The warm sunny weather is producing lot of colour in the forms of flowers. In this case it's the wild sunflower, beautiful yellow colour standing out in the sunlight. With the very warm weather we are having, it's hard to imagine it will start changing as we get closer to the end go August.
It's rare I'm out, away, hour from home at the end of the day. Standing next to the Bow Lake, waiting for the sun to set. Hoping the sky would lit up little and the water would go calm. I got little of both, giving me the picture.
I have been lucky enough to see this big guy few times this year, on this occasion he was visiting the town area one early morning.
Nanny and her week old kid make their way to the bottom of the valley for some well deserved minerals. The mountain goats spend most of they time above the tree line throughout the year, moving up and down within their range. Kids are born in May or June after a six month gestation period. Normally a nanny gives birth to a single offspring after isolating herself from rest of the group. The kids weighs about 3 kg when born, within few hours it begins to run and climb. A nanny will protect her kid when faced with predators and protecting it from steep slopes with her body. Kids stay close to their mother for a year, end of which the nanny gives birth again.
I was up early in the morning exploring and taking pictures at the Marble Canyon. Spent about an hour there, enjoyed the quietness of the morning , listening to the fast moving water and the sounds of few birds. The sky was clear, so decided just to focus on the water, rocks and the vegetation. Getting few pictures.
Most times the bears pass by, they are too busy looking for food. Not looking to come in human ways, but humans have other ideas. The bears just need space, not to play but to survive. But not all of us willing to share, not even for part of a year willing to give a place over to the bears for them to make a living.
This adult Common Loon and its mate did not have success last year raising a family, the eggs did not even hatch. It might be related to a local grizzly bear who has a taste for eggs and or there is a good chance photographers got too close to the nest. It might have been great for the photographers to get good pictures that way, but very stressful for the adults getting their pictures taken from few meters away while sitting on the nest. This year there were two chicks, after a week one was grabbed by a raptor, the parents are doing a good job rasing the remaining one. Six days after the eggs were hatched, I was able to get this picture.
It has become a funny habit of mine, getting pictures of various animals having their tongue sticking out. In most cases they are eating and simply the animals seem to be cleaning their lips. In the case of this bighorn sheep, the male was licking minerals off the ground and the tongue came out to remove anything that might be on its lips.
The Great Blue Heron was busy in the morning along the side of the river, fishing for breakfast. I watched it for close to an hour, it caught few fish before it decided to fly away and look for another place to fish or perhaps rest.
More summer colours in the form of wildflower, another picture of wood lily.
Grizzly bears are referred to as an umbrella or keystone species. If we can protect land where these bears can survive and even flourish, then we are also safeguarding many other species found in the ecosystem. Globally grizzlies have lost 50 percent of the original range, that number is not much different in North America. That is why it's so important to protect these two four (today six) month old grizzly bear cubs. That in turn protects so many of their wild friends and out connection to nature.
It's great time to be taking pictures out there. Landscapes, wildlife and various colours in the form of flowers are all for the taking. For the wood lilies I was out there on a hot sunny day, taking pictures of the various wood lilies from various positions.
It was a great spring bird migration this year, one of the reason for that was seeing this male Blackpoll Warbler. A rare sight in our neck of woods. Few years back a study was conducted with these warblers, a half gram tracker was placed on the back of these 12 gram birds before they made their southern migration journey. Out of the 37 birds that were tracked, five were recovered the following year. From the information the trackers were able to gather, those five birds averaged 2,540 kilometers non-stop flight in roughly 62 hours, over the Atlantic Ocean. Just amazing.
I was well ahead of the grizzly, he was making his way toward my direction. With light rain falling and low light toward the end of the day, I took my time to take the picture. With slightly slow shutter speed, made the rain drops more visible and at the same time getting the grizzly in focus.
Few weeks back when there was still some reasonable amount of snow on the north side of Mount Rundle, I was out taking pictures in the morning. Always my favourite way to start the morning, watching a sunrise next to one of many beautiful lakes in Banff.
A male bighorn sheep makes it look so easy moving down on a rock wall that is crumbling piece at a time.
Just before taking this picture, not much light was getting through the heavy clouds and the light that did, had no warmth to it. After taking the picture, much of the light was gone and the wind picked up, taking the reflection with it. Nature photography is all about timing.
Always a treat seeing a bear cub, in this case it's a four month old grizzly bear cub. Its mother would have given birth to it in mid January, being under a pound at that time. The cubs will normally end up spending their first four months in the den with their mother, nursing on her milk until they come out of the den around May. By then with mother by their side, they are ready to face the outside world.
The flowers are coming out every where now, the remaining snow is melting and ground is becoming soft. Ground received lot of moisture in the form of snow and rain, now with war warm weather the ground is getting lot of colour.
Couple of weeks ago, a day after snow fell on the mountains, I was out taking pictures as the sun set. The valley was turning green while snow still lingered higher up. The wind was calm which meant having to deal with mosquitos, but a vey small price to pay to get the picture. I just had to wait until the clouds moved into the position, once they did it was time to take the picture.