Thursday, July 05, 2007

Big Skies & Cowpies

Canon EOS 20D - EF 10/22mm @ 10mm - ISO100 - F16 - 1/45sec - polarizer

Canon EOS 20D - EF 300mm - ISO400 - F5.6 - 1/1500sec

Wouldn't you know it, I look forward to a great week-end out and about with my cameras and I end up coming down with a cold. Well I was not about to let that stop me and besides what's the difference if your suffering at home or out in the county-side of southern Alberta checking out locations for photos. Don't you just love the wide open spaces in my first photo with the canola crop in full bloom under that big sky? What's not to like and I saw the possibilities as soon as I came up on this field of canola. I was north of highway #1 on Highway #9 where I thought that I probably would find fields of canola. The farm where this field is found is a beautiful farmstead with multiple grain storage bins lined up in neat rows on the edge of this field and just visible in my photo. In actuality they are not that far from me, however my 10mm lens make them appear far off in the distance. To make the photo work and show the depth and scale of it all I stepped into the photo. This superwide lens on my camera with its large field of view then performed its magic.

The second photo is quite interesting I think as it shows the coming and going of this pair of Tree Swallows from this nesting box where they have a family of very hungry nestlings. To get this shot I parked my truck reasonably close and with my bean bag in the open window, I set up my camera with my 300mm lens mounted. I am using a shutter release cable so that I am not required to look through the viewfinder. This was necessary so that I could be ready when the male or female arrived with insects for the nestlings. I also used my motor drive for five frame per second action. After several minutes of observation I realized that the one bird would stay in the nesting box until the other bird arrived and this would give me a split second when the male in this case left the nesting box just as the female arrives with a insect for the nestlings. I have to confess it took a few takes until I got the timing right. While there was a break in the action, I shot the photo of this Snipe who had landed on this fence post near the Tree Swallows nesting box and yes he has two legs but seemed to enjoy standing on the one.

I found myself east of Crossfield on a back-road where I came upon a interesting looking barn situated in a grove of trees with a wetlands adjoining the farmstead. I had just pulled over and with the window down I had been firing off frames of the barn when my brain began to register all this racket coming from the nearby trees. Getting out of the truck I began walking down the road towards the area where all the bird cries were coming from. About the time I was within a hundred feet or so, this Red-tailed Hawk took off and in hot pursuit were these Red-winged blackbirds who were harassing the hawk to the point that one of the Red-winged blackbirds is hitching a ride while he pulls feathers from the fleeing hawk. I was totally amazed by this spectacle.

Still amazed by what I had just witnessed, I turned my camera towards these fine looking horses who continued to graze through all the commotion in this nearby pasture.

The reason I had stopped in the first place was this cool looking barn that had caught my attention. As the main structure of farms, barns evoke a sense of tradition and security, of closeness to the land and community who built them. I am sure that this barn is probably a community landmark and makes the past present. This barn is probably of the type known as a prairie barn or western barn with its peaked roof projecting over a hayloft opening. The long sweeping roof on this barn is also a mark of the prairie or western barn, as the extended roof created greater storage area. I would hope that this barn, which my photo shows is in need of some tender loving care, that before long the present owners plan on restoring this barn to its former splendor as a historical barn such as this fine example deserves. Well its time that I move over to my new project that I have a link to on my blog. I am very excited with this gallery that has generated 2500 hits in the first 3 days. Check it out soon.

Canon EOS 20D - EF 300mm - f11 - 1/750 - ISO 200 - -1 stop

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