spring!

What a beautiful early spring Sunday! This friendly neighbourhood squirrel certainly looks like it had a good winter and is just as happy it’s spring as we all are…Hi there - I'm back Mr. Squirrel likes to pose springtime squirrel

If you’ve visited before, I hope you like the changes to my site.  I’ve been sharing photos, thoughts, and quotes for the past few years now and it was time to refresh things a bit.

Artistic Effect

Just was playing around with the Artistic Effect in iPhoto on my iPad with these photos from the Great Bear Rainforest.  I probably rely on the effect a little too much for photos that don’t quite turn out, but it’s the closest I’ll ever come to being an artist (you know, since I can draw two kinds of flowers and a stickman)…

Walking in the Great Bear Rainforest meadow of wildflowers Hi... Eagle surveying the inlet calm waters

 

 

 

Sunday Morning Miscellany

A lazy Sunday morning seems like a good time to post a few miscellaneous pictures. I’ll likely do another “Photography Lessons – Things I’ve Learned” post soon as I feel like I’ve learned a lot this summer, but this morning I just feel like posting a variety of pics I’ve taken in the last few weeks.

The half-time show at the Labour Day Classic between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers was parachutists from 15 Wing Moose Jaw competing to see who could land on target at mid-field.  I thought they looked liked little miniature army men falling from the sky

The half-time show at the Labour Day Classic between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers featured parachutists from 15 Wing Moose Jaw competing to see who could land on a target at mid-field. I thought they looked liked miniature army men toys falling from the sky.

miniature army man

Parachutist - Labour Day Classic 2

So far, this is the best "sunset geese" picture I've taken, I'm hoping t get more in the new few weeks.

So far, this is the best “sunset geese” picture I’ve taken, I’m hoping to get more in the next few weeks.

I've spotted a pelican a few times in Wascana Creek, but it remains elusive when I have my camera in my hands.  But, I'll settle for this nice golden duck hanging out underneath the Albert Street Bridge.

I’ve spotted a pelican a few times in Wascana Creek, but it remains elusive when I have my camera in my hands. But, I’ll settle for this nice golden duck hanging out underneath the Albert Street Bridge.

When in doubt of what to take a picture of, I will always find a flower!

When in doubt of what to take a picture of, I will always find a flower!

Photography Lessons – Patience and Persistence

I’ve learned a lot of photography lessons this summer.  The first two are patience and persistence.  These occurred many times on my trip to the Great Bear Rainforest in mid-June with Ocean Adventures. The most memorable one was when we were on the zodiac for six hours one afternoon. We had a very hearty lunch (I think Trish knew it could be a long afternoon on the zodiac) and started cruising around the inlet to see what we could see, hoping to spot a couple of grizzlies we’d photographed the previous day.

1pm - cruising around the inlet

1pm – cruising around the inlet

We continued on for about three and half hours, just enjoying the scenery, and every once in awhile we (there were seven of us on the zodiac that day) stopped the motor on the boat and just floated and listened to the birds. It was very peaceful.  Eventually we spotted one of the grizzlies!

Finally spotting a grizzly at 4:30pm.

Finally spotting a grizzly at 4:30pm.

Now, our Eric, our guide, was determined that we could find one (or maybe both) of the grizzlies again before going back to the boat for supper.  We continued our tour of the inlet, watching an eagle try to swoop down on a Merganser Duck chick (it was eventually successful), while being very quiet and moving very slowly so as not to disturb any bears that may be in the vicinity.  Eric’s persistence paid off, and at 6:30 we came upon the same grizzly…

grizzly checking us out

Patience and persistence pays off at 6:30pm.

We spent about half an hour watching the grizzly with Eric expertly maneuvering the zodiac so everyone could get the photograph they wanted.  Sometimes I would put my camera down and just watch the bear. grizzly looking at us

grizzly eating grizzly eating grass - bum shot grizzly in the grass At about 7pm we headed back to the boat for supper (and maybe more importantly, a much needed bathroom break!).

Pretty scene while heading back to the boat at 7pm.

Pretty scene while heading back to the boat at 7pm.

It was a memorable day and the lessons that patience and persistence pay off is one I remember now when I’m trying to get certain shots (I spent about an hour photographing the sunflowers in my previous post).

Creatures of the Forest

Unlike when you are out for a hike where bears could be present and you want to make as much noise as possible so they know they are sharing the forest, when you are bear watching from a zodiac or other boat the goal is to be as quiet as possible.  Many times we’d turn the motor of the zodiac off and just float along a river and keep our eyes opened for signs of a bear (or two) along the forest edge or in a meadow of wildflowers.  Sometimes there were seven of us in the zodiac, sitting silently, hours at a time, cameras poised, just taking in the scenery.

Sometimes you start to see interesting shapes, some that look odd forest creatures or animals.

Creature1 Creature2

It may sound boring to some people, but it really was part of the whole experience. Your mind is free to wander and you become very relaxed (or at least I did, I’ve never meditated, but I’m pretty sure it was a lot like meditation).

elephant trunk longarm

Fuzzy the Young Grizzly

This is Part 3 of my adventures in the Great Bear Rainforest.

We spent two nights at our first anchorage. This was one of the views…

beautiful spot to anchor - taken from the zodiac as we go looking for bears.

We found Fuzzy the three year old Grizzly Trish and Eric have been following since he was a wee cub (Fuzzy is the name they’ve given him).  He’s now weaned from his mother and is left to fend for himself (although we found his Mom in the estuary in the same inlet – pics to follow in a later post). Bears are protected from hunting in this particular inlet so they are not quite so skittish around people. Fuzzy seemed perfectly aware and content with our presence.  So, I felt comfortable, too. Trish and Eric have been visiting this inlet for many years and I’m sure the bears sense that they are a non-threatening presence.  It was a very unique experience to be able to not only have time to take pictures, but also to just stop and watch a bear in its natural environment.

Fuzzy is a little fuzzy here..but he's a beauty

Fuzzy is a little fuzzy here..but he’s a beauty

Fuzzy near the shore

Fuzzy near the shore

Fuzzy from the side

Fuzzy from the side

Perspective from the zodiac

Perspective from the zodiac

Safe Passage

There is an abundance of wildlife in Banff National Park and there is also a major highway (The TransCanada) running through the park connecting Banff and Lake Louise.  In order to to give the bears, wolves, elk, moose and all the other wildlife an opportunity to move safely throughout the park there are many underpasses and a few overpasses especially for them. 

(So no these are not pedestrian friendly!)