Landscapes

The see saw between winter and spring has brought a full variety of weather from each. A couple of weeks ago, this storm rolled over the prairies west of Cochrane, the wind bringing rain that became snow later in the evening. At this point, a little after dinner time, the clouds seemed to be inviting the trees to dance. In my imagination, they appeared to be reaching down to touch them – extending a hand with the invitation.


Water Valley dawn

On a trip to Water Valley a couple of weeks ago, I raced to find something interesting for the sun to silhouette as it rose above the prairies. These trees, still weeks away from any leaves emerging fit the bill very nicely. It was one of the prettiest mornings I’ve enjoyed in quite a while.

My favourite version was the wider view with the deep blue of the sky above in it. However, the tighter shot with the sun just above the trees and a color palette of gold, copper and bronze was a close second.


Equinox aurora revisited

Last weekend, I shared one photograph of the Northern Lights from the geomagnetic storm that hit earth in the early morning of the spring equinox. The aurora rippled high into the northern sky for a few hours. Desirée and I watched them for much of that time. Here are a few more images from an incredible night.

After leaving Bragg Creek to see the sunrise at Ghost Lake, the aurora faded into the brightening horizon. This last photograph of the rolling hills north of the lake suggested an echo of the Northern Lights. I’m not sure if they were there still or if it was more my imagination.


Sunrise at Ghost Lake

A man sitting on a park bench is silhouetted by a fiery cloud during sunrise at Ghost Lake, east of Cochrane, Alberta, Canada.  Photographed on March 20, 2021.

After an incredible Northern Lights display in the early hours of March 20th, I drove west of Cochrane to watch the morning arrive. Ice still covers the lake though large cracks and variety in the surface color and texture indicate spring is loosening the frozen grip.

I arrived in darkness with a dim glow on on the eastern horizon. The glow brightened steadily and soon I was watching the fiery clouds catching the earliest light and waiting for the sun to jump into the sky.

The long night fled as the sun rose and I used the time to think about the cycles of the seasons, life and family. Good thoughts, I believe, for the Spring Equinox.


Spring Equinox and the Aurora Borealis

The northern hemisphere’s Spring Equinox was welcomed by an incredible performance by the Northern Lights last night. Desirée and I went out early this morning and watched them dance along high in the sky for hours. It was one of the most beautiful displays that I have seen. It’s made for a slow start in daylight today but was wonderfully worthwhile!

Spaceweather.com has a great article today about auroras and equinoxes which I found really interesting. From their front page, “Around the beginning of spring and fall,  cracks open in Earth’s magnetic field–a phenomenon called “the Russell-McPherron effect.” Solar wind pours in to fuel geomagnetic storms.” I didn’t know about that effect – very cool!


Storming towards dawn

Desirée and I met up with the leading edge of a storm rolling out of the mountains on an early morning drive through Priddis just before Christmas. The leading edge of the cloud raced eastward towards the eastern sky as dawn approached. Snow and wind came shortly after this photo and the view through this dip in the hills disappeared.


Skyfall

Desirée and I caught the sunset on the first day of the new year this evening. It turned out to be a beautiful end to the day. We watched the clouds play with the last light in the foothills on the eastern flank of the Rockies.


Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2021. Here’s to a happy and healthy year for you and yours. There is so much that will be nice to leave behind in 2020 around the world. I hope to remember the silver linings and the special moments from a long year and let the tougher ones fade sooner than later.


It will DEFINITELY be a white Christmas at home this year

We had a bit of snow on the ground yesterday where I live near Bragg Creek, east of Calgary, Alberta. We have A LOT more today!

A snowstorm let fly yesterday evening and it is still falling this afternoon. It seemed like the snow was anxious to land as it fell aggressively all night. We woke up this morning with over 60 cm (2′) on our bedroom deck. Last night, the kids and I went out tobogganing soon after the snow started to fall. It was great fun and we stayed out until dark. Walking back, the nightscape with snowflakes illuminated by the street lights, Christmas lights and silhouettes of the trees along the road caught my eye. I grabbed my tripod along with a remote trigger and photographed for a little while. I could almost watch the blanket of snow rise as I shot. A few vehicles passed by, tracing their lights across some of the long exposures. The muffling of sound from the heavy storm stilled the night leaving only the sound of the snowflakes landing on the ground. One of the prettiest winter nights that I’ve been out in.

Desirée was in town while we played around and called soon after I returned home. Her drive back was a scary one as the same pretty storm was a whiteout on the road and saw more than a couple of dangerous drivers racing around to make it more stressful than was necessary. Once she returned, we all relaxed and were able to resume our wonder at this crazy tempest. A late night soak in the hot tub allowed us to be in the middle of it and stay warm.


No Trespassing Sunrise

<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">I enjoyed a beautiful autumn dawn over the prairies northwest of Calgary near Big Hill Springs Park in late September. I enjoyed a beautiful autumn dawn over the prairies northwest of Calgary near Big Hill Springs Park in late September.

Using a headlamp’s red light, I painted this fence and illuminated the sign during one long exposure. There is a juxtaposition of the invitation a sunrise extends at the start of a new day with a sign meant to keep people away that I ruminated on while I photographed the morning.


Aurora Prairialis

The Northern Lights have been increasing their activity into the southern Canadian latitudes lately. After what seems like close to a year of quiet night skies, it is wonderful to enjoy them again.

We found these dancing lights on the prairies south of Cochrane near the end of September. It was a calm display but hopefully a harbinger of things to come.


Rolling the moon down a cloud

The full moon rolling down a hill of clouds. Photographed on September 1, 2020 west of Calgary, Alberta near Bragg Creek.

We caught the first full moon of September on the first day of the month. The clouds spun and stretched across the sky during the moonrise off of the prairie west of Calgary. The moon leaped up quickly daring the clouds to dim her bright light. It was beautiful.