Cooper’s Hawk near Calgary, Alberta

It has been a busy summer in the mixed Aspen/Willow/Spruce forest of our acreage community north of Calgary, Alberta. In our section of the forest alone, the Great Horned Owl, Magpie, and Crow have all nested and produced young. The ‘new bird in town’, though was the Cooper’s Hawk. I encountered this one when I […]
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White Butterflies Hiding in the Hay Field

There is a hay field across the road from us. I love taking photos when it is full of big round bales, especially when the hawks sit on them. This spring, the farmer planted new things in the field. I haven’t figured out what all the plants are yet, but the field is absolutely beautiful! […]
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Violas and Fritillary Butterflies

Bridging the Knowledge Gap: I was weeding and deadheading a few days ago, and was surprised to find my viola/pansy crop consisted of mostly bare stalks. Odd. When I looked closer, I could see that the few remaining leaves were well chewed. I didn’t give the sorry state of the Viola family much more thought. […]
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Easily Overlooked – Blue-Eyed Grass

With tiny flowers only 1/4 inch (6mm) wide, that only open in the morning, it is easy to see why I’ve only found Blue-Eyed Grass in my Alberta yard on three occasions. This time my transient wild flower popped up in a bed close to the garage. I just happened to pass the bed in […]
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On Going Unnoticed – Striped Coralroot Orchid

I thought I had met most of the residents of my forest (north of Calgary, Alberta) – I’ve been tromping along it’s paths looking at plants and birds and bugs for 26 years! But in early June, I discovered a ‘new to me’ plant – a Striped Coralroot Orchid. I don’t know how long this […]
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The Polar Coordinate Filter – Lady’s Slipper Orchid

A Digital Marble (Amazing Circle) made from a photo of a Lady’s Slipper Orchid. Post 111

Common Raven

The Common Raven is entirely black – feathers, bill, eyes, legs and feet! Their wingspan is 45.7–46.5 in (116–118 cm). In size, they are about half again larger than an American Crow or Chihuahuan Raven. The captive ravens at the Tower of London in England are perhaps the most famous ravens in the world, and […]
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The Polar Coordinate Filter – Prickly Pear Cactus

A Digital Marble (Amazing Circle) made from a photo of Arizona Prickly Pear Cactus. Post 109

The ‘Don’t Touch Me’ World of Cactus Spines

Living in Arizona has taught me a few things about the Danger of Cactus Spines! While it is unlikely they would cause any serious reaction, the punctures can be painful! When I go on a ‘Nature’ walk, I carry a pair of pliers to pull cactus spines out of the soles of my shoes. When […]
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Arizona Bark Scorpion

Bark Scorpions are usually 2 – 3 inches long, are nocturnal, and eat crickets, roaches and other insects. Scorpions hibernate in the winter. This one was lurking in my broom closet, and unfortunately met an untimely ‘death by swiffer sweeper’. Scorpions glow in the dark if you shine a Black UV light on them, as […]
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