Acadia in color

Acadia in color – Photograph by Laura Lecce 

I certainly didn’t grow up with Autumn colors like this in Sydney, which is why I am in such awe when I get the chance to see them now. Acadia National Park was the perfect destination for a weekend getaway to see peak foliage colors painted across the most stunning scenery. This glorious day was the ideal combination of warm golden sun and chilly air – the best hiking weather. Climbing the steep Beehive Trail to the top of this small mountain provided an incredible vantage point with which to admire Mother Nature’s artwork. As a person who lives for color, even I could not have imagined that this many brilliant and intense colors could exist in a single landscape. Just incredible!

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A grizzly and her cubs in a field of flowers

A grizzly and her cubs in a field of flowers – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Life doesn’t get much better than this. Watching a mamma grizzly make her way slowly through a field of yellow wildflowers while her two cubs run around her. This picture was taken in Spring in Teton National Park. There were quite a few female grizzlies each with two beautiful and bouncy cubs. Predictably they took the same route every day, so on each day you could catch a glimpse of them making their way through this field. I learned that a grizzly can be distinguished from other bears because of the hump on it’s back above the shoulders. They are so much bigger than I imagined, and every time I saw a bear on this trip I would forget to breathe. You really feel like you are in the presence of a magnificent and truly special animal. What a truly wonderful experience.

Friday Flower – Balsamroot with a backdrop of Tetons

Wildflowers with the Tetons – Photograph By Laura Lecce

These beautiful, bright and sunny wildflowers are known commonly as balsamroot, or scientifically called Balsamorhiza. They are a member of the sunflower family and make a stunning foreground for a photo of the Teton mountain range. They are a golden flag for the Spring season and provide food for many grass and plant eating animals such as deer, elk, pronghorn and bighorn sheep. There were many grassy valleys and hillsides inundated with large tufts of golden flowers, and they appear in so many of my wildlife photos. They wildflowers really brightened up my trip and I hope they brighten up your weekend, have a great one everyone!

Friday Flower – A close look at a zinnia

Zinnia close up – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Sometimes it’s more interesting to look at something familiar from a different perspective to gain renewed appreciation. Have you ever looked at a zinnia this close before? I discovered a tiny forest of golden furry trees arranged in a perfect circle surrounded by a bed of brilliant red petals. Each yellow tree has a trunk filled with nectar that attracts bees, butterflies and moths. Each visitor gets a secret powdering of yellow pollen to transport to subsequent flowers, unknowingly becoming a pollen postal service. I go the garden to relax, unwind and refresh my mind, and while everything around me may seem tranquil, it is in fact the opposite – each and every flower, every insect and every plant is very hard at work.

Red zinnia – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Dinner with a Canadian Beaver

Canadian Beaver – Photograph by Laura Lecce

I never felt so humbled as I was on this day when a Canadian beaver swam past me down the river dragging his dinner, and instead decided to swim back towards me, plant himself at the edge of the river bank and enjoy his dinner with me. This beaver sat so close to me that I could hear the branches being crunched by his strong beaver teeth as he fed them into his mouth like a straw. Then when he got to the end of the branch he would try to shove all the leaves into his mouth at once, cheeks bulging and continued chewing. The whole time he was watching me watching him and seemed just as curious about me as I was about him. I managed to get many good photos of him in the waning light as the sun was setting. My trip to Parc national de la Jaques-Cartier was the highlight of my trip thanks to this beaver, although I also loved the old part of Quebec City. Eating a beaver tail was the second highlight, and for those of us who aren’t Canadian, don’t worry, its not a real beaver tail but a yummy, fried, flat dough covered in whatever deliciously sweet toppings you desire.

For other Canadian posts please click here.

Friday Flower – Pink with an Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Eastern Black Swallowtail – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Ok, so this photo is not so much about a flower as it about the stunning black butterfly perched delicately on these tiny pink flowers. Those large dark wings with golden circles and a powdering of shimmery blue. The signature elongated wing tips of a swallowtale and delicate lines of white dots along the abdomen. This butterfly truly turns heads as it flutters past and really tested my patience as I waited for it to sit still long enough for a photo that was in focus. I will dearly miss the warmer months this year as the weather is already getting too cold for my liking, and we still have so much further to go into the cold abyss of winter. Have a warm weekend everyone!

For more butterflies please click here.