A collection of amateur photography and travel

  • MaleRuffedGrouse
  • Fall Frost on the Dempster Highway
  • Aurora Borealis
  • NorthKlondikeTrumpeters
  • Copper River
  • Juvenile Barred Owl
  • Starry False Solomon's Seal
  • Red Fox
  • Soggy Western Tanager
  • Great Horned Owl chicks

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The Boss

Explored a small local treasure today near Cochrane, AB.  This gem of once privately owned land was set aside by the owner in the early 80’s in the interest of wildlife conservation.  Being off the beaten path it sees very few visitors and under a warm chinook sky it was a nice quiet getaway for a few hours this afternoon.  Late in the afternoon we came across a group of Ruffed Grouse including this male that was strutting his goods and letting the others know who’s the boss in his area of the woods.

Male Ruffed Grouse

 

Fall Frost on the Dempster Highway

A frosty embrace at the edge of a small unnamed lake along the Dempster Highway.
Fall Frost on the Dempster Highway

Inconsequential

The experience of standing below the aurora borealis is so humbling; you can’t help but feel inconsequential when surrounded by something so beautiful.
Aurora Borealis

Trumpeter Swans In Flight

Fall is in full swing in the Yukon Territory.  These 2 Trumpeter Swans along the Klondike Highway between Whitehorse and Dawson City are of the last to leave the Canada’s north and make their way south.

Trumpeter Swans

Pleasant Surprise

It’s one of those rivers that make flyfishermen drool; multiple deep dark pools surrounded by lush temperate rainforest in a place away from the masses.  Located on the east side of Moresby Island in the Haida Gwaii archipelago, the Copper River is a place that poets speak of with words that come easy in a place of such beauty.  Having a taste of the north island in October of 2012, a return this August was just as beautiful and paved the way to a future trip to this incredible place.

After deciding between the multitude of pools to drop a fly, it was down to the river with flyrod in hand with hopes of catching a Cutthroat Trout or Dolly Varden.  Upon reaching the edge of the river, a chaos of splashes revealed I was not alone but in the company of a family of River Otters.  Known for their playfulness and curiousity, hopes of an afternoon of catching fish became secondary and sprint up the bank to swap the flyrod for camera took place.  Thankfully nobody was around to watch the unscheduled cardio workout in flipflops; not exactly the most graceful of sights.

Upon returning to the river, all but one of the otters had swam off into a nearby logjam.  After checking out the 2 legged intruder, the brave adult joined the rest of the family.  After waiting a few minutes, curiuosity got the better of the family as eventually they came out one by one to see/smell me before swimming downstream to the next pool.   River Otter

Barred Owl

Until recently, the Barred Owl was just another critter in the forest that was more often heard than seen due to it’s nocturnal nature.  After succesfully reproducing it’s way across north America over the last century, the Barred Owl waded into controversy as it now shares habitat with the endangered Spotted Owl.  The overlap has created a turf-war and being a bit larger and more aggressive, the Barred Owl has started to push the smaller/more timid Spotted Owl out of the remaining old growth forest in Oregon, Washington and southwest British Columbia.  After a large campaign to protect Spotted Owls in the 1990’s, the Spotted Owl has a healthier population on the south side of the border but only 10-20 Spotted Owls remain in southwest British Columbia.  Although a captive breeding program was put in place in British Columbia, this new threat to the Spotted Owl has caught the attention of wildlife managers and brought forth some controversial management practices in both Canada and the USA.  Although the Barred Owl has a detrimental effect on the Spotted Owl, seeing a family of Barred Owls in Abbotsford BC this past week was still a rewarding experience that won’t be soon forgotten.  Although one encounter was sans camera, the following morning the curiousity of this juvenile kept it around long enough to obtain a photo.  Juvenile Barred Owl

Looking Closely Among the Ordinary

It was a short walk last week to check on some Great Horned Owls on county land just outside west Calgary.  After seeing the young owls were doing fine, a walk through what looked like your average field of grass/shrubs revealed on closer inspection to contain a gorgeous small flower called Starry False Solomon’s Seal.      Starry False Solomon's Seal

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