Long time no see!! I have been on a sorta social media break, I didn't realize how long it had been since my last post or even visited steemit at all...gee. I have a serious backlog of pictures and stories to post, I didn't even finish my Easter Banff trip yet. I don't really know why I haven't, lack the writing inspiration I guess. My auto-immune stuff has been acting up the last few months and it's really painful and I feel perma-exhausted, I suppose that is probably what murdered my writing mojo. Well lets get on with it shall we?
Shot 1/250 sec. f/5.6 300 mm, ISO 640
What has my summer been like so far? Well it started out great, I finished work, the temperature warmed up for like 3 days even had time to get a sunburn , got behind the lens anticipating a great summer of clear blue skies and warm endless 17 hour summer days we normally expect. Had a whole line up of places, outdoor concerts and festivals to visit around my city to keep me busy for the summer. So far it has been the soggiest summer I have ever experienced in Alberta, to be more specific, the wettest summer ever seen since the 80's. Talk about raining on my parade! In all honesty, I don't do rain unless I get paid big $$ for it or mountains are involved, I'm like a cat that way. Here is what I think of it:
Shot 1/250 sec. f/8 40 mm, ISO 140
So no outdoor concerts, no local tourism, no festivals...bummer. To be fair, we have been getting a mixed bag of crap here. There is a an old saying in Alberta, "If you don't like the weather, wait 15 minutes." On a good note, we are not on fire and smoked out like most summers, we desperately need the moisture as much as I hate to admit it. The down side, we get really wild and destructive storms with strong winds and tornadoes out here. These storms bring on hail ranging from the size of golf balls all the way up to the most recent grapefruit size. In an average summer, we generally get about a dozen tornado touchdowns in one season but so far, only being about halfway thru, we have pretty close to 20 already.
Almost every night, we have been getting crazy lightning storms that shakes the entire house in the thunder's rumble for hours at a time some storms reaching up to 6700 lightning strikes in one storm. It's both soothing and terrifying at the same time! It kinda reminds me of my first summer I arrived in 2006 when I went camping and a funnel cloud and severe thunderstorm suddenly formed over the field we were camping in and my tent got caught in the wind and had to chase it down the hill in flash rain for a while, a tornado touched down like 5 minute drive away. Close one! That was my first weekend and camping experience in Alberta. Quite a few years ago, a crazy storm with a funnel cloud came raging thru my old neighborhood and caused 3 million dollars worth of damage. Trees were torn up everywhere, some on vehicles or almost crushing houses, entire streets blocked with debris. Entire city parks ripped to shreds. Made for an interesting photo shoot, took over a week for the city to clean up all the mess.
Interestingly enough, there was an ACDC outdoor concert at the Commonwealth Stadium that night during the storm and it was so loud I could hear it very well from my place. Talk about setting a mood!! Can't make that shit up. My life is a series of strange coincidences like that. Never know what mother nature has in store for us WILD WILD WEST...YEEHAA...lol, no rest for the wicked.
Shot 1/250 sec. f/5.6 300 mm, ISO 450
Since I have no intentions on dodging grapefruit size sky ice bullets and 6700 lightning strikes, I have been a bit of a home body this summer and my strong start to the summer of bird photography and discovering my city's culture bomb of countless festival and street art shows came to a halt in a hurry.
This summer, our fence got changed and our very small back yard got a bit of a redesign. Well lets be honest here, all we have is a bird feeder 😂😂. It used to be more in the middle and the fence was shorter and those little winged bastards hated it and never visited. Now we moved it to the corner of the much taller fence and under the old overgrown tree and they just love it like it's the next best thing since sliced bread!
Shot 1/500 sec. f/5.6 300 mm, ISO 400
Now that mother nature is somewhat stable, I could hear all this activity in the yard and birds signing today and I made a point to monitor it all day for different species we attracted over the summer just by changing the location of the bird feeder to a more sheltered location. I think this little cutie is now nested in the big tree and climbs down, grabs a seed and climbs back up and stops halfway thru to analyse the surroundings and will do that over and over again. I wonder if it's hoarding for winter? Anyhow, there was definitely a nest with some very talkative and excitable babies up there for a few weeks but I think they are grown now.
Shot 1/200 sec. f/5.6 300 mm, ISO 800
I observed at least 4 different types of birds visiting just today(didn't get good pics of them all) so who knows how many we have attracted over the summer! The big ol' tree sucks up all the nutrients out of the ground so we were never able to grow flowers or any sort of garden whatsoever, we kind of just gave up on doing anything with it but now that fence seems to be a game changer and maybe next year I can work on diversifying the menu and attract more species and build a bit of a bird sanctuary like my old place and just hang out there in a hammock with the camera on hand and wait.
1/250 sec. f/5.6 300 mm, ISO 720
When will I snap out of my anti social media funk and come back with my stories and pictures? I'm not sure really this post was an attempt at trying to get the ball rollin, we'll see what comes of it 😌. I hope you are all having a great summer and continue to have a great last few sunshine weeks left. Hopefully the rain stops for a while and I can get out there and find my inspiration wherever I left it.
Shot 1/200 sec. f/5.6 300 mm, ISO 800
All images taken with Nikon D7000 and Nikkor 70-300 mm lens.