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Alces alces in a Kananaskis snowstorm

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As dawn broke on a recent morning when I was up in Kananaskis, the skies were leaden and threatening to drop some form of precipitation.  It was cold and windy so it seemed an open question whether it would be rain, snow or a frozen mix of the two.  The weather foiled my plans for a sunrise shoot of Mount Kidd but made it an easy decision to drive further up the valley into the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.  I passed a few White-tailed deer but did not see much else on the way up.  Apparently I had an appointment (unbeknownst to me at the time) with this wonderful family of moose.  They were standing around this marsh in plain view beside the turn off of the Kananaskis Lakes Trail up to the Upper Lake’s parking lot and trailhead.

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The calf stayed close to her mom but was not very shy.  Staring at me several times to satisfy her curiosity about what I was and whether I was something of interest or not.  The bull was hidden within a few trees at first so it was a great surprise when I saw his antlers first come into sight.

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When a snowplow passed by, its scoop loudly grinding against the asphalt, the young one was startled and ran a little ways off from the roadside.  Mom followed and they munched along as they slowly headed into the forest.

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The bull was a magnificent creature.  Healthy and very confident, neither the vehicles nor my presence made any impression on him.  He kept his eyes on any activity around him but was focused on grazing.  I watched him for the next hour as he moved between trees, bogs and little fields.  Their ability to blend in and disappear, despite their size, was observed many times and always surprises me.

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The storm’s intensity ebbed and flowed through the morning and the snow followed accordingly.  At times falling hard, at times almost stopping completely.  Along with adjusting the camera settings to drag the shutter and blur the snow’s motion or freeze the flakes in action, it was a great setting to photograph these moose in.

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The bull kept an eye on the family as they went into the trees and eventually followed them away from the marsh.  The encounter ended shortly thereafter but I would not ask for anything more.  It was a great day in Kananaskis.

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26 responses

  1. Hi Chris. It’s Jim Picardi trying to survive the fascist takeover of the USA. We are seriously considering buying a place in Canada especially if things go south under Heir Trump. Your site always soothes me. Love those moose. Great story too! Such fond memories of the Kananaskis.

    All the Best!!!!

    November 9, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    • Hi Jim – Great to hear from you but very surprising to watch how the election unfolded. We will see if he can rise to the office but there is much to worry about. We’d love to have you if Canada becomes the choice you make. Either way – I hope you and Jules are doing well and getting out photographing to enjoy some much needed distraction.

      November 11, 2016 at 5:06 pm

  2. The snow does make it even more magical-great series!

    November 2, 2016 at 5:41 pm

  3. Extraordinary sightings..at least for me to see! Loved the falling snow–we have so little of it in the NW… except in the mountains. Always exceptional and appreciated work.

    October 27, 2016 at 6:59 pm

  4. Awesome!

    October 26, 2016 at 7:34 pm

  5. Beautiful!

    October 26, 2016 at 6:39 pm

  6. Really really beautiful, thank you for sharing these!!!!

    October 26, 2016 at 4:43 pm

  7. Amazing experience and terrific photos!

    October 26, 2016 at 3:06 pm

  8. These are the best moose photos I’ve ever seen, and the dusting of snow exquisite.

    October 26, 2016 at 2:40 pm

  9. So fantastic! I love the photos and the story. Thank you for sharing these great moments with us.

    October 26, 2016 at 1:29 pm

  10. These are trully amazing images!

    October 26, 2016 at 12:44 pm

  11. Well done…

    October 26, 2016 at 12:26 pm

  12. Anonymous

    I’ve been following your blog for a few months. Your views of nature are raw and honest. They are a bright spot in my day. Thank you for sharing your work.

    October 26, 2016 at 11:31 am

  13. Amazing pictures and experience

    October 26, 2016 at 10:48 am

  14. Frosty

    AMAZING!!! I CAN ALMOST FEEL THE COLD AND SNOW.! I HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED THAT MOOSE WERE WONDERFUL, BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS. THANK YOU FOR SHOWING HOW TERIFIC THEY ARE TO EVERYONE. FROSTY

    October 26, 2016 at 10:39 am

  15. Pingback: Alces alces in a Kananaskis snowstorm – menschundkulturblog

  16. Reblogged this on clawingmywayin.

    October 26, 2016 at 9:54 am

  17. Once again, rather than just enjoying your photos, I love the way you set the scene for us for the whole experience, sharing your words and stories as well. Beautifully done!

    October 26, 2016 at 9:30 am

  18. Pingback: Alces alces in a Kananaskis snowstorm — Christopher Martin Photography | Le Bien-Etre au bout des Doigts

  19. Anonymous

    Great shots!

    October 26, 2016 at 9:20 am

  20. oh so beautiful….love these for many reasons…and the snow just adds…wonderful!

    October 26, 2016 at 8:08 am

  21. Reblogged this on O LADO ESCURO DA LUA.

    October 26, 2016 at 8:08 am

  22. Fantastic. Moose are such strange looking yet amazing creatures. Great photos!

    October 26, 2016 at 7:53 am

  23. Majestic creatures and as always, gorgeous images!

    October 26, 2016 at 7:34 am

  24. travelchipz

    I really love your shots! Thanks to your photos can feel the essence of nature and the exact time when you took those shots…it’s Amazing…thanks a lot and don’t stop sharing it! Please!

    October 26, 2016 at 7:18 am

  25. Very cool shots!

    October 26, 2016 at 7:02 am

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