We have enjoyed a long fall season this year. Sometimes winter steals in before it seems like summer had closed off. This autumn is now closing in on two months and has been quite a nice season. I went to a small lake, Pilot Pond, which lies in the Bow Valley facing Pilot Mountain in the Banff National Park a week ago and felt the scenery around the water was a nice reflection of the fall we have had in the mountains.
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I was alone except for one female Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) out on the water biding its time, and once flapping its wings, before continuing south.
The autumn weather in the foothills west of Calgary is unpredictable with snow, sun, wind and rain all possible on any given day. The clouds conjured up at this time of the year can be fantastic and I’m rarely disappointed when I get up early to see how they will frame the sunrise. On this morning in the middle of October, it was a beautiful dawn to watch build towards the day from the low-rise of the Fawn Hills a short distance west of Bragg Creek. There was a beautiful sheet spread over the sky with corner left untucked on the eastern horizon allowing the dawn light to come under and skip along its underside. A couple of lone clouds flying low provided beautiful points of interest.
This sunset was given life by the fantastically textured clouds over Bragg Creek. I was in Redwood Meadows just off the Cowboy Trail and watched the pinks and blues ripple through their hues as the clouds rolled by. The eastern ridges of Kananaskis held the clouds off of the horizon which allowed the colour in through much of the sunset.
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The October 23rd solar eclipse was at its maximum at 4:07 pm here in Calgary. It was a partial eclipse with the moon blocking out a majority, but not the entire sun. The sun swung like a pendulum behind the moon which afforded a couple of images of each of the distinct phases. The image above was taken at 4:07 PM MST which was at the maximum.
The image above was from 3:55 PM and the one below was taken at 4:13 PM as the sun and moon separated.
It is no surprise that I am quite fond of bears. Grizzly bears are of particular interest to me so it was a lot of fun putting together a gallery of my favourite Grizzly images from the past couple of years for a project that I am working on with a client.
If you are interested in seeing the images in this rather large set, please click the image or this link.
I was roaming the gravel roads east of south of Cochrane on the weekend. As dusk started to fall, I found a small herd of white-tailed deer in the middle of a field. There were two bucks standing apart from four does. The smaller male was prancing about a bit so I put on my longest lens and waited to see if anything would happen. We are still in the middle of the rut so I was hoping they might do some antler jousting.
And, as it turned out, they did. They clashed a couple of times with antlers cracking while they tangled head to head. The battle was short, frenetic and I felt very lucky to watch this moment play out.
After this skirmish the smaller one darted away and they stood apart for a minute before moving up a fold in the hillside back towards the seemingly unimpressed does.
The clouds cleared at the point during this week’s eclipse when the moon was just coming out of the earth’s penumbra. The top edge of the full moon was just coming into e sunlight. The majority of the surface was still in shadow and was a deep reddish orange.
The glow from the moon coloured the landscape as well.
The moon left the shadow much too quickly for me but it was fun to watch the different looks as the clouds moved, the colours changed and the blood moon slipped away.
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Eclipses fascinate me and this morning’s lunar eclipse was outstanding. It was overcast for much of the night so I wasn’t sure how visible the Moon would be as it reached totality. While it was in the Earth’s umbra, the clouds started to clear and I was able to watch the latter part of the performance. This image was taken when a cloud passed along the top edge of the Moon while the moon was coming out of the penumbra and the sun was lighting the upper hemisphere.