Thursday, 30 June 2011

Happy Canada Day!

Canadian Maple Leaf onboard HMCS Brandon

Wishing all Canadians at home and abroad a very Happy Canada Day!
Have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

And now there are four....

It's been over a week since I last checked on the nesting pair of semipalmated plovers.  To my delight there are now four eggs in the nest.  According to The Birder's Handbook the incubation period is between 23-25 days.

I spent a few minutes observing and photographing the nest as both parents took turns at incubating their clutch.  Every so often they would switch while one flew to the marsh in search of food. 

I've also included an image of the plover ruffling its feathers as it was about to preen itself.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Here's looking at you babe...

Good morning!
Here's another image from my semipalmated plover series.  Wondering how mom is doing after our heavy rainstorm last night.  I'll check the nest on Sunday.
I'm off on a whitewater canoe course for the next couple of days.
Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Semipalmated Plover

Can you spot the nest with eggs?  Click on image to enlarge

Good evening once again!

Late this afternoon I decided to check out the ducks and sandpipers at a nearby marsh (Pelly Crossing, Yukon).  I was delighted to spot a pair of semipalmated plovers scurrying about on the gravel road.   Their broken wing tactic lead me to believe that a nest was close by.

After a careful search of the area I discovered their nest with three brownish-olive eggs marked with dark spots.  The simple nest consisted of a small depression in the pebbles and was lined with nothing but a few blades of dried grass and shrivelled leaves woven together (no down to act as insulation).  It was well concealed under the branches of a small shrub.

While trying to compose my shots both plovers went about their business feeding, preening and trying to lure me away from their nest by pretending to be injured.  

I'll return in the coming days to capture more images and to record their progress.

Neat little critters!

Good night!

Storm clouds roll in

Finally, some much needed rain!

Last night the storm clouds rolled across our region bringing with it much needed rain and some dramatic lighting conditions.  I was driving along the Klondike Hwy just north of Pelly when the clouds rolled in. Beautiful cloud formations which provided for some stunning backdrops to the spruce and poplar trees.
Enjoy the pics!
Oh, the forest fire threat levels have been reduced to low to moderate throughout the Territory.
Hope all is well in your corner of the world!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Forest Fire Season has begun

Smoke as seen near Carmacks

Smoke from wildfire near Carmacks

Smoke seen on the Klondike Hwy

Smoke from wildfire

Smoke billowing over the tree tops

The same cloud spotted from Pelly Crossing

Extreme Fire Danger warning

Here we go - forest fire season is now in full swing in the Yukon.  This weekend's lightening storms and unseasonably hot and dry weather have ignited a handful of wildfires throughout the Territory.

Last night as I was driving along the Klondike Hwy I spotted an ominous smoke cloud dominating the skies near Carmacks.  From reading fire reports and chatting with locals the smoke is from a fire burning near Frenchman Lake (some 72 km east of Carmacks).  The fire began Monday evening and continues to burn today.  Approximately 5000 ha have already been affected.  Officials are worried that the fire may reach the confluence of the Teslin and Yukon Rivers within days. Canoeists have been advised to avoid paddling near the area.

A polarizing filter was used to capture these images as the filter accentuated the textures and patterns in the smoke cloud.  The polarizer also highlighted the greens and blues in the image.  I also included a variety of foregrounds to add a sense of scale of the true extent of this powerful force of nature.

To date there have already been 26 forest fires in the Yukon.

I'll keep you posted with latest developments.


UPDATE:  Fri June 3rd - the fire has grown to12,000 ha!