More Exciting Adventures in The Rockies...
We hiked a lot and saw such beauty in nature all around us; from cute little striped chipmunks - too fast to photograph, to a multitude of spectacular spring wild flowers and amazing wildlife. The opportunity to photograph wildlife in their natural habitat, has been awesome.
On our drive to Pyramid Lake, near Jasper, we saw a caramel coloured grizzly bear making its way down through a small meadow in the forest towards the road. It was turning over logs, with its nose to the ground, looking for food and foraging all around, as it easily handled the difficult terrain. When it got close to the road, the bear turned to its left side, walked a few feet back and forth, then headed back up the slope across the meadow in the direction it had come from. I took some great photos from the car with my zoom lens.
Right in the heart of the town of Jasper, we saw a handsome, mature male elk with a beautiful coat and a very large set of antlers. He was eating grass next to a sidewalk by some houses. The elk continued his meal and treated his photo op with complete disinterest. It is truly a blessing to see such stunning wild animals at close range.
In the high mountains of Banff National Park, unpredictable weather is usual. The effects infused our scenery paintings with atmosphere and mood.
Perhaps because of the configuration of the mountains and rivers in this area, wildlife, including bears and wolves, are often seen around the town of Banff. At the Park gate, staff warned us to be very careful of the wolves.
There are about 215 elk in the local herds and some congregate around the town of Banff for protection from predators. One afternoon, as we painted the beautiful Aspen trees, we heard a stampede of hooves on the pavement not far away. Suddenly, from around the corner, came about one hundred elk. They ran full speed down the steep paved road, about right beside us. There were males, females and babies, what a sight! There was no time to retrieve a camera. A wolf was seen shortly after them, and no doubt, the rest of the pack were flanking the chase.
As it was early in the season, few hikers were around, so the warnings kept us off the more remote hiking trails. It was just as well because subsequently, one of the major trail areas was closed due to grizzly bear activity.
Kootenay National Park next!