Canada 150 – My Beautiful Country

Summer in Canada to me means going somewhere and seeing some of my beautiful country.  Canada is such a wonderfully diverse country and I appreciate it all…prairies, mountains, ocean, and our cities, too. I’ve only been as far east as Quebec City, and would love to see the east coast of Canada someday.

Summer Solstice, English Bay, Vancouver 2013

Summer Solstice 2013 2

Quebec City, 2010 (wow, seven years ago already!)

 

Banff (these pictures are from 2014)

Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia, June, 2013

Seaplane Perspective

Prince Rupert to Hartley Bay in a seaplane

Bishop Bay Hot Springs in the Great Bear Rainforest

Bishop Bay Hot Springs Sparkle 3

Near Gull Lake, Saskatchewan, July 2016

summer storm

into-the-storm

Prince Albert National Park, June 2016

Prince Albert National Park sunset - June 2016-2

Near Mankota, Saskatchewan, September 2016

morning-on-the-prairies-at-harvest-time

 

 

 

Great Bear Rainforest

You only need sit still long enough in some attractive spot in the woods that all its inhabitants may exhibit themselves to you by turns.  Henry David Thoreau

In the case of these photos, the attractive spot was on the water, in a zodiac with six other people being as still and quiet as possible to observe this grizzly in the Great Bear Rainforest in June, 2013.  I can’t believe it’s been four years since that trip!  I still think about it often and I’m grateful to have memories of spending eight days on a boat exploring a very unique, beautiful, wild, and amazing place in my own country.

Great Bear Rainforest 4Great Bear Rainforest 2Great Bear Rainforest 1

Great bear Rainforest

One of my favourite photos ever – look at that face!!!

 

 

 

 

animal therapy

For when you have a week that needs a little cute animal therapy to get you through it!

donkey posing

curious donkey near Craven, SK

Mountain Goat Kid Jasper

friendly face in Jasper National Park

Surfing Goat 4

Surfing Goat Dairy, Upcountry Maui

And my favourite animal picture I’ve ever taken….just look at that face.  The Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia is beautiful in so many different ways, but to get this close to a bear who trusted that you were only there to admire it in awe and capture it in a picture was pretty amazing.

great-bear-rainforest-2013-2

counting down the days…

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” – Anonymous

Less than two weeks until the next trip!  🙂

Great Bear Rainforest inlet reflection

In my last post, I said that a lot of the pictures I took in the Great Bear Rainforest two years ago were of reflections in the water….this is one of my favourites.  It’s such a beautiful place, far off the beaten path (which, truth be told, was a bit of an odd feeling). Some days we didn’t see any other boats.  It took a few days to get used to all the peace and quiet and solitude.

mountain reflections

look at that face

An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.
– Martin Buber

Great bear Rainforest

I’m not a vegetarian. I like crispy bacon and juicy steaks and bison burgers and chicken fajitas, and I’m not opposed to people who hunt in order to have meat in their freezer, but I am strongly opposed to hunting for sport.  When I went on my trip to the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia in June 2013 with Trish and Eric of Ocean Adventures (http://www.oceanadventures.bc.ca/), we anchored in inlets where hunting was not allowed.  We watched bears from a respectful distance (from the safety of the zodiac), and I was amazed just how calm and peaceful they were with seven people documenting their every move.  We had the privilege of witnessing a wild animal in its own habitat far off the beaten path.  To take pictures and have mementos of these amazing, living breathing animals seems so much more satisfying than hunting for sport.  (I still am deathly afraid of running into a bear while camping or walking in the woods, though!!!).

Great Bear Rainforst 2013 1 Great Bear Rainforest 2

It’s been exactly two years since the trip.  It was on this trip that I really started to pay attention (and learned the lesson of patience) when taking pictures of animals. (I do take pictures of people, I just don’t post them here!)  Anyway, here are a few more pictures from the Great Bear Rainforest – someday I’d like to go back!

scariest plane ride of my life

Flying to Hartley Bay , a small Aboriginal fishing village to meet the boat – beautiful scenery! I’d never been on a bush plane before – the ride there was fine, a little bumpy, but fine.  But on the way back there was a young woman from the village flying with us to Prince Rupert to see a doctor. She was in so much pain and was having such a panic attack, that I thought she was going to pass out before we made it back to Prince Rupert.  It was a very long 45 minutes.  I saw her later that day when we were walking around town and she was smiling so at least she was okay.

heading out to the Great Bear Rainforest

Leaving Hartley Bay and heading out on the Douglas Channel

Great Bear Rainforest zodiac

I loved being out on the zodiac!

inlet in the Great Bear Rainforest

This was at the end of a long afternoon out on the zodiac – it was so peaceful out on the water. There were seven of us in the zodiac and since the point is to be as quiet as possible so as not to disturb the wildlife, we barely said a word for five hours while seeing some pretty amazing sights!

entering anchorage in the Great Bear Rainforest

I bet close to half the pictures I took on the trip were of reflections on the water!

reflection

At this time last year, I was anticipating my trip to the Great Bear Rainforest in northern BC.  I had lots of conflicting thoughts – did I make the right decision in choosing this trip to celebrate a momentous birthday?  I wanted to do something outside my comfort zone, but at the same time, why didn’t I just choose to lay on a beach somewhere?  I’ve never slept on a boat, heck I’d never been on a boat for more than a few hours at a time, why did I think I’d like to spend a week on a small boat with five people I’ve never met before?  There was gear to be bought, had to get a tetanus shot, and plan how to deal with my diabetes. More than once I thought should I really do this?  But by then the trip was paid for, flights were booked to Prince Rupert, and the excitement of doing something different and going somewhere off the beaten path outweighed the fear and doubt.  I had a churning, upset stomach the morning we got on the float plane to meet the boat in a tiny aboriginal fishing village called Hartley Bay (of course, being on the float plane and hitting pockets of air, did nothing to quell the butterflies in my stomach!) But, once we met our hosts, got settled on the boat, and were off on our adventure starting down the Douglas Channel it really was amazing and it really was everything I’d hoped it would be.

Scenes like this, the calm water, and the reflections of the forests of trees and snow-capped mountains, were well worth the doubt and the anxiety before the trip!

entering anchorage in the Great Bear Rainforest