i explored further than Windy Point and stopped at Preachers Point and though I took a photo with my zoom lens, i recognized the mountains that I had shot in the winter a couple of years ago. Ironicly , my friends were coming back from Vancouver and were in this same area the same day. We may have even passed each other!
Here are the photos from the winter when i was here at sunrise, obviously with a wider -angle lens.
I dropped into Two-O’Clock Creek, so named because the creekbed will flood with water from the run-off from the mountains in the afternoon. I noticed there are notices on the signs to submit ticks because Alberta health want to test them for evidence of Lyme disease. This is new to me so had me worried about more than bears. Thiss campground is a beautiful spot with an energy that draws me back ever since I first discovered it. i was thrilled to find a Western Tanager here although I apologise for the lousy shot.
i did some walking and stopped to say hello to the campground managers. See why i like this place so much?
The weather changed again and it FELT like snow was coming. up to then I was in a t-shirt and light jacket. The clouds rolled in and the mountains were almost covered completely. Time to go home.
Day 3 Views from Windy Point
Two days in a row it was still and quiet at Windy point, except on the return the weather had changed to very windy and the clouds had socked in, with snow again. Three seasons in two days.But it was a mix of sun and cloud in the early part of the day and I used the polariser. I thought that it might be blah because I heard the water was at its low point, but the land had such a sculptural quality that intrigued me and the lake was a pretty turquoise. It was a whole new landscape from what I had experienced in the summer and fall in previous visits.
The sheep were here again and I took more photos of them but with a wide angle lens rather than the zoom.I love the trees here, they show the wear and tear from the almost constant winds as you can see on the point.
On the return trip I witnessed a herd of sheep pop up their heads as I drove off the highway to the Mount Michener viewpoint. One little fellow popped over the guard rail and stared at me. Then he started running after the car and i backed up really fast. he hopped over the guard rail and looked over the hill , probably looking for his mates.
I took one last shot of the lake to show how much the weather had changed.It got cold and turned rainy and snowy, so I headed back to home base to a nice warm cabin..
Day 2 Abraham Lake-Windy Point
Luckily it cleared up after a nap so I headed to Abraham Lake. The first photo isn’t of the lake but I was getting close and the light was such that I couldn’t resist a stop.
It was cloudy and made for great mood. I went to Windy Point which miraculously wasn’t windy at all. Often I have to brace myself against a rock and hang on to my equipment for dear life in fear of being blown away.All the ensuing photos were taken from this one area. The lake was a light turquoise which is a feature of this body of water (in the summer it becomes a bright turquoise) and the low levels at this time of year lent to some interesting shapes and textures of the exposed gravel and sand.Interesting knarled trees spot the landscape, there are a variety of subjects.
After driving above the the parking lot I realized that I wasn’t alone as I had thought. There were a few Rocky Mountain sheep below me. They all stopped and checked me out then resumed grazing but had probably been watching me some time before I realized their presence. Nothing like being aware of my surroundings, especially in bear country.
There were small groups of White -crowned sparrows.
I did not regret making this trip in the late afternoon, probably only drove 40km to get here. the first time here I missed the entrance because it is just before the highway goes through cutrock. Keep your eyes open for oncoming traffic.After ascending above the parking lot I realized that I wasn’t alone as I had thought. There were a few Rocky Mountain sheep below staring up at me. They all stopped and checked me out then resumed grazing but had probably been watching me some time before I realized their presence. Nothing like being aware of my surroundings, especially in bear country. I love this country where the time goes by quickly because there is so much to see and it never gets boring. My preference was to stay close to the cabins and spend time walking rather than be in the car most of the time. I returned to home base later in the day, with quick stops at Fish Lake and Goldeye Lake to see the changes, and the deer, which were plentiful and vowed to use the electric heat rather than the wood stove mostly because of my asthma.
Rest and Relaxation
I gave a month’s notice to my work and am taking a much-needed break for a week. We have been short-staffed and over-worked for a long time while making money for the company and I am tired. On Monday I will be heading for the hills, either Jasper National Park or David Thompson country. When I come back I will hopefully have a whole bunch of new images. For today, I am resting, going to the advance polls to vote in the provincial election and researching options for accomodation in the days to come.Recharging batteries, figuratively and literally.
On Sunday I will still be in this area of Central Alberta but going on the Snow Goose Chase sponsored by the Nature Club. We will be bussing around the country spotting Snow geese on their migration north-a truly magnificent sight. Maybe we will see Bluebirds and owls, cranes…and huge flocks of Snow Geese.
Here are some images from the past as I think of which direction to go:
Medicine Lake, Jasper National Park
Abraham Lake David Thompson Country
Ice and Bubbles and Crystals
Recently I have been to a showing at a friend’s of 12 photos each by 12 people who went on the trip to Abraham lake last month. It was great to see the variety of photos that we took . I had taken mine and taken some of the colour out of them so went back to my computer and , as I say,” jazzed them up”. The thinking behind this is to enhance the contrast between reflected light and darker areas to show off these features because this is why I was attracted to the subject to begin with. Some of it is just playing around. I will show the “before” and “after”, tell me what you think. i changed the exposure and sometimes the temperature.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details
The guest blogger for the weekly challenge is Christopher Martin , whom I follow. Check out his blog especially if you are a photographer. The theme this week is to get closer to the details in a scene, which I like to do. Here is a photo of the larger view of Windy Point at Abraham Lake and a smaller detail.
Sunrise at Preacher’s Point
On the second morning we got up at 6:45 a.m. had delicious coffee and muffins served by our hosts Alan and Madeleine then went to Preacher’s Point on Abraham Lake to see the sunrise. This is what I was enjoying in warm temperatures that hovered around zero celsius. This is one of the sites where I took photos of bubbles.
After shooting for a couple of hours we returned to Aurum Lodge for a brunch and a nap before setting out again.
Always remember to look behind you.This is a photo taken in the opposite direction.
Lake of Bubbles
I was wrong before when I said that the bubbles in Abraham Lake were formed by the tossing and turning. They actually form from the methane gas that is given off from the rotting vegetation.The lake is man made and the water rises and falls depending on how much water is released from the dam.
They are pretty and get a little dizzying when you walk on the ice and are looking down on them. I may have gotten better shots if I went further from shore but was so mesmerized by them i did not have to go far. If you want to see real fantastic photos google oopoomoo or Darwin Wiggett, Samantha Chrysanthou, or Royce Howland.
I have added a slight tint of blue to these except for the one that is de-saturated and the second and fourth photos with the tiny bubbles that are close to shore and more brownish.i did see a blue cast to the ice and some that was broken in large chunks had a greenish tinge to it. There are large waves of frozen and buckled ice in the lake so you have to be careful where you go-the depth can change quickly and there is flowing water under the ice.
A Weekend at Abraham Lake
An opportunity presented itself to go with a few photographers to one of my favourite places in Central Alberta, Abraham Lake. I have not been here in the winter before. The weather was warm but with a chilling wind at times. The company of twelve of us shared warm spirits and basked in the hospitality of our hosts, Allen and Madeleine Ernst and their lovely dog, Aura. Aurum Lodge is an eco lodge and geared for people who want to make this their destination and stay a while. The food is delicious and healthy.
These photos are of sunrise at Windy Point and the bubbles are a distance further south.I tried bracketing three shots then merged them in HDR in Corel Paint Shop
Photo Pro. I have a flimsy tripod and hung my backpack from the hook and it stabilised everything well. The first photo is the rise behind me and the second in front of me.
Last, here is a photo of the bubbles which are formed in this man-made lake in turbulent waters. I did add blue to the water , which in summer is a vibrant turquoise.It was wonderful to be in the mountains and I was up at 6:45 every morning which is almost unheard of for me. We walked on the lake at different points along it’s shores, took photos of the sunrise and sunset and saw the bubbles that this lake is known for. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot of photographic tips. I have been home for a day but am ready for a good sleep now.
I will write more about this area in future blogs.