Mount Rundle

Sunrises are about scattering light. During sunrises and sunsets, sun is low on the horizon, sunlight has to travel through more of the atmosphere. Colours like blues and violets with shorter wavelength get scattered out by small particles, droplets and molecules in the atmosphere. But letting in longer wavelength colours like yellow, orange and red. The clouds catch the longer wavelength colours and reflect them to the ground.

Mount Rundle

Castle Mountain

I do lot of exploring by foot, learning about the areas I visit and looking for new photography opportunities. No matter if I have been there before or not, there is always something different to see, During one of my adventure I came across a place to take different view picture of a popular mountain in Banff, Castle Mountain. 

Castle Mountain

Great Gray Owl

It has been a while since I last saw a Great Gray Owl. I came across this beautiful owl recently, it was hunting. It did not come across any prey while I was there, it moved from tree to tree as it listened for anything moving under the not so deep snow. I more or less stayed put as it moved around and before I know it, it was gone.

Great Gray Owl

Red Fox

Red foxes can be found across Canada. Their litter size varies from one to ten pubs, born between March and May. The pubs are not able to see until they are two weeks old. When they are month old, the pups are weaned off milk and start enjoying pre-chewed food. Around the age of seven months the young foxes should be able to hunt for themselves and leave their parents to look for a home to call their own. Sometimes searching and travelling for 250 km. This female fox was searching for food along the road when I spotted her.

Red Fox

Coyote

I came across this female coyote by the side of the road. I stopped my car and watched her, she crossed the road and was listening for preys under the snow. She then moved forward and started looking toward another coyote, possibly her mate. It's then i decided to take her picture. She had beautiful eyes, I will have to one day get closer pictures of a coyote, to better see those eyes.

Coyote 171122 Amar Athwal.jpg

Moon

There's always something to take pictures of, flora, fauna, landscapes, and day and night sky. Lot of options for photographers. Having couple of lens, will looks after most situations for photography. I was out taking pictures of wildlife, returning home I notice the moon over Sundance Range, stopped to the side of the road and took the picture.

Moon 171118 Amar Athwal.jpg

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagles do enjoy eating fish, but they are open to other dishes when the opportunity presents itself. Water-fowls, small mammals, carrion and if they can't find their on food, they will steal from other animals. This adult was hoping to catch one of the water-fowl that was hanging around the marsh I was visiting. But the ducks were too quick that morning, alert and in the air before the eagle had a chance. As the eagle made few circles in the air before flying away, I quickly got myself higher to get this eye to eye level picture.

Bald Eagle 171117 Amar Athwal.jpg

Moose

Toward the end of rut season I came across this bull moose. He was near a female, who was with her calf. I was in my car, all three looked toward me, I parked the car on the side of the road and watched them. They stopped looking toward me and went back to their normal behaviour. I got few pictures before another car stopped near mine, they rolled down their windows and loud excited voices came out. Just like that the three moose were gone.

Moose

Grizzly

 I was never into following celebrities until I had spent few years in Banff. After considerable amount of time outdoor,  seeing the various stars roaming the landscape, I was captivated. One of those star is this grizzly crossing the road and getting the VIP treatment. Just to the front and beside me was the ever alert Human Wildlife Conflict colleague. Who was aware of any approaching train, stopping all road vehicles and keeping everyone quite while informing them about the celebrity we were watching. The goal was simple, to let the grizzly cross the road as quick as possible without being distracted. Now if I can only build up enough nerve to ask for an autograph from these celebrities.

Grizzly 171109 Amar Athwal.jpg

Pilot Mountain

Yesterday morning I was travelling through the Bow Valley in the morning, looking for subjects to take pictures of. The first few pictures I took was of Pilot Mtn covered with snow from few days back. The morning light hitting the top part of the mountain and the snow covered trees in the foreground and on the slopes of the mountain. With the cold temperature, it was winter time. 

Pilot Mtn 171108 Amar Athwal.jpg

Moose

The ever protective mother kept an eye on me, always making sure her calf was safe. She had nothing to worry about, I was about 50 meters away and had no plans to get any closer. The view was clear and my lens was easily able to reach the two moose.

Moose 171106 Amar Athwal.jpg

Giant Steps

Winter  has arrived to the Canadian Rockies, bringing snow and colder temperatures. It was just few weeks ago we were having  a great fall hiking season. One of the highlight  from this fall was the Paradise Valley hike. With an early start, the temperature was close to freezing, moving fast kept the body nice and warm. The goal was to make it to the Giant Steps before the sun reached bottom of the valley, I wanted to explore the steps and take long exposure images, direct sunlight on the water would have made things little more challenging. With some side exploring, it ended up being a 25k day. To and back from the  steps, the views were amazing, the snow capped peaks, juvenile Common Goldeneyes in the lake, the fall colours, pikas getting ready for the winter ..... you get the idea. In the end I got the pictures and another chance at exploring the mountains my favourite way, on my two feet.

Giant Steps 171103 Amar Athwal.jpg

Castle Mtn

It looks as if the winter has arrived this week, with snow and cooler temperatures. But just few days ago the valley was without snow. I was off the beaten path taking landscapes pictures. Last year a beaver family moved into the area, water was raised, resulting in this pine and other trees dying. I had to move around the water, trying to find a spot that was dry and at the same time get a reflection of Castle Mtn.

Castle Mtn

Blue Jay

We don't get that many chances of seeing Blue Jays out here in the mountains, let along get a good picture of one. During one afternoon I was exploring when I saw this one, it was looking for food along the edge of the forest. Took my time getting close enough to get pictures, once we were both comfortable with the space between us. I then ended up spending about half an hour getting few good pictures. 

Blue Jay 171031f Amar Athwal.jpg

Short-tailed Weasel

I was hiking among the larch trees in the fall colours. I moved away from the trees to get a different look and perhaps a pictures of the fall colours. That's when I heard and saw this short-tailed weasel moving around among the rocks and snow. The next several minutes I spent taking picture of this little one. At that time more then likely just weeks away from changing into its winter colours of while with black tail tip. 

Short-tailed Weasel 171029f Amar Athwal.jpg

Elk

With the elk rut season coming to an end, it was interesting to see the male challengers were taking every steps to avoid fighting with the defending bull. Only when the challenger though he could take on a defender there would be a battle.  First step would be to listen to the defending bull's bugle, which indicates size and strength of the defender.  If the challenging bull was not deterred from the bugling, then he would locate the defender and size him out. If the challenger still felt confident, there might be bluff charge or two, both bulls walking side by side with each showing the other how big they were, this can go on for several minutes. If neither bull moves off, the next step would be to fight each other, this can last few seconds to several minutes.  From my experience, in most cases the defender is the winner, even more so the larger the harem a defending bull has. Because there is a good reason why a certain bull has a large harem, the females decide which male to seek out for mating from the bugling. A weaker bull not only has tougher time defending but also keeping his harem together.

Elk 171027f Amar Athwal.jpg

Peyto Lake

It has been great spending more time taking pictures of various landscapes. Visiting few different areas and as well getting something different form the areas I visit often. Getting sunrise, sunset and night pictures. This one of Peyto Lake was several weeks back, when I took this picture of the sunset and hanged out afterward to get a night picture. 

Peyto Lake

Grizzly

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.

Grizzly 171023f Amar Athwal.jpg

Cascade Mtn

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.

Cascade Mtn