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Sunset at Big Lake

After a noise and people-filled weekend, it was a joy to go with my friend to a quieter nature spot north of the city. A lot of the birds are gone but we were gifted with a stunning sunset and roll…

Source: Sunset at Big Lake


Maligne Lake on a Cloudy Day

It was a dark and cloudy day…snicker, snicker. Couldn’t resist starting this way, though it is not recommended in writing class.There was a deer beside the parking lot at Maligne Lake that I took a photo of with my long lens, then a line-up of tourists followed it from about 20 feet away.

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Also a Grey Jay stopped by, begging.They are not nick-named “camp robbers” for nothing.

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This is a no-no. C’mon, people, the garbage can is only a few feet away, and this is grizzly bear country. If you want to visit the National Parks show some respect.That includes slowing down to the posted speed on the highways.

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It was very overcast and the tour had closed a week earlier.The usual blue lake was grey so I decided to shoot some close-ups.

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I mentioned the tour, and I would recommend the boat tour. It was expensive when I went, but i felt it was worth every penny. As you get closer to  the iconic Spirit Island some 2o kilometers down the lake , the water turns a deeper turquoise and is stunningly beautiful and sadly,  this isn’t one of my better shots.

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After the Forest Fire

There was a forest fire at Exclesior Creek earlier this year and I was very saddened to see in the newspapers that the area around my oft-visited viewing site at Medicine Lake was burned.A desire arose in me to see it first-hand. I admit that as I drove up Maligne Lake Road to Medicine Lake the moment I saw the burned area I felt overwhelmed by the devastation.I was also curious what kind of photos I could take of the burnt area and perhaps what was already starting to grow. There were areas that were thick with trees and probably needed thinning out. Yes there will be rejunenation but I felt the loss as well. I talked with a local artist in the parking lot who shared with me how he has come for many years to the area to paint “en plaine air” and we agreed it was sad as well as would be interesting to see what abstracts could be discovered…he as a painter and I as a photographer.I could still smell the charcoal as I took the following photos. Since it was fall the lake was much lower and I was able to walk on ground that normally would be under water. This lake has an under water drainage system and the level drops dramatically in the fall as the water goes underground and drains into the Maligne river and canyon.The photo in my header is of Medicine Lake .there is an eagle’snest on the left and I worried about the young until I saw a photo of the burnt tree with the healthy eaglet still in the nest.

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The last photo is taken from the lake  looking back at the parking lot above the stairway.there are some trees that survived as well as saplings in their fall colours


Two Favourite Locations

After going into town for a yummy muffin and Latte from The Other Paw, I headed about 20 km south on the Icefields Parkway to a most wonderful lake. There is a small parking area here and no signs except for the board at the trail head. It is just a short walk through the woods, to a creek. Cross the creek and follow the trails -there is one that goes straight ahead and one that goes left along the creek then into the woods. Both ways are short walks that take you to different parts of the rocky shoreline that has, in some spots, emerald green waters and if you time it right , amazing reflections of the water and cliffs across the way.

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This is a place where I can spend hours pondering the scenery and on a warm day, soaking up the heat from the rocks.

Just down the road is the junction of highways 93 and 93A. I turned right  here to go to Athabasca Falls.There are short walks to various viewpoints of the falls and the gorge. You can feel the energy as the water rushes over the rocks and through the gorge.

I have been to this spot in spring , summer and fall -never the same and always exciting.

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Next was Medicine Lake where there was a forest fire earlier this season and further up the road, Maligne Lake, an almost 40 km drive. I will save that for my next post.


The View from Here-Whistler Mountain

My Heartsong

On my first morning I took a path behind the hostel a very  little way up Whistler mountain and took  images looking up to the Skytram and out to Pyramid Mountain.  Nothing like going to the mountains to find out just how bad the fitness level is.In no time I was huffing and puffing and feeling the strain in my calf muscles. It was a frosty morning and made for some pretty scenes.

on the path in front of me

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The Sky Tram Station on Whistler Mountain behind me

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Looking across the valley at Pyramid Mountain

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fall leaves are mostly gone and sunlight warms the frosty air

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The View from Here-Whistler Mountain

On my first morning I took a path behind the hostel a very  little way up Whistler mountain and took  images looking up to the Skytram and out to Pyramid Mountain.  Nothing like going to the mountains to find out just how bad the fitness level is.In no time I was huffing and puffing and feeling the strain in my calf muscles. It was a frosty morning and made for some pretty scenes.

on the path in front of me

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The Sky Tram Station on Whistler Mountain behind me

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Looking across the valley at Pyramid Mountain

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fall leaves are mostly gone and sunlight warms the frosty air

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Highway of Memories

It was great to make a trip to Jasper for three days earlier this week.i passed many places enroute that stirred up memories of lost love, friendships with people who have since passed on, and favourite stops to visit to take photos. t

This photo is of a pond  that my friend Maxine and I visited many times, once before sunrise when the place awoke to a golden glow. I stopped here for old times sake.The colours are past their peak but still lovely. There are still a few Tamaracks that haven’t shed their golden needles and aspens that haven’t dropped their leaves.

Almost every landmark that I passed stirred up a memory. The friend that I stayed with on a stop halfway home, the couple whom I visited just near what some locals referred to as “the million dollar s—house” a rest stop on the highway. The turn-off that led to the place where I used to live and the roomate that passed away recently.

I kept driving except to pick up a coffee and some licorice, a long-time habit when i am traveling. The photo shows an overcast sky but it got sunny around Hinton and stayed that way for two days.

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My next stop,apart from paying entry at the park gate in Jasper National Park was a a place known to photographers for consistantly good light and a pleasing composition.I have heard about this place and driven by it many times, but not consciously. After at least a two-year wait I found it and took some photos.

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My destination for the next two days was HI Jasper the international hostel on Whistlers Road. It was a great place to go for someone traveling solo with a limited budget and I met people from Alaska,France,New Zealand, Japan.I made daily trips to places that I had been to before and wanted to visit again.More about that tomorrow.


River Valley on an Autumn Day

i took these photos from a bridge that spans a ravine that goes into the main part of the river valley, with the intent of getting photos of the Autumn colours. There were interesting challenges with light and shadow, so I took the photos using a polarizer filter and did some post photo work in Lightroom.pictures 002-2 pictures 008-2 pictures 001-2


Super Moon Eclipse

The eclipse started before the moon rose above the horizon and I worked late but got out to take this shot of the moon above the river valley.It was fascinating to see the moon rise and travel across the sky, changing in colour and texture.I took these shots from three locations in the city; a bridge in the west end that overlooks downtown, from further north and the last two were from the Telus Science Centre where there were telescopes that you could look through that made the moon really big but these shots are all from my Rebel XS.

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A Refreshing Walk in the Woods

It was a full day, starting with the last part of a church service (yes, I slept in), a committee meeting, a fashion show fundraiser at a local hospital where they let me take photos, then finally a trip to Elk Island National Park. Enjoyed the calm, the fresh air and feeling my body and mind relax. As you can see, there were times of overcast skies and bright sun.

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I have Run out of Room in this Blog.

Can I delete old blogs and media library and keep going or do I start a new site? Readers and fellow bloggers, what has been your experience?I cannot afford to pay. Sigh…Come visit me at my new site, janesheartsong, still with photography but tryig to stick to one photo per post.


Back to Nature

I am a person who wants to get things done yesterday, especially concerning unpacking in my new digs. I settled for some balance and let the boxes be and drove to a couple of water spots in  or near the city. A lot of water fowl were not present : Pelicans, Red-necked Grebes, and Great Blue Heron, but the Ring-Billed Gulls, Double-Crested Cormorants, Mallard Ducks and American Coots were still around. oh, and of course Magpies.The vegetation has changed considerably since before the move, not surprising  since there is a lot less light but I still had a bit of a pout for missing most of August due to packing..soon the leaves will be at their natural finest, in fact some are changing now.

It was good to get out and see some feathered friends and even a curious squirrel.it was great to play with the camera again, too.

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Mallard Duck in an Idyllic setting

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My New Home

It is tiny, I prefer to use the term “cosy” and i have my phone and computer set up-that is a relief. i have kitchen table and chairs, couch and living room chair, craft table that fits perfectly in the closet-YAY!

I have made a lot of progress but still a ways to go before I can call it settled in. Unpacking is like packing, it gets harder as you go, particularly with the last few boxes. At first there is room to put things away,  then it gets tricky. A lot of  contents are probably going to Good Will, Value Village or some other charity.

my first meal:Horrible quality of photos, must have been tired.

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view from my balcony-yay, trees!

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night shot looking northwest

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Soon I will pull myself away from this and get out for some real photography


A Quick Note

No photos, just a quick note that my move is complete. What a relief! Thanks to fantastic friends and even one stranger who showed up with vehicles and helped me complete the move in 1.5 hours.it was quite the feat without use of a phone but we did it. there was a higher power guiding this, it all came together so smoothly. Due to timing, the phone company technician missed me (he showed up too early and I hadn’t given written permission for entrance to my suite to the office.)  so I won’t get my phone and computer hooked up until Thursday. No photos either, but did go for a bike ride today to explore the neighbourhood.

Going to grab a nap now. Be back soon. 🙂


What Happened to Summer?

It has become chilly out, only temporary but a reminder that the hot weather won’t last forever.My thoughts are with those who are suffering from the effects of the many forest fires across our lands. It is green here in the city but many trees are chaging colour due to stress from lack of moisture. the leaves look wilted, too.

I am moving to a new neighbourhood and my computer is full to almost bursting so I will upgrade but not until the next month or month after. It makes it hard to go out and shoot away so am slowing down photo ops and replacing them with packing.Not as much fun,I tell you!

in the meantime, here are some photos from the summer months.

Belly dancers at the Heritage festival

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scenes from EdmontonFolk Music Festival

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A Visitor on My Hat

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Main stage- Edmonton Folk Music Festival

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bark abstract from a walk in the woods

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A Weekend of Music and Fun

I volunteered at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival recently and enjoyed seeing people from my crew again  and enjoyed listening to new artists that were previously unfamiliar to me as well as seeing some familiar ones. I came away from the experience feeling creatively and spiritually inspired. Here are some shots from the weekend.

Here’s from behind the scenes in the kitchen where food is prepared and served up to over 2,000 people per meal at the peak of the festival.

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the food is fresh and delicious.

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And outside, facing the hill.The stages all face hills in the ski club in the middle of the city..

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Some of the musicians Oysterband and Mike Farris

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Final Act of theFirst Evening with the City in Background

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Fledged Sora

While visiting a wetland boardwalk in St Albert, of course I was looking for Soras, but got a few peeks at a young one. It was wary but curious, too. It would run, which was orgininally what caught my attention, then hide, but back up to take a peek. There were a few fuffly feathers and no colour to its bill. That and its behaviour led me to believe that it is a young one.

It walked through the open spaces so I got a couple of looks at it.

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The Colours of Summer

When the bright spring green disappears, and summer arrives, there are other colour combinations to delight the eye. I can’t believe that July is almost over. I want to get out more and capture various light conditions and the birds.

This is what I have seen lately: the changing of the colours of the grasses and shrubs, the ripe berries and the duck weed and algae in the ponds.

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the red leaves and berries
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duck weed inthe ponds

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yellow flowers

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combination of grass and leaves of trees

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shrubs and bushes


Pelican Landing

There is something that captures my attention and sense of wonder as I see an American White Pelican soar into sight, gliding with its wide wings outspread and circling the area as it gets lower and lower. Then the feet stick out and foreward before it hits the water creating a large wake behind it. This one landed at the platform where other pelicans and a couple of cormorants were lounging and in one motion heaved itself out of the water onto the raft. (I missed that shot  as well as the first one when I first caught sight of it to one side of me.) When they are gliding alone or as a group they are so graceful.This one stood out from the rest-it was huge.

A nod to the two cormorants who are holding their own.

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It Was a Good Party

Out of a lot of choices for Canada Day celebrations, I chose the activities at the Alberta legislature since I could ride my bicycle  and meet my friends there.

My friend Nolan liked splashing in the pools, as did his mom and I,  and got some wicked splashes in though because of the camera couldn’t indulge more fully.We listened to some music at two different stages.One stage was beside the legislative building where we could sit in the shade of some trees, and get up and dance, a beautiful spot for a concert.

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Nolan checking out the waterfall that goes under the bridge.

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Booming Tree Taiko

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In the shade listening to The Royal Foundry

We filled our water bottles at my favourite fountain that had three heights, one for filling bottles, one for kids  and adults and one a few inches off the ground for dogs. What a great idea!Whenever I saw people with thirsty dogs, I told them about it.

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I felt very grateful for our freedom to gather in this space designed to be public-friendly, for the presence of the police who keep us safe, and the openess of the government that allows for the public to swim in the pools, walk the grounds and celebrate out country’s birthday.

We were hot and tired so all went home after some good fun, then after my nap (yes, I had a nap) I went down to the river valley above the golf course to watch the fireworks. I don’t have a phone so couldn’t listen to the music that accompanied the lighting of the bridge but will say it was a great display of pulsating and running lights of all colours.I enjoyed the fireworks too, happy with my photos but slightly disappointed in my focus. I put the camera in Manual setting,same with the focus, and set the shutter on bulb for longer exposures, f18-22 for larger depth of field and ISO was 800 and 400 respectively. A bonus that I wasn’t expecting was  the full moon! Live and learn!

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Out Celebrating

The weather is “iffy” today but just will take a raincoat to celebrate “Canada Day” the 148th birthday of our country. There is entertainment at the legislature grounds and city hall to mention just two of many places.

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“Asani” singers and drummers

Then the fireworks tonight and a musical visual show of the lights on the High Level Bridge with “Oh Canada” sung by Asani, a native and Metis group of women that sing in English , French and Cree. Asani is a Cree word for “rock.” You can listen to them on You tube singing “Oh Canada.” Beautiful! Looking forward to that!

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Evening Visit to the National Park

Not coping with the heat too well, it was a great choice to visit Elk Island National Park in the evening. We arrived at a hiking tail in the dusk armed with water and Au de Doctor Doom and Deep Woods Off. We could hear the mosquitos around our ears and the coyotes in the hills. On this trail is a boardwalk where we could walk across a swampy area and the light and reflections were amazing. A beaver swam back and forth creating an impressive abstract of reflected ripples. It was a typical June day, with lush greens and golds which were a feast for the eyes. Enjoy.

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The Oohs and Ah-hhhs of Sunset

There was a bright shining red ball lowering in the sky as my friend and I raced for the beach at Astotin Lake. People were in the way so I used them as impromptu models because the sun was sinking fast and I didn’t want to miss it.Yes, their heads are merged with the background islands but I felt there was so little precious time. We stuck around after the sun set to see the more sublte colours in the surrounding sky.

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Gone Fishing

It is a delight to watch the white pelicans fishing, at first calm and upright, sometimes a slight lean forward, then leap forward and down into the water at what they see. My friend Diane and I had the good fortune to see not just one, but four pelicans today at a man-made lake in northeast Edmonton. Great fun!

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