Author Archive

A cub in Kananaskis

 

On a morning drive to the Upper Kananaskis Lake, I found a grizzly with her cub foraging beside the road.  A Kananaskis conservation officer was watching them from his truck across the road which made me feel better with respect to the risk of a vehicle colliding with them.  I did not want to bother them so I stopped for only a few seconds to watch as the little one munched away – her head didn’t come up as she seemed intent on her breakfast – so I continued on.

About twenty minutes later, I was heading on to the Highwood Pass for some hiking and passed by them again.  This time the cub favored me with a quick glance when I stopped before she returned to the grass and wildflowers.

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Calgary – a view to the tower’s lights

 


The night lights on the Calgary Tower caught my eye a couple of weeks ago.  I found an interesting perspective after moving around a bit.


Springbank electrics

The thunder and lightning rolled over the prairies several times over the past couple of weeks.  On August 1st, I went out to photograph dusk as the smoke from the wildfires has helped create some beautiful evening scenes.  The haze thinned after sunset and a large cloud took shape from it as the sky cooled into night.

While the color slipped away, the cloud grew and I caught a flicker of lightning on the northern edge.  Rain didn’t fall and the wind never really picked up.  However a fork crackled through the air every few minutes for the next couple of hours.

The storm slowly churned east towards Calgary and the open prairie beyond.  The trailing edge left behind a clear sky dotted with stars.  This last photograph caught the moon illuminating the cloud as it rose.

 


Sunset into smoke and silhouettes

The wildfire smoke gave the setting sun a fiery hue as it fell towards the horizon on the first day of August.  A few minutes earlier I had watched as it slipped into the clouds rendered indistinct in the hazy atmosphere.  When the orb re-appeared just above the horizon, with the pink light tracing out the tops of the cloud bank, I enjoyed this beautiful moment.


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In a sea of prairie green


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Form and light


Lightning over Lac Mercier

This lake is near Mont-Tremblant and has a lovely beach where my son and I swam the day before this heavy storm blew through the Laurentian Mountains.

The lightning strikes came in sets, striking the hills across the water.  Beside the beach is a pier and a small covered area where I was able to hide from the rain.  That afforded a wonderful view of the lake and back towards the vibrant little town.  Of course, much of that view was illuminated only by the flashes of lightning – most along the hills across the water but a couple were over the community.


I felt the accompanying thunder from those deep in my chest.  Frequently, the wind ripped through the valley and drove the rain horizontally.  The temperature dropped fast when the storm approached and stayed cool through the evening.  I was glad for the rain gear I had stashed in my pack.

There were occasional stretches where everything calmed down, almost to catch a collective breath, but the storm crashed across the mountains relentlessly otherwise.  A proper summer storm by every measure.  After a couple of hours, the rain picked up even more and I thought it was well past time to get home.


A smoked sunrise over Springbank

 

Smoke from wildfires to the west has brought a haze to the sky around Calgary.  That saturated the sun’s appearance as it rose off the horizon.  I watched the sunrise at the same time as the moonset from a hill near of Springbank.


A close encounter of the owl kind

Almost two months ago, I came across a great gray owl that was surveying a bog from the top of a weathered fence post.  I watched him for a few minutes as he looked around.  Then the big, yellow eyes watched me for a few seconds before the wings stretched out and he flew up the hill towards me.  These owls move quickly when they choose to so I was reacting not thinking when he took to the air.  I was happy to have a few shots of that approach.

I thought he would fly by, but another post a couple of meters away from me was his destination.  He looked around for half a minute, then stared at me while launching into the air again.  This time he passed close by, crossed the path and then flew to a broken tree branch in the forest.

It was early evening and seemed to be supper time as he dove into the tall grass a couple of minutes later.  That yielded a vole or some kind of field mouse.  I couldn’t tell as he swallowed it while on the ground and mostly out of sight.

Reappearing after a short while, he ascended to another branch briefly and then flew deeper into the forest.


Mountain lines above the Chain Lakes

During the road trip home after a quick trip to the Kootenays my dad and I stopped to enjoy this view of the hills, valleys and mountains on the eastern flank of the Rockies above the Chain Lakes.


Red fox in Mont-Tremblant

This fox was trotting down the road on a sunny morning in the Mont-Tremblant National Park in early July.  She stayed ahead of me when I pulled over and then crossed into the forest.  I watched it through the trees and was able to catch a nice look when she stood in a pool of sunlight.  A little further along she came back onto the road again for a minute.


Mist in Mont-Tremblant

One morning while I was in Québec, I drove out early and found the mist evaporating off of the Rivière du Diable (Devil’s river) where it flows south of Lac Munroe in Mont-Tremblant National Park.  I only explored a small corner of the park but was enchanted by its beauty.