An unlikely evening.

The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge is Unlikely.

One winter evening I went down to the Lake Huron shoreline for the sunset. The lake was covered with frazil ice and there was some nice layered clouds over Chantry Island. I positioned the tripod on the shoreline so that the sun would set to the right of the Lighthouse on Chantry Island.

Shortly after the sun had dropped below the horizon it illuminated the clouds nicely.

Chantry Island at sunset.

I learned long ago not to put the camera away until the last light has gone from the sky and this evening justified the rule. Shortly after the above photo was taken the largest and most spectacular sun pillar I had ever seen appeared behind the island. It made me think of a special effect in a science fiction movie.

A giant sun pillar.

An unlikely afternoon.

The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge is Unlikely.

A hot summer afternoon at Last Mountain Lake, Saskatchewan. There’s a couple of dozen American White Pelicans feeding on a channel where a marsh drains into a section of the lake. I set up a tripod in the water at the edge of the channel and I sit in the water behind the camera. After a while the Pelicans are used to me being there and are ignoring me.

I kept hearing a splash to my right but was concentrating on the Pelicans so didn’t pay attention to it. Eventually something caught my eye and I turn my head to find a Red-necked Grebe on the water next to me. The splashing I had been hearing was the bird diving under the water. The angle of the light wasn’t the best and the fact that I was sitting in the water behind the camera meant it was difficult to swing the camera around but I had to get some shots.

Red-necked Grebe watching the photographer

Red-necked Grebe on Last Mountain Lake.

An unlikely morning.

The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge is Unlikely.

One spring morning I’m out with the camera at a section of Little Quill Lake, Saskatchewan. The location was several miles from the nearest road and I’ve no idea where the nearest occupied farm was and I had managed to lock my keys in the truck after getting the camera and tripod out. So I decided to photograph a Common Tern fishing and then preening before breaking into the truck.

Eventually I decided it’s time to learn how to break into your own vehicle. How hard could it be, you see actors do it all the time on TV. There was the remains of a long abandoned barbed wire fence nearby so I  walk over and break a piece of wire off. I used the multi-tool I keep in my camera bag to strip the barbs of and get a straight piece of wire. I’m just about to slide the wire down the window to try to pop the lock when a bus loaded with birders drives up followed by a convoy of other vehicles. It was the weekend of the Wadena Shorebirds Festival and they were on an outing to Little Quill Lake. So I’m now being watched by dozens of people as I try to break into my truck. I slide the piece of wire down the window, wriggle it around and the lock pops open. I couldn’t believe how easy it was, I must have looked like a professional car thief to the spectators. A couple of the birders wander over to make sure that I was breaking into my own vehicle.

After a while the bird tour departs and a few minutes later half a dozen Wilson’s Phalaropes fly in and start feeding along the shoreline. I crawl across some sand, well I’ll call it sand although there was rather a lot of duck and goose poop mixed in it, and get into position to photograph the Phalaropes. They completely ignored me, I had females walking almost up to the lens, to close to focus on.

Feeding Phalarope.

One of the female Wilson’s Phalaropes poses for a portrait.

Female Wilson's Phalarope.

Guess what this is?

This week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge prompt is ‘Guess what this is?’

The prompt took me back to the 1980s. In those days BBC Wildlife magazine had a monthly competition for its readers. It was a photo of a mystery species, the first reader to correctly identify the subject won a years subscription to the magazine.

The photo below was used one month, nobody correctly identified the subject.

Anyone interested what the subject is, scroll down under the photo.

Hairy caterpillar

The photo shows clumps of hair on the caterpillar of a Ruby Tiger Moth.

Egg laying.

This is the female egg laying in the early morning.

I checked the nestbox early morning and in the evening. Some evenings there was another egg being laid. At the time I assumed that it was the same female laying twice a day but current research suggests that it was probably a second female laying in the evening. Normal clutch size for the Eurasian Blue Tit is seven or eight eggs but as you will see later, there was a lot more eggs laid in this nest.

Female Blue Tit egg laying