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Helping nature with photography

DUC volunteer and photographer Linda Leigh uses her images to help conservation

May 05, 2020
© DUC

Linda Leigh has travelled the world, snapping photos everywhere she goes. When she and her husband Jerry retired, they moved to Saskatoon to be near their childhood homes. It’s there, on nearby backroads and sloughs, that she’s captured some of her most prized images.

“I had forgotten how astonishing—how beautiful—Saskatchewan truly is,” says Leigh.

Leigh is in the field with her camera more days than not. It started when she joined a DUC volunteer committee and offered to take photos for the Saskatoon Ladies Spring Event handbills and posters.

“I took my camera and I went out to photograph some ducks,” says Leigh. “And now I am absolutely hooked. If I don’t get to go out with my camera every day, the day has lost all of its joy.”

Most recently, Leigh donated her wildlife photographs to be used in a DUC fundraising campaign for Giving Tuesday Now, a global event that encourages people to help charities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The images below show photographs from the campaign, plus some of Leigh’s personal favourite scenes from nature.

“I love ruddy ducks,” says Leigh. “I have started to see the first few of them coming back this spring, and I look for them every year.”
“I love ruddy ducks,” says Leigh. “I have started to see the first few of them coming back this spring, and I look for them every year.” © Linda Leigh
From DUC’s Giving Tuesday Now campaign: a duckling wades as its mother watches nearby.
From DUC’s Giving Tuesday Now campaign: a duckling wades as its mother watches nearby. © Linda Leigh
“There’s this place just outside of Blucher where we see both great horned owls in the summer and fall and snowy owls in the spring. It is the best place for wildlife.”
“There’s this place just outside of Blucher where we see both great horned owls in the summer and fall and snowy owls in the spring. It is the best place for wildlife.” © Linda Leigh
From DUC’s Giving Tuesday Now campaign: a whitetail doe with two fawns in a Saskatchewan field.
From DUC’s Giving Tuesday Now campaign: a whitetail doe with two fawns in a Saskatchewan field. © Linda Leigh
“When the snow geese rise off the fields, it is like a solid wall of birds,” says Leigh. “I have been to a lot of places, and I tell everybody: you may think that you have pretty sunsets and sunrises, but I will match the ones that we have in the prairies against anyone’s in the world.”
“When the snow geese rise off the fields, it is like a solid wall of birds,” says Leigh. “I have been to a lot of places, and I tell everybody: you may think that you have pretty sunsets and sunrises, but I will match the ones that we have in the prairies against anyone’s in the world.” © Linda Leigh
From DUC’s Giving Tuesday Now campaign: a muskrat swims through marsh vegetation.
From DUC’s Giving Tuesday Now campaign: a muskrat swims through marsh vegetation. © Linda Leigh
“When I really registered what American coot chicks look like, I absolutely adored them because they look like angry little aliens,” says Leigh.
“When I really registered what American coot chicks look like, I absolutely adored them because they look like angry little aliens,” says Leigh. © Linda Leigh
“I’m a prairie girl through and through,” says Leigh.
“I’m a prairie girl through and through,” says Leigh. "I am so happy that this is my home. There is no place we would rather live than here in Saskatchewan.” © Linda Leigh
From DUC’s Giving Tuesday Now campaign: a blue-winged teal stretches its wings on a foggy wetland.
From DUC’s Giving Tuesday Now campaign: a blue-winged teal stretches its wings on a foggy wetland. © Linda Leigh
“There are places I go in the fall to see the cranes. They come up off the river in the morning and feed on the fields. I could watch cranes dance for hours on end.”
“There are places I go in the fall to see the cranes. They come up off the river in the morning and feed on the fields. I could watch cranes dance for hours on end.” © Linda Leigh

Leigh says her favourite photography moment is always the last, and her favourite location changes depending on what she’s looking for.

“Every time I go out with my camera, there’s the potential of coming back saying ‘I just saw the most amazing thing,’” she says. “And had it not been for volunteering for Ducks Unlimited Canada, I don’t know that I would have taken the photography here at home as seriously as I do now.”

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Volunteers and supporters like Linda Leigh form the foundation of DUC’s conservation community. Join this incredible group of Canadians, who are helping to lead Canada’s largest effort to save wetlands.

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