Why are you still here?

It was a confusing day by the river last week. Despite the bright sun, I felt the cold biting at my inadequate gloves. Winter definitely came early this year.


I stood by the river by myself enjoying the sound of huge chunks of ice rubbing against each other.

And yet the South Saskatchewan River was covered with huge chunks of ice jostling in the quick current. Was some place upstream cashing in on global warming without us? The scene seemed so surreal I half expected to be staring at a polar bear.


The current quickly carried the ice away. I couldn’t help but notice the snow shark fin on the river bank.

Suddenly some ducks appeared – weaving in and out of huge chunks of ice and occasionally diving underneath as they swam against the stiff current.

_T6C1823, common goldeneye, duck, water, ice

Surely these ducks must have noticed the winter wonderland? Didn’t they have some place warmer to go … weeks ago?

_T6C1881, Common GoldenEye, duck, water, ice, Saskatchewan

Whichever way the duck looked there were ice chunks.

In time the ducks wandered off in a southerly direction – I hope for their sakes they kept going. Still I have to admire their courage.

On a cold windy day, ask people from Saskatchewan about global warming and you’re likely to hear that it has been one of the big disappointments in their lifetime.

_T6C1882, Common GoldenEye, duck, water, ice, saskatchewan

I like this pose the best though the duck might think it makes it look fat.


Some camouflage definitely works better than others.

Latest Comments

  1. lylekrahn says:

    Glad you liked them. That’s a great story about the swans – amazing that they don’t notice! There’s probably a metaphor for life there somewhere.


  2. hannele says:

    great photos! 🙂 i can totally see the shark fin – now that’s someone who’s in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    here in finland the fire department (for some reason) have to rescue swans every winter – because they get stuck in the ice. some swans keep swimming around and as they apparently aren’t the best at noticing when their legs get cold, the ice gets stuck to their legs and eventually they get stuck in the ice. yup, busy fire department we have… (i actually think it’s really nice that they do that)


  3. Marco Pesaresi says:

    Thats a beautiful set of shots Lyle, the ice in the water adds so much more to the shots, mix that with the warm brown plumage of the Goldeneye and you have beautiful photography, well done.


    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I was certainly struck by the many contrasts. I was happy to find your wonderful wildlife blog to see what else you post from across the ocean.


  4. Rejoice For The Day says:

    Beautiful pictures, as always! You are right about the polar bear, it’s almost like he should have come wandering into one of the shots.


  5. melodylowes says:

    You have put into words my great disillusionment with global warming… 🙂 Only in Saskatchewan do ducks meander so thoughtlessly through such treacherous waters! Loved the shark fin, by the way. Almost could add that to the ‘Pirates on the River Saskatchewan’ song for good measure!


  6. Beth Fishkind Photography says:

    Beautiful! I love the ducks. I think they’re Common Goldeneye; if so, they’d be adult females in breeding plumage (Nov-Jun). Got that from a quick check in National Audubon Society’s “The Sibley Guide to Birds.”


    • lylekrahn says:

      A birder on facebook also said it was a Common Goldeneye so that must be it (I’m not very good identification – much better at enjoying the experience). They have an interesting look. Thanks for the reference.


  7. Phil Lanoue says:

    Those are amazing and wow the ducks sure make those images something special!
    This *does* make me feel cold. And to think I was out this morning complaining about temps that hit the low 50sF and how cold that was. Yikes!
    When I left I was watching some ospreys fishing in the marsh and I told a friend that I was leaving because it was cold and I have food at home, the ospreys have no choice.


    • lylekrahn says:

      Cold is definitely a relative concept depending where you live. I say the same thing about it being too cold to photograph some days but I need to add that part about food at home – that’s good. I was content to take photos of the ice so it was quite a surprise to get the ducks.


  8. caleephotography says:

    Great pictures, Lyle!! And thanks for the laugh 😀


  9. westerner54 says:

    The last two captions are just perfect – made me laugh out loud, which doesn’t always happen first thing in the morning!


  10. lexi says:

    Beautiful photos. I agree with the commenter Mike that the photos actually make the viewer feel a sense of cold. Love this series. Thanks for sharing.


  11. FeyGirl says:

    Great images…. Poor guys!


    • lylekrahn says:

      The odd thing is that they swam around all the ice as if they were pieces of wood – completely unconcerned. I suppose if they were real cold they have left for a warmer place.


  12. Mike Powell says:

    Cool photos. Actually they make me feel cold! Beautiful shots of the ducks and the ice, an incongruous and compelling pair of subjects.


    • lylekrahn says:

      Incongruous is a great word – I was totally surprised to see the ducks and they just acted normal. It was a pretty cool day but at least it was sunny and that helps on a psychological level.


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