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.
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.
I have been working shifts and not getting out much but I am taking the time today. First I will look back and post some shots that I like. i don’t want to take too much precious time so my apologies if I have some repeats here.
18 mm, 1/250 sec @ f/8, ISO 800
Take the time to go for a walk. You will never know what is out there if you don’t. After the sun sets, take the time to see what happens next. it is worth the wait.
It is a pleasure to go to this city pond, one of many, and see the young ducklings.Some are Lesser Scaups, some American Widgeons, and the Mallards.
Mother Scaup with her two balls of fluff.
No, I am not talking about a large size of bird species, I am referring to the large chunks of bread that was thrown to the birds at the park. The people were happily feeding their feathered friends but I wonder if they would have shown some restraint if they saw this one struggling with its bounty.This young Ring-billed gull got the prize but I am curious what it was thinking as it seemed uncomfortable with the morsel it caught.Bread is not good for birds, but tell that to the birds, or to the people who feed them.
This crow was by itself in the lower branches of the tree, observing the ducks, geese and myself. It was muttering under its breath, making all sorts of vocalizations as if talking to itself. Once in a while it cawed back and forth with its clan in nearby trees, even matching the number of caws, then there would be a lot of noise as they all excitedly called back and forth to each other.
I tried to capture this in these photos as I snapped happily away and it seemed quite obliging in the process.At one point when it was talking to itself, there was a scolding squirrel above it and the crow took this in stride but did did keep a series of mutterings going on with its head down and the eyelid semi-closed, perhaps protection from the debris that was coming from the squirrel.
Since the flowers in my field guide are not always as clear as I would like, as are my photos, I am guessing that rather than lupine, this might be Tufted Vetch. Gosh, I could start another blog on this topic of wild flowers alone, but not sure that I have the patience.
When the ruddy duck showed up at the pond, I was clicking away, if not always focused, but getting some good shots. When you get close to a bird, or it gets close to you, it is always, “Oh, just a couple more…”
So bear with me as I continue to show off the male Ruddy Duck after he came closer.