A red alert from the Aurora Watch website late on the 27th prompted me to head north in search of the Northern Lights. I traveled around for a while on either side of midnight – the sky was clear but the lights were very soft. Eventually the sky’s glow began to build and I stopped on Jumping Pound Road south of Cochrane to watch the Aurora Borealis as it rose up. There was a great arch that developed and sprites pulled away at different times throughout the show.
Jeff and I were driving back from the Kananaskis Lakes in the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park when we saw a coyote trotting along the side of the road. We pulled over, set up some long lenses and watched it approach. As it drew closer, it neither sped up nor slowed down. It cast a few glances our way but seemed to have some other place to be.
This animal looked to be in good health and did not look to be stressed as it carried on. We were both very curious where it may have been heading.
After a few minutes, with the tail bobbing up and down with its bouncy stride, the coyote went out of sight as it rounded a corner further up the road.
(please click on the image for a more detailed version)
A young moose surprised me when I was out looking for owls along the fence posts in West Bragg Creek. It slipped under some barbed wire which was the commotion that caught my eye and then jumped up onto the road. Here it was trotting to the other side and disappeared a couple of seconds later. I saw its mother through the bushes looking back towards the road. After a few more seconds, the little one drew up alongside and the two walked deeper into the woods.
(Please click on each image if you are interested in higher resolutions)
The weather this weekend was more winter than early summer – In the Banff National Park it was cold. Large, heavy flakes of wet snow fell fast for a couple of hours in the morning. I drove up to Lake Minnewanka and this was the only mammal I saw on the drive up and back down.
This young Bighorn sheep was walking alone on the edge of the road away from the water. When I pulled over, he walked 100 metres towards me and then sauntered nonchalantly right past me.
He stopped a few times on both the approach and as he walked away. Which gave me some nice photo opportunities to work with the animal, the snow and the even light.
Usually I see old, distressed trucks like this one rusting away next to a barn. It was cool to see this fellow had his on the road. I’m sure the old Ford appreciated being taken out for a spin and put to work!
For those who are curious, I believe this is a 1956 F-100. The fender threw me for a bit but I think the owner just put on a replacement. Or else this is a different year – I’m not an expert. It’s a great looking truck whichever year it was made.
Highway 8 starts about 30 kilometers west of Calgary in Alberta, Canada and runs through the open prairie around Springbank directly east into the city. When I do go into Calgary, this is the road I usually take and, in the winter, it is often during daybreak on the way in and dusk when I’m heading home. I’m working on a longer term project on roads, what is at either end, what springs up in between and how we move along them. These photographs have been shot with this project in mind but, equally, as an acknowledgement of this particular stretch of asphalt that I spend a fair amount of time traversing.
The mountains dominate the view once I clear the city and heading west. With great ease they pull me out of the work mind and back into my personal space. The longer drive is appreciated on those days when a longer transition is needed.
This storm front came marching down out of the Rockies past Canmore and swept out on to the Prairie on Friday. We have had a number of these big storms over the summer which has afforded a few really great landscape photographic opportunities.
I made this image while stopped on the Springbank overpass on the Trans Canada highway west of Calgary where the road climbs up towards the mountains.