Posts tagged “snow

Flying off a red roof

Off the red roof - 2014 © Christopher Martin

We’re in Fernie with family for the Easter weekend.  We escaped Calgary’s heavy snowfall but the Elk Valley was socked in today with heavy leaden clouds.  Rain, snow and sleet took turns falling through the day which provided a great background with some of the birds I came across.  This raven was a favorite with the red roof providing great color to a potentially weary scene.

 


Dark snow

Night snow - 2014 © Christopher Martin

A blizzard swept out of the mountains on the weekend.  The ground had been almost bare but winter felt everyone’s enthusiasm for spring was premature.  The snow fell through the night and in the morning there was almost a foot blanketing the grass, the trees and almost anything else that doesn’t move.  In the middle of the storm, I went outside to watch the snow and enjoy the sound of the huge flakes touching down and watching them tumble through the darkness.


A blizzard at Elbow Falls

Elbow Falls - 2014 © Christopher MartinCanon 5DIII + 24-105mm lens at 65mm: 2.5 seconds at f/16 on ISO 200

I went back to Elbow Falls for the third time in the last couple of weeks.  With the snowstorm that blew in on the weekend, I was drawn back to see another face to the area.  Heavy snowflakes had piled up in the trees and across the rocks with more falling rapidly when I was up there.  A slip on the ice was my payment for passage but I liked the scene I slid into.  The falling snow gave the trees a charcoal sketched look while the rocks and water in the river had texture and character that seemed to suit black and white processing.


Elbow Falls in winter’s clothing again

Elbow Falls in winter's clothing - 2014 © Christopher MartinCanon 5DIII + 17-40mm lens at 17mm: 1/3rd of a second at f/16 on ISO 200

With fresh snow on the ground, I went back up to Elbow Falls to see how the valley would look in a return to winter clothing.  I was there only a week ago and the change, beyond the cold, was significant.  I love snow-covered landscapes so I found this visit to Kananaskis to be a very beautiful one.  I think spring is coming soon but when winter is this pretty, I don’t mind a little delay.

Early morning blues - 2014 © Christopher MartinThe blues before dawn…
Canon 5DIII + 17-40mm lens at 26mm: 3.2 seconds at f/11 on ISO 200
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2014 © Christopher MartinFirst light in the mountains
Canon 5DIII + 17-40mm lens at 25mm: 1.3 seconds at f/11 on ISO 50
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2014 © Christopher MartinSunshine into the mist
Canon 5DIII + 17-40mm lens at 17mm: 1/8th of a second at f/16 on ISO 50

 


A Winter Weasel

Stoat Alert - 2014 © Christopher Martin

This Ermine, a short-tailed weasel in its winter coat, was bounding in the snow hunting.  They are so quick that a sharp image can be a challenge.  The bright day and relatively uncluttered scene helped the auto focus and I nabbed a couple of shots before it skipped into deeper brush and out of sight.

Winter Weasel - 2014 © Christopher Martin

Three years ago, we had a weasel that set up for a couple of months in a woodpile in our backyard.  I haven’t seen one since then so it was great fun to have a short encounter again.

Snow bound - 2014 © Christopher Martin


Ice and Snow: lines and shadows

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The waves of mild temperatures then bitter cold that have been winter’s pattern this year have played havoc with the ice.

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Along the Elbow River the once smooth sheets of water frozen layer on layer, have buckled and split along the channel.

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The temperature went into free fall yesterday but the blue skies pulled me outside this morning. Near the edge of the ice down the Elbow I spent some time photographing the forms created by the blanket of snow, broken ice cover, and the long shadows of winter.

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First snow in Bragg Creek

With a dusting of snow - 2013 © Christopher Martin

The slushy rain we had for a couple of hours last night in Redwood Meadows was snow in Bragg Creek.  The kids and I toured through West Bragg to check out the first snow and see what wildlife we might find.

In the snow - 2013 © Christopher Martin

We found a few small groups of deer, Mules and White-tailed, in different places.  A young bull moose walked in front of us when we were on the edge of Kananaskis Country.  It was nice to see a few creatures out and about.

Young bull - 2013 © Christopher Martin

The afternoon was beautiful so I’m not sure if this first snowfall will stay on the ground or not.  It was great to work with white back in the color palette.

Reflections in Wild Rose - 2013 © Christopher Martin

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Branches - 2013 © Christopher Martin

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Snow on the shoreline - 2013 © Christopher Martin


A little winter in Kananaskis

Overlapping seasons - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Winter is beginning to win the hearts and minds of the mountains in Kananaskis Country.  After the sunrise at Wedge Pond, I hiked around the Upper Kananaskis Lake for a little while.  There are some lovely yellows and golds in the trees reaching up along the lower flanks.  With a few days of cool weather the patches of snow have knitted together and trekked down the slopes to meet, and pass through, the forest.

Autumn at Upper Kananaskis Lake - 2013 © Christopher Martin

 


Watching a blizzard

Frozen coyote - 2013 © Christopher Martin

This coyote didn’t seem impressed with the storm that tore across the Foothills on the weekend.  The front of the blizzard was pretty wet so when the temperature started to drop, everything built up a layer of ice.  I suppose this creature didn’t feel like trotting around with the extra weight, and the blinding snow, so it laid down and burrowed in.  It was resolute to stay put and only watched me as I set up my camera and lens for this picture.  Most coyotes will perk their ears so I wondered if this one may have been injured or sick.  However, I went by a couple of hours later and the coyote had moved on.  The storm was still raging so maybe dinner had called her to action.  When I’d seen her earlier, I thought she might not leave until the weather improved considerably.


Snowstorm through the trees

Snowstorm through the trees - © Christopher Martin-9870

A heavy blizzard blew through southern Alberta on Sunday.  The snow fell throughout the day with the wind keeping pace alongside.  The trees on the edge of Kananaskis Country caught pieces of the storm and twirled the snow around the branches in the evergreens.


It’s cold and the moose are out

Running around - © Christopher Martin-7167

The moose around Bragg Creek, and elsewhere I would imagine, like the cold.  When the thermometer drops below zero, they seem to come out.  The colder, the better.  This weekend we have stayed below -20°C and I found moose in a few different places around West Bragg Creek.

Breakfast together - © Christopher Martin-7150

I got to spend an hour with a small herd of three cows and one calf.  They were pretty docile, grazing on slender, red branches for much of the morning.  They moved together and apart between stands of these branches and more open meadow.  The young one played a little bit, running between mother and minders a couple of times.

Winter moose - © Christopher Martin-6857

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Winter moose calf - © Christopher Martin-7128-2

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In the thick of it - © Christopher Martin-7194

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What's that? - © Christopher Martin-7215


Winter’s grasp on an old truck

This week’s cold snap came with a lot of moisture and it wrapped the prairie in a thin sheet of white.  This old truck, long parked in this spot and used to advertise a nearby tree farm, did not escape the icy snow either.  Drawing in closer, I really liked the details in the front, particularly the grille.


Taking Flight – Bald Eagle on the Prairie

A cold snap has taken hold of the prairies around Calgary for the past few days.  I saw this eagle picking away at some bones out in a field in Springbank and stopped to photograph it for a few minutes.  After a few minutes, it took to the air to find the next meal.  Given the damp cold, I would suggest it carry on the migration that brought it our way last week and head for somewhere more temperate.  That said, I will be very happy if I have the chance to photograph it a few more times before then.

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Winter at Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka has a beautiful shoreline on its southeastern edge.  I have not spent much time along the rocks there but a few days ago I was there for about an hour in the morning and really liked the area.  The ice coating the rocks where there were gaps in the snow worked in nice contrast to the stormy skies crowding over the ridges of Inglismaldie on the far side of the water.


Moose Travels

These two moose crossed a farm field moving towards the heavier woods of Kananaskis, west of Bragg Creek.  The mother kept up a brisk trot but the calf seemed untroubled by the pace.    She came towards me across the field and then joined a path that crossed a low point in the fence a hundred feet in front of me.  On the road they paused for a second and then hiked up into the forest.


Winter on Cascade’s Eastern Flank

 

The morning sun provided dynamic light on the slopes and ridges on the eastern side of Cascade Mountain in the Banff National Park.  Another chapter in the long running story of light and shadow.


Jasper’s landscapes in winter

The week I spent in the Jasper National Park at the end of October coincided with a heavy snowstorm which gripped the park area for most of the week and gave winter a firm grasp over it.  I was there to photograph wildlife with a small group but stole a few opportunities to capture the landscape freshly trimmed with its winter coat.

During a scout along the Athabasca River looking for tracks, I stopped to work into this scene for a few minutes.  With a bit of time to find something to work with in the foreground, waterproof(ish) boots so I could set up out in the water a bit and a polarizer all helped to realize what I had in mind.  Namely, a subtle winter landscape in this national park.

The last day had some of the heaviest snow in the morning but also afforded the only sunshine of the week.  This image was along the river’s edge east of Jasper a little while before the clouds started to knit back together.


Windswept across Mount Rundle’s jagged peak

Wind blows snow off of Mount Rundle’s eastern peak.  This was the vanguard of the storm that brought snow out onto the prairies over the weekend.


On a snowy perch

A Black-billed Magpie watched me photographing the snow this morning.  Before I left, I turned his way to catch an image of him on this snow-covered branch.


First snowfall on the Prairie

After a warm weekend where we crested 25°C, winter jumped out of his hiding place and threw snow down overnight.  The weather report calls for rain by this afternoon and then warming up to 17°C by the weekend.  It would seem that this is a short reminder of what will come.  It would be nice if autumn held on a little longer – we’ll see.


Snowstorm Sheep in the Banff National Park

(Please click on each image if you are interested in higher resolutions)

The weather this weekend was more winter than early summer – In the Banff National Park it was cold.  Large, heavy flakes of wet snow fell fast for a couple of hours in the morning.  I drove up to Lake Minnewanka and this was the only mammal I saw on the drive up and back down.

This young Bighorn sheep was walking alone on the edge of the road away from the water.  When I pulled over, he walked 100 metres towards me and then sauntered nonchalantly right past me.

He stopped a few times on both the approach and as he walked away.  Which gave me some nice photo opportunities to work with the animal, the snow and the even light.


Spring Snowstorm over Two Jack Lake

I drove around the Minnewanka Loop in the Banff National Park this morning on the search for wildlife, bears in particular.  The loop starts at the easternmost Banff townsite exit and goes uphill to Lake Minnewanka.  Along the way you can occasionally see wolves, bears, moose, elk, bighorn sheep and deer.  The snow was falling with great enthusiasm by 8 am this morning.  It made finding wildlife a bit more challenging but I loved how the sky looked filled with these huge flakes.

In the image above I was on a bluff looking over Two Jack Lake towards Mount Rundle.  This stand of trees is on a small point that juts out prominently.  With the snow this was the only feature of the lake that could be seen.  The trees looked like they were painted with brush strokes and this image shows some of that.


A Cold Dawn at Elbow Falls

Following Saturday’s snow storm, we had a beautiful day today.  Sunrise came along at 6am sharp this morning and I drove up to Elbow Falls early and met the day there.  The snow was still holding onto the trees and rocks so the landscape along the river had a strong winter tone.  I was hoping for the early, pink light to reflect off of the clouds stacked above the mountains into this scene.  That did not happen, some clouds eastwards blocked the sunlight until the sun was well clear of the horizon.  When the sunlight did reach into the valley, it was beautiful.

On the way up to the falls I even had a minute to take a nice photograph of a moose sitting up in her bedded down spot from the quick ending night.  A pretty great morning in my photographic book.


The morning brought a snowstorm home…

One of our heavy spring snowstorms started early this morning.  When I woke up I went out for a walk in the forest with these huge snowflakes falling eagerly to the ground.

From yesterday’s sunny day where I was out playing at the park late into the afternoon, it was an abrupt change by any measure.

 


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