Time Well Planned

A raptor hurtles low across the field, looking for elevenses I expect, although it’s only 9 AM. What kind of raptor? A fuzzy one, at least according to the available photographic evidence.

Further observation suggests it was a Northern Harrier.

I have stopped at Ellis Bird Farm (near Lacombe, AB), having finally given up on the just-drop-in-while-you’re-going-past-it approach: This time, I included the stop in my schedule. Was it worth that excruciating effort?

Yes. From the far, sunny vista . . .

Just like Saskatchewan: The sky is >half the view.

. . . to the near, shade-dappled view.

Alberta’s wild rose

From old friends . . .

WHO are you, exactly, and WHY are you here?

Tree swallow

I believe this is my good side but, really, both are wonderful.

American Robin and something wiggly

. . . to a new acquaintance.

Savannah Sparrow

No, my foot doesn’t hurt. Why do you ask?

From the reflective subjects, both fixed and ever-moving . . .

. . . to the subjects that made me reflect.

As it turned out, I did not see the target species–a bluebird–but I did see blue sky and bluer water. It was worth the trip. And while I didn’t plan the steady rain the previous day, nor the long, wet grass on the walking trails on the day-of, it would be worth another trip, wet feet and all.

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12 Responses to Time Well Planned

  1. John Whitman says:

    Isabel – you are going to have to help me out and provide a definition for “elevenses”.
    Is this another Alberta colloquialism like “bunny hug”?

    Awesome pics!!

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      John – As I winged my way east, Jim T gave the answer I would have, only better. As with my oft-delayed stop at Ellis Bird Farm, I had a vague intention of linking to a definition of elevenses, because I figured it wasn’t standard usage.

  2. Jim Taylor says:

    John, “elevenses” goes back to Winnie the Pooh. He and friends typically had a mid-morning snack around 11:00, to break the long morning, often with honey. I don’t think the hawk was looking for honey, but for “elevenses” any snack will do.

    Isabel, I’m amazed at those long wrap-around claws on the Savannah Sparrow. I had an immature red-tailed hawk sink its talons into my thumb, once, but I hadn’t realized other non-predator species had such long claws too.

    Jim T

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      🙂 A little bit of something sweet. Or, for the Northern Harrier, a little bit of something furry.

      • John Whitman says:

        Jim/Isabel – having never read Winnie the Pooh, I now realize my early education was deficient.

        • Isabel Gibson says:

          John – I don’t know whether someone read Winnie-the-Pooh to me (maybe when I was very young – hahaha – an A.A. Milne joke) – but I suspect so, since I seem always to have known about the crew in the Hundred Acre Wood. The good news for you? There are free versions of some of the books online so you can remedy this deficiency.

  3. Very nice collection of images. Well worth the trip for sure!

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim R – Many thanks. And I’m going to have to go back to see those pesky bluebirds.

  4. Tom Watson says:

    I love the pictures. Especially the tree swallows!

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – Many thanks. Those swallows are so fast (and so small) that I don’t even try to get them on the wing, but when they perch in the sun, they *are* fabulous.

  5. In which Isabel proves, yet again, that a flat landscape is neither tedious nor lacking in awe-inspiring sights. With an appreciative eye and a camera that reveals the rose or lily petal’s geography and every feather on a sparrow, you remind me to slow down and take closer account of the beauty around me. “And this our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, sermons in stones, books in the running brooks, and good in everything. I would not change it.”[As You Like It, II.i.]

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – I’m glad you enjoyed seeing them as much as I enjoyed taking them. And just think: Your feet stayed dry! 🙂

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