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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Chasing Purple Sandpipers


  1. Wow! What a place! The birds are so charming. And the ROCK formations! My favorite is photo number 6 - it seems as if the earth has split and is pouring into itself. How lucky you are to have seen that! It looks like a place where all of your senses would be going flat out. Here on the Prairies, it is the migrating waxwings that fly in similar sized flocks and formations. They are moving through now, and they lift off of trees (where they look like masses of overgrown fruit) chattering, swooping and diving as a group until they rest on another tree. They are the epitome of high energy and joy.

  2. Thanks for kind words and depth of appreciation for nature Karin. Actually most of the photos in this sequence are posted elsewhere on my blog in dribbles and dabs, but a colleague is doing a presentation on Purple Sandpipers and needed photos. One of the greatest privileges of my work as a biologist is to visit remote, isolated and sometimes very beautiful places in Nova Scotia and elsewhere. Truly wild places are getting harder and harder to find as humans leave their mark. The prairie too I am sure for you, especially in winter has its poetry with space and time defined in new light, new perspectives yielded to the mind's inner eye. Take care!

    1. So nice to hear from you! I was blessed with a mother who was a biologist with a highly developed sense of wonder. I grew up surrounded by enthusiasm for Nature in all its glory, helping my mom with lab & fieldwork. I have to say, when I moved to the Prairies I grieved for years the loss of the Eastern flora & fauna that were my friends. I finally came to see the subtle beauty of the prairie landscape, where the skyscape and the landscape are indivisible; perhaps the ocean has a similar impact in the Maritimes. Today we had Sundogs (thanks to the bitter cold that left countless ice crystals hanging in the air), looking like rainbow hands curving around a baleful eye of sun. And the cold dry air keeps the snow dry, which is in turn packed and sculpted by the winds into fantastical curves that capture the shadows through the day, shifting through varying blues, purples and apricot. Subtle beauty. Enjoyed the cello piece too.

  3. Hello Mark. I wonder if the Purple Sandpipers dream in music as I imagine they would fly to Rachel Lander's glorious playing.
    I often think of you working out there and think you are a blessed man with a job you love and beauty surrounding you. I hope you don't have too many days stuck in the office. Later, gater. Carole