River Otters

In British Columbia there are two species of Otters. They are commonly confused, but Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris) live at sea and swim on their back. The River Otter (Lontra canadensis) is semi-aquatic and swims on its belly. The River Otter has a pointed head and a thick tail which is 2/3 of its total body length. The Sea Otter has a blunt head and a flattened tail which is 1/3 of its total body length. I spent some time photographing three River Otters. When they catch prey like fish, shellfish, birds, and small animals, they bring it ashore to eat. Click on the photo to see a larger version.

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The Last Light of the Day

There was a break in the rainy weather and I was able to get out and take some images. In the Northern Hemisphere in the winter sunrise and sunset appear farther south along the horizon. I find it creates this beautiful golden light at the start and end of each day. Click on a photo to see a larger size.

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Happy New Year

Embrace the New Year with an open heart and a fierce spirit. Cheers to new horizons. Click on a photo to see a larger version.

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Red-tailed Hawk

This is probably the most common hawk in North America. The Red-tailed hawk ( Buteo jamaicensis ) eats small animals like rabbits, squirrels, and voles. You’ll most likely see Red-tailed Hawks soaring in wide circles high over a field. When I was taking this photo the sun was low on the horizon and the sunlight was coming from directly behind me, which beautifully lit this bird of prey. You can see the catchlight or specular highlight in its eye. Click on either one of the images to see a larger size.

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Powder

The lower mainland received about 30 centimeters of snow this week. This created chaos for drivers on the streets and travellers at the airport. I took advantage of the opportunity to get outside and explore with my camera. Click on any photo in the gallery to see a larger image size.

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Fall Foliage

The Autumn colours usually take centre stage this time of year. The unseasonably hot conditions led to more muted colours. I like taking photos early in the morning because there is little wind and you get nice reflections in mountain lakes. When the sun rises, the wind picks up, and the opportunity to take images of reflections disappears. Click on a photo to see a larger version.

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A Rare Encounter

The middle of October is a time when I start to think about taking images of Fall colours in British Columbia. After driving in the dark for a few hours I arrived at my location and started taking photos of the Autumn foliage. While I was adjusting my camera settings and tripod I started to feel like I was being watched. That’s when I saw the large pointy ears with distinctive tufts of black hair. It was a Bobcat ( Lynx rufus ) that was sitting quietly behind me. I quickly changed to a telephoto lens and was able to capture a couple of good images before it disappeared into the forest. Unfortunately, the background consists of pavement and cement. The photos would’ve been perfect if I had photographed this beautiful wildcat in its natural environment. Click on a photo to see a larger version.

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Orange

This photo was taken with a telephoto lens. The image shows downtown Vancouver and in the distance mountains on Vancouver Island. Click on the image to see a larger size.

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Raw and Unfiltered

I just returned from a twelve day trip to northern Vancouver Island. The nickname ‘Fogust’ is appropriate because there was a lot of fog each morning, which would usually burn off by the middle of the day. There was an abundance of wildlife and I spent time observing and photographing Killer Whales, Humpback Whales, a Minke Whale, Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Steller Sea Lions, Harbour Seals, Sea Otters, Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, Pelagic Cormorants, Black Turnstones, Red-necked Phalaropes, Bonaparte’s Gulls, Marbled Murrelets, Pigeon Guillemots, Black Oystercatchers, Common Murres, Rhinoceros Auklets, Surf Scoters, Lion’s Mane Jellyfish, and of course, the bird in the picture below, which is a male Belted Kingfisher ( click on the image to see a larger version ). This area is the traditional lands of the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw, Kwakiutl, and Tlatlasikwala First Nations. To see some of my photos from my trip you can click on the ‘News‘ tab or the ‘Galleries’ tab and then the gallery titled ‘The Great Bear Sea‘.

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A Tale of Two Tea Houses

In early July I did some hiking in the Lake Louise area. I started at the Chateau Lake Louise and hiked up to Mirror Lake, then Lake Agnes, and its European-styled tea house. There were too many people so I didn’t stop and hiked around Lake Agnes to the switchbacks that lead to the top of the Big Beehive. Here you’re rewarded with a stunning panorama of Lake Louise. From there I descended on the Highline trail which had lots of big rocks, roots, and stumps. I was glad I had my hiking poles. Eventually you join the Plain of Six Glaciers trail which leads to another tea house. I pressed on to the Plain of Six Glaciers viewpoint and ate my lunch underneath the hanging glacier of Mount Victoria. What a great day. Click on any photo in the gallery to see a larger version.

Posted in Alberta, Hiking, Mountains, Summer, Travel | Leave a comment