Posts Tagged "wildlife"

Ian Toews’ Grasslands film screening in Saskatoon

Posted by on 14. April 2015 in Blog / Journal, Conservation | Comments Off on Ian Toews’ Grasslands film screening in Saskatoon

Ian Toews’ Grasslands film screening in Saskatoon

Saskatoon audiences will have an opportunity to view the poetic documentary about Saskatchewan grasslands this week. The film, produced by Gemini award winning filmmaker Ian Toews, will be shown on big screen at the Frances Morrison Central Library theatre, 311 – 23rd Street East in Saskatoon on Thursday, April 16, 2015 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. There is no admission charge and everyone is invited; bring along a friend or two. Following the screening, author and naturalist Trevor Herriot will provide an update on the state of the province’s grassland, and the work of Public Pastures – Public Interest (a citizen group that draws together rural and urban Canadians who share an interest in conserving public grasslands in Saskatchewan). Author Candace Savage will lead the discussion that follows. We will finish the evening with an informal get-together and refreshments.     The Grasslands documentary is a love letter to Saskatchewan prairies: endangered Greater Sage Grouse perform their mating ritual, herds of bison roam the vast open landscapes. We hear from ranchers and First Nations about their connection to the land. Conservation biologists explain the complexity of protecting the precious remnants of native prairie.     “This film illustrates the beauty and fragility of the grasslands ecosystem, threats to its preservation and efforts to sustain it,” said Trevor Herriot. “The film has been drawing enthusiastic audiences all over the province, a testament the value that Saskatchewan people place on our grasslands. It is an inspiration to those working to preserve this heritage for future generations.” “I wanted to convey that prairie was an expansive, flowing mass of grasslands. And then show people what it is today and what is being done to preserve it,” said the filmmaker and producer Ian Toews.     Originally from Saskatchewan, Toews earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in film production from the University of Regina. His works are primarily concerned with the natural environment and often, its degradation. He is the producer, director, and DOP of 7 short films, more than 60 television episodes, and 5 full-length documentaries. Ian Toews’ films and videos have been widely acclaimed and awarded with numerous international awards, including the Grand Prix at the Tampere International Film Festival, the Jury Award at the New York Exposition of Short Film, Canadian Film & Television Producer’s Association Indie Award, 5 Gemini Award nominations, a Canadian Screen Award nomination, and a 2008 Gemini Award win for Best Arts Documentary Program or Series for the long-running arts series “Landscape as Muse”. Toews has screened his films in over 50 countries throughout North America, Europe and Asia. The official Grasslands movie web site: www.grasslandsdocumentary.com You can see the trailer at vimeo.com/102805861 * Portions of this blog post contain information from a press release that I received this morning.      ...

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Canadian Bondar Challenge – a photo contest to connect youth with nature

Posted by on 30. July 2014 in Blog / Journal, News & Events, Photography | Comments Off on Canadian Bondar Challenge – a photo contest to connect youth with nature

Canadian Bondar Challenge – a photo contest to connect youth with nature

Roberta Bondar Foundation is launching the Canadian Bondar Challenge, a weekly photo contest to encourage Canadian youth ages 13 – 18 to explore the natural environment in their communities. The contest goal is to promote a hands-on outdoor experience that inspires the sense of awe, respect and appreciation for living organisms that share our planet. I am not personally connected with the Foundation, just passing on this information because I believe we have to do something about the growing nature experience deficit in our society.     The photo contest will run throughout the month of August 2014. At the end of each week (each Friday), participants are asked to contribute one photograph that demonstrates the weekly theme along with a mini-essay (maximum 200 words) explaining their image, and why they took it. The contest will provide some friendly competition for youth from every Canadian province and territory, to show off what makes their environment so special. Winners will receive a $50 gift certificate to various outdoor outfitters, The Roberta Bondar Foundation swag, a chance to have their photographs featured on the  Foundation web & social media sites, and images displayed alongside Dr. Roberta Bondar’s photographs in The Foundation’s Travelling Exhibition. To make the participation as easy as possible, there are no technical restrictions for submitted photographs. How to participate: Explore the natural environment around you. Take a photograph of what interests you most. Write a mini-essay (maximum 200 words) describing why you chose the photograph. Submit your image and written piece to contest@therobertabondarfoundation.org Follow the photo competition progress on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WIN. Theme of the Week: Week 1 – submit by Friday, August 8, 2014 The Colours of Canada: demonstrate the diversity of colours in different natural environments in Canada. Week 2 – submit by Friday, August 15, 2014 Finding Water: display the precious water source around you : lakes, rivers, oceans or a rainy day. Week 3 – submit by Friday, August 22, 2014 In the Clouds: capture life in the sky. This could be mountains, clouds, sunsets, trees or birds (for example). Week 4 – submit by Friday, August 29, 2014 What makes it Special: show off the uniqueness of the natural environment in your region.     Visit the Roberta Bondar Foundation web site to learn more....

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Loons of Anglin Lake

Posted by on 28. June 2014 in Blog / Journal, Photography | 7 comments

Loons of Anglin Lake

Two weeks ago I had a chance to photograph Common Loons on Anglin Lake in northern Saskatchewan. A good friend of mine, Bradley Muir has been conducting loon surveys for the last 4 years as part of the Canadian Lakes Loon Survey. Bird Studies Canada is coordinating the surveys, and also analyzes and reports on the collected data. Brad invited me to join him and try to photograph the loons in his part of the woods. There is something special about loons of Anglin Lake. Many Canadian lakes host Common Loons and you can hear their characteristic call throughout the country. However, according to long-term studies published by Bird Studies Canada, Anglin Lake has more than 14 times higher population density of loons compared to records from any other Canadian lake of similar size. Loons of Anglin Lake also have almost 30 times as many large young. Over the tenure of loon surveys, between 30 and 44 breeding pairs have been observed on the lake. Brad recorded 38 pairs this year. One beautiful Saturday evening, Brad, myself and Andrea Nelson who has been helping with the surveys, headed on the lake in a small boat generously provided by the Land of the Loon Resort. Breeding season has been delayed this year and pairs of loons were still hanging out on the open water. Winds was calm and I was able to capture a few good images of loons feeding and displaying. Tranquility in this part of boreal forest was sometimes interrupted by a roar of speed boats pulling a skier. With a loud music blasting, some boats create a considerable wake and disturbance which represent a threat to the nesting loons. Chick feeding and other parenting duties are likely disrupted during periods of heavy human use. Disturbance to birds is likely to increase; Anglin Lake has been included in the newly created Great Blue Heron Provincial Park. Enjoyment of the lake by a nearby cottage community and needs of loons will have to reconciled in the upcoming park management plan. If you are interested in observing and photographing loons and other wildlife in the boreal forest of northern Saskatchewan, Bradley is running Loon Country Excursions. To find out more, check out the Sundogs Excursions web site or call 306-960-1654. Before you decide to go, be aware that Brad can not guarantee loon photography as the excursions are operated to prevent undue disturbance to all wildlife. If animals choose to keep their distance, participants can still enjoy their presence, listen to the iconic calls, and focus their binoculars and cameras on magnificent boreal forest and lakes....

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Sandhill Cranes in morning fog

Posted by on 26. April 2014 in Featured | Comments Off on Sandhill Cranes in morning fog

Sandhill Cranes in morning fog

I discovered this group of cranes standing in shallow, partially frozen pond south of Bradwell, Saskatchewan. We were looking for Sharp-tailed Grouse lek and drove past a frozen pond with a flock of over 200 cranes. What attracted me to this scene was a soft, almost surreal appearance of graceful birds enveloped in thick morning fog (we were there before sunrise). I selected a high ISO setting on my camera in hope to get fast enough shutter speed to prevent camera shake. Additional presence of digital noise softened the captured image even more. Sandhill cranes are fairly social birds that usually live in pairs or family groups through the year. Smaller family groups consisting of parents and yearlings can be seen in fields during the fall migration. During winter and spring migration, non-related cranes come together to form “survival groups” which forage and roost together. Such groups often congregate in large groups, sometimes in the thousands....

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World Wildife Day – March 3, 2014

Posted by on 4. March 2014 in Blog / Journal, Conservation | 2 comments

World Wildife Day – March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014 has been designated the first ever World Wildlife Day by the United Nations. It is an opportunity to celebrate our planet’s incredible variety of animals and plants, and to raise awareness about the need for global conservation of all living creatures on our planet. This day was chosen as the World Wildlife Day as it was on this day the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was adopted. The Convention plays an important role in ensuring that international trade does not threaten the species’ well being. Here is a small gallery of images showing wild creatures that can be found on the Northern Great Plains. Burrowing owl. Great Sand Hills, Saskatchewan Black-tailed prairie dog, American Prairie Reserve, Montana Northern Showeler, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan American Avocets. Saskatoon,Saskatchewan Western Madowlark. Zortman, Montana Mule deer. Great Sand Hills, Saskatchewan Canada Goose. Sakatoon, Saskatchewan Least Bittern. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Plains bison grazing. Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan...

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