Wildlife! I love it!
Just west of Nordegg, there was a large lake and I could see about 5 helicopters flying around with buckets under them. One filled up the bucket so I got some great shots of that. Obviously there are still some hot spots so they're dousing those.
About 10 minutes East of the Banff National Park boundary, I saw a black bear at the side of the road. It was a big one, so the first thing I did was look for any young in case I was in between them...but there wasn't any around that I could see. I stopped and started taking photos. About 4 other vehicles briefly stopped, and over the 15-20 minutes I was there, I got some fantastic shots. The photo above is one of those.
I took off down the road, and about 1km down the road, there was another one. This one looked a little smaller, but just like the other one, just was content at eating dandylions. After about another 20 minutes of shooting away, I decided to keep going. When I got towards the Bow Summit on Highway 93, south of Saskatchewan crossing, I understood why I saw the bears where I saw them. There is a LOT of snow still south of Saskatchewan Crossing, so the bears are sticking to wear the food is, obviously.
May 19th - Sunday.
So, we headed to where she had seen it yesterday, and Friday, but on initial findings, we didn't see anything. A couple of hawks and such, but nothing "big". We headed down a bank into this gulley near the river, and we heard a rustle to our right. We both turned, and I instinctively looked through my lens...it was a Porcupine!!!! The first one I'd seen in the wild, in Calgary. I had seen a HUGE one when I was young, up near Redwater when I lived in Fort Saskatchewan, but wasn't a photographer at that time. This one was quite small...so maybe not so old. I'll have to do some research as to their average size and age...just to get a bit more information on it. By the time we got back onto the area we saw it, it was climbing a tree...what an amazing sight!! It was scratching itself on the hind area every now and then, and it was just a really cute animal....obviously can be quite painful with it's barbs, but cute all the same. :)
I took just over 400 photos of "Spike" (that's our name for it...) and we decided to head up the river bank to see if we could run into the Bald Eagle (or Baldie, as we call him/her...). Unfortunately, no Eagle...we headed back to see if Spike was still there, and he was...so Robin filled her card, and I took a bunch more. Still had a couple hundred shots left on the card as I headed out of the trees from where Spike was in his tree.
I looked up and the Bald Eagle was flying right over us, but I couldn't get my camera raised in time before it was gone...then, to my luck, it came back with something (what looked like a Rabbit or Gopher...) in it's talons. I watched to see where it sort of landed, and we went back down into the gulley to see if we could see anything, but no luck. On the path, I saw an object a ways away that just didn't "look" like it fit as part of a tree. Looking through my 500mm lens, I could see it was a Bald Eagle standing at it's nest!! We had found it!! I showed Robin where it was and we both snapped away....this is where an 800mm with a 2x converter would be just the perfect thing to have!! But, you have to work with what you have. :)
A fantastic afternoon....and so far, an amazing weekend!!
Now to post some photos of Spike and Baldie!! :)