Pine siskin




On February 25th, my friend Darren and I went out to the Elbow area to shoot the star-lit sky.  We started out along the Elbow River.  It was a beautiful night, only -7C, and very clear.


Later on in the evening we moved to Elbow Falls.  By then, the early-bird photographers had left and the constellation Orion had moved into a good position.


Here is an annotated version, showing the stars and constellations.

  • In the center is Orion, the hunter.  The four stars defining it are Betelgeuse (a red supergiant), Rigel (a blue-white supergiant), Bellatrix, and Saiph.
  • To the left is Sirius, the dog star, in the constellation Canis Major.  Canis Major is the dog at the foot of Orion, the hunter.  Sirius is the brightest star in the sky.  Mars, Venus, and Jupiter are brighter, but they are planets and not stars.
  • Above is Procyon, the eighth-brightest star in the sky.  It is in Canis Minor, the small dog accompanying Orion.
  • At the top left is the M44 Beehive cluster.  This star cluster is also known as praesepe, the manger.
  • To the right of Orion is Aldebaran, the eye of Taurus, the bull.  Aldebaran is a red giant.  To the right of it is the Pleiades star cluster.
  • At the top right is the constellation Auriga, with the bright star Capella.  Capella is the sixth-brightest star in the sky.  The Milky Way runs through Auriga.
  • At the bottom is some glow caused by dust from Mars.  Yes, that’s right, glowing Martian dust.  This glow is also called Zodiacal light.


Bald eagle surveying his domain.  Near Blackie, Alberta.


These two housefinches stuck closely together as they flew around the yard.  They must be closely bonded, and that was endearing to watch.  They puffed up their feathers in the -20C cold.







Red-breasted nuthatch.


Mule deer, Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park.


A flock of waxwings visited my garden this morning.  In the span of about 1/2 hour they stripped my ash tree of berries.  It was -28C outside, and I’m sure these birds need a lot of fuel to stay warm.




Here are some Bighorn sheep.  Radium Hot Springs, BC.  At this time of the year the sheep are at their healthiest and strongest.  These rams are built of solid muscle.  I was hoping for a bout of headbutting, but I didn’t get to see a fight.




Bald Eagle, Near Kimberley, BC.




Black-capped chickadees



Mountain chickadees.  These look just a little bit different than the more common black-capped chickadees.  Note the white stripe above the eye.



White-breasted nuthatch.


Photostream – winter 2021-22