A Lucky Bird Has a Tale to Tell…

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Convective development over Granite

As has been my habit of late, I’ve been taking a little extra time getting home after my work week at the Lodge. Camera in hand, I’ve decided to explore some of the viewpoints and vistas that serve as the backdrop to my weekly commute. In the past,  I would have just motored through, intent to get home for a much needed rest. The normal pace of events at Baldface during and after the ski season can be relentless and can eventually wear you down. This summer the pace has been a lot more reasonable and I’ve actually been able to take a breath and enjoy the scenery for a change. That’s not to say I’m not working hard and getting shit done, on the contrary. It just hasn’t been as… relentless.

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The scene as I came around the corner

Something I regularly pay attention to is quality of light. Be it sunlight filtering through broken clouds, the contrast of bright and dark on a distant ridge or the simple beauty of a rainbow on a spring afternoon, I enjoy shooting it all. Sometimes, the search for a vantage point can become it’s own little adventure.

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Bonnington squall

This afternoon, I was once again struck by the raw beauty of the place we call home. Near the Bonnington Dam, looking down the valley toward Castlegar, a small rainshower was being brightly backlit above a layered landscape. Each of the small ridges between the squall and myself seemed to overlap the one behind. It reminded me of one of those watercolour serigraphs of progressively darker overlapping mountains.

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Layers upon layers…

Dicing with traffic on the highway to get to and from these viewpoints safely was the hardest part of the whole process. I decided that, since I was in the neighborhood, I’d go and see if I could find a place I had installed a septic tank and field, about ten years ago, on Bonnington Road. Driving up the hill, the light was filtering through the trees with the occasional storm cloud providing great contrast. I couldn’t decide if I found the right place or not though. The neighborhood has been built up since my last visit and, while I think I found the right place, it looked too different from my recollection to be sure. I think it might have been the vinyl siding…

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Birdy wants to play Chicken…

On a whim I drove up to the next road and decided to explore that one too. I could tell immediately it wasn’t the right road as the houses were wrong and there was a cul-de-sac at the end. As I approached the end of the road, a small bird, roughly the size of a Robin, alighted on the pavement directly in front of my car. I expected it to flit away again but to my dismay it just sat there until I was right on top of it. It’s not like I was speeding either, dopey bird just didn’t react… As I passed over it’s last seen point I checked my mirror to see if it got clear. While Birdy looked like she got rolled a bit and appeared whole and undamaged, it continued to sit in the middle of the road. I turned around at the end of the cul-de-sac and took a few shots of this very lucky bird.

july_27_2015_D2X_0868As I approached from the opposite direction I continued to snap away with the camera. I got steadily closer but  the bird still it did not vacate the road. I finally managed to shoo it to the shoulder and pulled over to park. I had been so intently focused on the plight of the bird I had not noticed the car creeping along behind me on the previously deserted lane. A somewhat baffled and annoyed gentleman and his wife passed me with a gruff look. My apologies…

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Lucky Bird

Lucky Bird had by his time flown a short distance into the thicket and had alighted on a small sapling. I approached slowly and quietly to get a better look at it’s condition. It was the least I could do after ruining his day like that. While it did look a little shocky and had a few fluffed feathers on it’s right wing, it didn’t seem overtly distressed or damaged. Lucky Bird was still a bit messed up though, as it let me get to within 7 or 8 feet of it’s perch looking nervous but too dazed to fly off. I took some more pictures, said my farewells and wished him luck on the rest of his day.

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Red Mountain
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Granite
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Red & Granite from Genelle
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Columbia valley at Genelle

A few more stops along the way, more amazing light and scenery, then just like that the Sun is behind the ridge and the show is over. Then it’s pedal to the metal as I’m now late for dinner at The Ace of Taste with Carolyn, in Trail.

Just goes to show, you never know where you might find your next mini-adventure. Just pull over and take a picture…

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