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.
Moraine Lake was one of the destinations on my trip to Canada last year. The purpose of this trip was to see some of Canada’s natural wonders, the beauty of the mountains and the amazing wildlife that call this country home. This lake was one of the many highlights of my trip. There are few places in the world that are as photogenic as this turquoise lake, surrounded by snow-capped mountains which provide a stunning backdrop. Located in the Valley of Ten Peaks, the lake is filled with glacial runoff which gives the water its signature color. As the glaciers thaw, the trickling water collects rock flour (sediment) on the way to the lake, formed by erosion of the rocks as the glaciers grind against them. This is a place in the world where photography cannot live up to actually being there. The crispness of the air, the tranquility of the forest, and the magnitude of the mountains all contribute to the magnificence of Moraine Lake.
This is a photo from last year while on a mini road trip from Calgary to Banff in Canada. Barely a road trip, it took only about 1.5 hours to drive, but there was just so much to see along the way that it felt like a road trip. Driving in Australia you almost never see scenery like this…a stunning backdrop of snow capped mountains, and a row of Christmas trees (I know that’s not their real name), behind these cute little highway arches. It took me a few tries to get this photo right, sitting in the passenger seat, camera pointed out the front window while my husband drove. Not all the bridges had a backdrop of mountains and I had to get the distance just right before the mountains were obscured behind the bridge. Not bad for highway speed photography!
It has been a life long dream of mine to see big fluffy bears in the wild. This may be due to the fact that Australia has absolutely no large mammalian predators (our biggest is the dingo, which is basically a gorgeous golden colored dog, we do however win with the scary reptiles). So I went to Canada during the season where bears are hunting salmon in the streams to fatten up before winter hibernation. It was truly a National Geographic experience. I went to a salmon hatchery on Vancouver Island which is known to attract the local bears.
I was able to watch the bears for hours, who were thankfully much more interested in the salmon than the tourists on the edge of the stream! They were so spoilt for food that they barely ate much of the fish before discarding the half eaten carcass, much to the delight of the nearby birds. It was a magical experience to be in the presence of such large and spectacular creatures such as these.