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In search of winter . . . . . and a coyote portrait

Rick C
March 22nd, 2008, 07:41 PM
Out here on the bald butt prairie, the buds are coming up on the trees, the grass is greening and everything else is otherwise brown and snowless . . . .

But on Good Friday, Abby and Keeper and I went in search of winter, into the high country of Kananaskis Country, ascending to Chester Lake in mid-winter, a task that had defeated our ill-prepared expedition in early January.

Below, after an hour of uphill slogging out of the valley, we came to an open, flat stretch, certainly welcome relief . . . .

http://www.goldentales.ca/DSC_3492-edit1.jpg

Below, Abby takes a break on the trail . . .

http://www.goldentales.ca/DSC_3501-edit1.jpg

Below, as with our previous visit in January, the weather was eerie, sunny and snowing at the same time . . . .

http://www.goldentales.ca/CSC_3569-edit1.jpg

Below, Abby, through the forest . . . . .

http://www.goldentales.ca/CSC_3511-edit1.jpg

. . . . . . and, below, through the creeks . . . . about five or six feet of snow here, judging by the mostly buried signage.

http://www.goldentales.ca/DSC_3516-edit1.jpg

Below, to tell you the truth, here at the top of the world, there's not much to see of a lake in mid-winter, unlike the summer and fall.

http://www.goldentales.ca/DSC_3529-edit1.jpg

Below, Keeper on the descent while Abby tends to her feet. . . .

http://www.goldentales.ca/CSC_3567-edit1.jpg

Below, on the descent, we came across some strange looking glossy patterns in the snow, almost like a cross-country skier had been braking the entire way . . . . but then we encountered a pair of young, college-age women, the happy-go-lucky sort, hiking up the trail, round, plastic toboggans in hand.

They'd been hurtling themselves down the trail, through the trees on their plastic sheets . . . . and enduring probably a 20 or 30 minute walk back up to where they could start to do it again.

"Howz your day going?" said one to me by way of greeting, gentling stroking a grateful Keeper's head.

"How could I possibly be having a bad day?," I answered, looking at the mountains around us.

"True enough," she laughed. "This is the best place in the world to be right now."

We nodded silently in agreement and then they were gone.

True enough. The local toboggan run . . .

http://www.goldentales.ca/CSC_3568-edit1.jpg

Below, about 20 feet away, no more than 30 feet . . . . a cheeky coyote ambles by the Durango. You'll notice it's a "pan" shot, the coyote head in focus but the background blurring in motion as I tracked it.

We were tootling down a back country gravel road, Abby with her head happily out the window behind me and Keeper snoozing off the long hike to the lake.

The coyote was jumping up on the snowpiles along the side of the road, so I slowed down to a crawl and grabbed the camera beside me. I always travel with a long lense attached for just such an occurance.

Surprisingly, the coyote abandoned its getaway and jumped down onto the road. I pulled modestly over to the side. The coyote gravitated to the middle of the road and trotted towards us . . . . then beside us and then past us. Very calm. Keeping its eyes on Abby.

Not sure if it's had "Domestic Dog Sandwiches" before or if it had been fed at campsites to make it bolder but it was an unusual reaction and the attention was on Abby with no fear of myself.

Driving across the prairie, I frequently have coyotes dashing across the highway in front of me, but they'll charge about 100 feet into a field before they stop to turn and look back at me. They don't let anyone get close at all.

This guy didn't care. Hence the nice portrait. I shot a long sequence of him. That's just one of the shots.

Earlier in the day, we had seen a coyote chasing a deer across a highway, off into the forest.

http://www.goldentales.ca/CSC_3570-edit1.jpg

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

clm
March 22nd, 2008, 08:03 PM
Great coyote pic. I see them here quite a bit actually and of course hear them. Boy what a racket a family group of them can make.
I remember them trying to kill a bunch of them at the airport. They hired a group of hunters to come in amid a rash of protests from lots of animal rights people. Couldn't shoot a one of them. :laughing: Way too smart for the hunters. They have since decided they are a good population control for the deer at the airport so they leave them alone now.

Cindy

Spatx
March 22nd, 2008, 08:06 PM
Wow, it's absolutely gorgeous there! Excellent shots, I loved every single one and wish I could have been out there. :thumbs up

ancientgirl
March 22nd, 2008, 08:12 PM
Amazing shots as always Rick. I love that last picture of the coyote.

CearaQC
March 22nd, 2008, 09:20 PM
Jaw dropping beautiful location!

I envy you. lol

Actually the more pictures you post and the more I read what you type, you remind me so much of my artistic friend Teka in California. :thumbs up

Always a pleasure seeing your posts. :D

Thank you so much for sharing.

KimandAutumn
March 22nd, 2008, 09:35 PM
Those pics are breathtaking! :thumbs up

hazelrunpack
March 22nd, 2008, 10:08 PM
Is that third shot black-and-white, or was it just the lighting? Either way, it's got so much 'atmosphere' to it...a spectacular shot!

I like the stream shot, too--did Abby have trouble getting back out on top of the snow? :D

Great shots, as always, Rick! And quite a portrait of the coyote. He almost seems to be sneering at Abby! :laughing: I can't believe that Abby and Keeper didn't at least bark back!

14+kitties
March 22nd, 2008, 11:01 PM
marvelous pictures as always! You must be one healthy man with all of your hikes!!

Rick C
March 22nd, 2008, 11:14 PM
Is that third shot black-and-white, or was it just the lighting? Either way, it's got so much 'atmosphere' to it...a spectacular shot!
!

I turned it into a black and white . . . . helped the mood.


I like the stream shot, too--did Abby have trouble getting back out on top of the snow? :D

She had trouble getting down there but no trouble getting out, following her own cutout.

You must be one healthy man with all of your hikes!!

Five half-marathons last year . . . . a full marathon coming up this summer. Running definitely makes the hiking . . . . less difficult. Healthy though? I had lots of chocolate and a beer today . . . . after a couple of hours of walking with Abby and Keeper. I don't know if I'm coming or going.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

Byrd
March 22nd, 2008, 11:18 PM
Wow, if the girls weren't in those pictures I'd have a hard time believing they weren't from a book/calendar/painting.

Have you submitted them to calendar companies yet?

Frenchy
March 22nd, 2008, 11:30 PM
wow wow and wow ! Beautiful pictures , and such lucky dogs ! I love the coyote pic too :lovestruck:

luckypenny
March 22nd, 2008, 11:31 PM
Wow, those photos are surreal! I'm trying to figure out if you were levitating to take the fifth picture :o ?

sugarcatmom
March 23rd, 2008, 12:09 AM
Cool! My sweetie and I also made the trek up to Chester Lake on Friday. We were celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary (traditionally the "wood" anniversary, so we decided to spend it in the "woods"). What a fantastic day! Everyone we met along the way had such an awesome happy vibe, it was practically festive. And the sun!!! When we reached the lake, we stopped for some Schnapps and watched a couple of telemark skiers come down the opposite slope.

Rick C
March 23rd, 2008, 12:14 AM
Cool! My sweetie and I also made the trek up to Chester Lake on Friday. We were celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary (traditionally the "wood" anniversary, so we decided to spend it in the "woods"). What a fantastic day! Everyone we met along the way had such an awesome happy vibe, it was practically festive. And the sun!!! When we reached the lake, we stopped for some Schnapps and watched a couple of telemark skiers come down the opposite slope.

Awesome!!

What time were you there? If you saw some dude with two Golden's that was probably moi!!

We seemed to be the second group there but the trail was getting crowded as we were heading down. We walked up and down the ski trail instead of the snowshoe trail.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

sugarcatmom
March 23rd, 2008, 12:42 AM
Awesome!!

What time were you there? If you saw some dude with two Golden's that was probably moi!!

We seemed to be the second group there but the trail was getting crowded as we were heading down. We walked up and down the ski trail instead of the snowshoe trail.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

We did the snowshoe trail (forgot how steep it could be in parts - sure feelin' my thighs today!). We started out from the parking lot sometime around 1pm, so most people were already heading back down when we were going up. Didn't see any Goldens, but there was a cutie-pie Shih Tzu in a funky red outfit and booties.

rainbow
March 23rd, 2008, 02:16 AM
I cannot pic a favourite....they are all breathtakingly awesome. :cloud9:

growler~GateKeeper
March 23rd, 2008, 02:17 AM
Wonderful shots of course :thumbs up

Third shot is very :cool: in B&W

:eek: Yikes that creek looks so cold on the Golden Toes

Awesome Coyote shot :highfive:

chico2
March 23rd, 2008, 08:36 AM
OMG Rick,I know you are probably used to the beauty of the scenery,but then again,how are you ever:confused:
I would just stand there mesmerized,I am sure,it's simply stunning,wonders of nature. Thank's!

Rick C
March 23rd, 2008, 12:43 PM
We did the snowshoe trail (forgot how steep it could be in parts - sure feelin' my thighs today!). We started out from the parking lot sometime around 1pm, so most people were already heading back down when we were going up. Didn't see any Goldens, but there was a cutie-pie Shih Tzu in a funky red outfit and booties.

Sounds like you were going up one trail while we were descending another. We were in the parking lot about 1:45 and cracking a beer on my deck southwest of Calgary about 3:20.

A retro look at Chester Lake, from October, late Fall, with the Larch pine turning gold . . . .

http://www.goldentales.ca/DSC_0916-edit1.jpg

and . . . . a dip in the lake . . .

http://www.goldentales.ca/CSC_0966-edit1.jpg

OMG Rick,I know you are probably used to the beauty of the scenery,but then again,how are you ever
I would just stand there mesmerized,I am sure,it's simply stunning,wonders of nature. Thank's!

Southwestern Alberta is a fabulous place to live.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

rainbow
March 23rd, 2008, 01:05 PM
Rick, those last two pics are spectacular. :cloud9:

krdahmer
March 23rd, 2008, 02:04 PM
Wow... just wow. The view, those cutie pies, and that beautiful coyote too! Very very nice shots. Thanks again for sharing.:thumbs up

SARAH
March 23rd, 2008, 02:32 PM
That creek-wading pic just reminded me of what I said on the TJT about Goldens and water ... if it's there, no matter how cold, deep or dirty, they just have to go in it!

First time I've seen a coyote that close up ... looks a bit like a fox face on a wolf body, or was that the angle?

"Be-utiful" pictures Rick! Love it when I see you've posted pics, I never miss those threads even if I don't always comment on them.

:thumbs up

Rick C
March 23rd, 2008, 05:45 PM
First time I've seen a coyote that close up ... looks a bit like a fox face on a wolf body, or was that the angle?
:

Here's a different angle, taken a second or two before the first one.

http://www.goldentales.ca/DSC_3564-edit1.jpg

Have you submitted them to calendar companies yet?

They're about three-quarters done their book, primarily pictures with some stories and quips. Unfortunately summer is coming and dear ole dad hates being inside. So who knows when the editing might get done.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

glasslass
March 24th, 2008, 01:22 AM
Your photos always amaze me! Your goldens are living a doggie fantasy!

chico2
March 24th, 2008, 07:24 AM
He has a nice reddish coat,which makes him look like a fox.
I saw a Coyote here once,early morning on my way to work.
He was greyish and quiet tall,with long legs,looked like a wolf,but I doubt we have wolves here:confused:

Winston
March 24th, 2008, 08:16 AM
RickC! excellent pcitures as always! I dream about living in a place like that! Stunning!

Cindy

Rick C
March 24th, 2008, 11:50 AM
He has a nice reddish coat,which makes him look like a fox.
I saw a Coyote here once,early morning on my way to work.
He was greyish and quiet tall,with long legs,looked like a wolf,but I doubt we have wolves here:confused:

For comparison, le Fox, from two springs ago.

http://www.goldentales.ca/16670023-edit1.jpg

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

growler~GateKeeper
March 24th, 2008, 09:09 PM
He has a nice reddish coat,which makes him look like a fox.
I saw a Coyote here once,early morning on my way to work.
He was greyish and quiet tall,with long legs,looked like a wolf,but I doubt we have wolves here:confused:

Chico - Yes you do have wolves in Ontario, the gray wolf found in the boreal and tundra regions of the province, and the eastern wolf found in the coniferous and mixed coniferous-hardwood forests of central and northern Ontario. Wolves generally stay away from humans unless in farm/agricultural areas whereas Coyotes are commonly found in urban areas and are more likely to be seen than the wolves. Coyotes are generally smaller than wolves with the fox generally smaller than coyote and their colours range from gray, black & white all the way thorough the reddish grey in Rick's pic.

loopoo
March 25th, 2008, 01:49 PM
your dogs and the scenery are always so beautiful... i can never pick a favorite shot:cloud9: i always feel so at peace looking at your photos :)

FancyAppy
March 25th, 2008, 02:57 PM
astounding....I can not imagine the sense of peace you must feel surrounded by all this magnificent beauty. Your photos and narrative are very enjoyable.You really live in a beautiful place. You gorgeous dogs are having a blast sharing your adventures with you.

jessi76
March 25th, 2008, 04:18 PM
Rick, I just had a very stressful day at work, and yet I can ALWAYS count on your photos for a nice relaxing moment... a breath of fresh air... thanks for posting such lovely images.

Rick C
March 25th, 2008, 08:01 PM
Rick, I just had a very stressful day at work, and yet I can ALWAYS count on your photos for a nice relaxing moment... a breath of fresh air... .

. . . . . then our work here is done.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca