Birds and Blooms
Celebrating nature’s glory, from majestic owls and delicate hummingbirds to bountiful blossoms.
As a novice birder and amateur photographer—and after seeing everyone else’s beautiful owl photographs—i longed for “my day” to come along. Here in our small town of Blackfalds, we don’t often spot these birds nearby, so on a week off from work, I headed to Calgary in hopes of getting the opportunity of a lifetime.
A friend of mine took me to two Calgary parks, Shannon Terrace and Fish Creek Provincial Park, and, at last, my dream day had arrived. I was first given the gift of spotting northern pygmy owls; in the world of photography in Calgary, this was the bird equivalent of a celebrity sighting—what a delight! After the excitement of seeing a pair of pygmy owls, we then headed to Fish Creek Provincial Park, where I was blessed to see a male great horned owl sleeping soundly in a tree. I was dancing with glee and had joy in my heart, what a day!
As we walked, I cherished the scents and sounds of the life around us. After being given a small amount of seed, I held out my hand and my heart sang with sheer happiness when chickadees and nuthatches gathered to feed.
On the return trip, the final gift I had long waited for arrived. I spotted my first snowy owl, a female sitting proudly on a fence line in rural Alberta. I was speechless and profoundly grateful.
A few miles further down the road we were lucky enough to see yet another snowy owl, this time a male. Could all this be real? There it sat, perched high on its lofty pole, allowing a few photographs to be snapped by this dreamer. Memories to last a lifetime.
My heart was full of gratitude to these beautiful and magnificent creatures. One more male snowy owl appeared, gracing my eyes with its sheer wild beauty. My dream day consisted of not one owl sighting, but six! I bow in thanksgiving to grand Mother Earth. ■
A great horned owl catching 40 winks.