I respectfully acknowledge that Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary is located within the Treaty 6 Territory, the ancestral and traditional territories of the Niitsítpiis-stahkoii ᖹᐟᒧᐧᐨᑯᐧ ᓴᐦᖾᐟ (Blackfoot / Niitsítapi ᖹᐟᒧᐧᒣᑯ), ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐤ ᐊᐢᑭᕀ Nêhiyaw-Askiy (Plains Cree), Tsuu T’ina, Michif Piyii (Métis), Cree people. Source: native-land.ca
My 5:30 AM alarm came way too early, the sun was already up and the cool breeze was blowing in my bedroom window. I wanted to hit snooze and stay under the cozy, warm blanket, but knew that if I did that I would most likely fall asleep and miss an early departure and a quiet hiking trail. I surprisingly got out the door at a reasonable time, and headed to our hiking location.
I didn’t want to set any photography goals or expectations today. I just wanted to get out, enjoy nature, hopefully see a bird or two and practice my photography.
As I got out of the Jeep, I could feel the crisp, morning air. I zipped up my puffy, put my backpack on, and headed towards the trail, camera in hand. Immediately I was greeted by either a Yellow-headed Blackbird or a Baltimore Oriole. Too fast for my tired reflexes, I was unable to correctly identify it and get a photograph. I didn’t take too many more steps and I was transported into the forest feeling like a Disney princess. There were countless red-winged blackbirds flying overhead, red squirrels chasing each other and a few snowshoe hares hopping along the dewy grass. I had so many photography subjects, I didn’t know where to start. This was shaping up to be THE BEST morning hike ever that accidentally turned into a birdwatching adventure.