When I started my summer term in May, I knew I had a very heavy workload planned and would likely only have minimal opportunities to work on my photography and post to the blog. But between work, school and other commitments, as well as trying to enjoy what little summer Prince George gets, photography completely went by the wayside. The September term was even more packed, and it was all I could do to keep up with commitments. When I logged on today, I noticed that the last post I did was May 23rd.
Next week I’m starting in to my last semester of grad school, with only two classes to go. With a slightly less hectic school schedule, I am hopeful I will be able to carve out a bit of time each week to work on my photography and share some images. But until this education journey is complete, I have to prioritize as needed, and the blog will likely be the thing to get dropped if my schedule gets too hectic again.
Today I’m sharing a few images of my favourite cat, the leopard. While initially I had been using a trip to Africa as a carrot for getting through my program when things got tough, right now it seems uncertain when I’ll be able to plan an international trip again. I’m certainly hoping, like so many people, that things calm down and travel can resume again without the risk of last minute cancellations and flight issues. I’ve got a very full plate until the end of April, but I am hopeful that I can start to plan a trip once my courses are completed, whether it will be local or international – your guess is as good as mine.
I felt drawn to work on some elephant images, but wanted to find a slightly different spin, so I focused on some of the sightings that I had with bull elephants the last time I was in South Africa. Encountering a lone bull, especially one in musth, can be risky business, and I am always grateful for the skilled rangers that handle the encounters with so much skill (while at the same time, providing lots of interesting information about the animal).
I’ve had a mama black bear and her cub through the yard a few times over the past week; they both look to be in great condition and just sniff around through the forest in the back. The slightest noise sends them running deeper into the bush; I even need to be cautious about moving towards the window with my camera too fast, as even that is enough to spook them off. Not that I am complaining; it is so much better to have them wary and sticking to their wild turf, than getting too close to the house and becoming bold in their actions.
I do love watching them but obviously want to do so in a way that doesn’t impact them negatively. Our bird feeders have been in for over a month already in anticipation for them coming out of hibernation, and we make sure that there is nothing around to attract them to the yard or towards the house or garage. I want to enjoy seeing wildlife, not creating any type of human / wildlife conflict.
I’d planned to get some images of local birds this week, but the weather was playing against me, with lots of rain and gloomy skies. And, the one time I did get out with my camera, every bird in the yard mysteriously vanished, only to reappear once the camera was put away. They didn’t budge when I was out doing yard work, just when I had the camera – some days are like that.
So, instead I have a saddle billed stork taking a rest at the side of a dam. They look very strange with their legs folded in that manner, with their bodies appearing far out of proportion to their height off of the ground. The saddle billed stork is one of the nicest looking stork species in my opinion. I must admit, when I see a marabou stork, I do cringe a little bit.
Fingers crossed for more promising opportunities with the local birds, as there is a wonderful variety here now.
I’d planned to edit and post these two weeks ago, but life got in the way. First, I was distracted by some ravens in the yard, and last week, I was caught up with studying for finals and didn’t manage to sneak in any time for photo editing. I’m enjoying a very brief break from studies and to be honest, not quite sure what to do with all this free time on my hands!
This week will feature some hornbill images, and hopefully I can carry on with local birds next week, as there are lots of new faces in the area now that it is warming up.
I had forgotten I’d had this sighting of the barred owl; I’d taken a few quick images as it napped in the tree branches, and then forgot to download the images to my computer. If it weren’t for the raven sighting yesterday, they may have sat on there for quite some time.
Thankfully all the snow seen in this image is now gone, but sadly, it seems like sightings of the owl may be as well. But who knows, I could also get lucky with some springtime owl sightings.
I was planning to edit some hornbill photos today, and was at my computer searching for images when movement outside my window caught my eye. I looked up from my computer as a raven landed in a tree outside my office window. Earlier in the day, I had spotted a dead squirrel on the lawn, and hadn’t had an opportunity to get out to clean it up; and I was hopeful that the raven would keep me from having to do so.
Getting photos through a small window isn’t ideal, but I knew the bird wasn’t going to wait for me to get my shoes on and head outside. It took a few tries before it was able to get the squirrel up and away, but in less than a minute, it was all over.
I always enjoy the opportunity to get to observe nature, whether it is our local deer, songbirds, ravens or more exotic animals while abroad.