Lucky last stop…

Over the Christmas  holidays, the weather was frigid, but we had a guest who needed to see the Rockies!  We were on the look out for animals,  but no owls to the west, no elk at Two Jacks and everyone was getting hungry.   I said, one more stop…there is usually a herd of Big Horns near Norquay…and they didn’t disappoint.   It was a big herd and the first time I saw several males with the herd….Male Big Horns Norquay cropped wmThis big male was busy checking out the females…very focused….Focus BHS Norquay wm

The light was amazing and although it was freezing, I was memorized by the activities happening in front of my eyes!   Digging for food…Male BH good spot Norquay cropped wmwatching each others backs….Herd at Norquay cropped wmplaying in the snow (at least that what it looked like as this youngster bounded down the hill)…Playing in the snow BHS Norquay cropped wmpondering where the best spot to find good food…Pondering BHS cropped wmSo happy the last stop was a lucky one!

 

Kananaskis country tour…

We had an amazing day on the camera club outing!  Many in the club had never hiked Grassi Lakes.  If you have never been…it is an amazing place to check out!

After the hike we started up the Smith – Dorrien Trail and before we even left the Grassi area we spotted a Big Horn Sheep with her lamb on the cliff side of the road…Big horn baby on rock ledge Grassi Lake cropped wmBig horn baby on sure footed rock ledge Grassi Lake cropped wmMom jumped the fence and climbed the cliff on the opposite side of the road…calling and coaxing her lamb to follow…Big Horn mom on rock wall waiting for baby cropped wmIt took some work as the little one couldn’t make it over the fence…but eventually figured it out and scampered across the rock face with amazing agility and speed!Big horn baby jumping across rock wall at Grassi cropped wmBig horn baby jumping over rocks Grassi cropped wm - CopyThe Smith Dorrien has some amazing spots for landscape photography…I was testing out the panorama function on my phone…not bad for a cell!Spray Lakes Panarama wmWe didn’t see much for wildlife on the trail but the scenery was incredible.   After lunch we decided we would head up to the Highwood Pass before heading home.  It was a great decision as we spotted a grizzly feasting on dandelions!

My favorite picture of the day…Grizzly Highway 40 with dandilion bouquet cropped wmWe made it to the Highwood Pass and it started to snow…always be prepared in the mountains…so it was time to head home…Highwood Pass cropped wm

My camera club friends inspired me to capture some of the amazing wild flowers on our journey!  Another great photography adventure!!

Kananaskis Loop Adventure

It was such a beautiful weekend, we needed to get outdoors to enjoy it!  Highway 40 south off the Trans Canada, is am amazing drive that ends at Longview.  The 160 km drive is always an adventure!  There are many places to stop along the way for a picnic, hike or just to take in the amazing views of the Rocky Mountains.    kananaskis-lakes-turnoff-view

Just a note…this highway closes a at the Kananaskis Lakes turnoff from December 1st to June 15th each year.  There are 2 reasons for the closure, first – it is a winding road and can be quite treacherous in bad weather and secondly, it gives our wildlife neighbors some quiet time in their natural environment.

 

At the Kananaskis Lakes Turnoff, this guy was on the side of the road taking a drink!big-horn-taking-a-drink-wm

He had a look up at the few of  us that stopped to take in the moment of his majestic presence and then he turned and ran off into the meadow. More photos in the Gallery.

big-horn-staredown-wm

A few weeks ago, we took a drive to Upper Kananaskis Lakes.  On our way home, we stopped at the Peter Lougheed Discovery & Information Centre.  If you have never been here, it is worth the trip!    The Centre has a sitting area with floor to ceiling windows that looks out over a meadow lined with forest.  You will often see Grizzly’s digging in the meadow for food.  The day we stopped, the Centre was closed (so make sure you check the website for hours before you go).   The parking lot was posted letting us know there was bear activity in the area … and as we drove around the parking lot to exit we spotted a Grizzly mother and her cub digging for roots in the meadow.  This  photo was from the parking lot, through the trees and out the sunroof of the car…a safe distance with a large zoom lens!!

grizzly-at-peter-lougheed

Back to the current trip… the sun was shining and the mountains were beaming!  You really do need to pay attention if you are the driver as the scenery can be quite distracting. We are so fortunate to have this amazing place in our backyard.   We drove up through Highwood Pass, the temperature dropped 10 degrees and there was snow everywhere. I can see why this road gets closed for the winter.  Coming down  the other side,  we had to stop for a herd of Bighorn sheep crossing the road.

big-horn-herd-wm

big-horn-baby-snacking-wm

 

Another great day of adventures … capturing Nature in my Backyard!  More photos in the Gallery.