Posts tagged “Kananaskis

Early autumn alpenglow in Kananaskis

I’ve been lucky to enjoy a number of great mornings (here, here and here) in the mountains as summer has wound down.  Last weekend I went to Kananaskis to see how the autumn colors were coming in at the higher elevations.  I went to Wedge Pond ahead of the sunrise and  waited for the darkness to lift.  Soon enough it did, and quickly, revealing the larch along the shoreline were starting to turn but there were more lime greens than yellows and golds.  I’ll be back again in a week or two to try to catch the stands of gold before the needles fall and the leaves blow away.

I was not disappointed in any way though.  The mist swirled across the calm water, drawing a line through the middle of the mountains and their reflections as the early morning blue gave way to the alpenglow.

 


Elbow River Dawn

Elbow River Dawn - © Christopher Martin-1831-2

I went out for a mountain bike this morning along the Elbow River.  The temperature was near -20°C and the snow-covered trails were a bit slippery – and it was a great ride.  It was before the sun had come up and the land was emerging from the dark draped in soft, bluish light.  The alpen glow in the clear sky to the west added a magical pink hue to the scene.

Elbow River Dawn - © Christopher Martin-1826-2

These two images were taken before and after the sunlight lit up the Kananaskis mountains.  The first was at 8:27 and the next 13 minutes later, just a minute after sunrise.

Elbow River Dawn - © Christopher Martin-1841

 

 


Angling on Wedge Pond

Angling in Wedge Pond - © Christopher Martin-0764

I visited Wedge Pond to check on the fall colors and their reflection in the water.  The larch and aspen in Kananaskis now have their leaves falling but a week ago the golds were still at their best.  Among the rippled mirror on the pond’s surface, there was a fisherman fly casting from a float.  Seemed like a relaxing way to spend an afternoon.

Angling in Wedge Pond - © Christopher Martin-0755

Angling in Wedge Pond - © Christopher Martin-0747


Wild Rose Beaver

Beaver on the lake at Wild Rose - 2014 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII and 500mm lens + 1.4X extender: 1/160 second at f/8 on ISO 1600

The beavers that live beside the lake at Wild Rose are back to their busy ways now that the water is ice-free.  The other night I watched one swimming along the shoreline and around its lodge.  It was a beautiful evening with warm sunshine and clear skies.

 


Elbow Falls Dipper

American Dipper - 2014 © Christopher MartinCanon 5DIII + 500mm lens: 1/640 of a second at f/4 on ISO 1600

I went up to Elbow Falls last weekend for the sunrise but I stayed for the American Dippers (Cinclus mexicanus).

Winter Dipper - 2014 © Christopher MartinCanon 5DII + 70-200mm lens: 1/1000 of a second at f/8 on ISO 1000

I love watching these aquatically adept birds stalking, diving and swimming in the middle of the rapids.  On the last visit to the waterfall, there were three Dippers flitting about moving between the bottom of the waterfall and the rocks at the top.

Patience - 2014 © Christopher MartinCanon 5DIII + 500mm lens: 1/640 of a second at f/4 on ISO 4000

An uphill battle - 2014 © Christopher MartinCanon 5DIII + 500mm lens: 1/1000 of a second at f/4 on ISO 1600

Splashing around - 2014 © Christopher MartinCanon 5DIII + 500mm lens: 1/1250 of a second at f/4 on ISO 2500

They chased each other down river a couple of times but spent most of their time fishing alone.  On a quiet morning in Kananaskis, it was nice to spend my time watching them.

Dipper Portraiture - 2014 © Christopher MartinCanon 5DIII + 500mm lens: 1/640 of a second at f/4 on ISO 1600

Let's have a look - 2014 © Christopher MartinCanon 5DIII + 500mm lens: 1/640 of a second at f/4 on ISO 1600


On the edge of Kananaskis with an owl

Forest flight - 2013 © Christopher Martin

(click on any image to open a window to a higher resolution version)

I persuaded my children to join me for a drive through Bragg Creek into Kananaskis last night to look for the Great Gray Owls that have returned to some of their summer haunts.  We traveled several of the backroads with not much wildlife found but the sun was out and we enjoyed chatting away.  I had turned back towards home when Kian spotted a beautiful Great Gray up in an aspen tree.

Curiosity - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Its plumage matched the bark quite well and I had completely missed it.  Luckily my son’s sharp eyes did not.

Launch - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Having accomplished the find, Kian then returned to his story while Kezia and I got out and watched the owl swoop across the open forest between trees for almost an hour.  There was great light and the owl was hunting and resting normally so we enjoyed the encounter and I was rewarded with some great opportunities to photograph the bird.

Wings up - 2013 © Christopher Martin

By 8 pm, it was time for bed – for the kids not the owl – so we left her perched on a branch near the road and went home.

Up in a perch - 2013 © Christopher Martin


Moose Travels

These two moose crossed a farm field moving towards the heavier woods of Kananaskis, west of Bragg Creek.  The mother kept up a brisk trot but the calf seemed untroubled by the pace.    She came towards me across the field and then joined a path that crossed a low point in the fence a hundred feet in front of me.  On the road they paused for a second and then hiked up into the forest.


Kananaskis

(click the image to go to a higher resolution version)

Spent most of the day up in Kananaskis hiking, photographing and looking for wildlife.  Such a beautiful and varied country there.  I get focused in on a particular location or species so that I forget about the whole package sometimes.  Yesterday was one of those great times where I felt like I was enjoying, and appreciating, the whole.  If you have a chance to head up to any of the areas that make up K-Country take it, I hope you like it as much as I do.


Mount Kidd – splashes of colour reflected

 

I am drawn back to Mount Kidd in Kananaskis over and over.  In the morning the eastern light accentuates the crags and patterns in the rocks and dominates the skyline from many viewpoints along Highway 40.  From these reflecting pools a bit further south the mountain doesn’t dominate in the same way but I like the balances that can be found between the peaks and the elements along the shoreline.  Later in the morning, I worked the scene with black and white images in mind but with the first light, I was enjoying the splashes of colour.

 

Green algae under one of the ponds provided a green cast to some of the reflections.  I thought the shapes under the water along with the colour were really interesting.

This pond had a floor of stones which was another detail to play with.

With the pink light receding to warm morning sunlight, I liked how the land still in shadow had a cool tone contrasted with the mountain and its reflection.


Coyotes in Kananaskis

I had a chance to photograph two separate coyotes along the Highwood Pass highway over the weekend.

They were a few miles apart.  The first one was on the move and headed along the edge of the trees for a minute before heading up and into the forest.

The second was hunting field rodents very successfully and trotted along for quite a while.


A Floating Pink Flower Landscape

(please click on the image for a sharper, higher resolution version)

These brilliant pink flowers caught the sun on a small lake in Kananaskis while I was waiting for the heron to leave its perch to fish.  The water suggested an Impressionist painting while the detail in the flowers provided sharp contrast to the dark pastels.


A Cold Dawn at Elbow Falls

Following Saturday’s snow storm, we had a beautiful day today.  Sunrise came along at 6am sharp this morning and I drove up to Elbow Falls early and met the day there.  The snow was still holding onto the trees and rocks so the landscape along the river had a strong winter tone.  I was hoping for the early, pink light to reflect off of the clouds stacked above the mountains into this scene.  That did not happen, some clouds eastwards blocked the sunlight until the sun was well clear of the horizon.  When the sunlight did reach into the valley, it was beautiful.

On the way up to the falls I even had a minute to take a nice photograph of a moose sitting up in her bedded down spot from the quick ending night.  A pretty great morning in my photographic book.