Sunday, September 13, 2015

Fog, flowers, and fall colors

Thursday, relaxing on the grass after a run, watching the river go by, I heard the distinctive sound of sandhill cranes. I lay back and looked up. There was a large group of them flying by overhead. Most of them were in an organized "V" but there were a few misfits that refused to get in line. Periodically the group would turn, losing their formation briefly but soon regaining it. A group of cranes is known as a "construction", "dance", "sedge", "siege", or "swoop".

Later, walking across the park I disturbed 8 or 10 northern flickers. I see them occasionally, but usually only one at a time. Maybe they are migrating. Although they are a kind of woodpecker, they often feed on the ground, which is where I found them. As I approached they flew up into the trees, displaying their white rumps. After I passed they descended back to the ground to resume feeding. When I returned a bit later they were still busy pecking in the grass. Maybe the recent rain had brought out some kind of bugs for them to eat.

Friday, walking to work, I first spotted several pelicans on the river, mixed in with a group of cormorants. Next I encountered a pair of belted kingfishers. Their chattering cry was what I noticed first, then I spotted them flying. They were hard to see in the trees, but one of them perched on a branch sticking up from the river where it was more visible.

Walking home I spotted a couple of blue jays. Their genus "Cyanocitta" is Greek for blue chatterer. And their specific name "cristata" means crested. I always liked these crested blue chatterers.

I didn't get photos of any of these birds, but I did take another assortment of shots on the way to work. The early morning fog on the river was what first caught my eye and prompted me to dig out the camera.

early morning river fog

There wasn't much wind and the still water reflected the rocks beside the river.

rocks and bridge

The bright morning sun back lit the leaves.

leaves by the river

Climbing the stairs to the railway bridge the sun was reflecting brilliantly off the river and through the trees.


I got fascinated by the water drops on the spider webs in the grass and the reflections in each drop.

raindrops on spider web

There are still a few roses, also covered in water drops this morning.

raindrops on roses

The pond was in fine form with the fall colors reflecting from the still water dappled with water lilies.

autumn reflections

I was commenting that the fall colors meant winter wasn't far away. The person I was talking to said they didn't mind winter. I don't mind the cold and snow so much, but I really miss the plants and flowers and birds and insects. Winter in Saskatoon is slim pickings for a nature photographer. I can only take so many photos of snow and ice and frost!

autumn reflections

The water lilies always seem to flower in the middle of the pond where I can't get close enough to photograph them. But this one was near enough to somewhat precariously lean out to get a decent shot. I love the contrast between the bright flower and the dark water.

water lily

We haven't had a hard frost yet, so the dragonflies (and the odd mosquito for them to hunt) are still around. Its wings are looking a little worse for wear though.


A good crop of berries - I predict the waxwings will be paying a visit.


And don't worry, I did still make it to work in time for a 9am meeting :-)

See all 23 photos as a slideshow or overview

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