Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘Alberta

Minimalist mountains and clouds

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Here’s a different take on the Kananaskis Range of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada: a silhouetted view with graphic clouds beyond and above. The date was September 11, 2017.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 13, 2018 at 4:52 AM

Not humdrum

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A year ago today we headed northeast from Calgary, driving almost two hours across the great Alberta prairie.

That was our third and last visit to the area around Drumheller.

We reconfirmed that the Canadian badlands near Drumheller are anything but humdrum.

©2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 12, 2018 at 4:44 AM

The Kananaskis Range

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A year ago today we drove through parts of the Kananaskis Range in Alberta. Though apparently not as well known as some other sections of the Canadian Rockies, the mountains in this range are massive, and it’s hard to convey their scale in photographs. With that caveat, here are four of the peaks I photographed that the staff at Alberta Parks could give me names for.

Cat’s Ears

Mount Lorette

Mount Blane

Mount Brock

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 11, 2018 at 4:56 AM

Athabasca Glacier

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A year ago today we stopped along the Icefields Parkway to see the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta.

Plenty of ice and snow remained on the adjacent mountains as well, even at this warmest time of the year.

Below is a mostly downward look at how the moving Athabasca Glacier once scratched its way across a level expanse of upturned rock strata.

Near the scratched rocks I saw some low, fluffy mounds of what I take to be a species of Dryas, likely D. drummondii or D. octopetala. I learned that Dryas is in the rose family, and its seed heads are akin to those of its family mate Fallugia paradoxa, known as Apache plume.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 6, 2018 at 4:46 AM

September 4, 2017

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September 4, 2017, proved a long and adventuresome day in the Canadian Rockies. A couple of hours after heading north from Calgary we entered Banff National Park, where among intriguingly many other things I photographed the cloud-bannered fortress of rock shown in the first image. Call it Mount Rundle and you could be right.

Along the noisy edge of the Trans-Canada Highway I photographed some late-stage fireweed (Chamaenerion angustifolium) divorced from its mountainy context.

By early afternoon we reached the famous Bow Lake.

At the far end of the day, as we headed east from Jasper to Hinton, I photographed burned trees with no water in sight.

Then, further along and with little daylight left, I found other trees not obviously charred but still seemingly dead that stood next to as much water as they could have wanted when alive. The way the water reflected the trees appealed to me.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 4, 2018 at 4:40 AM

Dinosaur Provincial Park

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A year ago today we visited Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta.

Past posts about the place have shown strange cloud shadows in the sky and a panorama that includes a hoodoo with a head-like shadow.

Now you’re seeing some more views of that ruggedly scenic place.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 3, 2018 at 4:55 AM

Cascade Ponds

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“These algae looked like… mosaic art to me!” is how one online reviewer described what he saw when looking down from a little bridge into the water of Cascade Ponds outside Banff, Alberta, in the fall of 2017. When we visited on September 2nd of that year I confirmed the mosaic look and also the presence of what another online writer called “neon green algae.” That green life had lots of abstract photographic appeal for me, though whether it was a sign of ecological health or distress, I don’t know.

What I do know is that Cascade Ponds was a good place to photograph the adjacent Cascade Mountain. Notice how water in fact cascades down the mountain in a chain of waterfalls.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 2, 2018 at 4:42 AM

Golden-mantled ground squirrel

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How about this golden-mantled ground squirrel (Callospermophilus lateralis) nibbling on a dry plant in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, a year ago today?

UPDATE: Thanks to Tanja Britton for correcting my misidentification of this little animal as a chipmunk. I’m better at photographing than knowing what I’ve photographed.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 29, 2018 at 4:39 AM

Erratic

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You can decide for yourself whether this longtime correspondent of yours is erratic. What’s indisputable is that the Big Rock isolated near Okotoks, Alberta, is an example of a glacial erratic. That phrase tells you that during the last ice age glaciers carried this boulder southward and then dropped it in its current location when the ice melted. There it had stood conspicuously for millennia, unlike anything on the prairie around it, when we visited it a year ago today.

Contrasting with the weighty boulder was a small white feather caught in a spiderweb at the base of the rock.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 28, 2018 at 4:28 AM

Horseshoe Canyon

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On the afternoon of August 24th last year we flew from Houston to Calgary, arriving shortly before twilight. By late the next morning we’d already driven two hours northeast out onto the prairie for our first encounter with the badlands of Alberta, which took place in Horseshoe Canyon.

On parts of the ground nothing grew.

Yet even on seemingly barren ground some badlands plants did thrive. Take the scattered bushes in the second photograph and the asters below.

Here’s a closer look at those asters:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 25, 2018 at 5:05 AM

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