Osprey Nest

There is an Osprey nesting platform just off to the side of Highway #22… or The Marquis De Lorne Trail… or Stoney Trail…. I think it’s now being called… Anyway… it’s right near the overpass were the highway crosses over Macleod Trail on the south end of Calgary. I’ve been driving past the platform for the past few seasons, but never got around to stopping mostly because I wasn’t sure where to access it from. Turns out there is actually a small gravel road that runs right under the nest. After realizing this, and seeing the Osprey return to the […]

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Grasslands National Park Saskatchewan

I first read something about the endangered Sage Grouse in Grasslands NP a few years ago… and then I read about the Black Footed Ferrets which had become extinct in the wild, until recently when they were successfully reintroduced into Grasslands NP from captive populations. Then I read about the Golden Eagles that nest in areas of the park, and the Burrowing owls and Prairie Dogs (not to be confused with common ground squirrels) that make their home there. While all of these caught my interest, the truth is I had never been to Saskatchewan and I live too close […]

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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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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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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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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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Kananaskis Drive – Coyote

While driving down Spray Lakes Trail I spotted a Coyote crossing the road far off in the distance. By the time I got there it was long gone, so I hopped out of the car and headed down the hillside in the snow to try and find it’s tracks. To my surprise it wasn’t actually long gone. Instead it scared the hell out me when it jump out from behind some bushes  about ten metres away. I think I surprised it just as much as it did me, because it took one look at me and bolted down the hill […]

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Bow Valley & Banff Elk

Bow Valley Provincial Park is a lot bigger than I expected. I’ve driven past the entrance a few hundred times, and did stop in once but only made it as far as the parking lot and information centre before the sun went down. So I think I assumed that was all there was to the park. There is actually a fair bit of road to explore, and a great little picnic area on the shore of the Bow river with a fantastic view of Mount John Laurie (Yamnuska). Which I will most definitely be revisiting with my fly rod come next spring. I didn’t spend nearly […]

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Elk Island National Park – The Bison

The main reason I went to Elk Island NP was to take pictures of the wild bison. There are two different species of bison in Canada, plains bison and wood bison, and this park has both of them. I have no idea how accurate any of this is, because it seems like every new thing I read has different numbers than the last. Plains Bison By the 1880’s it was estimated that there was only about 200 plains bison left in the world, but thankfully due to conservation efforts mostly by private ranchers who didn’t want to see them disappear completely, (pretty […]

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Elk Island National Park – The Park

Elk Island National Park is located 35 KM east of Edmonton on the Yellowhead Highway (Hwy. #16). It is one of Canada’s smaller national parks at only 194 square kilometres, and the only completely enclosed national park. By the time I got to the park I was pretty sick of driving, so it was really nice to get to the slow and relaxing pace of the Elk Island Parkway. Like I said, its a pretty small park, only about 20 km from north to south, and about half that from east to west, with the parkway running north/south through the […]

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Waterton – Wildlife

One of the main reasons that I wanted to go down to Waterton National Park was for the wildlife. I found the first bear of the day a short ways up the canyon parkway across a ravine eating berries on the hillside that sloped down from the golf course. Although I had a nice clear view of it, it was a long way off and there wasn’t enough light to get a decent shutter speed with my 2X-TC. I shot a few photos, and watched for a while before it disappeared into the bushes. Further down the parkway I passed a car pulled over on the […]

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Highwood Morning

So, the clock on my dresser says its 5:30 in the morning, and I’m staring at the ceiling wondering why I’m wide awake on a Thursday morning after only sleeping like 4 hours. And then I start thinking about a Sausage and Egg Mcmuffin from McDonalds, and next thing I know I’m showered and loading gear into the car. I don’t have to be at work for like 6 hours so I figure I’ll take the long way there…… When I say long way there, I mean the three hundred and some kilometre loop through Canmore up Spray Lakes Trail […]

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Cataract Creek – Deer & Insects

While camping at Cataract Creek there was a deer that liked to hang out in the meadow behind our site and kept popping up every now and then. There was also no shortage of insects, so I got out my macro lens and played around a little bit.

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