Sunday, March 23, 2008

My Domain

Canon 500mm f/4 L IS with 1.4X II TC and EOS 40D - ISO 400 - Spot metering - 1/2000 sec @ f5.6

As I kept an eye on this Rough Legged hawk with its mate hunting gophers west of Black Diamond Alberta, I was checking out some of the pics that I had shot as I drove some of the backroads on this beautiful spring day. Not only were the skies filled with birds going about their family duties, I couldn't help but notice these spring born calves lying in fresh hay as their moms kept a watchful eye on them.

In the past week there had been reports of Tundra Swans on Frank Lake and I had driven down to check it out. I arrived at the parking area to find a dozen vehicles had arrived ahead of me. I had a good excuse though as I realized recently that I had issue with a tire on the rear of my truck. I finally looked at the tires on the rear and realized that I had a separated tire. I was at the tire shop as soon as they opened at 8:00 am and had them install 4 new tires on my truck. I thought I would have to change them this fall but this solved that problem. At least I will have peace of mind as I travel on the various backroads that have a lot of jagged rocks such as on the 531 that takes you over the hump and then down on to the 940 in K country.

Upon arrival and then making the short hike to the lake, I discovered that the swans had just departed the lake within the last hour. After some time observing the goings and comings of the thousands of ducks and geese that included my first Northern Pintails of the season as well as a number of Redheads, I headed back to my truck and headed west of High River to Longview and west on the 541 to check on conditions of Flat creek. Coming up on the creek, I knew that it would still be under ice for sometime.

With K country off limits until May due to the winter gate just down the road, I turned around and headed back on the 541. As I went by the gates to The Buffalo Head ranch, I remembered that I had unfinished business to take care of this summer. I have mentioned before that I have all of R.M. Patterson's books who along with his wife Marigold, owned the Buffalo Head ranch back in the 1930's and 40's. They ran the Buffalo Head as a dude ranch which was one of the first dude ranch's in Alberta. My favorite book by RMP is "The Buffalo Head", a book you should read if you have a love for southwestern Alberta. The unfinished business that I refer to, is a planned hike up to the Boundary Pine that lies on the grass hills above Flat creek and the Buffalo Head ranch with Mount Head very prominent to the west. I will hike up there this summer to shoot photos and check out this limber pine made famous by RMP as its photo graces the cover of his book "The Buffalo Head". Recent photos of the pine show it to have not changed as much as you would think in the 50 years since RMP photographed it in black and white. How can you tell that I love this part of Alberta possibly more that any other place. The Highwood valley west of Longview is stunning with the Canadian Rockies as a back drop.

I rambled on way to long about R.M. Patterson one of Canada's first outdoor-adventure writers, however after you read one of his five books you will be looking forward to reading all five books he wrote about his life pursuing adventure in the Canadian West. If you do want to check out his books, start with "The Buffalo Head". Fortunately his daughter Janet who lives in Vancouver has reproduced all of her dad's books making them a easy find in most book stores. So on that note, I'm outta here. Later

I was parked in a approach just off of a road near a field with geese feeding nearby when I noticed this fence line in the evening light. I pointed my camera at it with a long lens the reason for the stacked fence posts. I also went for the very shallow depth of field look with my largest aperture selected for the capture. To Bad that there was not a bird of prey sitting on the in focus fence post.

No comments yet