Canyons and lakes. Sunrises and sunsets. Stars and northern lights. Here’s what we were doing in Canada when we were too lazy to go hiking.
Mount Rundle across the Vermilion Lakes – Banff NP
Probably the most famous lake in Banff NP, I thought the icy beauty of Moraine Lake looked best just before sunrise
And here she is just after sunrise
Reflection at Moraine Lake – Banff NP
Castle Mountain across the Bow River – Banff NP
The hike from the road to Mistaya Canyon is the perfect length to deter tour bus folks without straining anyone else’s legs, so the canyon is unspoilt by either people or fences. It is, in other words, rather lovely.
We were warned. But it was still a bit much. Especially when the sun isn’t up yet and you haven’t even had coffee. If you ever go to Banff or Jasper, don’t be surprised by the crowds. Just remember to walk. Up.
This is what happens when you play hide and seek with Saul (and his camera) at the edge of a forest while he’s getting bored waiting for the sun to set.
A frosted pond near Patricia Lake – Jasper NP
Did you know that some conifers “seasonally alter their biochemistry to make them more resistant to freezing” (Wikipedia)?
Roadside photo near Two Jack Lake – Banff NP
The paths trodden by photographers to snap Mount Rundle. See the first photo in this gallery for Saul’s best effort.
The view in the other direction, away from the spiffy blue lake
Another pre-sunrise pic. I love the mist rising off lakes early in the morning.
Not long after that, the sun was up
Unidentified spot next to the Icefields Parkway, the road connecting the towns of Banff and Jasper
While not the biggest, Helmcken Falls is the probably the most beautiful waterfall we have ever seen. Its sunlit free-fall into a massive dark chamber is magical and just impossible to tear your eyes away from.
Saul’s 3 photographs of Maligne Canyon near Jasper are some of my favourites from his recent photos – I couldn’t choose so I included all 3 of them in the gallery for you!
Jasper is a dark sky preserve. Dark sky preserves worldwide are areas where artificial lighting is controlled to promote astronomy and to limit impact on wildlife. Canada’s guidelines for dark sky preserves are some of the strictest in the world.
The northern lights don’t follow the guidelines. On the same night we set out to do some night sky photography, this is what started up at around 10:30pm.
Although our affection for cold northern places means we have been lucky enough to see the northern lights many times over the last 15 months, we have not see violet hues as often as the green ones. A very happy accident to be outdoors on this night!