subtle shapes and colours   8 comments

Posted at 11:55 am in Uncategorized

It seems that the gap between my posts and travels continues to grow day by day. Opportunities to post have been few and far between, so you’re seeing events that happened about three weeks ago. I do plan to close that gap soon — once I am settled in the place I’ve chosen to winter. In the meantime, I’ll provide a quick sketch of where I’ve been since these photos were taken while crossing Saskatchewan in October.

I continued west into Alberta and British Columbia, then turned south at Cranbrook, B.C., crossing through the northwest corner of Idaho, then into the eastern side of Washington state, then down to the north edge of Oregon to travel west along the Columbia Gorge as far as Portland. From there, I began to move south through Oregon, visiting with friends along the way, then into the California redwoods of Del Norte and Humboldt counties. The weather took a serious turn for the worse while I was in the redwoods, so I moved east through the Trinity Alps region, visiting with friends in the Redding area, then on east and south through California and through the edge of Nevada on the way to Arizona. That’s about where I am now, with just a few hundred miles left to go. As mentioned, I will make an effort to post photos from these travels as there were many interesting things to be seen and those, in turn, inspired certain thoughts and ideas which might be nice to put down in writing.

Now, about these photos. While crossing the prairies, I tried to keep a sharp eye out for wildlife. As Clare mentioned in the comments to my last post, there is a lot to be seen while on the prairies. However, it’s a little more subtle than what we might be used to seeing out east where you either don’t see wildlife at all, or you see it up very close. On the prairies, gatherings of creatures are often seen from a great distance, so you must watch for subtle shapes and colours. The geese in the above photo were just such a case. From a couple of miles or more away, they looked like a tornado-shaped swirl of dark specks. As the distance closed, I could make out bird forms that appeared similar. At closer range, I realized that these were geese, probably mainly Canada and Snow Geese. Click on the above photo to see a much larger version. I’ve left it at full size so that you can see the geese better — so you’ll have to scroll around to see areas of the entire image.

Likewise, the below photo doesn’t look like much of anything, does it? However, if you click on it, you’ll see that there is a herd of Pronghorns grazing in a field which has been harvested. I was on the lookout for Pronghorns as I crossed the prairies and spotted them on a number of occasions — always at some distance from the highway, but easy to recognize by their white bellies and rumps. As some of you might remember, I wrote about Pronghorns on my Burning Silo blog two years ago.

Well, I have to get on the road, so must cut this short. However, I just wanted to let everyone know that I’m doing okay, as is Sabrina. We’re a bit weary from our travels and looking forward to settling down to get to know the natural history of one place this coming winter. I’ve been reading everyone’s comments (they come in on my email via the blackberry that I am carrying on this trip). I’m sorry that I haven’t been posting replies, but that’s been difficult and my days have been taken up with cooking over campfires, hiking, shooting photos, packing up the camping gear and moving on, visiting people, and occasionally checking in and out of motels here and there across the landscape. I think of everyone often and try to drop by to visit your blogs when I catch a moment of time on the net here and there. Take care all. I’ll try to put up another post soon. – Bev

Written by bev on November 13th, 2008