Welcome to My Little Piece of the Prairies ...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Prairie Ponies

A wind swept snowy morning and this herd of horses went about their 'grazing' business!   Fortunately, we only had a dusting of snow again.  However, not too far west, 8-10 inches of snow dropped!  YUCK!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rough-Legged Hawk!

Just when you thought you were safe and you thought my obsession with raptors would be over for the season!  Well, lucky for me, (I apologize to you all) I happened to spot a Rough-Legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus) up on a power line on my drive home this afternoon.  Honestly, I only spotted my first Rough-Legged Hawk only 2 weeks ago ... and I am amazed at how many are still here!

Rough-Legged Hawks nest in the Arctic and only migrate through Alberta (and they usually migrate south in October), although some will overwinter in the southern portions of the province.  The population of Rough-Legged hawks mirror the population cycles of northern lemmings.  I am just happy that we have had such an open fall that these beauties are taking their time heading south for the winter!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Who Said a 5 Year Has No Patience!

Yes, my 5 year old ... and yes, he has bird seeds on his head!  Long story short; I asked him if he thought he could stand still long enough to let the Black Capped Chickadees land on his head.  He said yes, but his expression in the first shot says "hmm, how long do I really have to stand still?"  Lucky for him, he did not have to stand too long and I love that I was able to capture his expressions as the Chickadee landed and took off!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Is That a ...

... Ray of Sunshine?

Aaaaah ... the sun!  Oh how I've missed you!  I so struggle with the overcast, grey, November skies and the flat light on the landscape.  YUCK ... everything just seems so dull with no definition!  Or perhaps my creativity needs a kick in the pants (likely more the issue ... haha!).  However, the sun popped and the temperature did to!  We were above 10C today and with little wind (and did I mention its the end of November).  Not only does the sun warm the colors of the landscape ... it brings a big ole' smile to my face!


Another busy day, however, I did manage to snap some clouds as they rolled past our knoll.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Star Light, Star Bright ...

There was actually not a cloud in the sky tonight, so I headed out to play around with long explosures!  However, it was DARN COLD so, I didn't venture too far from my front door and the long exposures ... were not really as long as I wanted!  Brrrr...........

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Band of Color

It is definitely November on the prairies ... grey and brown rule the prairie landscape with the exception of the odd snowy white spot (at least around here).  However, earlier this evening the clouds were split just enough that the sun setting gave us a band of color!  Oh how I already miss those fall colors!  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"Archie" the Lil' Fergie That Could!

Meet "Archie," the lil' 8N Ford-Ferguson tractor that ruled our farm not so many moons ago!  Archie belonged to "Uncle Doug" and I do believe this was his favourite tractor!  I'm not sure how "Archie" got his name but this lil' tractor did it all!  Equipped with tire chains when necessary, "Archie" worked 365 days of the year.  He hauled manure from the pig barns, hauled the post pounder when necessary, raked hay and he even pulled small harrows for working in the fields.  Although "Archie" has been resting out by the corrals, he does in fact still run!  And on this overcast, windy, November day, I am certain   if his tires could talk there would be many, many stories to be told!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Headstall & Skull

The skies were so grey and dull today (although warm and windy thanks to that lovely chinook arch) that I decided to just play with my camera outside my front door!  Yes, there is certainly a 'rustic' collection of 'relics' to be found.  Cream cans, wagon wheels, ash buckets, cow skulls and a headstall for good measure!  No, the headstall does not remain outside at my front door!  LOL!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Arch!

Across the western horizon and dipping down toward the south, was a beautiful band of stationary stratus clouds forming.  Perhaps a 'Chinook' is on its way!!!  Chinooks are winds created only in a few geographical areas around the world!  Such winds are known as 'snow eater' winds!!  And with the 30 km south wind scheduled for tomorrow and a +5C day on the way ... the weatherman listened to my 'turn up the heat' request!  Thank You Mr. Weatherman!  Haha!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Snow in the Stubble

Yes, there is a bit of snow gathered in the stubble ... for how long, were not sure.  We are supposed to get above freezing this week ... nothing like a 'yo-yo' weatherman!


It was a crazy busy day, so I apologize ... this was a quick snap of the landscape before I dashed away for the day!  As the clouds moved off and the sun came out, the temperature was certainly 'crisp' at -22 C this am.  We didn't get that much snow, however,  someone could turn up the heat a smidge!  I'm NOT ready for this cold stuff!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Winter's Framework

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - 
the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter.  
Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.  
~Andrew Wyeth

If you don't feel the 'bone structure' of the landscape perhaps you are feeling your 'bones chilling!'  It's already -20 C (-4 F) and that does not include the wind chill!  Although winter does not officially arrive until the 21st of December ... the framework for its arrival has begun!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Dreaded Change in Weather ...

Yes, it was blue skies and fluffy clouds floating past hues of brown and golden prairie landscapes yesterday and today ... wind, snow, wind, snow and more WIND!  YUCK!!!  Well, I apologize, this is not a great shot but the wind was swirling the snow in every direction and my camera lens did not appreciate it!  Actually, it was the wimp operating the camera that really didn't appreciate the weather ... however.  I think this time, Winter has arrived on a more permanent basis!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rolling Clouds ...

And come, blue deeps! magnificently strown
With coloured clouds - large, light, and fugitive...

~David Gray

In my mind, there is nothing more beautiful than a prairie sky with clouds rolling past!  The blue sky is a canvas and the clouds are definitely the paintings of one's imagination!  May each of us never grow too old that we lose the ability to envision a figure or story amongst a cloudy sky!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

As The Sun Goes Down ...


Well, I shouldn't complain!  Other than a skiff of snow, which melted, we are still relatively 'winter/snow' free!!  However, with these short days, you can definitely feel the temperature drop when the sun drops behind the horizon!

Waving in the Wind

Well, we may have escaped the snowflakes for most of the day (there were a few this evening) ... however, we certainly did not escape the cold northwest wind.  You know its a windy day when the Field or Western Dock (Rumex pseudonatronatus or Rumex occidentalis) is swaying in the wind!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Gal

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.  
~Winston Churchill

Yes, if you follow along you've met this beauty before.  This is my 21 year old mare 'Spritz!'  I raised her from a mare my Mom had and hence we've been around each other for awhile now!  She has the most beautiful blaze and I love her flaxen mane and tail!  How could you not?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Just a Gloomy Day ...

With the middle of November quickly approaching, the landscape always emerges with a dull, lifeless appearance ... especially when the clouds and fog linger throughout the day.  It was that, just a gloomy November day.

Friday, November 11, 2011

May We Always Remember ...


This is a photo of Corporal Reginald Ells, my Grandfather, otherwise known to myself and our family as "Papa!"  He served from November 1941 to 1945.  First on an American Task Force to the Pacific, then in Italy, France, Holland, Germany, and the UK with the Loyal Edmonton Regiment.  We are so fortunate that he was one that returned home and that he is still with us today.  Many never did return and today, there are many, many more making sacrifices for our freedoms; too many giving their lives.  My family and I were blessed and honored to participate in the Remembrance Day Ceremonies today.  May we always remember.
Through a Child's Eyes
~Kelsey Lee Adler

Through a child's eyes, they saw the glory;
The medals and stars, shining like beacons in the night.
Through a child's eyes, they saw the power;
The tanks chewing up ground, cold metal monsters.
Through a child's eyes, they saw heroes;
The few, the strong, the proud.
Through a child's eyes, they saw the world;
The blues, the greens, so clean and pure.
But when they arrived, they no longer saw through the eyes of a child.
Through a man's eyes, they saw the destruction;
The death of men and futile dreams.
Through a man's eyes, they saw the pain;
Pleading men, begging death, sobbing women, praying for mercy.
Through a man's eyes, they saw their lives;
So close to ending, living only for the next moment, living only by the breath they drew.
Through a man's eyes, they saw the truth.
We were not there, and now fall empty tears.
Through blood and hell, through pain and war, they went.
For our freedom.
For our lives.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November's Full Moon

There are nights when the wolves are silent 
and only the moon howls.  
~George Carlin

Hmm ... the wolves might be silent but somebody needs to send a memo to the coyotes!  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"Have you ever seen a moose ..."

- a long-leggy moose -
a branchy-antler, dinner-diving, bulgy nose moose?
~Phyllis Root

Yup!  And today I was fortunate enough to have three saunter across my path!  I love moose ... aka ... 'swamp donkey's!'

"Chickadee ... dee ... dee ... dee!"

No, not a great shot but I was just happy to hear the familiar song of my winter Chickadees returning to my yard and 'their' backyard winter feeders!  I guess its time to restock my bird food supply!  Haha!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Five ... And Feeding Time!

This is the youngest of my lil' men (there are 2)!  And he is rather quick to correct you on the 'little' part!  In his eyes, he is BIG and in my eyes he is getting far too big to fast!!!  On the flip side ... I love having a lil' helper still at home that is BIG enough to give me a hand with chores!  Thanks for being such a great helper sweetie!!!


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