Tuesday, December 01, 2009

On The Bow

With November a done deal, and one of the nicest Novembers we have experienced in Calgary's recent history, I was wondering what December would bring weather-wise. We experienced a bit of a surprise in the form of a snow squall Friday night, that made the commute home from work a nightmare for a lot of commuters, with very icy streets creating havoc. The snow did not really amount to much as my photos show, but it was a pleasant surprise and I was pleased with the results the next morning as I took a drive through the city in the early morning light. The early morning skies had wisps of clouds floating about that held the promise of a beautiful dawn followed by a equally beautiful sunrise. Recently, while in the downtown core I noticed that "The Bow" a office building currently under construction for the headquarters of EnCana Corporation, is beginning to have a presence in downtown Calgary. The building will be the tallest office tower in Canada outside of Toronto. I also have noticed that one is able to see the building taking shape from various parts of the city as it claws its way skyward. When completed "The Bow" will have 58 floors. Its actually quite interesting to watch this tower being built, as the lower floors are taking on a finished look, while the upper floors are still being added. With the streets near deserted in the early morning dawn, I was able to frame the tower while pulled over in a bus-stop on center street, without being mowed down by a bus making its way into the downtown, who's driver gave me a dirty look on the way by. With my captures safely stored on my memory cards, and while I drove in to the core of the city, I could not help but notice how beautifully the dawn was breaking downstream of the center street bridge. Once in the downtown, I made a right-turn on to 4th Ave and drove west to the Louise Bridge. Crossing over the bridge into Kensigton, I picked up Memorial Drive and drove east keeping an eye on the rapidly approaching dawn. Picking what I felt was the best location for the photo that I desired, I pulled my truck over and with the 4 way flashers on, I grabbed my camera and tripod and upon getting out of my truck, I quickly set-up my tripod and camera on the river bank. With only a small window between great light and poor light, I was able to get the captures I desired and within a few minutes I was back in my truck and was gone before being hassled by a cop for double parking on Memorial Drive. From there, I continued east on Memorial Drive, driving the short distance to the Zoo bridge, where I crossed the Bow once more, and picked-up 9th Ave east towards the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. With the sun just breaking the eastern horizon upon entering the sanctuary, I found myself stopping for captures that abounded in all directions, due to the wonderful lighting that you only experience at sunrise. The reward I received for being up bright and early on this morning, was the pristine snow that lie on the trails with only myself and the deer about at this time of the morning. Pressing on further into the sanctuary, I was greeted by a coyote who left the trail before I could get a capture of him. There are a pair of coyotes that make their home in this bend of the Bow, and I see them just about any time that I am in the sanctuary. This one seemed to be spooked for some reason, as they are quite easy to shoot photos of as a rule. Some distance later I spotted the Mule-Deer triplets that were born this past spring, and I have photos that I shot of them as fawns in June as they followed their mother around the sanctuary. They are very approachable and I have been able to shoot photos of these 3 female Mule-Deer from a distance of 10 meters. They seem to never leave each others side, as I have never seen them out of eye-sight of one another. I spotted a Mule-Deer buck nearby that I had not seen before. He was not as enthused with my picture taking as the triplets were, and we played hide-and-seek for a time before I was able to get this peek-a-boo capture of him. Before long, the skies were filled with Canada Geese leaving the waters of the Bow that borders the sanctuary, as they winged their way to farm fields east of Calgary for their morning breakfast. By now the light had gone flat, and as much as I was enjoying the early morning solitude of the sanctuary, I knew that it was time to call it done. With winter coming on I knew that I would be back before to long, as I find the sanctuary is a wonderful place to visit in the winter months.

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