Electric no more

Bits and pieces.

Bits and pieces.

I have not had my camera out for months so went down a nearby road to relearn the controls. Lots of downed fencing…thanks to snow plows and neglect. The first four photos are around a field that hasn’t held cattle for several years.

Tangled in the fencing Ross Road, Vernon Bridge mid-April

Tangled in the fencing: Ross Road, Vernon Bridge, mid-April

Knocked over by a plow; Ross Road, Vernon Bridge.

Knocked over by a plow; Ross Road, Vernon Bridge.

End of the line. Vernon Bridge mid-April

End of the line. Ross Road, Vernon Bridge,mid-April

The last one is at the corner of a horse paddock where they intentionally dropped the wires for the winter and will put them back up when they bring the horses back from their winter barn.

A place to park your recycling - Vernon Bridge mid-April

A place to park your recycling – Vernon Bridge mid-April

I’ll be taking a two month break from Wordpress, except for a few pre-scheduled posts about Cuba.  I will also take a break from looking and commenting on other people’s blogs. We’ll be on vacation, attending a graduation, and doing some major downsizing and work around our house.  Thanks to all my followers and friends. I will be back.

Spring on Kootenay Plains

The flood plain of the North Saskatchewan River (Kootenay Plains) before it becomes Abraham Lake was a sea of spring green in early May.

Spring green on Kootenay Plains just off the David Thompson Highway.

Spring green on Kootenay Plains just off the David Thompson Highway.

Spring green on Kootenay Plains just off the David Thompson Highway.

Spring green on Kootenay Plains just off the David Thompson Highway.

But there were also signs of spring on the edges of the canyon below Siffleur Falls.

Geology and Geomorphology in the canyon below Siffleur Falls.

Geology and Geomorphology in the canyon below Siffleur Falls.

And orchids again!

A hurried shot of orchids on the trail to Siffleur Falls.

A hurried shot of orchids on the trail to Siffleur Falls.

Bighorn River, Alberta

Canyon on the Bighorn River below Crescent Falls

Canyon on the Bighorn River below Crescent Falls

The power of falling water! As you drive up to Crescent Falls, you pass the lower reaches of the Bighorn River and can marvel at the canyon created over centuries.

Canyon on the Bighorn River below Crescent Falls

Canyon on the Bighorn River below Crescent Falls

Once you get to the parking area by Crescent Falls, the river above the falls looks benign. The winter of 2015-2016 was extremely dry and it was still early spring so the water level in the river was very low.

The Bighorn River above Crescent Falls

The Bighorn River above Crescent Falls

The Bighorn River above Crescent Falls

The Bighorn River above Crescent Falls

Next week: Crescent Falls.

Abraham Lake, Alberta

David Thompson HIghway

David Thompson HIghway

The day after our visit to Jasper National Park (early May, 2016) we decided to visit along the David Thompson Highway. We started that windy, showery, morning by taking a closer look at Abraham Lake, the reservoir for the city of Edmonton, whose water level was significantly down after a very dry 2015.

David Thompson HIghway

Abraham Lake from Aurum Lodge.

In these first three photos we are looking towards the south.  Mr. IDWE provides an idea of the scale of the ‘beach,’  the exposed bed of the reservoir.  The fuzziness off in the distance is a shower.

David Thompson HIghway

David Thompson Highway: Abraham Lake looking southward.

Once on the beach we turned north and almost lost our hats to the wind whistling down the lake. That’s a dust storm in the background.

David Thompson HIghway

David Thompson Highway: Abraham Lake near Aurum Lodge.

Where we stayed: Aurum Lodge.  Recommended: highly.

North Saskatchewan River

Food stop in Jasper National Park near Mount Kerkeslin and Mount Coleman

Food stop in Jasper National Park near Mount Kerkeslin and Mount Coleman

After Horseshoe Lake in Jasper National Park we visited Jasper, the town, where we had a snack and picked up a sandwich to eat on the way home.

We stopped to eat that sandwich along the North Saskatchewan River (which is in the province of Alberta, not the province of Saskatchewan!)  The River begins in the Columbia Icefield, flows south next to the Icefields Parkway before heading east at Saskatchewan Crossing. It then flows across northern Alberta and much of northern Saskatchewan (the province) before flowing into the Saskatchewan River. We may at this point have been in Banff National Park, rather than in Jasper National Park, but I never did see a boundary sign between the two parks.

An island in the North Saskatchewan River

An island in the North Saskatchewan River

In keeping with the advice that you should turn around and see what there is to photograph in the direction away from your primary interest, I got these shots of Mount Coleman and Mount Kerkeslin (2956 meters, said the sign.)

Mount Coleman is thattaway

Mount Coleman is thattaway

Mount Kerkeslin

Mount Kerkeslin

Next week we explore along the David Thompson Highway.

Jasper National Park- Tangle Falls

Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park

The theme of our day trip through Jasper National Park was waterfalls. This was the second of many that day (though as my post from one week ago mentions, the first waterfall was actually in Banff National Park. Tangle Falls is right beside of the Icefields Parkway, with a small parking area across from it.

Tangle Falls, Jasper National Park

Tangle Falls, Jasper National Park

Tangle Falls, Jasper National Park

Tangle Falls, Jasper National Park

Tangle Falls, Jasper National Park

Tangle Falls, Jasper National Park

 

Bridal Veil Falls – Banff National Park

Bridal Veil Falls, Banff National Park.

Bridal Veil Falls, Banff National Park.

On our first day trip away from Aurum Lodge we headed to the Icefields Parkway and then north to see Jasper National Park.  Jasper, in Alberta, is the more northern of the two parks accessed by and joined by the Icefields Parkway. The southern park is Banff National Park and the border between them isn’t obvious.  So it turned out that the first waterfall we stopped at, the Bridal Veil Falls, was actually in Banff National Park.

You can only see the bottom half of the falls from the viewpoint. The falls drain into the North Saskatchewan River, shown flowing south below. This photo was also taken from the lookout, looking south fairly early in the morning. Hence the lens flare to the east.

The Icefields Parkway near Bridal Veil Falls, Banff National Park.

The Icefields Parkway near Bridal Veil Falls, Banff National Park.

This is the canyon cut by the water flow from the falls as it joins the North Saskatchewan. I believe this is Rampart Creek but Google Maps don’t always include the names of watercourses (grrrrr.)

The Icefields Parkway near Bridal Veil Falls, Banff National Park.

The Icefields Parkway near Bridal Veil Falls, Banff National Park.

 

This seems to be a good site for figuring out the best places to photograph in the parks.

Fauna and Flora, Abraham Lake, Alberta

Rufous Hummingbird on a snag, Aurum Lodge, Abraham Lake

Rufous Hummingbird on a snag, Aurum Lodge, Abraham Lake

The Rocky Mountains and the colour of Abraham Lake were awe-inspiring but these little copper-coloured hummingbirds around Aurum Lodge stole my heart. The owners have snags around the property for the birds to perch, and dead branches fastened to one side of the lodge – from which they hang the feeders.  Rufous Hummingbirds are native to the west coast of North America and migrate as far north as Alaska. It was early May when we visited Alberta and it snowed one morning, but there they were, about ten of them, chasing each other around the property and each trying to dominate a feeder. Alberta experienced a very dry winter (2015-16) and the birds returned about 10 days early, so we were lucky to have seen them.

I didn’t have a long lens or a tripod so the pictures don’t do the birds justice.

Rufous Hummingbird on a snag, Aurum Lodge, Abraham Lake

Rufous Hummingbird on a snag, Aurum Lodge, Abraham Lake

On our first evening at the Lodge I went for a walk along the designated walking trails. The eco-system is fragile and you’re asked to keep to the trails to avoid damage to the flora.

Flora around Abraham Lake

Flora around Abraham Lake

Arctostaphylos in blossom (Bearberry) The flowers look like those of blueberries.

Arctostaphylos in blossom (Bearberry) The flowers look like those of blueberries.

Tiny pine trees, isolated as this one is, may or may not survive harsh winters and drying winds.

Flora around Abraham Lake

Flora around Abraham Lake

Rocks – naturally white.

Abraham Lake

Abraham Lake

Star Mine Suspension Bridge

Drumheller, Alberta

Drumheller, Alberta

This is the view looking west northwest up the Red River, from the middle of the Star Mine suspension bridge.  Calm, and promising a hot, clear day.

One of the few remaining bits of evidence of the existence of the mine is this structure sitting at the top of one of the low hills.

Drumheller, Alberta

Drumheller, Alberta

The photo below tells the short history of the bridge – which was used to transport men and coal from a mine on the other side of the valley to the rail lines on the other.

Drumheller, Alberta

Drumheller, Alberta

The bridge itself was fun to cross.  The photo below is on the mine side; the sign asks you not to swing the bridge and to keep the load below 20 people.

Drumheller, Alberta

Drumheller, Alberta

Drumheller, Alberta

Drumheller, Alberta

Pure Ice

Pure Ice

Ice at the edge of Bow Lake, Icefields Parkway, Alberta

In May we visited Alberta and British Columbia, traveling by car through the Rocky Mountains.  One day – that began with snow – as we travelled south on the Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park we stopped at Bow Lake. The lake is fed by Bow Glacier which you can see in the saddle between the mountains

Bow Glacier above Bow Lake

Bow Glacier and still-frozen Bow Lake

The ice at the edge of the lake was so clean – pure. I noticed that it didn’t look at all like the ice along the edge of our river at home, which usually contains specs of red from the soil erosion (from wind and water) that plagues our Island.

Pure Ice

Ice at the edge of Bow Lake, Icefields Parkway, Alberta

Black and white photos shot with Hueless on an iPhone 6 and edited in Photos on an iMac. Colour photo taken with the iPhone back.

Posted for the WordPress Photo Challenge PURE.

Posted for iPhriday. Kudos to Gray Days and Coffee who started this iPhriday challenge.