Posts tagged “Canada

Young rams at play… and practice

Waterton Sheep Pre-rut - © Christopher Martin-3480

On one of our morning drives, Kian and I came across a few Bighorn rams on the Akamina Parkway near Cameron Lake in the Waterton National Park.  These were adolescents, not the adult males which will battle for the attention of the ewes in the fall.  Nonetheless, a couple of them were practicing their rutting between grazing on the roadside vegetation.

Waterton Sheep Pre-rut - © Christopher Martin-3481

Waterton Sheep Pre-rut - © Christopher Martin-3507

When the big boys crash their horns together it can echo across a valley.  These battles didn’t carry that kind of power but it was great action with no lack of enthusiasm.  We were able to watch three battles and my son and I both loved watching, and hearing, the collisions.

Waterton Sheep Pre-rut - © Christopher Martin-3530

I do wonder if concussions are a problem as they are with human contact sports.

Waterton Sheep Pre-rut - © Christopher Martin-3544


Evening skies over the Waterton National Park

Waterton Sunset - © Christopher Martin-4026

The night skies around Waterton were magical in the weekend that we were down there (Aurora and the Milky Way).  Even better were the sunsets we were treated to as night fell.

Waterton Sunset - © Christopher Martin-3345The golds came in softly and then gave way to deep purples and pinks as the waning light skipped under the clouds above the western flank of Waterton National Park in southern Alberta.   The first and last files were in-camera HDR images taken with my Canon 5DIII – I use this function rarely but for the second night’s sunsets, it seemed well suited to me.

Waterton Sunset - © Christopher Martin-3388

 

 

Waterton Sunset - © Christopher Martin-4020


The Milky Way over Waterton

Milky Way over Waterton - © Christopher Martin-3462

The stars in the Waterton area shine brilliantly under the dark sky.  From our campsite, my son and I could make out the Milky Way as it rose out of the mountains that line the valley from the town and down the lake.


Chief Mountain

The Chief over gold - © Christopher Martin-3954

When I was in Waterton with my son our campsite had a beautiful view of Chief Mountain.  Over the couple of days we stayed there, I grabbed a few images of the mountain through the evenings.  I love its profile from this direction and the surrounding landscape is magical.

Waterton at dusk - © Christopher Martin-3371

The Chief at at dusk - © Christopher Martin-3425


Aurora Borealis in Waterton

Aurora Borealis over Waterton Spring Campground - © Christopher Martin-4124

My son and I camped at the Waterton Springs Campground, on the edge of the national park, a week ago.  On the second night the Northern Lights came out and danced along the northern horizon.

Aurora Borealis over Waterton Spring Campground - © Christopher Martin-4127

The campground is in the rolling foothills that lead up to the mountains so it was less than a hop, skip and a jump to a rise where we could get great views of aurora.

Aurora Borealis over Waterton Spring Campground - © Christopher Martin-4148

Aurora Borealis over Waterton Spring Campground - © Christopher Martin-4091

Aurora Borealis over Waterton Spring Campground - © Christopher Martin-4101


Dusk in the Crowsnest Pass

Crowsnest Dusk - © Christopher Martin-3199

I had a wonderful getaway camping with my son in the Waterton National Park last weekend.  Along the way down there, I travelled through the Crowsnest Pass just as the sunlight was slipping off the peaks and giving way to the night.  I stopped for a few minutes to enjoy the transition and this photograph is the one I made from the many peaks stacked around the valley.  A mountain unknown to me but beautiful in its isolation.

August 16th update – my Uncle Bill, Auntie Ann and cousins Chad and Darren, who lived in the Crowsnest Pass area for many years, discussed this peak and confirmed that it is Mount Tecumseh.  Thank you family!


Saddle Bronc Finals at the Tsuu T’ina Rodeo

2015 Tsuu T'ina Saddle Bronc Finals - © Christopher Martin-1561

The Saddle Bronc was a great event to watch at this year’s Tsuu T’ina Rodeo.  The goal is to hang on for 8 seconds during a torturous ride that often finds the horse whipping the cowboy around like a rag doll tied to a rocket.  Here are a few images from the finals on July 26th.

2015 Tsuu T'ina Saddle Bronc Finals - © Christopher Martin-0781

(click any image to open a larger version of that image)

2015 Tsuu T'ina Saddle Bronc Finals - © Christopher Martin-1003

2015 Tsuu T'ina Saddle Bronc Finals - © Christopher Martin-0945

2015 Tsuu T'ina Saddle Bronc Finals - © Christopher Martin-0854

2015 Tsuu T'ina Saddle Bronc Finals - © Christopher Martin-0915

2015 Tsuu T'ina Saddle Bronc Finals - © Christopher Martin-0898


Steer wrestling at the Tsuu T’ina rodeo

All rodeo cowboys are tough.  I particularly admire the steer wrestlers as that is an event that I have a hard time even dreaming of trying out.  Leaping off a perfectly good horse onto the back of a small cow with large horns seems a bit too close to the insane end of the scale for me.

Mind the horns - © Christopher Martin-0673

I absolutely love watching and photographing this event despite having no interest in doing it myself.  The short go of the steer wrestling event at the Tsuu T’ina All Indian Rodeo on July 26th put the top 10 qualifiers in the finals and a shot at the money.  Keenan Crane (the image directly above) had a great run and took home the cheque and the hardware – well deserved!

A diving request - © Christopher Martin-0750

Dirt slide - © Christopher Martin-0752

Power slide - © Christopher Martin-0738

Dirty work - © Christopher Martin-0587

Leap of faith - © Christopher Martin-0703

This series of Leon Montour pulling in a steer illustrates a bit of the power, balance and danger of this event.

Steer dive - © Christopher Martin-0600

Handlebars - © Christopher Martin-0602

Riding side by side - © Christopher Martin-0603

It's all in the hips - © Christopher Martin-0604


Tsuu T’ina Nation Tour Rodeo Finals

This weekend was the 41st annual Tsuu T’ina Nation’s Rodeo which draws First Nation people born to the saddle from all over North America.  The rodeo is held at the Redwood Meadows Arena which just across Highway 22 from my home.  This is one of my favourite rodeos and it was great to be able to be on the rails for the last day.

High Flying Bull Rider - © Christopher Martin-0339

It was an afternoon that started with sun which gave way to heavy, heavy rain and ended with high clouds towards the end of the night.  Dynamic photographic opportunities came with the changing weather which was great for me.  Weather doesn’t make too much difference for the people or for the animals – they are all ready to go no matter what is going on above.  I have a stack of photographs to look at, and will share more soon, but wanted to get out this first image of one of the high-flying bull riders from a great afternoon in the Bragg Creek area.


A Coyote’s breakfast leaps

Leaping Coyote - © Christopher Martin-9854-3

This morning I found a coyote skittering along the ditch on Highway 8 in between Bragg Creek and Springbank.  At first, I thought it was an older pup but then I realized it was an adult in its sleek summer coat.  I often photograph coyotes in the cooler months when they have their heavier jackets on so I’ll forgive myself the initial error.  I believe this one was a female and she was absolutely beautiful.  I was worried when I spotted her as she seemed to be trying to cross the road amid pretty steady traffic.  Watching her, it became apparent that she and a couple of ravens were attracted to some bits of roadkill on the highway.

Leaping Coyote - © Christopher Martin-9737

It was a relief when she slipped under the fence towards a field with an open stand of broken and weathered trees.  She turned her attention towards hunting for field mice and that’s where the fun really began.

Fencline Coyote - © Christopher Martin-9766

Turns out she is an accomplished hunter and I was delighted to watch her successfully catch two mice on three jumps.  Of those leaps, I was in good position for two of them and am happy with the action caught.

Leaping Coyote - © Christopher Martin-9853

The image above is the start of the first leap.  The image at the top of this post was the next image as she was fully airborne.

Leaping Coyote - © Christopher Martin-9860

The whole sequence from target acquisition to landing is efficient and I admired the focus, power and dexterity she showed.  The three leaps all occurred within a short 2-3 minute stretch.  On either side, she favoured me with a few inquisitive looks.

Forest Coyote - © Christopher Martin-9773

Leaping Coyote - © Christopher Martin-9883

After a total of fifteen minutes she crossed a gravel back road and disappeared into the heavy scrub brush on the other side.

Gravel road Coyote - © Christopher Martin-9898


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