Monday, April 7, 2014

Ring-billed Gull on a Rock

Spring, and the birds are returning north — and Ring-billed Gulls are flocking to Wascana Lake.


There have been times in the past when gulls have seemed merely annoying, with their screeching, squawking, food-stealing gall... But they, too, are a sign of spring. A welcome one.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Western Kingbird on Barbed Wire Fence

I love the prairie birds of summer, gliding to rest on the grass or a fence. Lately, I've seen several Western Kingbirds around Regina. Here's one of those lemon yellow and grey flycatchers; it landed on barbed wire and watched until I drove on.



Western Kingbird on the Fence  

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Aurora Man in the Northern Lights

A favourite shot from one of last fall's Northern Lights displays... Aurora Man! 


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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Portrait of a Rancher in a Black Hat

Black hat tipped against the wind, the rancher watches, waits.

Rancher.  Photo Copyright © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.

Rancher.   © SB 

(And yes, I know this man wears many more hats than just a rancher's...

Taken in Grasslands National Park, using Auto-FP/high speed sync flash to catch the natural light and light the face beneath the hat. 

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Prairie Crocus: A Sign of Spring in Prairie Hills

On prairie hillsides in Saskatchewan, the Prairie Crocus has finally come into bloom. I'm glad these delicate flowers didn't surface in the midst of our snow! It's lovely to see their fresh, unmarked petals.

Spring!


Leaning to the ground, this Prairie Crocus listens 
for summer.  (What a great fur coat it wears!) © SB  



The many shades of the Prairie Crocus,
from deep purple through light to white. 
© SB  

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sharp-tailed Grouse: Saskatchewan's Provincial Bird

The mating displays of the Sharp-tailed Grouse, Saskatchewan's provincial bird, are highly entertaining to watch. They dance, they prance, they leap, strut, pout... They rattle their feathers and gobble.

I'm so happy I had a chance this year to visit the lek (location of these dominance displays, and the displays themselves), to watch this! (I have a short video, too, on my Prairie Nature blog.)


Sharp-tailed Grouse. Photo © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved

Sharp-tailed Grouse showing neck patch    © SB 

Sharp-tailed Grouse. Photo © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved

Sharp-tailed Grouse displaying feathers  © SB 

Sharp-tailed Grouse. Photo © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.

Sharp-tailed Grouse - leaping at another  © SB 


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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Stained Glass at Charlevoix Metro, Montreal

Two more iPhone Metro pictures, also from the Charlevoix station in Montreal. This metro is not only one of the deepest on the system, it's also one of the most beautiful, with stunning stained glass windows that spill multi-colour abstract lights onto the upper escalators — as long as you're there at the right time of day.

Rider at Charlevoix Metro. Photo © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.

Rider in the light   © SB 

Charlevoix Metro. Photo © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.

Late afternoon sun spilling colours down the escalator.  © SB 

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Monday, April 15, 2013

iPhone Photos of Montreal Metro Stations

It's the person behind the lens, not the camera equipment, that creates the photograph — although using different equipment can lead to different effects. As much as I love my Nikon DSLR, I was delighted to find a series I took in Montreal last spring, to remember how much fun it was to take pictures there — with my phone.

Some of those photographs, which were also tweaked on my phone, focus on the interiors of two Metro stations, with their vibrant red and yellow mosaics, stained glass windows, and long, steep escalators.

Escalator. Charlevoix Metro. Photo © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.

Escalator into the depths of the Metro.  © SB 

I love street photography, and in a city like Montreal, a small phone is a handy, unobtrusive way to get colourful shots — and process them on the spot, too.

I also like the rough edges of some phone photographs: the graininess in low light, the blurs... The quick focus, the immediacy, the wide angle. All free me from technical issues, so I can just enjoy the language of light.

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pink shoes, blue shoes, steel-toed working shoes

Pink shoes, blue shoes, orange shoes, too... Running shoes, working shoes, sandals and boots.

Sounds like the start of a children's rhyme!

It's also a summary of the shoes stacked in my front hall during a recent mini-renovation in our house. Mine, my husband's, our son's. (Though mainly the former and latter, I see; we must be the messy people who leave all their shoes by the door. Well, good to know that someone is neat!)



Can you guess which shoes belong to me? © SB  

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rainbow of Light and Droplet on CD

No trickery, only common objects: One CD, one light source, one drop of water.

When CDs first came out, I was amazed by their reflective glow and the rainbows that shimmered across their surfaces when I tilted them into, and then away from, the light. I'm still fascinated by these properties. The sun, a flashlight, or even a beam from an overhead lamp will charge the surface with magic.


A rainbow streaks across a dark pool, reflected from an orb along the side.  photo © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.

A rainbow streaks across a dark pool, reflected from an orb along the side.   © SB 

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