My First Snowy Owl of the Season

Perching Snowy Owl

I stopped to make a few images of a really great sunset tonight, with a couple of grain bins in a massive Prairie field. It was very beautiful and I managed to catch the indigo sky rising up out of the horizon while the pink glow remained above it. It was one of those magical skies that you really have to visit the Prairies to see.

While I walked back to my truck when I realized that I had parked underneath a beautiful Snowy Owl perching on a power pole. I’ve spent many hours searching for these elusive birds over the last couple of winters and have only rarely seen them. This one wasn’t very happy to have me there, but it must not have minded too much or it would have flown away when I first arrived. I can’t believe I didn’t see it when I first pulled up, and it’s even more amazing that it just stayed there and ignored me. I got to watch it and make images for several minutes before it got too dark. I’m still excited about it several hours later!

Perching Snowy Owl

Grain Bins at Sunset

Grain Bins at Sunset

Irrigation Pivot at Sunset

Into the Raging Fire

Bleeding Sky

The sunrise on the prairies east of Calgary is often spectacular and I’ve seen my fair share of extremely beautiful mornings. I was very happy recently when I had a chance to make a few images of one of the most amazing sunrises that I’ve ever seen.

The sky absolutely lit up with a furious red glow as the sun slowly climbed toward the cloudy horizon. There were just enough clouds on the horizon to hold back the full force of the sun, while still allowing enough of the magical morning light through to paint the thicker clouds above in a series of reds, oranges, and yellows. The result was an amazing, fiery red sky as far as the eye could see. Beautiful!

Into the Burning Sky

Beautiful Badlands

Beautiful Badlands

I absolutely love the rugged beauty of the badlands. These images were made during a recent family trip to the Royal Tyrell Museum near Drumheller, AB. It wasn’t a very nice day, and the kids were already tired and hungry, so I didn’t get to spend very much time roaming the badlands. I made sure to make a few images though because the arid landscape is extremely beautiful and it would be sad to come home with nothing at all.

Badlands are formed when different types of rock and soil erode away at different rates. The stratified layers of rock and dirt left behind are all different colors which can show up in vivid patterns when the light is right. As well the gradual erosion is constantly revealing new fossils, which adds a wee bit of excitement to visiting the area!

The erosion in the Drumheller area has revealed some of the highest concentrations of fossil remains that have been found anywhere. The area has been searched repeatedly by archaeologists and palaeontologists for decades. In fact the first dinosaur in the area was discovered over 100 years ago by Joseph Burr Tyrell (obviously the Royal Tyrell Museum was named in his honor).

Hoodoos in the Badlands

Rugged Landscape

Beautiful Morning Light

Swainsons Hawk on a Fencepost

I love watching these majestic birds and I’m always happy when they share a few minutes of their time with me! I particularly love it when I get to see them in the soft light of the early morning. Because of the very early sunrise at this time of year, that means getting up very early. Unfortunately that hasn’t worked out very often for me lately, so I have to make the best of those days that I do get out early.

Swainsons Hawk perched on a Fencepost

Swainsons Hawk preparing to launch

A Beautiful Song

Western Meadowlark on a Fencepost

I’ve been trying to find a Meadowlark that was willing to pose for me all through the spring without much success. I have actually seen a couple of the birds before now, but I hadn’t been able to make any good images. So I was very excited to find this one happily singing away on a fencepost. The sad part was that it stopped singing as soon as I got there. The song is even more beautiful than the bird!