Wildlife: preparing for winter

PIKA AT LAKE LOUISE, BANFF NATIONAL PARK, ALBERTA

I fished back into the archives and landed this photo from October 2007. According to Wikipedia, pikas prefer rocky slopes and graze on grasses, flowers, and young stems. In the autumn, they pull hay, soft twigs, and other stores of food into their burrows to eat during the long, cold winter. Pikas are also known as the “whistling hare” for their high-pitched alarm call when diving into their burrows.
At Lake Louise, these creatures are quite accustomed to people. In fact, I recall this little guy often came so close to me that my lens couldn’t focus on him (her?). Oh, and the white-ish spots you see in the photo? That’s autumn snow! Nikon D50

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Natural landscapes: the intimate colours of fall

AUTUMN LEAVES AT BIG HILL SPRINGS PROVINCIAL PARK,
NEAR COCHRANE, ALBERTA

After the splashy colours and dramatic sunshine of my previous autumn leaves post, I decided to go the opposite direction and present you with subtle hues, soft lighting and a very uncluttered composition.
It seems restful and contemplative, doesn’t it? 🙂
Nikon D7100, tripod, polarizing filter

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Natural landscapes: autumn’s red world

FALL MAPLE LEAVES,
TORONTO, ONTARIO

I was in Canada’s largest city a little too early to enjoy peak autumn colours, but I still found a few highlights like this maple tree near my parents’ condo apartment.
Nikon D7100, tripod, polarizing filter

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Natural landscapes: basking in the glory of sunrise

AUTUMN DAWN ON THE OLDMAN RIVER, NEAR FORT MACLEOD, ALBERTA

I was driving in the southern end of this western Canadian province, aiming for Waterton Lakes National Park, when the sunrise started looking very promising. Then I crossed the bridge over the river, saw the possibilities and quickly did a U-turn. The next half-hour was spent capturing the river and sky in various ways, including this one. It was heavenly! 🙂
Nikon D7100, tripod, graduated density (darkening) filter on the sky.

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Natural landscapes: the intimate colours of autumn

FALL LEAVES, EMERALD LAKE, YOHO NATIONAL PARK, BRITISH COLUMBIA

I don’t have many autumn pictures from Canada’s westernmost province, so I’m glad to find one to show you. I hiked around this spectacular Rocky Mountain lake and found many close-up opportunities like this in the light of morning. What a blessing it is to be shown this small examples of God’s artistic handiwork. 🙂
Nikon D7100, tripod, fill-flash and (probably) a polarizing filter.

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Rural landscapes: the stunning autumn morning

RANGE ROAD 30, MILLARVILLE, ALBERTA

The rolling hills southwest of Calgary are awash in cottonwoods, aspens and poplars and, come the end of September, they all turn glorious shades of yellow and orange. I was blessed to find this section of road with a particularly colourful stretch of trees, made even more compelling by the warm early-morning sun. This spot is just a kilometre away from the Millarville Race Track, which has often been used in the long-running CBC-TV drama Heartland.
Nikon D7100, tripod, polarizing filter.

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Natural landscapes: the pools of autumn

PONDS ALONG BLAKISTON CREEK,
WATERTON LAKES NATIONAL PARK, ALBERTA

I wanted to go beyond the usual fall calendar-style photos showing gigantic swaths of colour and, often, not much else. This one fit the bill for me, even though I know it won’t be all that popular.
I was intrigued by the series of pools near the creek and the group of leaves in this one made me stop make a photo. I like that there’s something of interest in every part of this composition.
Nikon D7100, tripod, polarizing filter, graduated density (darkening) filter on the sky

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Natural landscapes: the ocean of autumn yellow

LARCH VALLEY
BANFF NATIONAL PARK, ALBERTA

This place – a nine-kilometre return hike from the parking lot – is justifiably one of the most popular autumn hikes in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Once you arrive (a challenging 500-metre climb with many switchbacks), you’re greated by thousands of flourescent yellow/orange larches. Normally green, they change colour and then drop their needles each fall.
I liked this perspective, with the distant mountainside in the background, then found a giant boulder to climb on and gain additional height.
Nikon D7100, tripod, polarizing filter

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Natural landscapes: me and the autumn peaks

LARCH VALLEY PEAKS, BANFF NATIONAL PARK, ALBERTA

These gigantic mountains tower over the end of Larch Valley, one of the most popular and spectacular autumn hikes in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. All those orangy-yellow larch trees aren’t dead; like their cousin the tamaracks of eastern North America, they simply shed their needles in the autumn. The lack of a strong element in the bottom half of the scene caused me to put myself into the scene, setting the timer on the camera they running back and forth several times until I liked where I was in the composition.
Nikon D7100, tripod, polarizing filter

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Urban landscapes: soaring into the sky

TORONTO DOMINION CENTRE, TORONTO, ONTARIO

The six towers and pavilion in this complex were constructed between 1967 and 1991. More than 20,000 people work here, making it the largest commercial office complex in Canada.
I always liked the arrangement of these giant vertical blocks and photographed them several times over the years. As there is almost no colour in these towers, I opted for a monotone treatment that increases the drama.
Nikon D90, tripod, polarizing filter

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