Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Alberta Spring

      What a relief, spring has sprung in Alberta. No matter that the past winter was not too bad and certainly not as bad as it can be, the long frozen darkness is finally lightening and greening.
Canada Goose Splash-down

     Canada geese have been back from their winter holiday for about a month or so and a few hearty mallards with them. Now, with the greening trees I see most of the regular summer time birds are back with mates and building new nests. On my regular walk around the storm water Broadmore Lake, I can hear Red-necked Grebes calling as they gather nesting material.
Red-necked Grebes Gathering Nesting Material
Mallards are tipped, wigwam up, feeding on invisible-to-me duck snacks. There is a Common Golden-eye with an unusual rusty coloured cheek patch resting on the island shore line. There is another Golden-eye couple paddling and diving as they bond and get to know each other. There was even a Common Merganser pair resting on the island among several nesting geese. Magpie squawked a warning over it's covered nest while it's mate warmed their precious clutch of eggs.
Dry Island Provincial Park Buffalo Jump
       Most of all, I enjoy watching the countryside green up. With the warm sun coaxing leaf buds, then fully flushing trees with bright and fresh leaves, the drab greys and tans are highlighted with brilliant greens.
Birch Catkins

Willow and Birch catkins, Black Poplar sticky-buds and fresh leaves along with bunches of Trembling Aspen groves greening blotches on the river breaks and bottom lands bring renewed optimism to the land. This morning I could smell rain in the air blended with pungent poplar sap to refresh the cool air. What a great time of the year.
Sticky, Pungent Black Poplar

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