Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fort Whyte Alive!

Well, today's trip to Fort Whyte Alive was pretty much a disaster. High winds meant that none of the birds were flying, and outside of the birds, well, there isn't much to see at Fort Whyte Alive.

There were quite a few ducks and geese in the water, but I can get those pictures any day with any lens. I wanted shots in flight, and I never got one.

Well, here is the best of what I did get:

Abandoned Train Tracks

Old train tracks criss-cross through the centre and nature is slowly reclaiming their land. I was looking for a 'vanishing point' sort of picture here, but the undergrowth took away the visibility of the tracks after a few dozen feet. Still I like the shot.

Purple Martin housing

Mosquitos are hell in Winnipeg. There is a lot of water and hot summers here, so they spawn in incredible numbers. Fort Whyte Alive uses all natural pest control methods, including attracting Purple Martins who are great mosquito predators. The love these high-rise communal houses, and you see them in fields all around the city. This pole is about 60' high, and probably house a few hundred Martins.

They aren't working. I got eaten alive.

Dragonfly on a gravel path

Another part of the mosquito control methods used at Fort Whyte is the introduction of scores of Dragonflies. See my last note as to their effectiveness.

This guy moved before I could change lenses and go macro, and in hindsight I'm okay with that because trying to change out that lens on a gravel trail would not be, you know, SMART.

Three unknown birds

This is my favourite shot of the afternoon. These poor little guys were hunkering down in the face of the wind, and did not look happy. I just like the minimalism of the shot, and something about the composition is pleasing. The sky colour is also pretty peaceful and relaxing.

These guys were just about thirty or forty feet up in a tree, and this is the full frame, so you get a good idea of the reach on that 70-200mm on a crop body like my XSi.

So on the ride home, I stopped at Tim Horton's for an iced capp. If you aren't in Canada, or near a Timmies, I feel for you. Anyhow, I saw a curious machine in the parking lot. I asked for permission to take a shot and the owner stepped in for me.

My first stranger photo! Yay!

Three wheeled biker

It was quite the machine, three-wheeled and rear engined and built mostly from unfinished steel. Too bad you can't see the guy's purple mohawk under his helmet. Nice guy, he didn't knife me or anything!


  1. Great bike shot!

    Lots of good photos on your blog.

    Keep up the good work!


  2. Thanks! Ironic that my best shot (arguably) didn't actually come at my destination for that trip :)