Alberta Road Trip – Sibbald Creek Trail

 In Calgary & Area Attractions, Fine Art Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Travel

May is one of my favourite months of the year. Trees are starting to green up, wildflowers and blossom trees bloom (if we’re lucky), and the weather is usually conducive to playing outdoors for longer periods at a time.  This year we’ve been particularly fortunate; spring started in earnest a month early, and we’ve had leaves and blossoms out since April.

Roadtrip buddy Diane and I were debating another drive to spot wild horses, or trying somewhere new. The Sibbald Creek Trail (aka Hwy. 68) is only half an hour from our respective houses, and I’d seen several recent posts demonstrating wildlife and wildflowers spotted in the area.  The trail ends at Highway 40 in Kananaskis, another favourite photography haunt.  The technically 36 km, 45 minute, drive took us over 3 hours!.  This did include a gorgeous side trip around the Jumpingpound Forest Demonstration loop!

As usual, large wildlife (deer, moose, Big Horned Sheep, bear…) were largely absent despite bear warnings posted for the entire area.  I predicted this as there appears to be an invisible warning attached to my vehicle that says, ‘Suzan is coming, quick, hide!’  Other photographers will pass through the same area, same day and will be posting proud captures of said absent beasts.

That said, there were plenty of birds and ground squirrels, tons of gorgeous scenery, fresh spring scented woods abounding with new growth and, my highlight, a lone Bald Eagle cruising a quiet lake shore.

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Richardson Ground Squirrel peaking out.

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Tree swallow enjoying the morning sun.

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View from the Jumpingpound Demonstration Forest Interpretive Centre. (Moose Mountain??)

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Jumpingpound Interpretive Centre

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Picturesque all around with fresh spring greens.

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Shooting buddy Diane looking down.

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Always remember to look up!

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Look waaaaaay up!

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And down for the tiny little Wood Violets.

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And new fresh growth.

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Healed claw marks in an Aspen tree trunk.

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More healed claw marks (probably bear).

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Mother Nature’s graffiti.

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Mother Nature’s artistry.

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Whiskeyjack (Grey Jay) posing at the tip of an extremely tall Lodgepole Pine

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Sure there is…

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Sibbald Flats – and it was very flat – and dry. Mild spring!

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First glimpse of a Bald Eagle

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Bald Eagle swooping off to another tree. I was so thrilled!

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Mallard Duck enjoying her shower.

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Barrow’s Goldeneyes having a bit of a war.

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Or showing off for the lady.

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Can’t get enough of those fresh spring greens.

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Pussy Willows

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Glanced up and saw these catkins dancing in the light.

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This ridge reminded me of a southwestern blanket pattern.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Dianne
    Reply

    Fantastic pictures, Suzan. I love the colour of the tree swallow! I don’t know if I like the idea of walking around where there are bears and seeing the claw marks on the trees – you’re a lot braver than I am 😉

    • SuzanMcEvoy
      Reply

      My friend Diane would be in your camp. She was looking over her shoulder for a good part of the trip – especially with the bear warning signs all over the place. She also kept reminding me of my close encounter of the bear kind 18 months ago. http://www.photoswithfinesse.com/bear_encounter/ – as I said to her, I survived that one LOL. (Those were all healed over scratches – if they’d been fresh I would have been more concerned. And the only scat I was seeing was rabbit-sized.) The car wasn’t that far away for any of our pics – and as I told her, ‘you can run faster than me anyway, so head for the unlocked car!’ I’d much rather a back away slowly encounter with a bear than one of your creepy, potentially poisonous creepy crawlies! 😀

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