Canadian Nature and Animals

At the end of a long freeze

Here in Alberta we are used to having a week of -30/-35C here and there throughout the winter, but we have just come out of 2 weeks of these temperatures, and I am more than glad it’s over. Add to that the windchill and we endured temperatures of around -38C to -45C, not to mention the 50cm of snow we received just before Christmas.

This past week has thankfully been a lot warmer, with some days going as high as +5C. So the big meltfest has started, at least for now. So I took the opportunity to take a little drive around just outside of our town. Here are some of the views I came across.

We are lucky to be living just 40 minutes drive from the Rockies

A view of the magnificent Rocky Mountains

The sun was trying really hard to come through

One of the many back roads, some of which, as this one, are now free of snow and ice again

This field obviously escaped some of the big snow (probably due to the wind whipping it across the field)

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Autumn – How long will it last this year?

The Canadian Geese are once again flying directly above our house; a true sign that Autumn is here and Winter is on its way. We are directly in their flight path and every Spring and Autumn we enjoy watching them over the house. In Spring we cheer their arrival and in Autumn I can be heard screaming “No, please don’t go yet, come back!”.

Autumn brings a ton of colour, and photo opportunities are everywhere, but I couldn’t resist plundering out little Evans Cherry tree for this shot:

Despite high winds of 90-130km/h this past week our little tree is valiantly holding on to its leaves. However, it is just a matter of time before the tree will be bare and snow will be on the ground.

We always consider ourselves lucky if Halloween is snow-free. This year is looking good, in fact, some days we are reaching 17C with full sun, and others are more around the 5C mark. I am hoping that Winter is delaying its arrival a little longer so that we can enjoy the view of our colourful tree a little longer.

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Mammatus Clouds

Mammatus Cloud

Here in Alberta we get a lot of summer storms, they include anything from torrential rain to hail the size of golf balls. They don’t call this area “Hailstorm Alley” for nothing!

The other day I was just sitting by the window looking out into the garden when, by chance, I looked up to the sky and saw some odd cloud formations. I went out into the garden to get a better view and realized that we had a mammatus cloud heading our way. This is the first time I have ever seen this type of cloud.

There is a misconception that these types of clouds are a sign that a tornado is about to form, which is incorrect. They may be a sign of severe weather, but not always. In our case, no thunderstorm followed the cloud.

I had to search the internet to find out why these clouds form, and apparently it is the result of moist air sinking into dry air, which makes them an upside-down cloud.

 

In any case, they look very beautiful.

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Summer fields

You know summer is in full swing when the canola fields are in full bloom!

We are lucky that we have plenty of these fields all around us, which always reminds me of my childhood. Our six weeks of summer holidays in Germany were always accompanied by these bright fields. My uncle, who was a part-time beekeeper, would have his hives near the fields and the honey was just the best.

I always find that the yellow fields are looking there best before or just after a storm (of which we get plenty during the summer).

 

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Woodland Caribou

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Snow – that’s all

Snow – I don’t think I need to say any more…

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Two Birds with one Shot

Not quite right, but you get the gist. These two fully individuals were having a good time on a sunny winter day. Seconds after this shot they were off again chasing each other.

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Frozen Lake

This is the Upper Kananaskis Lake in winter (see this previous post for a summer version). As you can see, covered in plenty of snow and deep ice underneath this makes for a pretty spectacular place even in the cold. There were a number of people snowshoe walking and skiing on it when we visited.

Upper Kananaskis Lake in the winter

Upper Kananaskis Lake in the winter

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Making tracks

Came across these hare tracks in the woods the other weekend (looks like they were running late….).

Making tracks

Making tracks

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Frost

Last weekend we used the nice weather to take a drive out into the mountains. Despite the sunshine there was still hoar frost on the trees, which makes for some beautiful images.

Frosty

Frosty

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