7/1/2012 - 7/4/2012
At the end of Canada's own 3-day birthday weekend (July 1 is their July4) I had a brief respite in southwestern Alberta,
my 3rd trip into the region.
This place makes Colorado look like the Texas Hill Country, no offense, just fact......judge for yourself.......
Oh yes....there were bears, the goal of most of my trips. One on one with these guys in a photo session is what fuels me, a trip in bear country without a sighting is a failure.......well, at least dissapointing..
Just a nice lazy river, but a serious dilemna. Do I camp here and sleep by a gurgling stream? Or go just a bit further? Or go back to that last cool spot I saw?
The answer - 10 minutes down the road I couldn't resist this spot overlooking the Cardinal River, so much I nixed the tent and bivuacked it, even in bear country.
Photo taken at 9pm.
The next day I drove 4 hours along this roadbefore seeing one other moving vehicle, paralleling the Rockies in the foothills with continuous views of the mountains, though I passed four campers. Saw 4 bears, a dozen or more elk and deer both, coyote, red fox, wild horses, and 2 moose......The following photos are the rewards.....
A herd of wild horses that have been roaming the area for two centuries. This is the dominant stalliuon that kept his eye on me as the dominant mare lead the herd away from the intruder. Note the multicolored mane and tail in this and the next photo. wow.
More of the four hour drive.......oh - i forgot to mention it was about 46 degF, while at home it was 104.... ;-)
One of four bears encountered - this time of year they really like the fresh grass on the side of the road, where the sun can reach it, whereas in the deeper forest there is less sunlight on the forest floor and less grass. By this time they have eaten the frozen carcasses of winter kill old deer/elk etc, and the fawns they could catch a month or two ago are now to big and fast for them, and the berries wont be ripe for another month - so grass is it. Some bears skedaddle as soon as they see a car, some are calm until they see the car stop then they run, and others just graze and keep an eye on you while you shoot - and obviously I am keeping a keen eye on him and his demeanor and behaviour. This guy was a trooper and gave me some great close up shots with no apparent annoyance. No grizzlies, but they were there.........
They even like dandelions!
Unfortunately the bighorn sheep were shedding - not too photogenic at this point in time.
Gotta love the elk, but too early for antlers so no real dramatic shots. Same with the moose.....
A classic glacial valley....psssst: dont tell Al Gore global warming has been going on for a few tens of thousands of years before he "invented" it.
And we close with waterfals and rapids.....
Hope you enjoyed it!