Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Spectacular Storm Clouds

It was the kind of evening you can't plan for - you just have to be ready for it when it presents itself!

Before the sun started to set, the drama started with some eye-catching clouds billowing above the Rocky Mountains across the valley from us, and what looked a bit like steam above a volcano ...

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Hang on a sec, is that smoke beneath that updraft? Yes!

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Not much came of this cell, though. A couple of hours later, however, we noticed this bundle of business trundling up the middle of the valley (wish I had a wide-angle lens - this is a 3-shot panorama):

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Just look at those "bubbles" of cloud, and the golden light bouncing around the peaks of the Fairmont Range!

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Believe it or not, no wind, rain, or lightning in our area from that!

The golden light soon faded from the cloud bank, but the light that flooded the sky after the sun sank behind the Purcells was spectacular!

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The first thing I noticed this morning, when I awoke, was the smell of smoke. I was ready for the sunrise but there was little to see - except, when I turned around, the cloud-tops above the Purcell Range burned pink:

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Today, the valley's smoky again ... won't complain, it's the sign of summer!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Two Winners!

You may remember that, in June, I ran a Lucky Draw Contest through Facebook, in which the winner was awarded a 30 minute pet photo shoot, along with an 8x10 print of their favourite image from the shoot, and a web-ready copy of the photo for social media.

The winner was Alex Wilson, a local business owner here in Invermere - she and her family operate Nature's Floors.

Alex's dog, Dexter, was the subject of her photo shoot. Dexter is Alex's constant companion, particularly on the long road trip between Calgary and Invermere, which Alex drives round trip every single week, come rain, shine, or snow!

Dexter is a tall, handsome black-and-white boy, said to be a Karelian Bear Dog mix-breed. He's very friendly and energetic, listens well, he is obviously devoted to Alex - and he shows signs of being a good guardian for Alex's two young daughters and their friends, too!

Here's my favourite shot from the session yesterday evening:

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If you'd like to see more, Dexter's gallery has been loaded onto my website.

Thanks again to everyone who entered the contest - better luck next time!

The second winner of which I speak, is the delightful Marley. She's the newest guest at the ICAN companion animal rescue facility where I volunteer - and she's a winner because she won the lottery by being found by a caring soul, and turned over to ICAN for care!

As always, I was called in to take some photos of Marley for the ICAN website. What a sweetie she is, so eager to please and characterful, a pleasure to work with! Marley's photos have been loaded onto my website ... but this is my favourite:

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Marley is currently being fostered by Sylvia, a wonderful long-time ICAN volunteer, until she's ready to go to her forever home! Marley's introduction to ICAN was nothing short of harrowing: 

Marley was found by a caring person in the middle of the highway. Marley had neither the will to get up and move, nor the gumption to realize the danger she was in. Marley is now in ICAN's care and is looking for a new home. We suspect that she has never been inside a house before and although she likes human attention, she is trying to figure out what we want from her. Her spirit is a little broken right now, but we are working on that with her. Marley is being treated for mange (hence all the hair loss and redness), which will take about 6 weeks. We will keep you updated on her progress! She is a total sweetheart though and so far just ignores cats and other dogs.

The vet said she's between 1 and 2 years old - and she's already had at least one litter of pups!

I'm happy to report that over the past two weeks, Marley's made improvements in leaps and bounds, learning to trust humans, and having her medical issues addressed and assigned to her past.

She'll be spayed early next week and, as soon as she's ready, will be going to her forever family, which is already waiting excitedly to welcome her to their home!

Don't you love a happy ending?!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Christmas In July

I believe the concept came from the southern hemisphere countries that experience seasons opposite to those in Europe and North America, so that they can have a cold-season Christmas, too! (Not that this stops them from celebrating "real" Christmas on December 25th, as well!)

So why not spread the goods around a bit, eh?!

In recognition of this special season, I'm offering everything in my Etsy shop at 20% off!

Everyone is allowed to take advantage of this deal - not just those of you who're south of the Equator!

It's for one day only, July 25th, so mark your calendar!

Here's the coupon code you'll need: CIJ2014

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Click here to go directly to the greeting card section of my shop - I'm looking forward to "seeing" you over there, browsing around!

Merry Christmas in July to you all!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Ramble down Ruault Road

This summer weather is so great!

We got out earlier than yesterday, this time heading down the west side of Lake Windermere and, due to unexpectedly heavy bicycle traffic from the Heart of the Rockies Triathlon, we turned down a side road sooner than planned. As we know by now, though, unplanned adventures are the best ones!

Ruault Road, just off Westside Road, heads across the benchland and drops down to the lakeside. Here are the "downhill" photos (as always, click to enlarge!):

A Teepee on the Far Side of a Donga

Grasses Rapidly Going Golden in the Hot Summer Sun

Hoped to see some Wildlife (Bear, Moose, Cougar) in the Dell, but No Such Luck!


Lake Windermere with the Rocky Mountains in the Distance
And here are the photos on the way back up to the car:

Had to do a Little Post & Wire Removal on This One!
Pretty Grasses, Wildflowers Past Their Use-By Date!
 Ttfn, until next time!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Around Copper Point

Before it got too hot today (and no, that's not a complaint about the heat, just an observation!) and despite the smoke from an as-yet unidentified forest fire that's invaded the valley, we took a stroll around the new Copper Point subdivision. Well, it's not new, but there's very little action there so it still looks undeveloped!

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The forest fire smoke will be very evident in some of these photos, and not so much in others. At least I couldn't actually smell smoke this morning, like I could yesterday!

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These newer properties are situated around the Copper Point Golf Courses which, of course, means that they're probably 4-5 times outside our price-range, had we been considering buying property in this area. Of course, that didn't stop up from picking out which plot was our favourite, and which of the existing houses we like most!

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Random question: Who decides what's a weed and what's a legitimate plant? These two are among my favourites!

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Except for the house photos, quality versions of these images may be viewed on my website in the plants, and scenic galleries!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cogs, Cats & Kittens!

It's been a busy few days!

On Sunday, I spent the day up at Panorama Resort for the Canada Cup mountain bike downhill race. I situated myself at the Cliffs of Insanity ... and they lived up to their moniker! Lots of action, including one really nasty crash that happened right in front of me. All I can say is, if I'm in an accident, I want the Pano patrollers and Pano safety services people to pick up the pieces - they were incredible - calm, professional, unhurried - just awesome!

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The competitors rode/jumped/slid/rolled/tumbled down the rocky incline on the left of the photo above, swooped through the depression, and popped over the rollers to the right before disappearing from sight. I ended up shooting from the other side of the track, far right side of this image. This is what the action was supposed to look like:

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This child, looked to be about 12 (but don't hold me to it, what do I know?!), tumbled down the cliff and his helmet fell off - apparently the chin strap hadn't been secured (!). After gathering his thoughts for a few minutes, he seemed to decide that discretion was the better part of valour, and retired.

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This guy tumbled down the cliff, face-planted, picked himself up, and continued on ...

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And this one actually hung on to this little "moment" and barely missed a beat:

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To see the whole gallery from Sunday, please visit the race album on my website.

This morning, we went to ICAN to get caught up on the flood of unwanted/abandoned/feral cats and kittens that has arrived at the facility this spring. So far I've only processed the kitten photos, all 10 of them - what a bunch of hooligans!

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Here's the link to the ICAN cat gallery - just in case you're thinking about adding one of these incredible felines to your family!  ;-)

To round things off today's post on a more relaxing and peaceful note, here's this morning's sunrise over the Rockies:

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fireworks for Canada Day 2014

Today is Canada's 147th birthday!  <3

Despite feeling a bit tired, I made it through yesterday evening to 00h01 this morning, without falling asleep, so that I could take photos of the fireworks from the hillside above Invermere. Even with the help of an alarm clock, it would've been highly unlikely that I'd have gone, had I fallen asleep!

This is only the second time I've taken fireworks photos, so they're not great, but I enjoyed being out there anyway!

This is the view from spot I shot from last night, scouted in daylight:

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When we got up to the vantage point just before midnight, the sky to the north (left) was still glowing blue above the mountain peaks. But, just minutes later, at the start of the show, it was pitch dark!

In the area of the lake that disappears around the point of land that you can see in the daylight photo, there were scores of small boats - people who'd motored in to watch the fireworks from the water! You can see their tiny nav lights above the yellow light that's throwing a long reflection on the lake, at the tip of the point.

One of my favourite photos from the series:

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Please follow this link to the fireworks gallery on my website, if you'd like to see more!
A special thanks to my hubby for coming along to be a spare pair of eyes as I stood in the bush which is known to be frequented by all sorts of wildlife, small and large!