Category Archives: Animals

The Bison Whisperer

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First, at a distance, grazing peacefully on the snow-covered plain, the herd paid no attention to the visitor leaning his lens against the fence post and on the metal wire.
Then, one by one, and two by two, they walked on over, watching the curious bystanders.
In minutes, they were so close that not even just one of the magnificent bisons would fit whole in the frame.
For minutes that seemed like hours, we watched each other, with a mix of curiosity and caution, breath condensing from our nostrils in the cold air, dissipating little clouds.
Too soon, it seemed, they wandered over a little farther downfield to sample the cold grass hiding beneath the unspoiled layer of fresh snow, leaving the few spectators speechless on the other side of a fence that seemed a rather futile barrier.
Candidly, the man who had stood quietly beside me turned and said: “You’re the bison whisperer.”
A shrug of my shoulders my only reply. We both walked away slowly, a grin on our face. Nothing more needed to be said.

 

 

Foxglove and Tiny Fish

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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.