Ptarmigan Crazy

Over and over I seem to be talking about why I love Yellowknife and the North. Well I have once again found another reason. I mentioned that I love the clear, blue skied, days we get here in the winter and alone with those days we seem to see more visitors. Not the visitors like you think though, I was thinking more of the white, fluffy, winged kind or better know as Ptarmigan.

You may not think they are good for anything, or good at anything either, but you are wrong. Well, okay, maybe you’d be slightly right, and I suppose they can’t figure out how to pick through your garbage like their second cousin the Raven. What they can do magnificently well though, is camouflage. Have you ever seen a ptarmigan in the summer? Probably not! That is because they’ll look like just another bush among the trees. It is much the same in the winter; the white balls of fluff plop themselves in the fluffy snow and you’d never know they were there.

That is exactly what happened to me the other day. I walked up my driveway and in the front door and found a cat that was going crazy at the front window. When I peered out the window to see what the commotion was I was shock to see what I had just walked past. No word of a lie there must have been 50 ptarmigan sitting on the lawn. I quickly grabbed my camera and snuck back outside, only scaring away a couple.

A couple weeks ago I took a basic digital photography class put on by Dave Brosha, so as I was prancing around the yard I was trying to remember what he had taught me. I’m sure if I had of practiced what he had taught me the following photos would have turned out better, but here are some ptarmigan for your enjoyment. Tell me what you like the most about Yellowknife Winters?



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About the author

Kyle Thomas

Kyle grew up in Yellowknife and is a local entrepreneur, writer, baker, and Yellowknife Advocate who is addicted to learning as much as he can about the community and sharing it with anyone who'll listen. In 2009 he developed A website all about living, working and thriving in Yellowknife for residents, newcomers, and visitors.


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