Sunday, 20 November 2011

Colquitz River Park

Colquitz River Park can be divided easily into two parks.  Narrow strips of land on either side of this wide creek have been reserved for a walking trail and wildlife corridor and extend quite a distance.  They also connect other parks in the area making for a nice long stroll through green space.  Where the creek enters the Gorge Inlet the waters become muddied and tidal.  A small flood plain emerges and the underbrush is thick.  A large low hill raises above this and holds a mixed wood of evergreens, oaks and other decidious trees.  I ventured forth with my camera.

I have no idea what sort of berry these are, but they've been fascinating me for ages.  Thankfully I finally got off my ass and got some images of them.  Depending on where they were they were either frosty or not and in some cases they were even crusted in ice.

 The creek and inlet create several situations where bridges are needed to get from various parts of the park to adjacent areas.  I imagine at one time these bridges were completely wood but now their superstructure is heavey steel.



 The day's outting was marvelous, if a bit nippy.  With chilled fingers and dripping nosed I headed back to the car thinking I'd had a good outting and got all the shots I would.  I was walking past the big bush just opposite the multi-plex movie theatre when I heard them.  The unmistakeable high pitch racket I hear in my backyard as I'm being chastized for letting the ants steal all their food.  Anna's Hummingbirds.  About a dozen of them, all fighting over the same bush.  Zip and dart and circle and chase.  How the heck are they finding enough food to gain the 6600 plus calories they need in a day?

I was shocked to find out that the Anna's Hummingbirds are resident to Victoria year round.  What the heck they eat when all the nectar filled flowers are dead and all the insects are gone is beyond me.  The males of the species have a ruby red head and I'm uncertain about this here bird.  It could be male and the iridescent feathers are at the wrong angle to show the colour or it could be juvenile and not yet in adult plummage.  It could also be female.  Regarless of sex, it was being quite accomodating and sitting on a low branch that allowed me to take oodles of pictures of good quality.  Just as I was packing my telephoto lens back into the bag it had a little poop and flew off.

This one is definately male.  He was loud and brash and his head was bright, ruby red.  He was also sitting WAY up at the top of the bush all the other hummers were fighting over.  I had to go in with software and try to get his crest to show as the combination of distance and being backlit had his looking quite dark and not at all as spectacular as he really.  I'm not fully happy with the result so I guess I'll be buying a stronger lens some time in the future.

52 Weeks Autumn Addendum

I have been adhering to the timeline for the 52 Weeks project, which is 1 photo posted of relatively the same shot per week.  Once that shot is posted I cannot add another even if a new day brings better weather or circumstance.  This happened this week.  I got up on Saturday and it was frosty like crazy.  It was early in the morning and I knew where I wanted to go to take pictures, but it also hit me that Burnside and Munn road would also be frosty.  I snuck out of the house all bundled up against the cold.  First stop... Burnside and Munn roads.  The photo project might disallow me adding more than one picture per week to the project entry.  It does not stop me from adding shots of the same property in new entries.

The land at Burnside and Munn roads is so lovely.  I'm having serious envy issues having now seen the owners leaving the gated property on several ocassions as I was snapping shots.  This morning the frost and the hard, clear light made it beautiful.  I keep hoping to catch some deer in one of the shots as I see them in the fields quite often whilst driving home from work.

Several snaps later it was time to continue on my way.  I'd been thinking of another shot every time I drove by a clump of pampas grass someone has in their garden.  The light hits it a certain way and it glows.  It's hard to get things like this to translate to a photo sometimes and I was wondering if it would work.  Having seen the results I cannot judge and I'll have to leave it up to you.

Finding parking on this section of road is impossible so I had to pull into the narrow, steep driveway to the tiny parking lot at Knockan Hill Park.  The maple trees are located in this driveway. 

Join me in the next entry to see Colquitz River Park.