A run of warmer weather preceded the latest dip of the thermometer here in southern Alberta. That opened up a couple of the ponds at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary last weekend. The calm, open water drew in dozens of Canada geese, mallard ducks and a few common goldeneyes. A steady cacophony of quacks was the soundtrack by the water. Some calling out to partners, occasional angry exchanges and seemingly random squawking here and there.
The sun was low enough that the light was still warm and, to my eye, a bit buttery. I focused on moment of action – flapping to dry wings, short flights across the pond and a couple of chases.
Alberta has been thrown into the freezer this week. The temperature, -26ºC/-15ºF and colder, has felt like winter asserting that it is truly here now. It is a shock but I went outside last night while one of the boys had an appointment downtown just to thumb my nose at the chill a little bit. The fingers got cold but I didn’t mind too much. There is something about photographing landscapes when it is really cold that adds to the images – almost a clarity and a stillness – that I really like. These are images of Calgary’s downtown from Discovery Hill as the day slipped away.
Watching the dusk fade from the east side of Calgary, the color in the sky softened into pastels. The city’s lights glowed and cast tall stalks of grass into silhouette. It strikes me a little melancholy looking at it now – and beautiful.
I’ve photographed downtown Calgary at dawn from the east side near Inglewood twice in the last few weeks. It is a side of the city that I have not shot before. I have enjoyed the view and the different look from this side.
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.
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.
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.
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
It brought back fun memories. Looking forward to getting back there with my kids to create a bunch more.
This great gray owl dove at something in the hillside grasses behind this sign. I wasn’t in a good position for that attack but I was when it returned to the sign post it was hunting from.
In mid-April, snow fell regularly. The robins had arrived earlier in the month and I wasn’t sure how they would feel about the weather. One afternoon, I photographed this one for a little while. He didn’t seem to have any issues with the white stuff as he bombed through it and flew around to a few different spots around the yard.
I love K-Country and with a break in the rain on Friday, we went up to Forgetmenot Pond for a walk around the water before evening set in. The mountains that stand to the south, west and north were all still snow clad and, surprisingly the pond still had ice covering most of it. It was cold, clear and beautiful.
For the photograph below, I shot the reflection of the mountains in the water. Slight ripples distorted the scene in a way I thought was intriguing. Another way to enjoy the views of the forest, mountains and their peaks as spring pushes into the higher elevations.