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Welcome to My Heartsong!

My Heartsong came out of a desire to be true to myself and sing the song of my heart,to take the time to do the things that I love to do because I came to believe that to follow this call is to do the will of the Creator and it gives me great pleasure.(when one receives a gift,one must open it). An activity that feeds my soul is photography. I share with you my photos and a little bit about them. Enjoy!
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Some Close-ups of Babies at he Pond

pictures 084First are the grown-up babies. I will let the pictures speak for themselves. Click to see enlargements.

A Trip back to the Old Park

Hawrelak Park has been getting excavations in readiness for the World Triathlon Event in August of this year.. For a long time the lake was drained so the bulldozers could deepen the depth and you may remember that I was somewhat distressed over what would happen to the ducks and geese as there was no place for them to swim or nest.

 I went there for a visit in the early evening and was happy to see less poop so I could lie on the ground, also that a few geese thrived  and raised their offspring. I have seen hundreds less of the fowl this summer, so was happy to see them again. It was funny, as I lay on the ground and said to the geese before me that it was nice to be able to lie down, when one let it fly out its butt. Oh well.

I walked around the lake and found quite a few Canada Geese, some Mallards,Wigeons, Cedar Waxwings and murders of Crows.The geese are mostly grown up but there were a couple of young duck families and the cuteness factor was in full force.

I have been getting physio for an old back pull and been getting extreme cramps in my legs (too much sitting) but the walk on Mother Earth did me good. My Heartsong was in full melody but I did start to feel pangs of frustration and resentment at seeing the old habits displayed,, that is, of the people with their loaves of bread feeding at the side of the water, so I left while I was still feeling happy. ;)

Here is a photo of a gaggle of geese walking across the lawn, with one running to catch up. Wait for me! Wait for me!

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And a mother Mallard and her  ducklings:

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I was delighted to see this mother Wigeon and her brood:

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There is more to come, from  a crow chattering and cawing to its mates, observations of molt and young ones  so cute it will make you laugh, smile or even say, “Aw-w-w-w…”

Summertime and the Sky is Hazy

There are some nasty forest fires burning in Canada and the United States. In Alberta, where I live, there are 18 fires and over a hundred in B.C. The smoke travels far: in Edmonton the photo here shows a “sunny “day with a haze of smoke.It was much worse a few days ago when it seemed like night time.We are getting smoke from the Northwest Territories, from B.C. and from Nordegg, depending on which way the wind is blowing.

We had over a hundred fighters arrive from Ontario today to help with the various fires across the province. One fellow who was new to this thought it would be “fun”. Boy, is he in for a rude awakening!

I want to thank all the forest fighters , no matter where you are, for the hard work you do, with long hours, falling trees, exhaustion and dehydration a daily part of the job.Thank you for saving the homes of many. I thank all the people helping with evacuations and setting up centres for people to stay and for the people out there rescuing pets.It is good work that you are all doing.

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And this was a good day.The rain is helping.

Close-up of Field Flowers

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Since the flowers in my field guide are not always as clear as I would like, as are my photos,  I am guessing that rather than lupine, this might be Tufted Vetch. Gosh, I could start another blog on this topic of wild flowers alone, but not sure that I have the patience.

Fields of Flowers

On my way to the ponds I often pass through luscious fields of wild flowers and try to capture their presence in photos . Can’t say I know what they are, some may be clover or Alfalfa but I sure enjoy them up close and from a distance as a massive blanket of hues. I share them with you as best as I can, it was a little breezy.

 

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Oh, Just a Couple More

When the ruddy duck showed up at the pond, I was clicking away, if not always focused, but getting some good shots. When you get close to a bird, or it gets close to you, it is always, “Oh, just a couple more…”

So bear with me as I continue to show off the male Ruddy Duck after he came closer.

Interesting Display from a Male Ruddy Duck

I had no expectations of seeing this fellow but on this day had great luck with spotting the Ruddy Duck.He not only appeared, but also gave quite the show with splashing and sputtering , even coming closer than ever before.

I did not see the reason for this display until I looked at the photos after downloading them. It was then that I saw a female Mallard possibly on a nest.

See for yourself,as this male Ruddy gives quite the performance in this next sequence of photos.

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Introducing “Spike”

It was HOT today so I found myself heading for a pond that I hadn’t been to for almost a month. So many of the babies from the Mallard families  have grown up, though still in their family groups. One of the newcomers i nicknamed “Spike.”

He was the smallest of the siblings who were playing together mostly without the parents but when they showed up the young ones would beg for treats despite the fact they are able to forage on their own.The adult is busy breaking off reeds, perhaps making another nest or building the one they have.American Coots do have 1-2 broods a year but so soon?

Spike has a few reddish feathers poking out of his head apart from the mostly grey ones which is why I came up with the name.I could have named him “big foot.” since I think his feet have grown first.

Without further ado, here is Spike,a baby American Coot.

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One of “Spike’s” siblings.

By the light of the Moon

Now that the hullabaloo over the fireworks has passed as has the opening night of the show of lights of the High Level bridge, I returned to a park where I could take some photos of both the High Level and the Menzies bridge which serves as a way fare for both pedestrian  traffic and Light Rail transit. Usually I like my lights sparkling but not the moon. Will have to work on that.

I used my tripod, put settings on “Bulb” and kept the shutter open for 5-10 seconds with the ISO at 100.

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Bridges-Filling the Gap

Bridges are playing a major theme in our city lately. Two are being torn down to make way for new ones.Another, the High Level Bridge, has been adorned with over 50,000 lights to entertain us in the dark of night.

Today’s post focuses on the 102 Avenue bridge that joins the west end to downtown and stands  beside the Royal Alberta Museum. It is more of a functional bridge than “pretty” but that does not make it any less important.The 102 Avenue bridge is over a hundred years old and spans a deep ravine.It has flaws and weaknesses and needs to be torn down. The road under it is a major road as is the the one that runs over it. so that means temporary detours for Groat Road as well as the bridge road for  the next 15 months.

It has some flaws but as you can see in these photos , the structure still has strength because it didn’t fall apart as easily as expected. The clean-up is going to take longer than first estimated.I felt it important to record some of this moment in time.

I am looking from the museum side to the High Street shopping area off of 124 Street.

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