Few weeks ago the fall colours started to appear. With the overcast weather and rain it has been a challenge getting pictures of the colours. That changed couple of days ago and more opportunities to come.
Work took me to Rocky Mountain House NHS, where early in the morning I got to see the small bison herd kept there. Here several cowbirds hanging out on the back of a cow.
Living in Banff National Park, nature is never far away. A bull elk hanging out at the rec grounds with a rainbow from of Mount Rundle.
From across the valley I watched the storm passing through the valley, bringing heavy winds, lightening and rain. Every now and then there would be opening in the sky and the light was let in. That's when I decided to take pictures and what of. I was looking from side to side and zooming in and out, trying to frame the picture I wanted to take. Finding the right combination of light and shadows.
Top of a dead tree, a Bald Eagle keeping balance in the wind while looking out for the next opportunity for a meal.
Early this morning I went for a walk in Johnston Canyon, there were a couple of things I needed to do and also decided to take long exposures before the crowd moved in. With the overcast weather, the conditions were ideal for taking the long exposures. I started with the Lower Falls and worked my way to the others. When it got busy, then it was time to enjoy the hike back to the car.
When I'm watching wildlife I always have the camera ready to take pictures. When possible, if I'm safe from harm, I'm looking at the wildlife through the camera. Always ready to take the picture I don't want to miss, things happen fast and I don't want to be distracted when seconds count. With the mother near, the cubs were busy playing, and I was busy deciding which cub to follow with my camera. In the end, I kept going back and forth through the camera between the two cubs. For this picture I had a few seconds to get it, the cubs were not interested in staying in one place, they were play fighting or rolling around on the ground. As soon as I got this cub in focus between the blades of grass, I took the picture.
Following their mom, always near her for safety. About a month to go and some bears will start getting ready for the long winter nap. They are busy trying to gain weight, the more they gain the better chance they have getting through the coming winter. For the mother of these cubs, she also have to make sure there is enough food for her cubs.
One by one the wildflower colours are fading into memories as we move into cooler weather.
The beauty of Lake Louise behind the clouds.
We are creatures of habit and wildlife are no different. I came across this medium size black bear, brown in colour, walking and stopping to get a mouthful as he went along. From past experience I had a sense what route he would be taking, I went ahead and waited for him with the window down. I could not see him, but I could see the shrubs moving as he passed by them and on occasion the sounds he made when touching the shrubs. With no one else in the area, the chances were good he was heading toward me. The hope was when he went up the short incline near me, he would see me and give me a quick look before passing by me. My goal was to have the camera focused on his face and get a picture of him looking toward the camera. That evening it played out just as I hoped.
Flowers that are left, their days are numbered as cool weather moves in. A few weeks back on a hot sunny day I was out taking pictures of wild sunflowers. Moving back and forth to get a few good pictures of the flowers and a background to complement them.
Middle of the day in the forest this grizzly mother and her two cubs walking, searching for food. Stopping to dig for roots, eating berries they came across and other vegetation. With no threat in the area, the cubs often lingered behind their mom, playing and eating.
I get lots of bird pictures each year, particularly during the bird season. Because I get so many chances, I tend to have higher standards for what I consider a good bird picture. After taking pictures of birds for several years, I'm always thinking about the pictures I do have and try to get a picture of the same quality or better. In the case of this Spotted Sandpiper, I have a handful of very good pictures of them, but not one of them on a branch. In this case I ended up one afternoon middle of several families of Spotted Sandpipers, they were not happy with me being there. With camera in hand, I was making my way through the area, I just had to stop for a few seconds to get this picture. I took one step back to get the branches to the right into the frame, for me it made the picture that much better. A second after the bird was off the branch, I moved on and the birds were calm again.
Cool temperatures and rain is in the forecast, enemies of wildfires. This pictures taken today through the smoke.
Large male grizzly spotted walking near the edge of the forest. Bears at this time are spread out, searching for food. They have about two months to go before some will start looking to go to sleep. Not much food can be found bottom of the valleys, higher up in the meadows where food comes later, are places where the bears are searching. Adding on weight to survive the coming winter, half pregnant females adding on weight to be able to give birth in January.
Wildlife need space, but not our food.
I'm an early riser and even if I was not, I would be with all the beautiful things nature has shown me before most other two legged mammals wake up and get ready for a new day. Long time ago I made an important decision, not just get up early on my days off to go for a hike or take pictures of a sunrise. But to do it everyday so my mind and body gets used to it. I'm so used to it now, even if I try sleeping in, it's hard getting back to sleep with the mind wondering what I might be missing. Weeks before the wildfires started in Kootenay NP, I was heading in to do an early hike to locate birds. I was welcomed into the park from Banff with a beautiful sunrise, I made a quick stop side of the empty road and took few pictures before making my way to the trail head.
Few weeks back when the sky was free of wildfire smokes, I was standing next to Herbert Lake watching the sunset. The last of the light was hitting Mount Temple and the glacier on it.
Did a early morning hike to the Plain of the Six Glaciers, on the way back the sky started to open up. As I was taking the picture these two kayakers came along.