PDA

View Full Version : First Post - Grasslands National Park



Kevin McRae
09-07-2010, 01:16 AM
Hi guys, I thought I'd make this my introduction instead of making two separate threads. My name is Kevin and I'm from Manitoba, Canada. I'm a amateur wildlife photographer. I especially love to photograph unusual creatures such as reptiles and amphibians! I currently use a Sony a500 and love it. I love constructive criticisms (and praise!)

I took a few days to travel out west to do some backcountry camping in SW Saskatchewan. It is really beautiful country and some of the last true prairie that's left in Canada. It's home to some very unique creatures. The area recently had captive bred black footed ferret reintroduced in 2009 and they have had kits this year. The ferrets are one of the most endangered mammals in North America. They are the first known wild born Canadian Ferrets since the 1930's! I had hoped to see them while viewing the prairie dog towns during the night but I had no luck. I am told they are only active a few times a week and are almost strictly nocturnal.

Anyways we all love photos so I'll get right down to it.

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00622.jpg

There is a decent sized herd of bison in the park. This herd is considered wild however they are fenced in a massive area to ensure they don't wander to far. This bull was wandering along the road alone from the herd.

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00466.jpg

There are coulees everywhere and it's amazing how far you can view from them. It is incredibly windy ontop of the coulees. In the summer pronghorn and deer can be seen cooling down in the wind ontop of the coulees.

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00569.jpg

Mule deer

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00594.jpg

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00597.jpg

Pronghorn buck

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00603.jpg

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00699.jpg

Black tail Prairie Dog! This is the only place in Canada where these guys live. They are the true prairie dogs and are not to be confused with the smaller Richardson's ground squirrels. These guys are the reason why black footed ferrets have been reintroduced into the area.

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00574.jpg

Kevin McRae
09-07-2010, 01:17 AM
Swainson's Hawk

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00638.jpg

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00634.jpg

My first wild prairie rattlesnake!

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00526.jpg

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00520.jpg

I didn't bring a snake hook because I didn't plan on touching any rattlesnake I found. I didn't take into consideration that I may find some on the road and I would have to move them so they didn't get hit by cars. Apparently this area of Saskatchewan has no stick so I had to improvise....

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00646.jpg

Unfortunately this is the only yellow bellied racer I had found...

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00530.jpg

Cool spider....can anyone ID?

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00513.jpg

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00507-1.jpg

Kevin McRae
09-07-2010, 01:17 AM
And now for the REAL cool part! I think this is a forum first but feel free to correct me. These guys are extremely well camouflage and are amazing creatures. I was shown a very effective away of finding these animals.

Short horned Lizards!

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00534.jpg

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00543.jpg

I told you these guys are well camouflage....try and spot him out.

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00551.jpg

To make things even more spectacular I found 3 neonates!

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00559.jpg

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00560.jpg

Coyote

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00584.jpg


http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/Native%20Species/DSC00482.jpg

Next time some bullsnakes, live racers and a black footed ferret and I'm set!

QuietOne
09-07-2010, 04:01 AM
Hi, Kevin, cool set of pictures. Google should turn up some ID sites for the spider. Iguanasan used Welcome to BugGuide.Net! - BugGuide.Net (http://bugguide.net/node/view/15740) to identify a beetle recently. You might try it out. Welcome, and have fun hanging out here.

Marko
09-07-2010, 11:01 AM
Welcome Kevin!

LOVE the set and text you've added. What a great storybook set :)

casil403
09-07-2010, 11:04 AM
Wonderful series Kevin...I enjoyed your narration as well. GNP looks like a very cool place.
Welcome to the forum...keep submitting! :)

JAS_Photo
09-07-2010, 11:57 AM
Very cool set!

Odyssey
09-07-2010, 01:40 PM
Amazing set! I love the second rattlesnake shot.

Bambi
09-07-2010, 03:54 PM
welcome and I have to say I love your set!! My thoughts are that the spider is an orb spider. They can grow quite large but are harmless. Well, unless you get one on you and then run screaming and accidentally fall down a cliff or something. .:laughing:

Lovin
09-07-2010, 04:08 PM
Great set Kevin !
I spot the short horn lizzard :) I guess is on the center rock, with the head on N-W. Am I right ?

Lion
09-07-2010, 04:42 PM
Love the pictures ! Looks like a wonderfull place I hope I can go there once in my life !

Matt K.
09-07-2010, 08:58 PM
Amazing set. Wonderfully done. Keep up the good work, and welcome aboard!

Kevin McRae
09-13-2010, 11:20 PM
Thanks guys!

The horned lizard is actually just right to the big white rock on the right hand side of the picture.