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Lightning strikes over Lac Mercier

A fierce thunderstorm in the Mont-Tremblant area of the Laurentians in Québec last night. Steady sheets of lightning, howling wind and hammering rain accompanied the thunder that rang across the valleys for hours. This photograph was from Lac Mercier just after midnight. When this lightning cracked, it shook the gazebo I was standing under. I left a few minutes later – I’d had enough and the rain that followed shortly afterwards was of an almost biblical level. It was time to get home.  I will share a few more from the night soon but my son and I are off to Ottawa to visit Parliament Hill.

A superior lake for a morning swim

This was my first view of Lac-Supérieur when I was driving in the Laurentians early yesterday morning.  Despite the sign, I really wanted to run down the dock and dive in.

Canada Day fireworks in Mont-Tremblant

Kian and I headed up the ski hill last night to get a good vantage point for the fireworks.  We found a great slab of bare rock near the flying mile chairlift and enjoyed the explosions as they lit up the village and echoed across the valley.

Pretty fantastic to spend a warm night watching the light show above this pretty little town with my son.

 

Happy Canada Day!

 

I love this country, its people and the direction we are, generally, heading in. Lot’s of ground still to cover on equality, indigenous people’s rights, the economy and many more. But, we are discussing these, looking in the mirror and moving forward together. That is worth celebrating!

The photograph is from this morning along a little waterfall near the village of Mont-Tremblant in Québec, Canada.

Passing through Montréal… again

Almost exactly a month later, I found myself landing in Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport again.  This time with my family.  We are in Mont-Tremblant this week for my daughter’s dance competition.  We will get back to the city for a bit of a visit during our stay in Québec – I’m looking forward to wandering around the old town with them soon.  It’s fun to have the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful city on two separate occasions this summer after not visiting for about 28 years.

A night in the old port of Montréal

A silhouetted self-portrait in the Old Port, Vieux-Port, of Montréal in Québec, Canada.

Following the enjoyment of watching the fiery, hazy spell cast by la Joute fountain in front of the Palais des congrès, I continued on to the old port.  This area is the historical heart of Montréal and one I had not spent time exploring before.  Restaurants and cafes were winding down for the night as I walked past and people were making their way home.  That left the cobblestone streets, lined with some of the oldest buildings in Canada, to me and the occasional group of merrymakers and travelers.  I played with some long exposures, stepping into a few of those frames, and some motion blurs (images of the Ferris wheel on the waterfront from that night can be seen here).  I ended up getting pretty tired towards the early morning so  that impacted the photographing a bit but I’m glad I had time to have a look around.  I’m excited to get back there again in a couple of weeks.  Hopefully with more time and during daylight too!

La Joute – a fountain of water, fog and fire

Recently I was in Montréal and my first destination was the Palais des congrès.  A stroll down Avenue Viger led me to this convention centre and the beautiful façade of colorful glass windows that drew me there.  I crossed the street to frame the windows behind the fountain in the park there.  La Joute is the name of the sculpture fountain and it breathes fire!  I didn’t know that when I arrived though.  Standing at the edge of the fountain’s pool, I overheard a boy ask his brother when the fire would start so I decided to wait and see what would come next.

A few minutes later, a thick haze started to roll over the water and soon covered the pool and rose up towards the bronze sculptures of animal and human figures.  The presentation was impressive and had a gentle flow as it moved from water into fog.

A few people had gathered and were enthralled, as I was, when the first flickers of flame began to appear around the central statue.  These flames connected into a complete ring of fire and rose a foot or two off of the water.

The backdrop of the Palais made for a lovely atmosphere and a great scene to photograph throughout the sequence.

La Grande roue de Montréal

I had an extended layover in Montréal a couple of weeks ago and spent the night photographing in the old port area.  The ferris wheel on the harbour front opened last year and is eye-catching addition to the city’s skyline. I wandered down to the waterfront close to 11 with a warm rain starting to fall which found me thinking about puddles and reflections.

The wheel closed at 11 so I was lucky to arrive in time to watch a couple of the different colors they project onto it while it is open.  Afterwards it is lit in simple white but I liked photographing that too.  I will share some photos from around the old part of the harbour but for this one, it’s all about La Grande roue de Montréal.  There may have been controversy behind this installation and I am a sucker for Ferris wheels but I think it works as part of the waterfront.

This last one was taken quite a bit later in the night.  I went into the frame to fill the narrow slot with my silhouette.  I didn’t intend for that to add a slightly foreboding tone to the image.

Flying toward the sun

Not quite Icarus, but after this owl had descended into the grass after a rodent of some type, she flew up and into a shaft of early sunlight that had pierced deep into the forest.

Into the forest with an owl

A great gray owl was hunting across a meadow near Kananaskis Country earlier in the week.  I watched her across the field for a while before she flew to the forest edge and landed in a tree branch a couple of meters off the ground.  Eventually she launched and dove after something in the tall grass.

That proved to be unsuccessful.  And the owl flew across the hillside into a stand of trees to the north.  I was able to watch her work between a couple of different perches until she found one in the sunlight.

The warmth in the sun may have been part of the reason she stayed there for a few minutes.

 

When she moved on, she flew low over the wet grass, then climbed into the trees and disappeared.

Evening flight

I found a Swainson’s hawk south of Cochrane last week.  When the bird eventually pushed off from this tangle of branches I took a couple of photographs with the wings at full extension.

A Black Diamond rainbow

A couple of weeks ago my son spied this rainbow as it arched out of a storm cloud rolling over the prairies east of Black Diamond.  I am very glad he did!

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