Whoop! Whoop!

I went for a drive in the country this morning. Despite the chilly and windy weather, it was a great morning. Here’s what I saw:

The picture’s a little fuzzy, but these are Snow Geese. There are two kinds – the white ones and the ones that are dark grey with white heads, which are the blue morphs. The ones that are all dark (see the one in the top left corner) are the juvenile blue morphs, and the white ones with some grey (see the ones in lower right corner, who are preening) are the juvenile whites. The two geese in the middle, that look like short-necked Canada Geese, are called Cackling Geese. They are new to my list. Next up:

These are Sandhill Cranes, also new to my list. Here’s a little better picture of an individual:

But the awesomest part of the day (I know there’s no such word as awesomest – but there should be!) is what I saw next – and the reason for the joyous title for this post:

Yep – Whooping Cranes! There was a group (a flock? what do you call a group of Whooping Cranes? I think it should be a whack – a whack of Whooping Cranes – make it so…) There was a whack of Whooping Cranes – ten adults and one juvenile. Here’s the best shot I got of the juvenile:

It’s the rust-coloured one, third from the right. I know the pictures are small and kind of fuzzy, but I took them from the road. I thought it was more important to respect these majestic birds’ space than get a perfect picture. Here’s one when two others came in for a landing:

Needless to say, Whooping Cranes are also new to my list. I was thrilled to see these magnificent creatures, who on their way back from the brink of extinction. Now there’s something to be thankful for!

Cypress Hills

Last weekend I was in Cypress Hills Provincial Park with my writing group – The Children’s Writers’ Round Robin (aka The Robins). It was a fabulous weekend, both weatherwise and writerwise. Here we are on Saturday afternoon, relaxing outside and talking shop.

 I did get a few chances to go for a walk and take some pictures of the local wildlife.

















Yep, that last one is a rooster. We were walking around the small lake behind the Cypress Hills Resort and came across a man fishing. There beside him was this rooster. Jill asked him if it was his pet, but he said it wasn’t and that he didn’t know where it came from, but it seemed happy to watch him fish! I’m guessing the poor thing was a hungry escapee from someone who raises prize poultry. Poor thing.

Saturday night we went to a presentation at the Dark Sky Preserve Observatory. Very cool, although we didn’t get to see much because the full moon was so bright. But that was pretty cool, too. Here’s the observatory and the presentation building in the daylight.

Before we left the park on Sunday, we drove to Lookout Point for a picture. With the fall colours, it was absolutely gorgeous.

It was a fantastic weekend with a fantastic group of women in a fantastic part of Saskatchewan. Despite the long drive, I’d love to go back someday and spend more time hiking all the trails. Someday.