This was not a "wildlife tour," though it held the promise of possible sightings of bears, deer, elk, Bighorn Sheep and Mountain Goats. I did not expect that there would be much time for birding. Much of our time would be spent on moving trains and tour buses.
In the interest of portability and convenience I decided not to pack my big camera rig (Canon EOS 60D 18 MP Digital SLR Camera with 420 MM lens system: Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM telephoto Lens with 1.4X extender). Instead, I carried only my pocket camera, a Canon SX700 HS with 30X optical zoom. This turned out to be a wise choice.
We departed at 6:00 AM from Fort Lauderdale and flew to Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, where we connected with the flight to Vancouver. Each leg was about 3 1/2 hours.We gained 3 hours on the clock, arriving at our hotel at about 1:00 PM, so it was a very long day. We took advantage of the daylight by ascending the Vancouver Lookout Tower, where we captured nice views of the city and the harbor.
The sun was still bright at about 8:30 PM, providing some interesting REFLECTIONS:
We boarded the Rocky Mountaineer train early the next morning, moving through Vancouver's extensive freight yards. Remotely-controlled switching engines scurried about. Flashing red lights warned that no humans were aboard. Reflections from the car's windows and the movement of the train ruined almost all the photos I took the first day.
As bad as this photo turned out, I liked the sense of motion and the reflections of my camera and the passengers instead of the lake, my intended target, in the background:
Soon we were following the Fraser River, which widened to form several beautiful lakes.
As the river entered Fraser Canyon the stream narrowed and created Hell's Gate, a tremendous torrent which few boats are able to cross. If the video fails to load in the space below, please click HERE
After a night in Kamloops, we resumed the journey, continuing along the Thompson River.
Now I took photos from the observation deck. Despite the movement of the train, some came out very nicely.
In contrast with the hundreds of skies and reflective lakes, contacts with "CRITTERS" were few and far between. On our bus trip on the Icefield Parkway between Lake Louise and Jasper, we startled a Black Bear that was eating dandelions along the road. I had to shoot through the curved windshield from the opposite side of the vehicle, and this distorted the only image I obtained:
A pair of young Bighorn Sheep blocked the highway, allowing me to get a few shots as well as a video:
BIRDS presented few photo opportunities. Black-billed Magpies posed on the hotel grounds at Lake Louise:
Another Corvid species, Clark's Nutcrackers, were also noisy visitors around the hotel:
My closest approximation of a MACRO photo during the Canada trip is one that shows colorful river rocks with Victoria Mountain and Glacier in the background, at Lake Louise:
This bona fide macro was taken back in Florida, showing a tiny clump of flowers, about 1.5 inches (4 cm) wide, taken from a distance of only about 3 inches (8 cm) with my PowerShot. It turned out looking like a huge bouquet:
My FENCE photos are both from the Columbia Ice Field glacier area. Here is Mary Lou in the wind and rain with the Athabascan Glacier in the background. We subsequently walked up on the glacier.
I was the only one brave enough to take the Jasper Glacier Skywalk, a glass walkway that looks straight down almost 1000 feet into the valley:
Watch this video for a breathtaking view of the Jasper Glacier Skywalk!
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Linking to Misty's CAMERA CRITTERS,
Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,
Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa).
Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James
Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni
Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart
Linking to I Heart Macro by Laura
Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display