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.
Also a Grey Jay stopped by, begging.They are not nick-named “camp robbers” for nothing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last night while out walking, I saw two hares, almost pure white, but with brown patches, nibbling on the new sprouts of grass, aware of me but too engrossed with their meal to make a run for it.
And today, as usual, we had snow for the first day of spring which arrived here sometime after 4:oo p.m. I believe it will turn green once again – Happy Spring!
Mating Behaviour in Magpies plus Sightings of Robins
I saw this strange behaviour between these two Magpies on the steps of a building where the female would shiver her wings and body, then the male who was sitting above her on a railing , would swoop down on her. This happened twice.The first picture shows the female shivering for the second time, vigorously flapping her wings close to her body.
The second picture shows the male swooping down to the female who is tilting her tail and hind end up in the air.
Then the pair flew to a nearby tree and both disappeared into this nest, entering from the side away from me.
At the end of the street where I live I observed one lone magpie near an obvious magpie nest.I thought maybe if I waited, it would go into the nest.
It went closer but did not attempt to enter the nest.
Instead, another one came out of it. The second one appears to be holding a stick in its mouth. The two of them flew off together.
I also saw three robins today, the first is a female in the woods.
The second was a male down the street from the woods, not necessarily the mate.
And the third was a male singing in a tree beside the magpie nest.
There is a nest in the same tree, but not a typical robin’s nest. Who knows?
There is a lot of activity in the neighbourhood,and plenty of opportunities to observe magpies, house finches, robins, crows, house sparrows, all of whom are nesting in the neighbourhood or nearby. Next month the warblers will arrive. I am looking forward to the upcoming season.