Category Archives: Animals

Nuts! This Takes Skill

Squirrel
Red squirrel carrying two walnuts.

This little guy has been on a mission, harvesting the walnuts from our neighbour’s tree, and stashing them in a few choice spots. This morning, he decided to take double-bites. Maybe he knows something… One thing’s for sure, he does not appreciate competition.

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Foxglove and Tiny Fish

Flowers_Jul17 (47 of 96)
The foxglove and the poem (story) are total strangers.

Early rays
Piercing through morning haze
Bouncing skyward
Off the blue liquid mirror

Lost in thought
Pulled from my reverie
Mirage or trickery

Like a gentle shower
Hundreds of tiny circles
Perturbing the water

Here one second
Gone in a flash
There with a dash

Breakfast for tiny pike
Watching, eager to strike
Tiny wings and legs above
All it took was one bite
——-
I really liked the foxglove

p.s. If you’re still reading at this point, you probably wonder what the foxglove has to do with the story. Well, nothing really.
I never took a photo of the lake… I wish I had my camera with me, alas I didn’t.
But I had a photo of a foxglove. That’s it.

Wink!

Great Grey Owl

This is the last of the winged visitors I met at the Indigo bookstore. This beautiful monocled great grey owl has been taken in by the folks at the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre after he was hit by a car. The collision injured his left eye, which had to be surgically removed.   That didn’t stop him from keeping a close eye on me.

This is the largest of the owl family, with a wingspan that can reach 152 cm. I’m told that its size is somewhat deceptive, made up mostly of fluffy and broad feathers. It is rather lightweight.

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon

I met this 11-year old peregrine falcon at the Indigo bookstore, of all places. We could tell, from her loud squawking, she was very happy to come out and meet with the other bookworms. She suffers from cataracts (who would have thought birds get these too?). The nice folks at the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre look after her.

If you like peregrine falcons, you might enjoy watching a livecam from a rooftop nest, here in Winnipeg. Charming…

What a cutie!

Northern Saw-whet Owl

I had never seen one of these before. This probably explains why:

Where mice and other small mammals are concerned this fierce, silent owl is anything but cute. One of the most common owls in forests across northern North America (and across the U.S. in winter), saw-whets are highly nocturnal and seldom seen.

This little owl is a northern saw-whet owl, a patient at the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre near Winnipeg, Manitoba (actually in St. Adolphe). I met her, two other patients (peregrine falcon and great grey owl) along with great volunteers from PWRC at the Indigo bookstore—who would have thought, of all places—while I was there for a book signing.

Out of its shell…

Maui (131 of 2119)
Giant African Snail (this one was the size of a fist) on the wall

Native to Africa, this large snail was brought to Hawai‘i in 1936 as a garden ornamental and to be eaten. It is the largest land snail in Hawai‘i (can get up to 8 inches [ca. 20 cm] in length) and is considered an invasive pest because it feeds on the tender green leaves of garden and crop plants throughout the islands.

Hawaiian Coot (ʻalae kea)

Maui (1330 of 2119)

The Hawaiian coot is an endangered species endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, with a population estimated between 1,500 and 2,000 birds. I came across this coot at the Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Its distinctive bright white frontal shield (sometimes with a red patch) and its deep red eyes are quite striking. A member of the rail family, its feet are not webbed, but it is a good swimmer.

 

Splashing Around

Giant of the sea
Mighty elegance in flight
Just splashing around

Privileged to see
Humbled by the spectacle
Unforgettable

This is a sequence of a humpback whale breaching by a fishing boat, with the slopes of Kaho’olawe Island in the background. I caught these from the beach at Kamaole II in Kihei, Maui HI, and I would estimate the distance to be at least 2 miles from the beach, but maybe as much as 5 miles (not sure). Shot with Nikon D7100 with Nikkor 55-300mm lens.