Nature in My Backyard Collection on Display at the Local Gallery…

Several “Nature in My Backyard” pieces are on display at the Final Touch Studio Gallery in Cochrane, Alberta…

 

…along with the current “Nature in My Backyard” Card Collections!

 

This Saturday, August 12, 2017, the “Nature in my Backyard” series of cards(above)…

…prints and framed art will be displayed during the upcoming Art Walk at the Cochrane clubhouse!   Canvas framed in rustic wood, prints framed in various sizes and card collections are available for viewing/sale….

This event posted on the upcoming events page, will run on the second Saturday of each month (August, September and October) from 9:30 – 1:00 pm in conjunction with the Cochrane Farmers Market.   Come by, say hello and check out the new photography from my recent “Nature in My Backyard” adventures!!

Upcoming Art Show

The “Nature in my Backyard” series of cards, prints and framed art will be displayed during the upcoming Art Walk at the Cochrane clubhouse!   Canvas framed in rustic wood, prints framed in various sizes and card collections are available for viewing/sale of the following:

Mountain bluebirds, owls, moose, coyotes, northern flickers, wild Alberta horses, big horn sheep,  osprey, baby wrens, golden eagle, finches and more..

This event will run on the second Saturday of each month (July, August, September and October) from 9:30 – 1:00 pm in conjunction with the Cochrane Farmers Market.   Come by, say hello and check out the new photography from my recent “Nature in My Backyard” adventures!!

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!!

Mountain adventure…

Last Sunday, I decided to take a tour out to Kananaskis country.  Part of the reason was to preview the area as I would be leading the camera club on the next outing to Grassi Lakes and Smith Dorrien Trail.  It is a great time of the year to head to the mountains…so many things to see!  In Canmore, a herd of elk was grazing in the hills along the Three Sisters Parkway…Elk at Three Sisters Canmore cropped wmThe Smith-Dorrien Trail is the “backdoor” access to Peter Lougheed provincial park from Canmore to Highway 40.   There is plenty of wildlife…it winds it’s way through moose habitat… and I was lucky to see a cow and her calf swimming across Goat Pond…

 

The road follows the eastern shore of Spray Lakes…

Spray Lakes wm

Spray Lakes

….with many places to photograph landscape and wildlife…

Gopher in the Rockies cropped wm

Engadine Meadow cropped wm

Engadine Meadow

You can view and hike the Kananaskis Lakes via the Kananaskis Lakes Trail…

Upper Kananaskis Panorama

Upper Kananaskis Lake

The way home is Highway 40.  This road is closed from December to June as this is a wildlife corridor in the Rockies.  Just north of the gates a Grizzly was in the ditch on the road side eating dandelions…Grizzly Highway 40 showing collar cropped wmSeeing a Grizzly is quite an amazing sight…however…this is a wild animal…and can be very dangerous.  The bear is tagged and collared for monitoring by the park staff.  I did stop and snap a few photos through the sunroof of my car.  This was the second time I have seen a bear in the wild.   Wildlife in the parks cause traffic jams because when one car is pulled over…so do many others.  I was part of a “bear jam” this Sunday afternoon. It was unfortunate what I witnessed…many people were getting out of their vehicles and standing along the guardrail with a wild Grizzly 50 feet away.   If this bear decided it had enough and attacked one of the bystanders…it would be the bear that would be put down, not the human.   I left with  mixed feelings…elated that I had the opportunity to see a bear in the wild…disappointed that people do not practice the guidelines for wildlife viewing to keep everyone…especially the animals…safe.

Grizzly Highway 40 tag removed cropped wm

Bear 152 (edited tag removed)

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.