Springtime in Kananaskis Country

I started out in the prairies, watching swallows (which are almost impossible to photography) working on their nest at one of the roadside birdhouses. After that I headed up through Jumpingpound spotting Buffleheads and Goldeneyes in one of the ponds along the way. Next it was a White-Crowned Sparrow (my first), when I stopped to use the washroom at Mount Lorette Ponds. When I left town the weather was pretty crappy, windy and cloudy, and not very nice, but the further I got into mountains the nicer it got. By the time I made it to the Shark Mountain turn-off on […]

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McKinnon Lake

Headed out to McKinnon Flats southeast of Calgary to do some fishing on the Bow river. On the way there I made a quick stop off at the lake (which doesn’t appear to have a name so I call it McKinnon Lake) that is a little bit down the road and across Highway 22 from the turnoff to the flats. Although I didn’t find anything especially exciting, the usual suspects (yellow-headed, and red-winged blackbirds) were out in full force and I was able to get a few worthwhile shots.

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Porcupine

I wanted to try some fishing down on the Bow River south of Carburn Park near Douglasdale and the Deerfoot Bridge. It was a beautiful day to be out on the river, and although the fish weren’t biting at all I had a run-in with a porcupine on the way back, although the light was pretty much gone I was able to get a few shots in, and get close enough to use my flash.

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Frank Lake

I spent another great afternoon out at Frank Lake photographing birds… The Black-Crowned Night Herons and Western Grebes were the definite highlights of the day.

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Hinton South

After a mostly uneventful day in Jasper I thought that rather than trying to shoot ugly scenery under grey overcast skies I would spend the day exploring the unknown stretch of Highway 40 between Hinton and Rocky Mountain House (I’ve previously driven the stretch from Highway 1, to Rocky Mountain House, and from Highway 1 all the way south to Highway 3 in the Crowsnest Pass and the US border). As expected it was a long day of driving, with more than a few rather sketchy sections with the highway winding around and in a few cases making use of […]

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Jasper – Fox

I thought I would go up to Jasper for the weekend and see how spring was progressing in the mountains. It wasn’t really progressing at all, in fact it was still totally winter for most of the drive up Highway 93. Jasper itself was at least mostly snow free, although all the lakes and ponds were still ice covered. The drive up was completely uneventful apart from the terrible driving conditions at the Columbia Icefields. I did catch a glimpse of a Black Bear but it was long gone into the forest before I could get the car stopped and […]

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Full Moon

I looked out the window and saw this crazy bright full moon, so I thought I’d see what I could get with my new 500mm lens (and 2X teleconverter). This was shot off my balcony using my BBQ as a tripod, but still was pretty pleased with the results.

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Swans

There is a pond on the north side of the Trans-Canada Highway just before the Jumping-pound exit, that for whatever reason draws a group of Trumpeter Swans every spring. While most of the time I’m speeding by on the highway and just get a glimpse of them, today I thought I should take the time to try and get some photos. To put it bluntly, it was so cold and windy that I could hardly hold the camera still, the light was terrible, the Swans were filthy, and they swam off to the far side of the pond as soon […]

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Carburn Park

I’ve been taking the Spring Birding Course put on by the Friends of Fish Creek Society (http://friendsoffishcreek.org/programs/birding-course/), which is basically a weekly guided tour through Fish Creek and some of the other parks in the city. Despite the fact that it seems to snow or rain every Monday morning, and I’m a good three decades younger than everyone else, it’s been both interesting and educational. On this particular morning we headed down to Carburn Park, which I was particularly excited about as it’s a place I visit frequently and was curious to see what we would find there with a guide. […]

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Frank Lake – Avocets

Frank Lake is a Ducks Unlimited conservation site southeast of Calgary that is an important breeding site for many migratory birds (http://www.ducks.ca/your-province/alberta/wetlands-area/frank-lake/). How I went this long without hearing about this place completely baffles me, so when I was told about it I headed down for a look the first chance I got. One of the birds on my list to find and photograph this year was the American Avocet. I spotted one the previous spring and thought they were pretty cool looking so I was hoping to get some photos when their migration brought them up north again. All […]

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Carburn Park

The weather was finally starting to warm up a little, so I headed down to Carburn park to try my hand at some spring fishing, and test out my new 500mm lens. The fishing was entirely uneventful, so I spent most of the time chasing birds around the shoreline.

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Weaslehead Park – Swans

Picked up my new lens yesterday, so as soon as I had a chance I headed down for a walk through the Weaselhead area in Calgary. There wasn’t a lot going on, but eventually I spotted a couple of Trumpeter Swans swimming around the western shore of Glenmore Reservoir.

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500mm

Just got my new Nikon 500mm F4 Lens…… So excited…! http://en.nikon.ca/Nikon-Products/Product/Camera-Lenses/2172/AF-S-NIKKOR-500mm-f%252F4G-ED-VR.html

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Banff

Every year I get to spend a couple days in Banff during the last week of February. This year I spent most of it in driving up and down the Parkway, and south on the #93 all the way to Radium and back in search of wildlife, and didn’t see so much as a single deer. To make matters worse the weather was cold and dark and cloudy and entirely un-photogenic.  I did a short hike along the shore of lake Minnewanka (to the caynon bridge and back), and spent some time playing around on the cracked ice and rocky […]

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Hairy Woodpecker

I ran into this Hairy Woodpecker while out for a walk in Bowness Park. It was in dark shaded forest, and I was shooting up into a brightly lit sky, which made for some noisy, motion blurred, underexposed photos. But despite it was fun to shoot, because it was much more tame than any other woodpecker I’ve seen, and I was able to get nice and close to it.  

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Chester Lake Kananaskis – Snowshoeing

Chester Lake Distance – Return – 8 km Elevation Gain – 311 metres The weekend weather forecast was looking especially nice for February so I headed out just after sunrise for a drive through the mountains (I was trying to get out there before sunrise but as usual I seem to be incapable of actually getting out of town before dawn). It wasn’t particularly nice out when I started out on Highway 40, it was cloudy, overcast, and snowing a little, and when I spotted a moose sleeping in the ditch in front of Boundary Ranch I stopped to shoot some photos, […]

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Prairies in the Winter

I was feeling inspired after reading a post someone did about Snowy Owls at Boundary Bay in Vancouver. So I decided to head out east of the city and see if I could find some to photograph. I spent half the day driving around on gravel country roads, unfortunately I never did find any owls, but did spot a couple of Meadowlarks, and spent a bit of time chasing around a flock of a couple hundred Snow Bunting.     It was a long unproductive drive….. but still nice to spend the morning out of town. [map style=”width: auto; height:300px; […]

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Chocolates

With winter outside in full force I thought I’d try my hand in the studio, and put some use to all of the leftover Christmas chocolates.

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Kananaskis

After hibernating through the first few weeks of the year cabin fever finally got the better of me, so I got up early and headed out towards Spray Lakes in Kananaskis Country to see what I could find. All I can say is I didn’t find much at all. It was pretty much a whiteout as I headed up the hill from Canmore and along the side of the lake. As far a wildlife goes the one and only highlight was a squirrel sitting on its pile of pine cone debris. Once I hit highway 40 the snow had stopped, and the […]

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Christmas Eve Dinner

Dinner spread from Christmas Eve with the family, hot wings, cheese, ham, shrimp, veggies, olives, meats, liver paste, salmon and fresh bread… What more can you ask for? Hmmmm…. how about a giant pot of mussels, oh wait, that was on the stove behind me.

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