Autumn is a time of unparalleled beauty on the west coast of Canada. The mixed forests of deciduous and coniferous trees become a patchwork of red, yellow, orange and green. I was fortunate to be out with my camera on a day that also included a dusting of snow in the mountains. I thoroughly enjoyed chasing the light and Fall colours. Click on a photo to see a larger version and use the left and right keys to scroll through the gallery.
The weather forecast wasn’t very promising, but I was determined to spend the day taking photos of the Fall colours. Timing peak colours each Fall is an imperfect science, and the ideal time and place one year can turn out to be a disappointment the next. The reason leaves change is because of a decrease in photosynthetic activity as the days get shorter in the Fall. I like this photo because of the vibrant colours and how the trees lead the viewer into the photo, creating a sense of depth. Click on the image to see a larger version with a black background.
This morning I was fortunate to spend some time photographing a Anna’s hummingbird ( Calypte anna ). The males of this genus are distinctive, with elongated gorgets and iridescent crowns. The three photos below are of the same adult male Anna’s hummingbird. You can only see the iridescent crown from a certain angle, when the hummingbird is looking directly at you.
The AquaTech Rain Shield protects your camera equipment from rain, snow, dust or salt. They come in four different sizes ( i.e. small, medium, large and extra large ). It’s made from three-ply ripstop waterproof breathable fabric for excellent water shedding performance. While most high end cameras and lenses are weather sealed, you need additional protection if you’re going to be taking images in the rain for a prolonged period of time. If you are in a boat they protect your camera equipment from being splashed and ruined by corrosive salt water.
They come with a silicone-sealed window that allows you to see the LCD on the back of your camera and there is also a weatherproof sleeve that allows you access to the controls on your camera. You need to order a AquaTech eyepiece for your specific camera and choose the right size for your lens. I’ve used AquaTech Rains Shields for a couple of years now and I’ve been impressed with their performance in bad weather. They are well designed, functional to use in the field and bombproof if you are shooting images during a deluge.
Adult Bald Eagles ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus ) obtain their food by hunting and killing, while younger birds rely more on scavenging and piracy. This morning I was photographing adult and juvenile Bald Eagles feeding on salmon carcasses. It takes four or five years to achieve its distinctive coloration. I hope the juvenile Bald Eagle will be okay because it has less than a 50 percent chance of reaching adulthood.
A Bald Eagle ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus ) shows its two metre wingspan. You can see in the photo that the Bald Eagle is watching me. They have excellent eyesight and can see four to seven times farther than humans.
Four Canada Geese ( Branta canadensis ) glide in for a landing on a marsh. Thousands of ‘honkers’ migrate north and south each year, creating long V-formations. However, more and more of these grassland-adapted birds are staying put in urban and suburban areas year-round.
Early this morning I was taking images of three Lesser Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) in a marsh. An elegant bird, gray in colour, with a distinct red crown. They are known for their dancing skills. Courting cranes stretch their wings, pump their heads, bow, and leap into the air in a graceful and energetic dance.
The weather was cloudy and the light wasn’t great for taking photos. So the photos I was happiest with, were the ones that didn’t have any dull sky in the background. A good tip, when taking photos of wildlife on an overcast day, is to isolate your subject without any sky in your images. Dull light = dull pictures.
The Belted Kingfisher ( Ceryle alcyon ) catches fish by plunge-diving headfirst. My experience with Belted Kingfishers is that they are loud, noisy and skitterish. I was fortunate to find this male Belted Kingfisher perched on a post. In the image, you can clearly see its shaggy crest.
The alarm clock rang at 4:30 a.m. and I was out the door a half hour later. My goal was to take images of the beautiful Fall colours we experience during the month of October. I like this photo because of the range of colours.