Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Monday mountains 5

with 24 comments

Today is the last of the five Mondays in this Mondayful January. Continuing with the month’s mountain sequence, here’s a look at Pyramid Mountain, which looms large outside the Jasper townsite in Jasper National Park, Alberta. The date was September 5, 2017.

When I looked in the opposite direction, I saw what amounted to one big set of antlers on an elk.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 29, 2018 at 4:50 AM

24 Responses

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  1. Wow! The two photos are wonderful, Steven. Thank you very much.

    • You’re welcome, Isabel. The two photographs show the contrast that can arise from looking in opposite directions. In this case, each presents a view that’s worthy in its own right.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 29, 2018 at 7:35 AM

  2. The layers of color in the mountains are especially pleasing. But I found myself attracted to the two lines of sawtooth peaks zig-zagging along beneath the highest ones. Even the trees are part of the fun. Given their shape, if you trace a line along the top of their branches, the same sawtooth pattern emerges.

    The branches of the elk’s antlers differ, but they’re no less impressive. I wondered how large they can grow, and a National Geographic site said they could reach four feet. That would make the animal an impressive nine feet from hoof to antler.


    January 29, 2018 at 8:03 AM

    • I like your comparison of the zigzaggy mountain to the zigzags of the evergreen trees. The zigzagginess of one other mountain on that trip also caught my attention. In fact I photographed so many peaks up there that I could continue the Monday mountain trope for months. I won’t go on for that long but will add at least four more. One reason for curtailing the series is that I haven’t identified many of the mountains.

      Regarding cervids, one of the largest of that ilk is the elk.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 29, 2018 at 8:27 AM

  3. Hollywood couldn’t come up with a more beautiful mountain, or the colors in the stone.
    “a-mount-ed” 🙂

    Robert Parker

    January 29, 2018 at 8:21 AM

    • To make the connection stand out, I used bold letters for the middle part of amounted, which is etymologically the same as the word mount.

      I wonder if a movie has ever been set in this area. The mountain would make a good backdrop.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 29, 2018 at 8:34 AM

  4. Pyramid Mountain is a beauty, and so is the elk, Steve. Fun word play, too.

    Jet Eliot

    January 29, 2018 at 9:01 AM

    • Word play? Who, me?
      With all your travels, have you been to Pyramid Mountain? If not, Jasper is well worth the trip.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 29, 2018 at 9:15 AM

      • I have not been to Pyramid Mtn, Steve, and I would so enjoy spending time in Jasper. Thank you for taking me there in the meantime.

        Jet Eliot

        January 29, 2018 at 9:21 AM

        • I’ve been recommending the Canadian Rockies to lots of people since our great trip. If you do go, the posts that have appeared can serve as a mini-guide to scenic places—and there’s much more that we never got to.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 29, 2018 at 10:09 AM

  5. These are fabulous. The elk is a gorgeous specimen, isn’t he? Wow.


    January 29, 2018 at 9:49 AM

    • Yes, the elk was a great specimen. This was the only decent picture of it that I got because it kept moving away and never turned in a more favorable direction. Oh well, we do what we can.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 29, 2018 at 10:13 AM

  6. Interesting pink colours in that mountain and like Shoreacres mentioned, the eye is drawn to “…the two lines of sawtooth peaks zig-zagging along beneath the highest ones.” And that is an impressive elk.


    January 29, 2018 at 10:09 AM

    • I wish I knew what causes the colors you mentioned. Where’s a geologist when you need one? Whatever the cause of the colors, they make the mountain that much more appealing to photograph. It was still visible from several miles away, where I photographed it again. I never did get a better opportunity to make a portrait of an elk.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 29, 2018 at 10:19 AM

  7. OMG….look at those antlers!!


    January 29, 2018 at 10:24 AM

    • They’re the biggest I’ve ever managed to photograph. In Austin the deer are rather small, and their antlers accordingly.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 29, 2018 at 10:28 AM

  8. That is a BIG chunk of rock to be so devoid of vegetation!


    January 29, 2018 at 2:11 PM

    • It sure is, and there were many more where that came from, so to speak. The Canadian Rockies have so many scenic peaks.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 29, 2018 at 3:19 PM

  9. Very nice!

    Reed Andariese

    January 29, 2018 at 4:50 PM

  10. It’s always nice to find a bonus shot next to the image you are focused on!


    January 30, 2018 at 8:27 AM

    • Indubitably! The most recent was the frog I inadvertently included when I photographed the surface of the creek turning to ice that you remember from two weeks ago. We can’t know what the next bonus will be but we can be pretty sure there’ll be one.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 30, 2018 at 8:41 AM

  11. What a stunning looking elk! Handsome .. and nice head gear


    February 2, 2018 at 10:34 PM

    • Head gear: that’s a good way to put it. I don’t think people would be happy with such heavy head wear, even if you scaled it down to the size of a human body.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 2, 2018 at 10:40 PM

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