It's late October and the bears have started to go to sleep for the winter months. It starts with the young bears and the mothers with the cubs and in the end will be the big males. The last one normally will go off to sleep early December.
During the falls the larch trees seem to get all the attention when it comes to fall colours in the mountains. There are other trees and shrubs that add to the colours during the fall, one of those are the trembling aspen trees. Normally aspen propagates through root sprouts, which can create a very large clonal colonies with a single root system. By mass a aspen colony is considered to be the largest organism on earth. Each colony is its own clone, all the trees in a clone will have similar characteristics, for example producing a wonderful bright tone of yellow at the same time with the occasional red colour showing up.
Another picture taken around town of Banff before heading for work. One of my favourite way to take picture of Cascade Mtn, from town by the shore of Bow River.
Snow falls and snow melts, until cooler temperature stays, the snow will not stick around the valley's bottom. These two fawns were still finding something good to eat, from the grass to the leaves on the shrubs.
It was good to get back to the back of Paradise Valley to go see and take pictures of the Giant Steps. I was there before the sunlight touched the area, to take long exposures. For next year, the plan is to get there during the early summer snowmelt, the falls would be great with even more water making its way down.
It's not always a bad thing when the plans you had for your days off get changed at the last minute. In this case it was the location where the hike was going to take place. On the way to the alternative hike, a mother moose and two calves were spotted. Most often a female moose will have one calf, but not uncommon for a cow to give birth to twins. For the cow there are big challenges trying to get one calf to survive through its first year, with twins even harder. Finding food is not the problem, but dealing with harsh winter and predators is. Moose populations and nutrition play a role if a cow will have twins. With better foraging area and lesser moose population, the chances are increased birth will be given to twins. On the day the picture was taken, the twins were busy eating and staying close to their ever protective mom.
It snowed yesterday and last night, this morning with the sunrise the place looked like a postcard. While making my way to work, I saw the beautiful light toward Mount Rundle, I quickly got my camera out and started to take pictures. After this picture from top of the Bow Bridge, it was time to look for other opportunities.
The first time I saw Crowfoot Glacier was over twenty years ago, since them it has lost some of its mass. The summer we have gone past was one of the warmest, many glacier are bit smaller. They have shrunk from the area they once covered and reduced in height. I still enjoy looking at it when I come across it, but one day it will be gone.
Two elk bulls fighting to decide who will mate. Normally these fights last a minute or so, sometimes seconds. But in this case they went on for several minutes, both getting tired and foaming at their mouth. Finally it was over, the one on the left was the challenger and in the end the loser of this battle.
More fall colours seen while driving through Banff National Park, I take this road often, so when I was headed out I had the gear I needed to get the picture. Pulled off the road and stepped out and took the picture. Knowing the area goes a long way getting the picture I want.
Last week Wednesday night the bright Northern Lights covered much of the sky for a short period of time. As soon as I stepped outside, the lights were clearly visible in town, even with the Banff street lights. I decided that was the night I was going to take pictures of the Northern Light from town. Went to few location including next to the Bow River. The brightness from the town lights made it difficult getting the reflection on the water of the lightsbut I was able to for some of the stars, including the big dipper. It was a night losing some sleep over.
The last few weeks I have been going around taking pictures of fall colours, front and in the back country. I have been going on hikes to get the pictures, for these two pictures I just had to make a stop along the road. In both cases I knew where I wanted to take the pictures, I was just waiting for the right moment.
When returning from Jasper we came across three mountain goats along the road. They were busy licking minerals and eating grass. All together there were three goats, two adults and a one year old. In about two months they will be high up on the mountain, where they will spend their winter.
Around this time all hikes for me have to do with fall colours, here in the mountains, it's all about the golden yellow colour of the larch tree needles. We had decided to head for Floe Lake in Kootenay National Park. The vegetation along the trail was showing their beautiful fall colours, we kept our fingers crossed that the clouds we were seeing above the lake from our approach would move on. It was not meant to be, light rain was falling at the lake, after locating shelter we put on layers and ate. Soon joined by another hiker, we sat and talked as her dog Mena took turns licking our faces as the rain fell around us. I decided I was not leaving before getting one good picture of the larch, the lake and the famous limestone rockwall, few minutes before we headed back to the trail head, I had the picture.
This young bull elk making the moves on this female during the rut season. Head held high, the tongue sticking out while approaching the cow when trying to attract her during the mating season.
It has been few years since I was hiking in Paradise Valley. Just before the sunrise I started the hike, middle of September is a great time to do the hike, the beautiful views have a added bonus, fall colours from the larch trees. In few hours I was toward the back of the valley, I had my camera ready when the sun started to come over Mount Temple. I quickly got the pictures and then started to explore again.
I paid a visit to the Johnston Canyon for a walk and to check on few things. It was evening, lot less crowded then middle of the day. These day you have to go there first thing in the morning, end of the day or during cold weather to find the popular Johnston Canyon quite. Before I left, I took few long exposures at the lower water falls.
Why is this adult Yellow-rumped Warbler feeding a juvinile Brown-headed Cowbird that is twice its size. Well, the cowbird does not build its own nest, instead it lays eggs in the other bird nests. Where the cowbird egg will hatch faster than that of the host species, giving the cowbird a head start getting the food from its host parent. As well the cowbird will develop faster and sometimes push out the eggs or the young nestlings or just smother them at the bottom of the nest. The host parent does know any better and ends up raising a Brown-headed Cowbird.
Water falls attract lot of people and I'm one of them. I like to watch them and as well figure out how I will be taking their picture. For this Sunwapta Falls, a place I have to travel for few hours to get to, I took the picture in a similar way as the last time. I think I have to spend little more time to get different looks. Hopefully the next time I'm out there.
I was on my way to a hike when I came across a moose with two calves. They were busy eating around willow shrubs. I had few trees and shrubs between us, moving side to side to get a clear pictures of the three. I came close but never did get a picture of all three in the open, as individuals, this one of one of the calf was the best one.