Otherwise known as a pika, this adorable little guy entertained me and my friend Ron Yachimec while we were hiking in Yoho National Park. We had traversed many of the trails around Lake O’Hara, but hadn’t headed up to McArthur Lake. We decided to climb up Mount Schaffer, me only nearly to the top, Ron all the way, but then he has some good training in climbing skills! Such beautiful views from so high up but there were some rain showers starting up, and so on our decent we decided to scramble down a very long scree slope, which felt a lot like skiing moguls. Near the bottom where we joined up with the trail back to our campground we heard the unmistakeable shrill chirp of a pika. It didn’t take long to locate him as he scrambled among the boulders rounding up all his grasses etc. he had set out earlier to dry in the sun. He would grab a mouth full and head under the rocks only to pop his head out and check to see if there were any risks about before getting his next mouthful. I simply watched where he would stop and snuck up on the spot when he wasn’t looking or had dived under a boulder. When I was close enough to get a decent shop, I got my camera to the appropriate settings and waited. Within a few moments he was back. He spotted me and stopped to be sure I was an OK kind of guy and click, the memory was preserved an a small piece of Fuji Velvia film. I entered this image into the Canadian Geographic magazines photo contest at the time and it won the animal category and was published, which then resulted in a few print sales. All in all I was a pretty happy camper! (Pardon the pun)
[ Nikon F3HP, Nikon 80-200mm f/4, Fujichrome Velvia ]
Ha Ling Peak sits immediately south of the town of Canmore, Alberta. There are hiking trails up the south face and a few technical routes on the north face. I was up in the area last June and as I drove up the road to the Spray Lakes it got very foggy. In fact for a while it was hard to see anything, but as the fog lifted a bit details started to emerge and it felt like I was standing on the west coast somewhere. It was very beautiful! It is hard to tell looking at this image, but this is a colour photograph.
[ Sigma DP3 Merrill ]
White Pyramid reflecting in Waterfowl Lake, Banff National Park, AB
[ Sigma DP3 Merrill ]
A few images from where the Clearwater River crosses under the bridge on Highway 40, otherwise known as the Alberta Forestry Trunk Road or Highway 734. It all depends on which segment of the road as to which road you are technically on, but most people I know simply refer to it as the Forestry Trunk Road no matter where you are travelling on it. Personally I steer clear anytime a long weekend is taking place as the road turns more or less into a racetrack of 4×4’s and fifth wheels all looking for a place to free camp and party. Unfortunately this is taking a toll on the quality of the experience unless you are into lots of noise and dust from quads and bikes and late night partying with all the garbage and junk these people leave scattered all about when they leave. Enough with being negative though. If you have the opportunity to drive anywhere along this route when camping isn’t likely to occur, it can be a fabulous experience with some spectacular scenery along the way. There are a few designated provincial campgrounds along the road that are well kept and very nice to stay in. Keep in mind there isn’t any electricity at these campgrounds.
[ Leica M3, Zeiss ZM 50mm Planar, Fuji Superia 200 ]
The mountains of Ruckle Provincial Park on Saltspring Island loom on the horizon as we threaded our way through the gulf islands on our way between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay aboard Coastal Celebration. The light was soft and gorgeous on a bright overcast day. What a beautiful view!! I think I need to live out on the coast.
[ Sony RX100III ]
Rain clouds were engulfing Mount Murchison a few mornings back as I was helping lead a photo excursion through Banff and Jasper National Park last weekend. It was raining off and on, but never kept us from anything.
[Olympus E-M5, Olympus M.Zuiko 75-300mm]
While co-leading a photo excursion in Banff and Yoho National Parks, our group made a stop at the Natural Bridge just a few kilometres from Field B.C. We spent a fair bit of time wandering below the falls photographing the many variations of the fast moving water as it tumbles over rocks on it’s way to the Pacific Ocean.
[Olympus E-M5, M.Zuiko 40-150mm]
Laura and I travelled to Phoenix last week with my parents. We took part of our last day before flying home, to travel into the desert northeast of the city. We headed into Tonto National Forest on the N. Bush Highway a few miles past Saguaro Lake, which is a body of water created by the Stewart Mountain Dam. This was actually not the road I intended on travelling and so I turned the car around and headed back. As we past the dam we noticed a lot of smoke ahead, so I pulled over to have a look. The bushes along the Salt River had caught fire somehow and were burning quite intensely. Whenever the flames engulfed another tree or bush the flames would leap skyward sending smoke hundreds of feet high. The temperature was around 30°C and so felt rather warm for someone who had just come from a weeks worth of at least -30°C, and it felt already like the desert was on fire, just not literally. It was a spectacular sight and I quickly made some images before the rangers started clearing out those of us watching the spectacle.