Nature

A deer under the Northern Lights

During the November 3rd geomagnetic storm, the Aurora Borealis were dancing across the entire sky west of Calgary near Bragg Creek. Desirée and I were outside watching them, mesmerized by the performance, for 3 hours. I didn’t know this deer was nearby on the edge of the forest when I was shooting. It was fun to discover her in this image when I was working through the set this afternoon.


Happy Owl-oween!

I hope you have fun celebrating this spooky, scary day! We have five kids and can’t wait to get costumed-up and watch them trick-or-treating!


Evening light on a red fox

We were in Kananaskis last weekend. The autumn colours were beautiful near Highwood Pass. The snow dusting the trees was also beautiful but felt more than a little early. We came down from the pass in warm afternoon sunlight and found this incredible fox trotting down a hill. She crossed by a pond and settled on this rock for 20 minutes before continuing along. Both Desirée and I were mesmerized watching her. I love foxes and this was a special one to spend a little bit of time with.


Watching the hunt

I spent a bit of time with a great gray owl last week. It was later in the evening and it seemed to be looking for a last snack before dark.

I watched it crisscross a meadow of tall grass and make several dives out of sight. It came up without a catch on those.

Apparently, it felt like a change of location was required. Crossing the road she landed on a couple of old fenceposts and stared hard into the adjacent little fields but didn’t find a target worth chasing.

Success came when she flew out of a tall tree she had spent a few minutes surveying from. When she launched, it was a drop to just above the grass and then a sudden drop.

She swallowed while low in the grass and then rose out and flew towards me before alighting on a post right beside me. A couple of minutes later she went across another field and out of sight.


Summer lightning over the Elbow

The gods were bowling in the clouds late last night. The rolling thunder was preceded by steady sheets of lightning and a downpour that reminded me far more of a rainstorm in the tropics than one on the prairies. Once the rain died down, we walked to the banks of the Elbow River and watched as the storm moved eastward out of the low mountains around Bragg Creek. Forks of lightning peeled across the sky every couple of minutes for over an hour. It was a really beautiful summer storm to photograph.


Waterton – a look back at the landscape

Kian and I went camping at Waterton National Park in 2015. I had not realized that it was almost six years ago. When a prospective client asked about my favourite landscape images from the area for a print, I put together this little set for her review.

Link to the portfolio: click here

The Northern Lights color the night sky above Waterton National Park

It brought back fun memories. Looking forward to getting back there with my kids to create a bunch more.


Common loon cleaning

This loon had a small lake to himself a week ago. After swimming around a small island once, he decided to preen. I am used to this being a relatively short session that ends with the stretch out of the water as in the image above. This time was very different and saw the bird splash, skim, dunk and flap for 15 minutes. I’m guilty of thinking that he was having great fun during his bath time. While this is not unusual behavior for loons, it was new to me for the amount of time and the exuberance displayed.

I had a great time was watching and enjoyed looking for dynamic images that I have never had the opportunity to photograph before. The head emerging from the water, wings outstretched perpendicular to the water, surface skimming while beating droplets into a fury around him were among my favorite moments. Here are a few of the images that put a smile on my face when I reviewed them a couple of days after the encounter.


The first hummingbird of the year

We heard a quiet buzz above our deck yesterday, looked up and saw a Rufous hummingbird hovering near our feeder. It was our first one of the year and one of the most welcome migratory birds that return to our backyard each year.


An owl in the rising sun

I went out onto the Foothills last weekend to catch the sunrise. It was beautiful but this great gray owl stole the honors for the morning to me. I loved having her backlit by the warm sunshine while she flew to hunt in the field.

Amid a number of current challenges, I enjoyed getting out for time to photograph and put energy into this passion of mine.


Happy Easter!

The robins have just returned to our home this weekend. It was a nice surprise from the Easter bunny to see and hear them in the backyard again.

Desirée thought the image above suggested the bird centre in the sunlight was the hope of spring emerging from darkness of winter. I liked that a lot. She has a beautiful way of seeing things.


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.