A female moose (Alces alces) had a meadow full of leafy trees and bushes all to her self when I found her in West Bragg. I hope to see a few more in these colorful settings before we roll into the next season.
The morning mists in Bragg Creek get caught in the trees when they start to dissipate as the day warms up. It provided a nice background when I saw this White-tailed deer walking through the wet grass.
This dragonfly flew by me when we were at a friend’s wedding near Osoyoos. I took that to be a good sign and was not surprised in the least that it turned out to be a great day.
Well, not the whole thistle, just its flower. At the same rest stop where we watched chipmunks eating berries, there were Columbia Ground Squirrels (Urocitellus columbines) scurrying about on an embankment.
They stood up to watch us, creating a short staring contest with my son, before resuming their runs from rock to rock and other spots around the hillside. I was in a good position when one of them approached a thistle because it was a few feet away and the squirrel ran towards me with little regard for me or my camera.
The dexterity of its fingers and the delicate nibbling were really cool to watch up close. And provided a nice distraction from the drive.
Not me, the Stellar Jays on the deck of my aunt and uncle’s house in Nelson.
There are a pair of these beautiful birds that live near the house and they call for peanuts a few times throughout the day. These cries are rewarded and the opportunity to photograph them was not one I passed on. At my home we have several blue jays that favour our backyard so it was fun to look at these birds closely and compare and contrast with “ours”.
I grew up in the Kootenays but moved away almost twenty years ago. Luckily Marnie and John have kept their house there and we try to get out to visit them at least once every summer. I missed last year and sadly this year was only a one night stay. However, it was great to see them, to meet their resident jays and to enjoy one of my favourite places in the world.
Driving through the Kootenays last week we stopped for a break at a park east of Christina Lake. I found a couple of Chipmunk’s eating berries in the boughs of a small tree.
This fellow was not shy and scurried around a few metres from me from bunch to bunch.
Driving home last night, another storm thundered over the foothills and the prairie around Bragg Creek. Lightning was flashing regularly so I set up and shot a few frames before the rain hit. A herd of cows must have thought I was the delivery guy as they all wandered over.
A very energetic storm rolled out of the mountains and spread across the prairies last night. Bobbi was driving home as the clouds thickened and the lightning began to streak across the sky. At her urging, I went out to photograph the light show and it was spectacular. The summer heat seemed to have loosened up Zeus’s arm and he was firing bolts down to the ground and between clouds for a couple of hours.
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This image was taken at the sports field in Redwood Meadows just a little ways from my house. The clouds were running east along the south side of the Elbow River. To the north, the sky was clear which presented an interesting background to lightning. Following a few minutes set up by the field, I went out onto the prairies after this image and had a great (although late) night storm watching.
I have been trying to capture this image for a long time. With the familiarity I’ve been lucky to establish with the Great Gray Owl pair in West Bragg Creek this year, they will often hunt near to where I am set up. On the weekend, one of the owls flew towards me and made a couple of dives from the post he landed on a few yards away. The stars aligned on one of these attacks and I froze him just before he disappeared into the knee-high grass.
It always exciting when I come across a new creature for the first time. On the weekend, while photographing two beautiful owls, I had my first encounter with a Red-naped Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus nuchalis). I’m used to seeing Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers frequently around Bragg Creek but the distinctive red patches sent me looking through my bird book to identify this new (to me) species. We are on the northwest edge of their summer range but they are apparently quite conspicuous so I must have missed them previously.
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When one of the owls flew to a fence post near a stand of trees, it disturbed this small woodpecker. The little bird started chittering away and ended up flying out of the tree above the owl and landing on a post in front of me. He settled down and took a minute to scratch the feathers on his nape before heading across the meadow. It didn’t bother the owl in the least but I really enjoyed the short visit.