This image was taken a few weeks back in south central British Columbia. What was supposed to be a long exposure on the night sky ended early with a moon rise that reminded me of the words of the song “Morning has Broken” by musical artist Cat Stevens. Although it looks as though the sun has broken the horizon, it was in fact an almost full moon that quickly changed the direction of this image.
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.
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.
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.