It has been a few months since I saw a great gray owl. This afternoon, I found one down an old gravel road hunting in and around an open stand of trees.
A lot of perching and waiting punctuated with a few flights between trees.
And a couple of attack dives into the snow.
This dive was unsuccessful but she did capture two voles while I was there.
I look forward to the next opportunity to have some owl time. No matter when that is, it was great to close out 2022 with this encounter with one of my favorite animals.
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.
Desirée and I met up with the leading edge of a storm rolling out of the mountains on an early morning drive through Priddis just before Christmas. The leading edge of the cloud raced eastward towards the eastern sky as dawn approached. Snow and wind came shortly after this photo and the view through this dip in the hills disappeared.
A couple of weeks after sledding on our tiny hill across the street, we went to the best toboggan location in our neck of the woods last weekend. The slope is somewhat dramatically called Suicide Hill by locals. We have gone there since all of the kids were really young and it is always a lot of fun. I titled a post in 2017 the same and it was fun to compare then and now.
We went late in the day which meant fewer people but came at the expense of the sun falling behind the trees shortly after we got started. It was still a beautiful day and we had a great time.
Desirée and I caught the sunset on the first day of the new year this evening. It turned out to be a beautiful end to the day. We watched the clouds play with the last light in the foothills on the eastern flank of the Rockies.
Welcome to 2021. Here’s to a happy and healthy year for you and yours. There is so much that will be nice to leave behind in 2020 around the world. I hope to remember the silver linings and the special moments from a long year and let the tougher ones fade sooner than later.
I hope you have enjoyed a nice holiday and are able to close out a hard year on a good note. We have had a lot of time with our children which has been great. We had a massive snowstorm just before Christmas and we went out tobogganing as it was building.
Five kids makes for an instant party and we had a blast slipping and sliding around the little hill across the road from our house. We stayed out into the night before going back inside for hot chocolate. I came back out to photograph the falling snow for a while. It was too beautiful to pass up taking the opportunity to capture the wintry landscape in the dark.
We had a bit of snow on the ground yesterday where I live near Bragg Creek, east of Calgary, Alberta. We have A LOT more today!
A snowstorm let fly yesterday evening and it is still falling this afternoon. It seemed like the snow was anxious to land as it fell aggressively all night. We woke up this morning with over 60 cm (2′) on our bedroom deck. Last night, the kids and I went out tobogganing soon after the snow started to fall. It was great fun and we stayed out until dark. Walking back, the nightscape with snowflakes illuminated by the street lights, Christmas lights and silhouettes of the trees along the road caught my eye. I grabbed my tripod along with a remote trigger and photographed for a little while. I could almost watch the blanket of snow rise as I shot. A few vehicles passed by, tracing their lights across some of the long exposures. The muffling of sound from the heavy storm stilled the night leaving only the sound of the snowflakes landing on the ground. One of the prettiest winter nights that I’ve been out in.
Desirée was in town while we played around and called soon after I returned home. Her drive back was a scary one as the same pretty storm was a whiteout on the road and saw more than a couple of dangerous drivers racing around to make it more stressful than was necessary. Once she returned, we all relaxed and were able to resume our wonder at this crazy tempest. A late night soak in the hot tub allowed us to be in the middle of it and stay warm.
With the day slipping away from the Vermilion Lakes in the Bow Valley, the clouds began to light up in the last light of the day. This column started out bright white and soon burned into a hot pink. It hung over the valley between Sulphur Mountain and Sunshine Peak brushing them with a faint pastel hue before dimming as night took hold.
I hope you are enjoying time with those you love these holidays. Warmest wishes to you and yours.
I enjoy the backroads on the prairies. This afternoon I found a pair of ravens perched on the peak of this weathered homestead east of Dalemead. When they flew I tried to compose their flight against the field and the house.