Ugh! The alarm was telling me it was 4:30 am. what had I been thinking!
I wanted to capture some waterfowl in the early morning light. There is no question that the light in the “golden hour” at sunrise or sunset can be spectacular. Unfortunately, in summertime in Alberta it means you either have to get up in the “middle of the night” or stay up at night until it’s time for “The National”!
But before I get too far into my sad tale early rising, let me pass along a good read for my cycling friends. I just finished reading “Mud, Sweat & Gears” by Ellie Bennett. It is the tale of a cycling trip from Lands End in the south of England to John O’Groats at the far north end of Scotland, with stops at pubs along the way. The book even has an index of the 50 best beers sampled along the way. Throw in a few bakeries and I’d be in Nirvana! While somewhat shorter than the Tour du Canada, it’s a gruelling ride in its own right! Anyway the book is an enjoyable read for anyone who likes cycle touring. But I digress …
So yes, that was me crawling out of bed at that ungodly hour, grabbing my camera equipment and heading out to Lois Hole Provincial Park on Big Lake. Actually, once I got up and moving it was a nice morning and I was rewarded with a beautiful sunrise. There is something magical about a sunrise and water.
I had walked out on a trail that extends out into the lake so there is water on both sides. Rain the day before had left the trail quite muddy and the swarms of mosquitoes figured I was breakfast. But it was all worth it to watch the Red-winged and the Yellow-headed Blackbirds getting active in the early morning sun. The birds seemed to be more actively feeding than when I had seen them in the middle of the day.
My next stop was a couple of kilometres further along the lake at a spot I had found previously where I knew there would be shorebirds. I was not disappointed! There were even more birds than the previous time I had been there and I was able to work my way fairly close to the water.
Just as I was packing up to leave I heard some rustling beside me and was able to capture a couple of great shots of a Robin.
I can’t say that I will become a regular 4:30 riser but an occasional lack of sleep has its rewards!