sunset is my favourite time of day

Three for three!  This is the third year I’ve been to Elk Island National Park in the last five years on my annual camping trip with my parents. The sunsets here are beautiful. We stayed two nights this year – the first night it rained, and the second night, well, this was the view….

Elk Island Sunset 4Elk Island Geese at sunsetElk Island Sunset 2Elk Island Sunset 3

This was the sunset in 2015…

Elk Island Sunset 3

And in 2012…

Elk Island Sunset in 2012 1Elk Island Sunset in 2012 2Elk Island Sunset in 2012

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

 

 

 

Canada 150 – Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan

When I was a kid, there were three places we’d drive to that I would look forward to with much anticipation.  One was driving through Saskatoon on our way to my grandparents’ house.  We’d drive by the beautiful University of Saskatchewan campus, and I’d imagine going to university there. I loved every second of my four years there.

Thorvaldson Building - Uof S Campus

Thorvaldson Building, University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon

Driving to Banff, and getting that first glimpse of the mountains was (and still is) a thrill!  For at least the last 10 years, maybe more if I really thought about it, I’ve been to mountains somewhere in Western Canada or Montana.

Banff Bound

driving to Banff

But, Cypress Hills in Southwest Saskatchewan is most likely the place I’ve been to the most.  It was about a two hour drive from the town I grew up in and it’s the first place I remember going where I felt like I was going somewhere!  I’d watch for that first glimpse of the hills, just a silhouette far off in the distance, and as we passed through Maple Creek, I could finally see the hills close up!   I’ve camped here a lot with my family, gone to Brownies and Girl Guide camp at Camp Shagabec, and I’ve been several times as an adult, but most of my memories of it are as a kid (including one Victoria Day long weekend when it snowed – I think I was 5 or so.  I think that was also the last time I rode a horse!).

Conglomerate CliffsIMG_1310.JPG

 

 

view from Bald Butte

View from the top of Bald Butte

Cypress Hills Sunset 1

Cypress Hills Sunset

Sunset view at the Lookout Point

 

 

 

Canada 150 – Island Lake Lodge

Throughout this month, in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1, I’m going to share photos of some of the places I’ve visited in my beautiful country.

You’ll find Island Lake Lodge up, up, up a long, winding road on the outskirts of Fernie, British Columbia.  Beautiful scenery, delicious food, hiking trails for every level of fitness and adventure – it’s a place I’d love to visit again.

2010 – National Geographic Traveler Magazine – Stay List.  “One of the most Unique and Authentic places to stay in Canada”

wildnerness Canadiana

Can’t get anymore Canadian than this view

chipmunk with an awesome view

view from Tamarack Lodge

view from the Lodge

rail trail

 

 

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!!!

 

 

 

 

a bridge to watch the sunset

The pedestrian bridge over the North Saskatchewan River between Battleford and North Battleford has become one of my favourite places to photograph.  If you’re ever in the area make sure to take in the sunset from the bridge. I’ve been visiting this area of Saskatchewan since birth, really, but it’s only in the last few years that I’ve appreciated how scenic it is (and it definitely correlates to when I began pursuing my photography hobby).

Battleford pedestrian bridgeBattleford pedestrian bridge 3Battleford Pedestrian bridge 2Battleford pedestrian bridge 7Battleford pedestrian bridge 8Battleford pedestrian bridge 4

 

up on the roof

Still have some Puerto Vallarta pics to share which is a good thing! Between being busy at work and figuring out how I’m going to handle my workload, and being uninspired by the April landscapes this year, I haven’t picked up a camera in awhile. The prospect of May flowers, though, will change that soon!

If you’re interested in traveling and experiencing different places, I really encourage you to think differently about your accommodations and look beyond hotels and resorts.  Renting a house was not without frustrations – there were a few pool issues to be sorted out which meant contacting the owner in Texas and then dealing with the property manager who lived across the street and was extremely busy running a fishing boat charter company, and a language barrier with the pool guy.  Also, because the house was for sale, there were a few showings, but we knew that a possibility before renting, and received a discount for the inconvenience.  Some people have asked if there were any worries about renting a place online because what if the place doesn’t look like the pictures and you’ve spent all that money and it ends up being in a bad neighbourhood?  You do need to do some research.  I looked on AirBnB and Home Away.  Read the reviews, then try to read between the lines of those reviews.  I only look at places that have more than 5 reviews, preferably more (because it’s pretty easy to get three of your friends to give you a good review!). If there’s an address look it up on Google Maps street view.  Establish a rapport with the owner either by phone or email  – do they respond to your inquiries quickly and answer your questions?  This all sounds like it takes some effort, but I enjoy it! Keep in mind, this was for a two week stay, and a good portion of the travel budget was going towards accommodations.  I wouldn’t put this much effort into a three day stay, for example.  Ultimately, the house in Puerto Vallarta was chosen for its million dollar views and my bucket list rooftop, private pool! All the research paid off! All the pics were taken from the rooftop.

The sunsets!

oh the sunsetsalone on the oceansetting sun

The neighbourhood…5 de Diciembre

stained glassbrick buildingmagic hourmountain vista-2open windows-2palm trees and hanging clothes

all in a day's work

Felt a little nervous for this guy painting on the roof!

hillside

And the iguana who liked to sun himself on the ledge of the house’s second level.

so handsomeiguana