Sunday, June 24, 2007

Raven's End

Western Wood Lily

Canon EOS 20D with 300mm @ ISO200-f16-1/15sec-fill flash

I had decided as I drifted off to sleep last night that come morning, I would make the drive west to Bow Valley Provincial Park located immediately east of the front range of the Rockies. The park is located at the confluence of the Bow and Kananaskis rivers just off of Highway #1. If you live in the Calgary region, you owe it to yourself to check out this park. I have been to the park many times in the past, however it had been some time since I had last visited.

I thought that I would check out the Many Springs trail located in the park near the Bow river and close to the campground. I found this trail to have a abundance of wild flowers and having just purchased a new lens for my camera, I was anxious to see how it would perform. The lens is a Canon EF 300mm 1:4 L IS (image stabilizer) and I do not plan on making it my wildflower lens, however it is capable of focusing down to 4.9 ft and I was curious how it would perform on flowers. Just so you are aware I shot every photo in this post with this lens. This photo of Mount Yamnuska always makes me think of a book that I have in my library "Raven's End" that I received as a gift from Ben Gadd the author of " Handbook Of The Canadian Rockies". You need to read the book so that you make the connection between the mountain and "Raven's End".

The Many Springs trail loops around this pond that is formed by a Beaver dam that is causing flooding on part of the trail. I had been hoping to see Hummingbirds as they seem to be attracted by the abundance of wildflowers and I have observed them along here in the past, however I had no success on this morning. I plan on returning soon and will concentrate on shooting photos of birds as the area is very popular with bird watchers. I had just picked up my camera and tripod to move on down the trail when a butterfly flying about the wildflowers caught my attention.

I did not have much of a problem getting a photo of this White admiral butterfly as my 3oomm lens allowed me to stay some distance away while still being able to get a decent closeup. I normally use my 70/200 L lens with a 25mm extension tube to do my closeup work. I also use fill flash for all my wildflower photos and only noticed after I posted this that I have some reflection from my flash on this butterfly's wings. I should have caught it before I posted and removed the reflection with some photo editing.

What can you say about this Red Paintbrush that hasn't been said before. I believe that it is one of every hiker's favorite flowers as they hike about in the Rockies. Red Paintbrush are widespread in the Central Rockies and range in many colors matching that of a a artist's palette. There is also Yellow Paintbrush although the Red Paintbrush is more widespread.

I actually was driving down one of the roadways in the park when I spotted these Three Flowered Avens in a meadow. I love these flowers when they go to seed as this photo shows. They look like pink-tinged silvery smoke hanging over this field that I found them in. This plant is also known as "Prairie Smoke" or "Old Man Whiskers" so I will leave it up to you as what your preference is. The seeds with their long feathery styles last until the end of June, when they become very dry and are dispersed by the wind.
Till next time

Canon EOS 20D with 300mm @ ISO100 f16-1/30sec and fill flash

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