The weather today was very cold and a bit gloomy so I decided to stay home and laze around (how awful eh) anyway, whilst going through my night shots of Calgary and specifically the Peace Bridge, I came across this single shot from our balcony in Cochrane. EXIF data says it was taken on December 31st though I have no memory of shooting anything on New Year's Eve and I wasn't even drinking so I can't blame that on the memory loss. Anyway, with a bit of photoshop work I thought it made a perfect representation of why we love the view from our home so much and thought I would share it.
While watching the football this morning I saw a golden eagle outside getting harassed by the local crow population, ducking and diving to avoid their advances it looked spectacular. I had to run down to the basement for the camera and change to a 600mm lens before getting out onto the balcony. It took me less than 30 seconds but in that short space of time the drama was over and the eagle was so far away I could hardly see it let alone get a decent shot. I had to satisfy myself with this hastily grabbed frame hand held at 600mm, not my best work but it is sufficient to rekindle a memory, which is what it's all about really.
Those with long memories will remember 2012 when attempting to summit Midnight Peak I took a nasty fall and was very lucky to get away with only minor injuries. For a year that mountain loomed over me as I travelled down highway 40, reminding me that it had thrown me off, so in July 2013 I finally went back and made the summit albeit via a different route. Today I returned once more and made the summit via the North-East route that almost got me in 2012.
The going was tough and the steep loose rock made really hard work of the ascent, particularly as it came straight after 30mins of thigh-busting snow. But, I won out and and landed on that freezing ridge with blue skies overhead. It was hard going but then they all are (for me at least) I didn't stay long as it was incredibly cold up there but it was nice to take the North-East route without a thought for my previous fall, though I confess I made my descent via the North-West ridge as it is less steep and a little more stable. This was a choice I later regretted as the snow was almost waist deep in the shaded valley and I was literally wading through it until I made the Baldy Pass trail again.
There's no report for this one as one already exists on the site, but there is a captioned gallery below for perusal, or if you're looking for a route description to Midnight Peak click here for the previous detailed report. The main shot is yours truly at the lower end of the ridge having just ascended, the small stick ahead is poking out of the summit cairn, I was so tired at this point I could have sat here for half an hour. All in all another lovely afternoon in the mountains with 11.5km covered and 998m of ascent achieved.
Chasing the 52 project this week allowed me to get around to a shot I've been planning for a long time. I needed a good amount of moonlight and a still, calm night that wasn't absolutely freezing. I also needed to get it done before winter was over otherwise my chosen area would be full of tourists with tents. So at 9pm I set out to Elbow Falls armed with the photographic gear, wire wool, a lighter, a whisk and some steel cable. It was a bit disappointing that clouds moved in before I got there but temperatures stayed at -8 and the moon was still providing a reasonable amount of ambient light so I went ahead with the project and after 3.5 hours of stumbling around the icy rocks in the dark I left with some fantastic shots. The main image was almost the last one I took and it was close to perfect which is definitely enough for the project this week. The final image I took and last in the gallery below shows a halo around the moon as I left the falls heading back to the truck, the halo is caused by ice crystals in the clouds reflecting and/or refracting light and is a really nice phenomenon to see and to shoot.
Crepuscular rays are not the rarest phenomenon but are not the most common either, so when they do occur as they did tonight a photo is always in order. The streaks are most often caused by clouds blocking the sunlight but occasionally they are caused by mountains or buildings doing the same. I think tonight the mountains (just beyond that beautiful chinook arch) are causing the effect and I grabbed a couple of shots before it disappeared.
With the weather threatening a rain snow mix today I wasn't going to be getting up to much and a late start meant I couldn't go too far from home, so I decided to go scrambling on the west side of Anklebiter Ridge. It was a great workout and really good fun, I didn't bother too much with photos because scrambling alone leaves little time for it but I couldn't resist a shot or two of The Windtower in the distance with a storm overhead. The storm ultimately sneaked up on me and I had to call it a day but I'm really glad I made the effort.
Family day is not a statutory holiday in Canada but is celebrated in Alberta on the 3rd monday in February and that's all we needed to know. After breakfast we drove down to the Elbow Valley and made the 14km circuit of prairie and powderface creeks, it's a good hike in winter and an even better one when everyone is off work (few people make the full circuit). We had a great 4 hours wandering around in the warm winter sunshine and only saw 2 other couples on the route, time together in the mountains of Canada is always the best time and we laughed, planned and plotted our future as we made the circuit together. The gallery below is pretty much just shots of Sarah at various points along the way...so all the best bits really :)
With temperatures still well above normal we enjoyed a 6km Valentines Day wander along the Bow River pathway this afternoon. The beautiful winter sunshine made it feel more like spring and birds and buds did their best to confirm that spring has arrived. In truth we all know it's just too early for spring right now but at least we've been able to pretend for a week or two.
A photo for my wonderful wife on valentines day :
Roses are red,
Heart shaped lights are hard,
I'm glad I went to the store,
And got you a decent card.
Happy Valentines Day My Chizzit x
My 52 project this week threw up some really nice abstract shots so I'm posting a few here on the blog rather than leave them in a folder on the computer unseen. It was actually much easier to create these shots than I first thought and the results are so nice that I might well try this several more times. It's great that the different shapes just throw themselves into shot and there's an element of "you get what you get" about the outcome. As always you can click the gallery below for the images and if you want to know how this was done take a look at week 6 of my 52 project here.
We arrived in Calgary, Canada on 29th December 2011 to continue our journey. This blog is intended to keep our family and friends informed whilst we explore Canada.You can use the RSS feed below to stay updated.
The Shaman, West Texas