Watching us, watching you
There are good moments. Watching this cinnamon bear in the Sheep River Provincial Park with my family was one of them.
The Northern Lights were soft on April Fool’s night. There were a number of photographers lined up waiting for the show but the joke was on us with a subtle display. I didn’t mind, it gave me pause to think about the scene differently and try out a few things. This longer exposure, 8 seconds, with a little movement of both the camera and the grass in the foreground had an interesting look.
I spent a morning watching a great gray owl flying over the long grass which broke up the forest. Spring has not yet taken hold so the color palette was rather pale but matched the owl’s plumage exceptionally well. He missed on the first dive into the field but came away with breakfast on two other occasions.
A winter scene
The hoar frost encrusted the fields across Springbank over the past few days. I like the serenity of these scenes.
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.
A winter night in YYC
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.
Silhouettes and city lights
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.
Sunrise from the east side
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.
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.