Posts tagged “Wild Rose

Wild Rose Country

Wild rose morning in Bragg Creek - © Christopher Martin-6182

This wild rose (Rosa acicularis), Alberta’s provincial flower, was glowing among the trees a couple of mornings ago when I was out early in Bragg Creek.  The sun had just cleared a hilltop across the fields so the light was still soft and warm.  Early mornings in the summer are a source of great inspiration from and communion with nature for me.

Herons on the water in Wild Rose

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I have watched and photographed this Great Blue Heron for the snow-free months along Wild Rose’s ponds and lakes in Bragg Creek for four years.  Last weekend was the first time that I have seen her in the company of other herons.  It makes me think that these are two chicks she has raised this year.

I spent an hour watching her perched in a tree across the lake from where I had set up my camera and tripod.  I was in plain sight a couple of hundred feet from a spot where she often hunts for fish.  When I spied her in the tree, I thought I would wait to see if she flew my way.  After waiting for a while, she swooped down into the westernmost pond just below the tree so I packed up and hiked over there to see if I could photograph the hunting.  When I got there I saw her and as I approached, I spooked one of the other herons.  I thought the heron I have seen for years was alone so I was watching her as I moved closer.  Stepping onto the small berm around the pond, I saw a flurry of wings beating as a heron in the grasses near me flew up and across the pond before landing near “my” heron.  I was even more surprised when I saw the third one stalking in the water behind a stump.  All three took flight a while later and went across the main lake into the tree where I have often seen the single heron preening and watching the water.

I went back to my original spot and watched them fly together to another group of trees where they could watch for fish while keeping an eye on me.  They stayed close together and the single heron seemed to be leading their movements around the lake.  I may be wrong but it seemed like a family day on the water to me.  I had my longest lens on my camera so the best I could get was two of the three birds in one frame.  I will have to pull out the second camera with a smaller lens next time to make a proper family portrait!

Coyote along the water in Wild Rose

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A coyote checked me out for a minute while I was waiting for birds to start fishing.  It watched me for only a few seconds before retreating away from the lake’s edge.

Spending the morning with moose

On Sunday morning I went into West Bragg to look or wildlife along the backroads and a few trails.  When I got to Wild Rose, there was a moose cow halfway up a driveway.  I didn’t have a good angle but it was nice to watch it eating branches for a few minutes.  While I was waiting to see if she would walk into a better position, another moose walked into another stand of branches that was much closer to me.  About 20 meters away!  She didn’t seem bothered by me so I set about photographing my new friend.

After about half an hour, her curiosity got the best of her as she walked out of the bushes, onto the driveway and walked towards me.  I stepped back towards the rear of my car and she walked around the front.

She snacked on a small group of brambles right beside where I had parked my car for a couple of minutes and then retraced her path back up the driveway.

She stopped at a few branches as she walked up the rise and then laid down on the lawn in the snow. 

I took this last picture before I left her to relax.  I hope spring comes soon so that all of the wildlife get to forage on some greenery.  I think this winter’s early start, cold spells and deep snow have taken a toll on their reserves.