Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Tour of The West Side, Led By Broken Beak of The Vermilon River.

If you follow this blog at all you've heard me say that the west side of the River is Raven country. Now, Ravens are magical birds in the mythology of many people. The story I love the most is the Viking one that has two Ravens sit at the shoulders of Oden, king of the gods, to dispense wisdom. Although they're tricksters, so you must be careful in the interpretation of their advice. One is called Huegin, and this is Huegin's descendant, Huegin" Broken Beak" clan warlord, and chief of the Vermilon  Ravens. 

Broken Beak will lead our tour, and fortunate we are to have him as both a physical, and a spiritual guide, for he and his clan of six other Ravens will summon up some awe inspiring sights for us. Read the copy and click the photos to enlarge and enjoy the slide show.

So let's go as this younger member of the Clan is eager to get on the way.

This is the trail, but deeper in the black spruce forest than you've seen before. The day promised to  be fair, but was only intermittently so. You can see the light on the trail. This is a long post so I'll use captions where I can. But I wanted to add the White-breasted Nuthatches and the Bohemian Waxwings were of course a favour from Broken Beak.

The Ridge To The NW, as we begin.

Again showing the height of the ridge.

Blue Jay- cousin of the Crow and Raven

Blue Jay.

Black-capped Chickadee.

Black-capped Chickadee.

Black-capped Chickadee.

Close up

Shooting in the thick black spruce trees adds a light of its own in the background, which I especially like.

Blue Jay

I put this female Hairy Woodpecker here in the sequence, so you could see the difference with the Downy's below. Her beak is bigger; she's bigger, and  there are no black lines on her white tail feathers. Great that we saw both.

Male Downy

Male And Female Downy-Quite a coup seeing them together.

Pine Sisken showing the yellow well.

Again showing the yellow.

Front view.


This was really a stoke of luck as I have been looking for the White-breasted Nuthatches for some time. They're usually hanging upside down on a tree trunk,so are hard to shoot. There were about five of them, and they posed which is also unlike them.

White-breasted Nuthatch.

This was a real surprise as I couldn't get close to this tree, but look at the red under tails on these birds. They're Bohemian Waxwings. We're fortunate to have both Cedar and the Bohemian variety. There still must be some berries in the undergrowth.

Close Up Bohemian Waxwing.

A Female Common Redpoll. But look at the woodpecker damage to the black spruce base. Remember, the black spruce forest is a haven for wildlife. It was here that I saw the Black-backed Woodpecker last fall.

Female Common Redpoll

I wasn't sure if we would see any squirrels, although we could hear them. But true to his word Broken Beak got them out.

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel

I was worried that if the sun was too strong it would degrade the trail and we wouldn't get to the rapids. But here we are. The River never totally freezes. The ice on the slower parts is breaking up now, and soon will be on the feeder rivers. Then the rapids will be in a full spring rage.

White Water

A post to MWT@ http://ourworldtuesdaymeme.blogspot.com/  and WBW @ http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/  I hope you enjoyed participating in a Viking Saga, and if you did you are appointed an honourary member of the Raven Clan.

56 comments:

  1. Thank you for the awesome tour of the West Side Viking Saga, Broken Beak. I particularly enjoyed the White-breasted Nuthatch and Bohemean Waxwings.

    Since I am one of the first visitors, does this make me a "Senior" honourary member? ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes and belonging to the clan allows you to turn unlikeable people into toads for fun and sport. Boom & Gary.

      Delete
  2. Excellent post. Great compositions!!!
    Best regaards,

    ReplyDelete
  3. wonder how broken beak arrived in that state. the nuthatches were a nice sight as well as the bohemians! and i love your squirrels, but you already know that...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Theu are territorial, and I expect that happened in a fight. Boom & Gary.

      Delete
  4. I think, if I lived near birds like these, I might learn to take an interest. I've never got the hang of them where I live.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's amazing the BB can survive in a challenging habitat. Funny-- my brain filled in the missing tip as it it were the sun reflecting off it. I had to enlarge the photo to finally accept reality.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice! Enjoyed this post. In these parts, Raven is the creator. He is called "Kawks" in one of the native languages. He stole the sun from a greedy old man and placed it in the sky. "Raven releases the sun" is a story common throughout the Northwest Coast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dave. There are many legends that feature the Raven. If you know one, post in the comments, BB will bless you with good luck and the ability to turn a jerk you know into a toad. Come on you really want to try that!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

      Delete
  7. wonderful! I really enjoy your bird and squirrel pictures

    ReplyDelete
  8. Splendid shots! I particularly like the close-up of the Bohemian Waxwing.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Corvids are my favorite birds. I was happy to take the journey with the Raven. I believe that they are some of the most intelligent beings who certainly have no problem laughing as their inferiors such as me. Your bird pics are wonderful! I really love seeing the beautiful waxwing. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Brilliant photos, and the one of Red Squirrel is gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Another wonderful tour Gary... I hope broken beak has a long life.
    Take care.

    ReplyDelete
  12. A great walk you took us on there Gary. Lots of good bird pics too.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love the close up of your black capped chickadee.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Gary

    I am glad you have found such a strong spirit guide for your trips Ravens appear often in my mother-in-law's art so they are important images for our entire family. I loved the delicate colours on your first shot of the Nuthatch and the last Chickadee with the wonderful background light was great.

    All the best.
    Guy

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great job getting that nuthatch right side up!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi there - great images of the raven - as has been said, I wonder how he gets by?

    Splendid set of other images as well - on a trip like this one how many shots would you take to get the ones you use?

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On a hike like this, I would shoot about 400 shots of which I would edit out about 20% after uploading. Certainly some are better than others, but in reality a lot of the remaining are useuable, I just don't have the time to post and show 20 plus photos more than twice a week, especially if I'm researching and writing something to go along with the photos and visiting other sites that I like. Boom & Gary.

      Delete
  17. Gary I just loved this tour of the forest where you are. The bird photos are fabulous. You and Boomer seem to live in a cold arboreal paradise until the Spring comes.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great post again Gary. We have a pair of Ravens that fly over our garden and they are certainly very imposing birds.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I always love the tours you take us on and this one is no exception! Love the roaring river, the beautiful birds and I, too, hope "broken beak" makes it! And, of course, the delightful squirrels! Hope you and Boomer have a great week!

    Sylvia

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you so much for the beautiful tour and the great series of birds. You are a real ornithologist!
    I wish you a terrific week.

    ReplyDelete
  21. So much beauty in your world. I love all of the shots and great seeing the birds, squirrels and rushing water.

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a beautiful place to walk. Love the bird and the gorgeous scenery. Great shots.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Yes, as always amazing pictures of birds, those curious crow with its beak broken. Greetings.

    ReplyDelete
  24. your wildlife is so rich. I envy you.

    ReplyDelete
  25. These bird pictures are superb!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Your close ups of the little birds are gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Lots of great pics, nicely done. Really like the raven ones.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wonderful collection of birds - we have ravens here too. Love to see and hear them!

    Carolina Mts

    ReplyDelete
  29. Great image series, Gary. You know i'm a sucker for the birds anyway. I'm sending you a big old, raven KRONK KRONK from the east coast!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, Robin you speak Raven!! Boom & Gary.

      Delete
  30. I love taking the virtual walks with you along the river. Love all the bird photos.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I bet it's hard to keep up with you on your walks... except for Boomer, of course.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Such delightful photos! We love our critters, don't we?! I have some photos of the nuthatches, too. I love them.
    Cheers from Cottage Country!

    ReplyDelete
  33. It's such a beautiful world you live in!
    Your pics from the birds and the squirrel are fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  34. amazing that no matter how cold there's still such an abundance of wildlife, birds especially, where you live Gary. Amazing how those petite bodies and pretzel-like legs survive it all.

    ReplyDelete
  35. What an absolute treat to be able to see all these beautiful critters in one post. You even have my buddies the squirrel. Some I've never seen, the pine sisken who is absolutely adorable. Such wonderful details on all of these. Fantastic post, I really enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Such a gret serie from the birds and the nature, I really like the pine sisken! Your jay do not really look like ours.
    Greetings Susanne

    ReplyDelete
  37. Loved the tour with Broken Beak!
    I saw your reply about taking 400 shots. That's me too.
    You always get some great shots. I'm impressed with the nuthatch poses! Too many of mine are their behinds cause they move so quickly. :)
    Lovely series as always!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Broken Beak must be one of the wisest Ravens to survive with that beak! Wonderful post Gary!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I'm sure you and Broken Beak have appointed a bunch of new honorary members today -- because everyone who viewed this post fell in love with it I'm sure! I watched as a slide-show after I'd read through the post .. wonderful both ways. Thank you soooo much

    ReplyDelete
  40. That was a wonderful tour, Gary and Broken Beak! Your wildlife shots are abundant and wonderful. The last shots of the rushing water are really beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Great post Gary; and express my thanks to Huegin 'Broken Beak', for taking us there.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Amazing captures, Gary. I don't see ravens much here in Nebraska -- they are such noble birds, in my opinion. :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. Great photos as always. Seems a little early for "break up" but maybe not..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Remember the Vermilon is a river and not a lake. The ice only forms on its wide, slower areas; otherwise it's open all year.

      Delete
  44. A beautiful post cloaked in the mystery and mythology of the North Woods by the master himself. Consider me part of the tribe if you please. Walk on Brother!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Consider yourself in!! Boom, Gary and Broken Beak.

      Delete
  45. What a wonderful suite of photos, Gary. Winter seems to be hanging on with a vengeance in your neck of the woods. Hope you get a taste of Spring soon.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Beautiful post!
    Thanks for the wonderful tour, loved it!
    Have a great weekend.
    Greetings Mette

    ReplyDelete