Wild Grasses

WildGrasses1 A photograph made by blending three different ‘drive-by’ images (and a smattering of selective erasing on 2 of the layers). It seems I am obsessively endlessly fascinated by the exploration of ‘movement’ when making photographs.  : )

From the photographic series ‘Colour Field’
© Karen McRae, 2014

Foxtrot

How can it be that we are already immersed in the middle of July? YoungFox2

YoungFox1

DSC_4579

I have been swallowed by summer, it seems.

Lakes and rivers. Canoes and paddles. Tents and gorgeous weather.
Multitudes of annoying insects.

Brave little foxes and kissing doves.

KissingDoves1

KissingDoves2

BirdBathDove

And colourful fireworks in the garden.

StamenFireworks3

StamenFireworks1

If only we could figure out how to make summer more of a slow dance

© Karen McRae, 2014

Night Light 2

PalmerRapidsAbstract

CheckingoutheRapidsatNight

PalmerRapidsatNight2Long exposures of fast-moving water at night. These photographs were made during a paddling/camping trip and although there were lots of stars in the inky sky there was no glowing moon, so in order to light the first and last images I ‘painted’ the slipping-by water with my headlamp and set the camera to make 30 second exposures. In the middle image you can see my paddling friends are lighting the rapids (and the fluttery bugs) with their own headlamps.

(Unfortunately, I didn’t have the camera set to raw mode when I made these photographs – poorly planned on my part – so the image quality is not that great…)

© Karen McRae, 2014

Up with the Birds

Purple-Martins-7

Purple-Martins-9

Purple-Martins11

Purple-Martins-6Above: Purple Martins in flight

I stopped in to see the Purple Martins after a very early start to my day. If I were a Robin I might have got the first worm…

There is a lot of activity as they are busily collecting materials for their little nest-box homes. I spotted a pair of Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) attempting to build a nest in one of the boxes. It seemed that the Martins were discouraging their presence but those Starlings are tenacious.

StarlingandNestMaterials1Above: Moving in ~ A Starling in flight, gathering nesting materials

Each type of bird has its own wonderful shifting form when in movement. I don’t think I could ever tire of observing and trying to capture these various forms. Anyway, I like how these images look a bit like drawings and this process is giving me some ideas (and reference material) for an art project.

© Karen McRae, 2014

Purple Martins

Purple-Martins-3

Purple-Martins-2

Purple-Martins-1

Purple-Martins-4The gorgeous Purple Martins have returned to their summer home near the river. I saw a little bit of nest-building material being collected but mostly the swallows were zipping about catching insects when I made these photographs.

Purple-Martin-Nesting-BoxI love their songs and when you hear an entire community of them vocalizing together – especially once the young are hatched – it’s really quite a wonderful auditory experience. I’ll try to make a little recording at some point but there is a soundbite link below if you’re interested.

Click here to listen: Purple Martin Vocalizations (Soundclip from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.) Imagine perhaps 100 birds making those sounds…

Purple-Martins-5It’s been so beautiful outside it’s been hard to stay indoors!

[The image with three birds is a composite (layered) image showing various flight acrobatics.]

© Karen McRae, 2014

Life in the Liminal Spaces

Insects-in-Light

You might not realize that most of the photographs I post here are made in the city. A city ribboned with green spaces and waterways – corridors teeming with wildlife. A different version of city life. An exploration of the narrow tributaries, the wide rivers and the earthy ‘cracks’ someone has thought to leave between all the pavement. You never know what you might find in these spaces because even though we heap constraints on these wild creatures they place no constraints on themselves (Last spring we even had bears visiting).

The-Tree-Stand-3

Late-Day-Light

Night-Heron-and-WarblerThe Night Heron and the Warbler (above)

Turkey-Vulture1

Turkey-Vulture3

Turkey-Vulture2Turkey Vultures, Perched and Circling

It’s common to see the odd turkey vulture circling above the green spaces but in the dwindling light of the weekend I looked up to see a tree draped with ten or more of these birds who appeared to be gazing down at me. They are so odd-looking with their red shrunken heads and wide-shouldered bodies. A few of them lifted their wings to the last rays of warm light.

The-Tree-Stand-1

The-Tree-Stand-2

MaleDeerBeing Watched by a White-tailed Deer. A male deer with new antlers sprouting over his ears. You can see things are really greening up around here.

© Karen McRae, 2014