Now spring seems to have asserted control and with that comes the storm clouds that roll out of the mountains through the summer. Here then are a couple of image from the start of the storm season from this afternoon.
I was visiting family in Saskatchewan over the Thanksgiving Weekend and we stayed in Medicine Hat last night. This morning, my dad and I went left the hotel in darkness, heading for Red Rock Coulee, about an hour’s drive south of The Hat. The rocks giving the area its name have beautiful color and textures to match their unusual shape and size.
The coulee is part of a gently sloping hill that rises well above the plains to the south and the west affording a view across the prairies to Montana and Alberta. Along with the elevated position came a steady wind which pulled in heavy rain to accompany the grey clouds stretched across the sky. The wet rocks were a treat to photograph, which made up for the uninspiring sunrise (flat and grey).
We drove along the Bow Valley Trail between Cochrane and Canmore enjoying the autumn colours that are really incredible this year.
Between Ghost Lake and Morley is the McDougall Unite Church which is 135 years old. It is a prairie icon in Alberta and served its role as a contrast to the yellows and a point of focus admirably in this image.
I posted an image of this same church earlier this year in June.
I hope to post more fall images showing how special this year in particular is.
The cloudy mornings over the weekend created very even, diffused light around the backroads of West Bragg Creek. I was out with the family enjoying the scenery and we came across a lot of whitetail deer. Some young lone males, mothers with one or two babies and a few older groups of twos and threes.
Very nice light to photograph these beautiful animals in. They and their cousins, the mule deer, are very common around Bragg Creek but I can’t imagine getting tired of seeing them.
After settling into the hotel room, we sat out on the deck to watch the ocean. In twos and threes, squadrons of brown pelicans swing around the rocks and glide in front of the advancing waves, climbing over the top just as the water crests and slams into the beach.
American white pelicans summer in lakes across the Canadian prairies but I had never seen their cousins, the brown pelican, in the wild before. So, I was quite excited that these huge birds (they have wingspans up to seven feet) were residents near our vacation spot. For the next couple of days, I went down to the water’s edge and enjoyed taking shots of them on the beach, fishing in the water and flying along the coastline.
When we finally went into town and spent the day around the marina and the beaches along the Sea of Cortés, I was surprised at the number of pelicans settled into the dockside environment. They play the role of seagulls down there, massing on the boats and docks as well as lounging on the rock ledges along Land’s End. There are native gulls down there as well but they do not appear to have anywhere near the same numbers as the pelicans.
At the narrow entrance to the harbour, the pelicans bob in the water waiting. As sportfishing boats return to the marina, the birds fly up and follow just off the stern, expecting to get scraps from the fishermen.
On a water taxi from the main beach area to the marina we detoured out to Land’s End where we found clusters of pelicans throughout the rock formations vying for space with cormorants and gulls.
On our last morning before heading home, I went down to the beach early and sat down to watch some of the birds who seemed to just be lounging around, in no rush to start their day.
Great fun to be able to see these impressive birds in a wide variety of places. I feel lucky to be able to have seen them displaying the many different ways they live out the day.