Another lovely week here on the prairies, with sunshine and warm temperatures right through to the end of the weekend. Today we're under grey skies, sitting close to freezing 0C/32F and with drizzle interspersed with the occasional snowflake. However, we're supposed to be back into double digits by next weekend, so all is not yet over with our fall. I might eventually get some leaves raked if the snow holds off long enough.
I had another go-round of the ongoing game of "tech challenge", this time with my printer, which in uncharacteristic fashion decided to go rogue on me just when I most need it. It took a good couple of days and a lot of ink for me to sort it out, but for the moment it's functioning and doing what it should. Now I need to apply myself to getting ahead of my pre-Christmas sale production while things are good.
It's been a good week for spotting birds of various sorts on my forays into the countryside. I often take the quiet "graveyard" road to the stables, as I can poke along and stop for photos as required. I had just gone past a marshy area beside the road one day last week when it registered that I had seen a great blue heron. It was still there, close to the road, when I got the car turned around and returned to the spot where he was resting, but of course by the time I focussed the camera, he was already retreating. Then a second one lifted out of the long grasses and joined him in a stately departure. Sadly, this will likely be their last year in this nice spot as the city continues to gobble up surrounding land and habitat in endless new suburbs. Makes me sad.
On Sunday, a visiting friend and I headed out to the Pike Lake area to visit the glass show at Solar Gardens and to tour around the back roads of the area. Outward bound, we stopped at the side of the road to photograph some of the many sandhill cranes that were poking around in a field of large bales. There are a *lot* of sandhills in the area this year, many more than I've seen before.
Here's a shot of the east aspect of Solar Gardens, as seen from the entry road. I love the mix of art and nature in this shot. While I was there, I took the opportunity to top up my supply of the amazing plum chutney they carry in the tasting studio. It's beyond wonderful.
As we worked our way back from Pike Lake, we came upon a huge number of geese on a little backwater area between the lake and the nearby South Saskatchewan river. The majority of them were snow geese, with a good number of Canada geese interspersed, likely several thousand in all. The visuals of a flock like this are amazing, but the sound they make is almost more impressive.
Most of the leaves on the trees around here are now down, revealing a good crop of berries on many of the decorative varieties around the city. I'm always fond of oranges and yellows, and had to stop to get shot of these berries in the warm late afternoon light. I don't know what sort of berries they are, but the tree was thick with them and made a very striking sight.