Black Bear

Shepherd canadensis are their official name, but also called buffalo berry, soapberry, and by a few other names. The plant has edible berries, usually in red, but also seen in yellow and orange colours. Found across Canada, the shrub grows from a meter to two meters tall, grows in dry to moist woods, on sandy, rocky and in gravelly soils. Out here it blooms in May to June and the berries ripen in July. Elk, deer and bighorn sheep consume the leaves, while some birds and mammals eat the berries. The later includes both the brown and the black bear.

Black Bear 180810 Amar Athwal.jpg


Six month old grizzly cub, enjoying its first summer. Every day is a new challenge, everyday security provided by it's mother. It will spend 3 to 4 years with its mother, learning what to eat and how to be safe. 

Grizzly 180807 Amar Athwal.jpg

Mountain Goat

This kid was just few weeks old when the picture was taken. Getting to spend sometime near the bottom of the valley, with its mother nearby. Most of its time will be spent much higher up, where it's safe from most predators. 

Mountain Goat 180806 Amar Athwal.jpg

Mountain Goat

In wildlife for many species, including for the mountain goats, the female looks after their  young from the day they are born to the day they are on their own. The nanny will give birth away from others, when the kid can get around the two will seek the company of others. The kid will never be too far from the nanny. The nanny will help the kid with food, help it learn to climb, nanny using their eyes to help guide the kid through a safe route on a side of a mountain. So the least a kid can do is provide it's mother a place to rest her head for a few seconds on a hot day.

Mountain Goat 180803 Amar Athwal.jpg

Pileated Woodpecker

Few times I went to watch the Pileated Woodpecker's nest, it was first used last year. There was some work done on the nest before woodpeckers started using it this year. I would be challenged by the mosquitos whenever I went to take pictures of the family. Each time I would wait for a short while for the adults to get the food and feed the nestlings. It will be interesting to see if the nest gets used next year.

Pileated Woodpecker 180730 Amar Athwal.jpg


Most living in the mountains or visiting, have sighting of grizzlies on the top of their list of wildlife they want to see. It's one of the often asked questions on social media or face to face, where can they go to see bears. The answer will often disappoint them, which is "get out as much as you can'. There are other factors, look for them from May to October, take the slower speed routes and drive at the speed limit so your eyes can see more around you, but these and other factors play a smaller role. Get out and explore as much as possible. It's very rare I'll be out looking just for bears, I like to get  out and explore and from experience I know I'll have more than my share of bear sightings. Nature is a pretty amazing, but it will never show you everything all at once, the more you get out the more it will show you. 

Grizzly 180727f Amar Athwal.jpg

Wood Lily

I got an early start to the day, getting to watch the sunrise from the road and even stopped to take few pictures. I wanted a head start for a hike before the rain storm that was forecasted for the middle of the day moved in. I had made it to the end of the trail quickly, but the dark clouds moved in quickly as well and were soon followed by  rain and thunder. I located a partial shelter from the rain that was getting heaver and heaver in volume and the clouds were filled with the sound of thunder. With the wind picking up I was still mostly dry as I listened to the lightning ripping  through the sky every few minutes. After about  forty-five minutes the storm had moved on, I was half way back to the trail head when a light rain started coming down. It was light enough for me to walk through, but I decided I wanted to take a picture of  wet wood lilies I had seen on my way into the hike. It was time to take cover again. Ten minutes later the sky opened up and I headed for my car, stopping only when I  came across wet wood lilies.

Wood Lily 180720 Amar Athwal.jpg

Black Bear

This year I have been lucky enough to come across few large black bear. This male for hundred meters or so came out of the forest and walked on the road, a very confident male took his time as he walked in the open before heading back into the trees.

Black Bear 180718 Amar Athwal.jpg


A picture of a bull elk taken few weeks back, busy eating in the Bow Valley. Busy gaining weight and growing its antlers for the rut season that will start in late August. 

Elk 180717 Amar Athwal.jpg

Mount Rundle

People were gathering at the Vermilion Lakes to take pictures as the sun was making its way down. All trying to find the location that would work for them, for many it was their first time in the park and were looking for memories to take back home with them. I have been there hundreds of times, always enjoy being out there. With more and more out there taking pictures, I just find my location and take in the sights and get the pictures.

Mount Rundle 180815 Amar Athwal.jpg

Canada Goose

 have been saving this picture for a while, it was my first sighting this season of the goslings, there were two sets of family hanging out near each other. I stayed in the middle and kept taking pictures as opportunities presented themselves. It was during  the morning and the sun was quickly rising, couple of town staff cleaning up the area were the only other people in the area. We all decided it was a good way to start the day, seeing  little balls of golden yellow running around their parents. I had to make minor adjustment to my location, I wanted the sunlight to be hitting them from the back, also kept making minor adjustments to the camera setting to get some details in the goslings. After spending about twenty minutes, I was happy with what I got and continued my bird walk.

Canada Goose 180713 Amar Athwal.jpg


This one year old grizzly, showing more independence but still not too far from its mother. After realizing his mother and sibling had moved on, it quickly covered the distance.

Grizzly 180709 Amar Athwal.jpg