Kananaskis Country

Still waiting for spring…. I drove out to Kananaskis Country, taking the long way through Springbank, to exploring some of the backcountry roads to try and photograph waterfowl in the country ponds. It wasn’t very successful and the weather was beginning to turn rather ugly. By the time I got into Kananaskis Country I realised that spring was still a long way off in the mountains and headed back early, deciding not waste anymore time.  

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Banff National Park

I went out to Banff for my annual February weekend at the timeshare. The weather was icy cold, despite the beautiful clear blue skies. We did a lot of driving around looking for wildlife. The first night there I spotted a bunch of Elk up on tunnel mountain drive and nearly died of hypothermia (ok not really) trying to photograph them. The light was on it’s way out so I had to get out of the car to use my tripod, although I think my shivering negated most of its effects. The next day we spotted a coyote walking down […]

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Prairie Drive

Apparently I didn’t get enough of the prairies on the drive down to Waterton a couple weeks back. So I headed out east this time in search of Snowy Owls. After driving around the country for a couple of hours with absolutely no luck until I finally spotted a beautiful male pheasant running around in the ditch. Unfortunately I was on a secondary highway at the time and couldn’t get pulled over until it had headed off across the fields. I had decided to give up and was pulling into a roadway to turn the car around when I looked […]

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Banff & Yoho National Park

I hadn’t really planned it, but after contemplating spending the weekend doing chores and cleaning the house I decided a weekend in the mountains was a far more appealing prospect. So I grabbed my gear packed a bag and headed west. My first stop was Bow Valley Provincial Park where I discovered an incredible view of Mount Yamnuska and sat basking in the sun on the shores of the Bow River for a long while, wishing that I had brought my fishing rod along and making a mental note to come back and try my luck on the river someday. It […]

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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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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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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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Snowshoeing – Sawmill Trail Kananaskis Country

Distance – Sawmill Snowshoe Loop – 5.07 km Elevation Gain – 143 metres On my last trip up to Bow Lake I found myself standing in the parking lot looking out across a field of snow that was at least five feet deep, and it suddenly occurred to me that I needed to buy snowshoes. After looking around a bit I found a pair on sale for half price (thank you Black Friday) at Atmosphere, and decided to put aside my prejudiced of the Forzani Group (I don’t support them because they always mis-represent sales and all sorts of other dirty selling tricks….. and surprise […]

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Bow Valley & Icefields Parkways

I took a sunrise drive out to the mountains, heading first up the Bow Valley Parkway, and then up to the Icefields Parkway (#93) all the way to Saskatchewan River Crossing with an hour detour down the David Thompson Highway (#11). The morning started out fantastic, if a little chilly, with great morning light on Castle Mountain, and a nice shiny layer of frost on the grass. Unfortunately it didn’t last long and by the time I got to the Icefields Parkway it had turned cloudy and overcast and by Bow Lake the roads were shear ice, and there was […]

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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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Kananaskis Drive – Barrier & Spillway Lakes

It was a warm sunny Wednesday afternoon, and I was off work early so I figured I’d head out to Kananaskis for one last chance to shoot some pictures before the snow started to pile up. Heading down Highway #40 it was all sunshine and blue skies, but the wind was so strong and cold you couldn’t stand outside for more than a minute before being blinded by watering eyes (which always makes shooting photos a bit difficult). After a short walk around Mount Lorette Ponds, and some roadside shots of Barrier Lake I made my way up Spray Lakes […]

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First Snows of Autumn

First real snowfall of the year, and I had to drive down to Millerville to do a delivery for work. Thankfully I brought my camera along, because once I got out into the country the fresh fields of snow and autumn colours were looking pretty great. Unfortunately it didn’t last long, and by the time I headed back (which is when I usually take more time to shoot pictures) the  snow had pretty much melted away. Thankfully I did stop and get a couple of pictures before it was all gone.

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Mount Black Prince Cirque

Return Distance – 4.5 km Elevation Gain – 90 metres With the weather finally starting to warm up I planned a hiking trip out to Chester Lake in Kananaskis Country with a couple of friends. But unfortunatly I found out a few days before that the trail was closed to prevent erosion and had to come up with another plan. After looking at the trail reports, it was obvious that we were going to have to stick to the lower elevations if we didn’t want to end up waist deep in snow. Most of the trails I’ve been wanting to […]

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Big Hill Springs Provincial Park

Loop Trail Distance – 2.5 km Elevation – 88 metres I don’t think I had ever been to Big Hill Springs before, so when one of my photo groups planned an outing there I though it was a great idea. But when It came time to go I had a couple of friends wanting to come and we were running late. So we just went and did our own thing (I said hello to the group in passing, but that was about it). The springs make up a nice little set of waterfalls, so we spent some time playing with […]

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Winter in Kananaskis Country

I went out early one morning for a drive up to Spray Lakes in Kananaskis Country with the intetion of getting some winter mountain pictures. It was a really cold morning, but thankfully by the time sun came up the sky was perfectly clear and it turned out to be a really nice day, (or as nice as a day can be in February). As much as I don’t like the snow it can make for some really good photography, especially when it’s still fresh and clean looking. I was barely up the hill from Canmore when I spotted a […]

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Snowy Owl

I saw some photos of Snowy Owls posted by a professional photographer that I follow, and it made me realize that I had never seen a wild Snowy Owl before. So after a bit of research, I found out that it was actually a good time of year to find them in the prairies east of Calgary. As chance would have it a friend of mine was throwing a party that weekend at his house on the south-east corner of the city. So I figured I’d save myself some time and crash there for night so I could get an early start the next […]

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Carburn Park

It was a particularly warm January afternoon, so I thought I’d take a walk and maybe do some fishing at Carburn Park. The fishing wasn’t really happening, but I did get up close with some of the resident White-tailed Deer, and of course the ducks!      

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Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta

It occured to me one morning that I had never been to Dinosaur Provincial Park, so on a whim we jumped in the car and headed out to have a look. It wasn’t very exciting this time of year, with everything dead and dry. As nice as the view was from the top it was hard to enjoy with the icy winter winds blowing around us at 80 kilometres per hour, but at least the sun was out. It was still good to have a look around, do a bit of a hike and just get out of town for […]

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