I love the prairie birds of summer, gliding to rest on the grass or a fence. Lately, I’ve seen several
Western Kingbirds around Regina. Here’s one of those lemon yellow and grey flycatchers; it landed on barbed wire and watched until I drove on.
A favourite shot from one of last fall’s Northern Lights displays… Aurora Man!
On prairie hillsides in Saskatchewan, the Prairie Crocus has finally come into bloom. I’m glad these delicate flowers didn’t surface in the midst of our snow! It’s lovely to see their fresh, unmarked petals.
Leaning to the ground, this Prairie Crocus listens for summer. (What a great fur coat it wears!) © SB
The many shades of the Prairie Crocus, from deep purple through light to white. © SB
The mating displays of the
Sharp-tailed Grouse, Saskatchewan’s provincial bird, are highly entertaining to watch. They dance, they prance, they leap, strut, pout… They rattle their feathers and gobble.
I’m so happy I had a chance this year to visit the lek (location of these dominance displays, and the displays themselves), to watch this! (I have a short video, too, on my
Prairie Nature blog.)
Sharp-tailed Grouse showing neck patch © SB
Sharp-tailed Grouse displaying feathers © SB
Sharp-tailed Grouse – leaping at another © SB
Mountain Bluebird in the Qu’Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan, Canada © SB
Snow and freezing rain today, but I know spring is here because migration is beginning, and hibernation ending.
This past week, I’ve seen a
gopher (Richardson’s Ground Squirrel) — albeit on a snow bank, with a snowball in his paw.
I’ve fed an
American Tree Sparrow at our backyard feeders and watched hundreds of Horned Larks swirl over grid roads near Regina.
And I’ve photographed the magically iridescent flashes of
Mountain Bluebirds along the sun-warmed slopes of the Qu’Appelle Valley.
Spring. Migration. Movement, new beginnings. Every year at this time, I wonder what change is on the wing, what beauty it will bring.
The magic of morning ice transforms dried seeds into a confection of lace, crisp crystals cresting from the husk, the stalk and other crystals.
Hoar frost. White frost. Winter magic.
Winter lace: White hoar frost © SB
A Common Redpoll, part of a
large flock of Redpolls wintering on a farm near Muenster, Saskatchewan. The colours caught my attention, and the dynamic lines of the wire and building behind.
Common Redpoll – a female, by the lack of chest patch – on a wire. © SB
Late last year, when the leaves still glowed with orange and red colours, I captured this image of snow gently dusting a branch beside a local park. This image reminds me of the transience of life and seasons, and the artificial boundaries we place between things. Like Winter. And Fall.
Fall Snow on Red Branches © SB
Coral Paintbrush in the Cypress Hills © SB
In the midst of this long Prairie winter, I’m longing for spring.
The snow won’t be gone for months — at least through the end of March — but I can dream, and so I am updating my
Prairie Wildflowers blog.
Because wildflowers only bloom in Saskatchewan in spring and summer, this blog is an image collection, not a diary of my excursions to see and photograph flowers.
Each entry lists the name, location and date of the each photo, so it’s a great reference for seasonal prairie flowers — and a reminder to myself that spring will soon be here.
For more on the Paintbrush image at left, see: Slender Coral Paintbrush.
This swerving, curving prairie creek — not far from Regina, Saskatchewan — is one of many streams that flow into the Qu’Appelle River.
This picture was taken from a bridge near the town of Lumsden.
What caught my interest were the soft fall colours, receding into the distant hills, and the gentle curve of the creek.
Near Lumsden, Saskatchewan: The creek curves through gold, deep orange/red and green. © SB