Without a doubt, the favourite excursion I did while on my Alaskan cruise in May was take the White Pass rail trip from Skagway, Alaska, to Fraser, BC. After disembarking in Fraser, we carried on by bus into the Yukon (my first time in one of the territories). I had hoped to be able to do a longer rail trip all the way to Bennett, but it was too early in the season.
There was still significant snow at the higher elevations, and a definite chill in the air on the 8:00am departure, but I spent as much time as possible on one of the outdoor platforms, watching the scenary and taking lots of photos. I was quite fortunate as only two other people in my rail car had any interest in being outside for any length of time, and there was enough room for three on the platform, so I had a great view to entire way. I’d duck in for few moments when my hands got too cold to warm them next to the heater, and then back out for more photos.
It has been a long, challenging winter here in Prince George. Even the locals, who generally seem far more easy going about the cold and snow than I am, are getting tired of it. In the past two weeks we’ve had about 2 feet of snow, but there has been one bright spot with all the white stuff; the ability to spot animals, and for the puppies to entertain themselves follow tracks in the snow.
The best tracks by far have been the mama and baby moose that have been around the neighbourhood routinely in the past few weeks. I’ve watched them once in the yard, and found their tracks crossing back and forth over the road on a couple occasions. With the roads being in bad shape, decent walks with the pups has been a challenge, but they wear themselves out when they have the chance to sniff fresh tracks. The tracks of the two moose moving through the yard kept them entertained on walks for two days 🙂
Taking photos out the window at dusk isn’t a way to get a great image, but I couldn’t go outside without risk of disturbing them, and even if I could get outside, the snow was too deep to stay at a safe distance and get any images. Maybe I’ll get lucky someday and see them on a nice sunny afternoon, but until then, these will have to do.
These images were taken before the latest couple dumps of snow we’ve had. The fence that you see in the images, which is a 42″ high enclosure where I can take the dogs to play, now has snow right to the top 🙁
I’ve had a mama black bear and her cub through the yard a few times over the past week; they both look to be in great condition and just sniff around through the forest in the back. The slightest noise sends them running deeper into the bush; I even need to be cautious about moving towards the window with my camera too fast, as even that is enough to spook them off. Not that I am complaining; it is so much better to have them wary and sticking to their wild turf, than getting too close to the house and becoming bold in their actions.
I do love watching them but obviously want to do so in a way that doesn’t impact them negatively. Our bird feeders have been in for over a month already in anticipation for them coming out of hibernation, and we make sure that there is nothing around to attract them to the yard or towards the house or garage. I want to enjoy seeing wildlife, not creating any type of human / wildlife conflict.
I had forgotten I’d had this sighting of the barred owl; I’d taken a few quick images as it napped in the tree branches, and then forgot to download the images to my computer. If it weren’t for the raven sighting yesterday, they may have sat on there for quite some time.
Thankfully all the snow seen in this image is now gone, but sadly, it seems like sightings of the owl may be as well. But who knows, I could also get lucky with some springtime owl sightings.
I was planning to edit some hornbill photos today, and was at my computer searching for images when movement outside my window caught my eye. I looked up from my computer as a raven landed in a tree outside my office window. Earlier in the day, I had spotted a dead squirrel on the lawn, and hadn’t had an opportunity to get out to clean it up; and I was hopeful that the raven would keep me from having to do so.
Getting photos through a small window isn’t ideal, but I knew the bird wasn’t going to wait for me to get my shoes on and head outside. It took a few tries before it was able to get the squirrel up and away, but in less than a minute, it was all over.
I always enjoy the opportunity to get to observe nature, whether it is our local deer, songbirds, ravens or more exotic animals while abroad.
I’ve been really fortunate to have a barred owl hanging around the yard for the past week. It’s been spending a significant amount of time around, and most of the time perched in one of the trees that is easily visible from the window in my office.
I managed to get a few images to share; even if it is around over the next few days, it is doubtful I’d be getting anything more than a shot through the window, with the temperatures plummeting here for the next week. I think my camera and I will be spending as much time indoors as possible!
I looked out the window Sunday evening and spotted the male and female moose having a browse of some trees. They only stayed for a few minutes and then made their way off across the road. Unfortunately it’s getting dark fairly early here, and with the smoke blowing in from the fires, lighting conditions for taking photos was not optimal. But that doesn’t matter – I’m thrilled to see them and glad they look to be in such good condition.
I was walking Spencer this morning, pondering what I should work on for my post today, and not long after I got home, mother nature made the decision for me.
Last month I was beyond thrilled when two moose appeared in the front yard, and this morning, two different animals made a quick transit through the back yard. They were moving at enough of a pace that I was only able to grab my camera, snap a few photos out of my window, and then quickly make my way outside to snap a few more as they made their way deep into the bushes. This time it was a male and female, her in the lead and him trailing very closely behind.
It’s so exciting to have the opportunity to see these amazing animals!
Given that I am living in Northern Canada, you’d think seeing moose would be no big deal. But since I moved here 5 years ago, I can basically count the moose sightings I have had on a single hand. Only one of them I got photos of; and that was nearly nightfall in wintertime, so not much more than a proof shot that I actually saw the beast.
Tuesday though, there were a pair in my front yard; and they stuck around long enough to get my camera and get a few photos (so considerate of them!) One was deep in the bushes (mama moose, I think) and the youngster was out in the open, looking slightly baffled when it noticed the front door opening and me taking some pictures, but it was calm and unconcerned. I had my 100mm – 400mm lens on and still needed to crop a bit; they were over 100 feet away, so no danger of me disturbing them.
They hung around for around 10 minutes and then headed off into the bushes and then I think across the road and down into the ravine. It’s amazing how such a large animal can disappear into the bush so quickly.
Couldn’t ask for a nicer pose!
Relaxed and curious.When the moose turned to move off, a huge cloud of flies swarmed around the back end. You can even see them in this image if you look closely at the flank.