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.
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
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.
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
The Sky Tram Station on Whistler Mountain behind me
Looking across the valley at Pyramid Mountain
fall leaves are mostly gone and sunlight warms the frosty air
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.
Well my car is not really STUCK. But I haven’t tried to move it either. The parking lot is a MESS from the snow that was blown by the wind into deep drifts. Someone did some shovelling but deposited a portion of snow close to my car which will give the front of the car no space to turn as I back out. The graders plowed the alley so the windrow is one more obstacle to get past. That and the temperature. I will get the shovel out tomorrow and try to get the car on the move. Tonight the wind chill is going to feel like -40 so for now I am staying indoors, reading and staying warm. The photos show the first night of the snow, we got more the next day. Most people are out driving, some slow, some ridiculously fast and there have been hundreds of accidents.. I am sure Buffalo is having major problems but have not heard a thing on the news.
The positive side of this is the beautiful wonderland that I see when I ride the bus to work.Must take photos…
it is interesting to approach the berry trees with no sight of a Pine Grosbeak, but quickly they come to the tree in twos and threes. it feels magical, how they start showing up. I only had a half-hour but took the time specifically to see and photograph the birds. In this time period I saw only the females but was able to get very close.
it was pretty this morning with the fog and hoar frost on the trees. I got out for a few snapshots before going to work. Can’t wait to get outdoors when I have more time. I got some photos of the female grosbeaks that I will post tomorrow. Stay warm.
One of the reasons that I wanted to get to the park was to check for the Pine Grosbeaks. I had seen some photos posted and was excited to see them again, especially since they did not show up last year. When I got to the park I could hear, but not see them. I greeted another photographer and we went closer to the trees that had berries on them. Soon a few females came to eat the fruit in the trees , then a couple of males. it was somewhat difficult light, but I was not disappointed.
Welcome back, grosbeaks!