Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving at the Lodge

I missed posting a few pictures from our fall outing up north to the Lodge for Thanksgiving.  We alternate between both our families and this year was with Holly's family up north.

female Mallard in fall morning light

One of the mornings I headed out early to see what might be out in the crisp temperatures meeting the morning light.  There was not much; most birds have migrated south from the Bancroft area by this time of year.  Oddly, there was a lone female Mallard in a small bay of a little lake on the opposite side of the Lodge property. It kept calling and calling its comical quack, seeming to hope someone would listen and give it company or join it to head south.  Later in the week, a second female joined it and the calling stopped.  I rarely see ducks on either lake in the summer, so I wonder if they are isolated migrants.

female Mallards

While sitting patiently at the same location, I watched a female Kingfisher that was still patrolling the edge of the lake, constantly scolding anything around with its distinguishable call.  They are so hard to get anywhere near and this is the closest it ever came to me, on the other side of the little bay.  Interestingly, Kingfishers are one of the few birds where more colour and distinguishing features belongs to the female.  In the picture below you can just make out the faint markings of a second band on its chest below the top band of powdery blue and bronze.  The male is more simple with only a single, blue band.

female Belted-Kingfisher

In the same location later in an evening, a Common Raven silently and calmly flew over the tree tops.  Their throaty calls always bring back my memories of working way up in Northern Ontario where families of these birds would wake me at 4am with the early summer morning light of the northern latitudes.

Common Raven

A walk in the woods didn't result in anything more than a few Chickadees and a Downy Woodpecker, and then two curious Hermit Thrushes.  Only curious enough long enough for me to get a couple pictures in the very low light of a fall afternoon.

Hermit Thrush

We went for a walk one afternoon to Egan's Chute which is beautiful spot. According to the locals, the fall colours up north this year were very quick because it had been so dry in the prior weeks.  The leaves let loose and carpeted the ground quicker than usual so when we got there, not much was left to enjoy.

The first drop of Egan's Chute

a progressively closer view

and closer yet

The picture below was taken a shutter speed of 1/2500s and ISO 1600 to freeze the turbulence of the water as it plunged over the rocky fall. Quite interesting shapes and textures.

a closely zoomed shot of the bottom left portion of the picture above

Back at the Lodge the Eastern Chipmunks and Red Squirrels were all very busily preparing for winter, gathering and storing seeds and food, and collecting leaves to plump up winter lodgings and sleeping holes.

Eastern Chipmunk gathering winter lodging materials.

Eastern Chipmunk

Till next time....
Keep enjoying HIS handiwork!

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