This is a squirrel in our backyard. Though, if you asked him, I’m sure it would be referred to as his backyard.
We have watched him flit around our deck, trees and lawn for almost a year now. We named him Mojo somewhere along the way as we have seen him learning how to be a squirrel. As he’s grown, boldness has emerged as a defining characteristic. A couple of weeks ago, he leaped on top of the barbecue railing and watched us for a while. He didn’t mind having his picture taken through the window – either he’s gotten used to it or he has become more than a little vain.
It was -26°C as I stood with my tripod watching the sun climb off the horizon to start the day. Hoar frost enveloped these branches creating a beautifully tangled, chaotic pattern. The sunlight streamed in, reflecting off of the ice and snow.
After hiking along the Boom Lake trail last weekend, I drove into the Kootenay National Park for a little ways. I stopped when I noticed the snow blowing off of the peaks along the Ball Range that is a line of mountains along the Continental Divide. Looking up from the British Columbia – Alberta border on Highway 93, the snow was backlit by the sun which had still not risen above the wall created by Storm Mountain, Beatrice Peak and Stanley Peak.
Wind pushed veils of cloud up the valley obscuring the ridgeline for seconds or minutes. When the view was clear, it presented a constantly changing scene as the snow lifted into the air.
This morning I hiked up a hill for the sunrise. As the light started to brush the clouds stacked above the eastern flank of the Kananaskis mountains, a horse came up close to where I was set up. She nuzzled around for a bit but I didn’t have any carrots with me. Just after turning back towards her colt, she paused for a few seconds and I framed her against the bright horizon.
(please click on the image for a higher resolution version)
I noticed one of the first hints of summer fading when I was out in West Bragg Creek this morning. The night air has cooled noticeably over the past week and today the dew had coated the leaves, flowers and grasses across the countryside. This spider web did not escape and I moved around so that the sun was lighting it up from behind. The backlighting on the threads made it glow. It looked like an elaborate, if somewhat haphazardly designed, piece from a weaver’s loom. Summer should run on for another month and a half or so but this is one of those early signs that fall is somewhere over the horizon, not so very away.
Alvise Doglioni and I finished the first of a couple of meetings to photograph him in his workshop in Priddis, Alberta for a piece that we are working on. He is a master craftsman in woodworking and woodcarving and it was nice to get this project started. That story is a ways off from being told but I did make a couple of images using the beautiful light streaming in through the windows.
If you have an interest in wood artwork and furniture – whimsical and functional in alternating measures – check out Alvise’s website.
There was a blizzard that flew out of the mountains this evening. Huge snowflakes swirled around the trees off my deck and it was a really beautiful storm to watch. As the sun began to set, it fell below the storm clouds and sunlight backlit the trees and the snow. A surreal dreamscape that was great to photograph.
This squirrel has lived in the woodpile beside our garage for more than three years. I used to think that he poached the bird seed for the woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches that stay near year round that we put out. Now I just put out extra for this little fellow. This afternoon I was throwing peanuts out on the deck and he showed up right after I whistled to the bluejays to let them know their snack was served. In this photograph the squirrel had carried one of the peanuts up to a low branch while a jay above set some snow loose when it jumped off its perch.