Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 08/25/2014

Photo taken on August 19, 2014

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Canadian Rockies
Panasonic DMC-FZ200
Anne Elliott
mountain scene
Smith-Dorrien/Spray Lakes
Rocky Mountains
smoke breathing monster

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The smoke breathing monster

The smoke breathing monster
Last night, I was trying to think of a title for this shot that would emphasize the tallest peak. Wasn't sure if my photos would capture this strange sight, or if one needed to have been there to witness it. My first thought was "smoke breathing monster" but I wasn't sure about using the word "smoke". I typed in these three words in Google and to my surprise, discovered that there is a song called "Smoke Breathing Monsters", by the group, Desert Noises. Anyway, it was just interesting to see this "monster" with its snow eye.

The weather forecast was not good for this day, 19 August 2014, but we were so lucky that, apart from a few raindrops, the rain stayed away. The sun actually came out at two locations we stopped at for a short while, including this one. Our 18-hour day (from 6;00 a.m. till midnight!) started off with the thrill of seeing two or three small Pikas (also called Rock Rabbits) and ended with a brief sighting of a black Wolf (could it be Skoki?) crossing the road ahead of us in the dark. It disappeared into the blackness, but shortly afterwards, we heard three separate Wolves howling (possibly four). We just stood there, in total awe, listening to this amazing sound. The only wild Wolf I had ever seen before was when I was in Yellowstone National Park two years ago. Friends and I saw two Wolves feeding on a Bison carcass across a huge valley - so they were just distant specks, that became larger specks when my camera was in full zoom, ha.

In between these two highlights, we saw several Deer, a small group of Mountain Sheep on the road, a tiny Chipmunk, a few Cedar Waxwings, Columbian Ground Squirrels, a beautiful Red-tailed Hawk that sat on a branch out in the open for a long time, and two tiny Bats that flew very close over our heads when it was getting dark. We also saw a female and two young Spruce Grouse.

Then, of course, there is the scenery! Blue sky to go with the splendour of the mountains would have been wonderful, but we've been having cold and gloomy weather recently. Highway 40 and the Smith-Dorrien/Spray Lakes Trail both run through such spectacular scenery, so it was a real treat for me, especially as I won't drive those areas myself. Thanks so much, Cathy & Terry! Thanks, too, Terry, for spending at least an hour (?) removing one of the car wheels and fixing whatever was wrong with it!