Long-tailed Weasel at Rawson Lake

We went hiking up to Rawson Lake in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park (in Kananaskis). It's a beautiful hike to an even more beautiful lake!  We came across this cute little furry critter and had an exciting game of hide and seek with it for about 10 minutes.  The Weasel kept running off into the rocks, and then creeping back to investigate me.  It was lots of fun!..©2010, Sean Phillips.http://www.RiverwoodPhotography.com (Sean Phillips)

We went hiking up to Rawson Lake in Kananaskis Provincial Park. It’s a beautiful hike to an even more beautiful lake! The highlight of the trip actually came just as we were about to start back down the trail to return home. I was picking my way across the rocks in the scree slopes hoping for one last chance to photograph some Pica when I realized that I had just scared off a pretty little Long-tailed Weasel. The weasel bounded off and disappeared into the rocks. I slowly followed in the direction that it had gone, and quickly found it. It wasn’t shy at all and for the next 10 minutes or so we played a fun game of hide and seek. The Weasel kept running off into the rocks, and then creeping slowly back to investigate me. It was lots of fun and I made a few great images!

Animals – Weasels – Images by Sean Phillips

Reflections on Moraine Lake at Sunrise

Panoramic Image of Reflections on Moraine Lake at Sunrise

I was at Moraine Lake for Sunrise on the first day that the road up to the lake was open for the season in 2008. This popular Canadian Tourist Destination is only accessible to vehicle traffic during the summer months, usually from the May long weekend until the end of September. We were staying in the village in nearby Lake Louise, and I had originally intended to shoot the sunrise at the Chateau Lake Louise, but when I saw that the road to Moraine Lake was open I immediately changed my plans.

Although there are many incredibly beautiful places to see and explore in the Canadian Rockies, Moraine Lake is absolutely one of my favorites. I was very excited to see that part of the lake was actually free of ice, and when I saw the beautiful golden light reflecting off the mountains and glittering across the water I was ecstatic. Moraine Lake is truly a jewel and I try to visit at least a couple of times every year.

Although I created this image almost two years ago, I recently printed a large version of it and I really liked how it came out. I’ve also entered it in a couple of recent photo contests and I realized that I had never shared it here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

The Beauty of Castle Mountain

The Beauty that is Castle Mountain

Castle Mountain is in the Rocky Mountains about half way between Banff and Lake Louise. It is a very scenic spot that looks good in all sorts of light and weather conditions. I love to see it when it is being lit up from the side because the shadows in between each of the parapet like peaks falls into deep shadow and makes the mountain look even more rugged than normal.

We were passing by at just the right time the other day to enjoy the sunrise. It was a particularly beautiful thing when the Alpenglow dropped down the face of the mountain. I love the Rockies!

The Beauty that is Castle Mountain

Panoramic image of the Alpenglow on Castle Mountain

Moonset at Sunrise

Moonset over the Rockies at Sunrise

Every month there is one day, usually a day or two after the full moon, where the moon sets just as the sun rises. If you time it just right, and if it isn’t too hazy or cloudy outside, then you can see the moon looking huge as it drops below the horizon. With the sun coming up on the opposite horizon the moon will glow very brightly in a beautiful shade of orange or pink.

I was out for an early morning birding trip yesterday and I had hoped to be able to make some nice pastoral images of the moon dropping behind the Rocky Mountains with the open fields of the foothills in the foreground. While I did see the sunrise, unfortunately the moon dropped into a cloudbank on the western horizon long before it was low enough for the pictures I has in my minds eye.

Before going to bed last night I told my wife that if our son, who has been sleeping very poorly lately, was awake before 6:30 AM then I would get up and take him with me for another attempt at my moon shot. Of course he woke up right at 6:30, which barely gave me enough time to get get both of us dressed and out the door, get all my gear into the car, and then find a nice location to shoot from… Fortunately we live near a ridge with a good view of the Rockies to the west, and so I went straight there. I had only 5 minutes from the time I parked the car to the time that the moon had fully dropped below the horizon. I managed to make a few images, and this one is one of my favorites of the bunch.

This image isn’t quite the pastoral scene that I had hoped make, but I like it anyway, and sometimes that’s how it goes. You can plan all you want, but if life gives you oranges instead of apples then you might have to make orange juice instead of apple pie! This is only the second time in the last year that everything came together perfectly for me to get my shot, and I have honestly been trying almost every month!

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep

There are lots of large animals that are easily found in the Rocky Mountains (and the foothills). One of the most beautiful, and one of my personal favorites, is the Bighorn Sheep. These animals are usually very easy to find in the same places over and over again, and so I’ve been able to observe them many times.

I recently took a drive west of Calgary along a route that I had never taken before. In two different places along the highway (near Exshaw) I saw large herds of sheep shortly after passing warning signs for sheep in the area. It’s funny how often you can see warning signs for animals but then never actually see any of animals. That is definitely not the case with Bighorn Sheep!

Although there was one memorable time when I was gently reminded by a rather large sheep that they really are wild animals, they are generally very passive and aren’t very concerned by human interaction. These two herds almost completely ignored me and they barely bothered to glance up while continuing to eat their morning meal.

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep