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Here comes the sun…

As the eastern sky brightened yesterday morning, sunlight painted a line through a thin veil of clouds above the horizon.  With the sun heralding its imminent arrival, I was happy to wait and watch it rise.  A beautiful start to the day.

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Early winter at the Upper Kananaskis Lake

A touch of winter froze blades of a partially submerged mound of grass and laid down several sheets of snow on the peaks ringing the lake before autumn returned. Photographed in Kananaskis Country’s Peter Lougheed Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada on October 7th.

Autumn sky in the morning

Winter retreated last week and the autumn skies have been beautiful since.  West of Calgary, near Springbank, the clouds glowed above the sun as it rose behind a farmstead earlier this week.

Nightscapes in Kananaskis

A 25 second exposure and a fast lens (in this case, a Canon 24mm f/1.4 set at f/1.8) revealed wisps of clouds stretching east across the Kananaskis River valley a little after 4 in the morning on October 7th.  The soft green glow betrayed the Aurora Borealis pulsing low over the northern horizon.

Red light from my headlamp illuminated Highway 40 in this 10 second exposure that centered on the hazy Northern Lights.

Wintry autumn in Redwood Meadows

 

Following the heavy snowfall early in the week, I found a few different times to get out to photograph this interesting transition from autumn to winter.  The cold snap caught the trees off guard and the leaves have been falling steadily since.

 

A short spell with a few of Invermere’s belted kingfishers

It seems longer than a month ago when Kian and I went to the Columbia Valley in British Columbia for the Labour Day long weekend.

(please click any image to see a higher resolution version)

We had a great time skateboarding in Invermere, touring around Fairmont and even did a little swimming which was unreasonably cold for the late summer.

Photography wasn’t the focus of our trip but, unsurprisingly, I fit a little in here and there.  Easily the best of these was our walk along the narrow channel of the Columbia River where it meets the northern tip of Windermere Lake.  We found five kingfishers chattering, flying and occasionally diving along the water.

This juvenile alighted on the pillar near us as we were watching another one flying on the far side of the river.  He stayed for several minutes.  Drawing a flyby from one kingfisher but mostly left alone to scout for dinner before the sun set.

An autumn walk in Kananaskis Country

Ahead of the winter storm which hit late Monday, I went to Kananaskis to enjoy autumn in the mountains.  The clouds were leaden, already suggesting snow when I watched them wrap around Mount Kidd in the fading darkness.

I waited for dawn on the low ridge above Wedge Pond.  The little lake looked beautiful but the brightening sky was much less so.  The clouds did diffuse the light which supported taking a few landscapes of the larch that ring one side.

I wanted to get a hike in so I packed up and headed off to the trailhead for the Galatea Lakes.  I grabbed my tripod, threw on my backpack and headed up.

The trail followed Galatea Creek as it wound up the valley towards the lakes.  I photographed steadily as I wandered along.  It came as no surprise that I hadn’t covered more than a couple of miles before I needed to return home.  It was nice to get lost really seeing and enjoying the forest, the splashing water and the mountains for a couple of hours.

I hope there is a reprieve from the falling snow, I would like to get back this month to see how the autumn landscape looks in winter trappings.

 

 

Wood ducks shakin’ in YYC

Wood ducks are one of my favorite species of waterfowl (side note: that is a weird word!)  I love the plumage of both genders.  To me, they are among the most beautiful birds.  Beyond that, I like watching them paddling around, chasing one another and most of all splashing during their cleaning routine.

Last weekend I spent a couple of hours watching them carry on about their day.  Every now and then, one would separate from the raft of ducks, presumably to get some space, before dunking their head under the water several times, shaking the water off, flapping wings, rising out of the water and then repeating it for as long as they saw fit.  I didn’t tire of watching the water drops fly!

Autumn leaves

Ice on these leaves softened their autumn colors.  With the change of season over the past couple of weeks, I’m looking for fall scenes wherever I go.  I’m really enjoying taking the time to explore and to photograph them.

Inglewood reflection

I’m heading down to the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary to see which migrating as well as resident birds are around on a wet, cool afternoon.  Kezia and I were down there together last weekend and found some wood ducks, a variety of gulls, one heron and a good number of Canada geese.  This one was paddling on one of the ponds near the river.  Kez and I both like the serene aspects of this scene.

A sunrise in Springbank

The sun climbed over Springbank hill while I was heading into the city a couple of weeks ago.  I stopped at this stand of aspen with its blend of broken trunks, spidery branches and open canopy which I thought would provide an interesting frame for the sunrise.

An impression of autumn

When the snow was falling last week, I enjoyed trying to create some interesting images from the collision of weather with the fall landscape.  The photograph I shared earlier drew some very kind comments about the style of painting it was similar to.  I agree with Linda who saw suggestion of Pointillism.  Using a short exposure of 1/400th of a second froze the snowflakes in that photograph.  Here, I used a longer exposure of 1/40th of a second.  The slower shutter speed let the snow trace blurry paths through the scene.  I liked the level of abstraction that created.

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