe wild creatures... I realize that each day is a struggle to survive and thrive ... Only the healthiest and smartest will survive .... All the best,,, Terry
Greetings from South Central Saskatchewan!
Yesterday's weather made taking photos a bit of a challenge @ 0 C (32F) with a wicked wind blowing from the West.
This porcupine was way out in a stubble wheat field when my friend spotted him... I grabbled my Canon and 100-400 II and dashed out to click away. With watery eyes from the gusting wind and frozen fingers.. I bravely walked up to this cute fellow who paid me absolutely no notice whatsoever. (Well, I'm used to that) The challenge besides the weather was trying to find a focus spot and get an exposure that would show his dark face and eyes.
The last photo is a relic from farming past ... An ancient implement by "Sawyer Massey"
Cheers from the Prairie.... Terry
Another blue ribbon , sunshine skies day ... going to be 18C .... The snow geese are loving it!!!
All the best from Hodgeville Saskatchewan ........ Terry :)
Quite a summery day here in S Saskatchewan! + 18C and absolutely no wind!!!
A beautiful sunrise started the day (and I nearly missed it because I slept in) followed by laying in a ditch in the frosty grass to shoot Snow Goose photos) Then home for tea and breakfast and warm up my fingers!
Then an afternoon tour around the area, lunch in Gravelbourg ... Avocets were a pleasant surprise , then finding a badger digging a hole at roadside... He posed, but after running to his den, wouldn't give me more than a posed head stare! Soon afterwards I saw some strange birds on the road ahead ..... there must have been 10 pheasants and just one rooster.
Soon while sunsetr proacedt by a pond , I hanfheld this moon image!
Millions upon Millions of show geese in S Saskatchewan this October,,,,,When they all ascend into the sky at once, the screams are deafening!
The next set of images are Mallard Ducks which are also flocking together and feeding on croplands in preparation for their migration flights.
Then there are some Antelope ... I watched this small group from the warmth of my truck this morning. That little buck sure has a lot of energy ...constantly rounding up all the females and trying to keep them closely together. Quite the antics. The light was very low this morning and the Antelope were quite a long ways off.. so not the best image quality, but I hope you find them interesting.
Then a couple photos of airborne Speckle (White Front) Geese and finally a cloud of Snow Geese ... this one shot from a few miles away!!! Have a great week........... Terry
Migration is in full swing right now... There are multitudes of geese, (Canada's, Snows, Speckled) all manor of ducks, Sandhill Cranes , many species of shore birds, etc.
I also happened upon a female whitetail deer that may have saved her fawn from CoyotesII hope the little thing isn't injured too badly) Antelope & Plenty of Mule deer about as well... This trio of Mule Deer bucks was right beside the road..... And a nice sunset this evening to top it off! Have a great weekend everyone... Terry :)
"1971 to 2015" This year marks 45 years of excellence with Canada's own Snowbird Air Demonstration Squadron! "431"
45 years of thrilling audiences and warming the hearts of Canadians ,and North Americans coast to coast! Friday was the last show of the 2015 season and the weather was some of the warmest I have seen for this event! (T-shirts and shorts in place of down filled parkas and skidoo suits! :)
Congratulations to the 2015 team and to all the Alumni and Honarairies.
As an Honorary Snowbird , I feel a very special connection with this group and feel like I am part of a large family.
This weekend has come and gone so quickly , but the camaraderie and friendships will last a lifetime.
All the best from Moose Jaw Saskatchewan.... Terry :)
A true dream visit to a place I have seen on camera, but finally in person! Approxamately 1000 miles from my home, this small Prairie town of Val Marie is on the doorstep of an amazing jewel ... Grasslands National Park!
I have been so intrigued with this place for a long time ... Wild roaming Bison and Prairie dog colonies .. huge watercolour skies and a vast landscape of windblown grasses.
We stayed overnite at a B&B called "The Convent" , a repurposed brick structure that was once home to a group of Nuns in Val Marie. The folks who run this haven for Grasslands visitors are wonderful hosts and provide the most amazing place I have seen in many moons. Super friendly (even to late arriving guests) the place is spotless, has so much charm and loads of space to relax after a day of roaming the park!
Highly Reccommended !!! *****
Morning of October 8th ... Amazing red skies lit up the West at sunrise. The small church is right across the road from "The Convent B&B"
Looking South from the town of Val Marie @ sunrise
2 large colonies of these comical creatures to welcome you to Grasslands National Park! :)
Bison scratches his back on a convenient tree in the morning sun! Ohh yeah.. right there!!! :)
Greetings from Alberta!
This post is late to arrive, but here I am in Moose Jaw trying to catch up. While travelling East towards Saskatchewan on Wednesday, rightin the middle of the naked prairie a good sized bull moose appeared by the side of the TransCanada highway (#1) . I pulled over , grabbed my camera and shot a series of photos as he ran through a pasture fullof Black Angus cows , then jumped the fence and crossed a busy highway.
Luckily it was mid day, the vehicles say this huge animal and slowed down.
Quite a sight to see this beast dashing along the open prairieland..... Terry :)
This morning my eyes caught a small Anna's hummingbird sitting in the plum tree and enjoying the day! When I got my camera going, I noticed a strange film covering its neck and top of head.
While I'm not 100% positive, I think this is spider web residue. I have seen this before on hummingbirds and I'm guessing that they go after small spiders for snacks and in the process get webs stuck on them!!!
If you have any other thoughts, please send me a note or post here. Happy Thursday... Terry :)
March 2018 .. I just received notice that my blog has been awarded a distinction of being one of the top 100 photography blogs in Canada.
* All images and content copyright Terry Venables and NaturalImagesCanada *