When Nelson handed me his camera on April 18th, I was hoping for one or two great shots to pick from. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw his meadowlark shot.I love this image because of the Western Meadowlark's pose, the clarity of the image, ...

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"Anita Mae Draper" - 5 new articles

  1. Nature Watch: Meadowlark and Robin
  2. Nature Watch: Crane and Mallard
  3. Wildlife Watch: Duck and Heron
  4. Wildlife Watch - Nuthatch & Crocus
  5. Wildlife Watching - Meadowlark and Butterfly
  6. More Recent Articles

Nature Watch: Meadowlark and Robin





When Nelson handed me his camera on April 18th, I was hoping for one or two great shots to pick from. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw his meadowlark shot.

I love this image because of the Western Meadowlark's pose, the clarity of the image, and also its overall 3D effect.


Western Meadowlark, Southeastern Saskatchewan, April 18, 2016.
Photo Credit: Nelson Draper


One of the things we've noticed, however, is that our cell phones, messenger apps, Facebook timeline, etc seems to be tailored for square images. The horizontal or vertical ones don't fit right and look too small, or your device is locked so that it doesn't rotate and then you have to unlock it to see one photo, etc. Or you'll be skimming down your Facebook timeline and see half an image, or half a word, etc. Yes, you can click on it to see the larger version, but many people don't. To alleviate that, I'm playing around with using square images only like the ones below.


Western Meadowlark, Southeastern Saskatchewan, April 18, 2016.
Photo Credit: Nelson Draper


My contender for the best photo for April 18th is this robin sitting on an old hand pump. Although you can't see much detail in the robin, I like this photo because it reminds me of my earliest memories of when we lived with a hand pump in the kitchen. And then as a twelve year old, I wished we had one in the kitchen when we lived on a rented farm without any plumbing facilities at all. The pump sits on a huge boulder decorated with orange lichen. Whenever I see it I'm reminded of what used to be and how I am blessed with so much today.


American Robin on Hand Pump, Montmartre, Saskatchewan, 
April 18, 2016. Photo Credit: Anita Mae Draper


I'd like to point out that both of the above images can be used as Facebook birthday cards because they're square and there's lots of room for the sentiment.

Also, all of the images credited to me or Nelson are free to copy. Let us know if you'd like the location/date label deleted and we'll send you one without the extra info.



    

Nature Watch: Crane and Mallard



The wind on April 17th played havoc with our photography competition. Not only did it buffet our cameras, but it stirred up the air currents between our cameras and our subjects so that neither Nelson, nor myself got a detailed shot. We had a discussion about whether we should even show these, but in the end decided we have been blessed with some great shots, and there are going to be days when one, the other, or both of us don't do well.

On this day Nelson's shots were much better than mine, and he's chosen this Sandhill Crane as the one he thinks is the best of his lot. I'd like to point out the effect the wind had on a portion of the stubble field where it appears smeared.


Sandhill Crane, Southeast Saskatchewan, Apr 17, 2016. Photo credit: Nelson Draper

Meanwhile, I was out and about on the 17th as well and yes, all my shots were also blurred by the wind. The only decent one I have is this Mallard pair which, for whatever reason, decided to swim in the yuckiest part of the slough. I suspect that most of the stuff floating about had been dislodged by wave action--something that doesn't happen often out here unless the wind is fierce.


Mallard pair, Montmartre, SK, Apr 17, 2016. Photo credit: Anita Mae Draper

So there you have our windy images. For all you budding photographers... don't beat yourself up if you can't get great shots on a windy day. Minimize the wind damage by standing where the wind can't buffet your or tripod or arms while you hold the camera, but in the end, there's not much you can do - at least not with our level of equipment. (P500 and P520 Nikon CooPix cameras)

I believe Nelson has a great video clip of Sandhill Cranes practicing their mating dance. We'll get that set up soon. Until next time...



    

Wildlife Watch: Duck and Heron



Some days it's easy to pick the best image of the day from those taken by Nelson and myself, but April 16th was not one of those days.

Nelson had a neat duck shot and a great one of a prairie chicken, but his Great Blue Heron photo was really outstanding.


Great Blue Heron, Southeast Saskatchewan, Apr 16, 2016. Photo by Nelson Draper


My contribution to our little competition is this photo of a Northern Shoveler pair gaining altitude on take off.

Northern Shoveler, pair. Southeast Saskatchewan. Photo by Anita Mae Draper

Both water shots, both action shots, but it's hard to see my little ducks after looking at the large heron.

I wonder what we'll find in the next batch...



    

Wildlife Watch - Nuthatch & Crocus




This edition of Battle of the Birds and other Wildlife shows images taken on April 15, 2016.

Or perhaps I should start calling it the Battle of Flora and Fauna? 

April 15th was Nelson's birthday but that didn't stop him from getting out and about. He said that while he was aiming his camera at a running hare he spotted something purple. Zooming in, he saw the Prairie Crocus, a member of the buttercup family which grows very low to the ground and only appears in the spring. Sometimes as I walk through a field soon after the snow leaves, I'll look down and realize I'm standing in the midst of prairie crocus patch. Such an inspiring sight of color after all the whiteness.


Prairie Crocus, Southeast Saskatchewan, Apr 15, 2016. Photo by Nelson Draper

I had to two surprise visitors on April 15th. The first was an Eastern Gray Squirrel with a gorgeous rufous belly but I have a whole video of that one which I'll be showing at another time. 

So for my best shot of the day, I picked a new visitor to our farm - a White-breasted Nuthatch. According to my iBirdCanada app, this bird is a year round resident of these parts, however, it only stayed for a day and a half and then was gone. Since it likes the woody areas, I don't think our shelterbelt held enough trees for its liking. 


White-breasted Nuthatch, Montmartre, SK April 15, 2016. Photo by Anita Mae Draper

I hope you enjoyed these images of Saskatchewan flora and fauna. More coming soon...


    

Wildlife Watching - Meadowlark and Butterfly





This edition of Battle of the Birds and other Wildlife shows images taken by Nelson and me on April 14, 2016.

My best photo of the day was this Milbert's Tortoiseshell Butterfly who rested on our front patio for awhile.


Milbert's Tortoiseshell Butterfly, Montmartre, SK, April 14, 2016.
Photo credit Anita Mae Draper


Next up is Nelson's Western Meadowlark in its most classic pose.


Western Meadowlark, Southeastern Saskatchewan, April 14, 2016. 
Photo Credit Nelson Draper

Nelson did such a good job with that photo, didn't he?

The Western Meadowlark is one of my favorite birds and since it has the reputation of being a storyteller, I've adopted it as the icon for my writing. You'll see the following header throughout my website, as well as displayed on the 5th of every month when I appear on the Heroes, Heroines, and History blog:


www.anitamaedraper.com header


I also used a photo of a Western Meadowlark on my Facebook header last year when I announced that one of my stories was a finalist for the 2015 Word Awards. However, as you can see, my photo doesn't compare in quality to the one Nelson took above.


2015 Facebook header for Anita Mae Draper


I hope you enjoyed these photos of Saskatchewan wildlife. More coming soon.



    

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