Travel Journals

Exploring Elk Island National Park

Exploring Elk Island National Park, Alberta, Canada
(Recent Images)

I’ve made several posts about my excursions to Elk Island National Park, located just 45 minutes east Edmonton. It provides me with the occasional escape from city life that I require. On this most recent trip I was hoping to photograph bison during the rutting season (aka mating season). I was surprised to find that the rut hasn’t quite started yet. The big males were still lumbering around in isolation grazing on wet grasses (it’s been raining more than usual). Females and their calves were still clustered in their own little herds on the fringes of the landscape where they find solitude from the park’s human visitors.

I did have a few good encounters with bison and even spotted a few elk. At one point, I was filming a herd of bison cows and calves when they suddenly started walking toward me. I gathered my tripod and gear and walked back to my vehicle. The herd soon caught up with me. Soon I was pinned to the side of the car with only my tripod separating me from the herd! Dozens of bison were gathered around me close enough to touch! I was afraid to move. I was concerned they might stampede if I spooked them. They seemed calm enough at my presence, but I’ve seen them cut and run before at the sight of a human outside of their car.

After a few tense minutes, the herd moved on and I was able to film them a little while before they moved into the bush for the night. The ironic thing about this experience is that I had a 500mm lens on my camera, but the bison got so close I couldn’t even photograph them for most of the encounter.

Below are a few images from the last couple days in Elk Island. For more info and images, check out my other posts about this natural gem in the middle of Alberta:
Alberta’s Elk Island Bison
Elk Island National Park - Mini Guide
A Frozen Landscape: Winter in Elk Island National Park

Postcards From Holden Beach, NC

Postcards from Holden Beach, North Carolina

I’ve returned home from a relaxing vacation with family down in Holden Beach, North Carolina. It was so hot I thought I’d die, but it was nice to get away for a bit. I didn’t take many pictures. I didn’t want to turn it into a work trip. I only snuck out a couple times for some amazing sunsets. Every once in a awhile, it’s nice to relax in a beautiful place without the pressure of picture making.

Now that I’m back in the north for a while, I’m catching up one some writing projects and planning fall trips. In the mean time, enjoy the latest images below. Thanks for reading!

2 Years, 7 Canadian National Parks

This month marked the two-year anniversary of what my wife and I call, “The Great Move.” In June of 2017 we packed up and drove north…way north…from North Carolina to Alberta, Canada. This week also makes two years since I first visited the Canadian Rockies. Since, I’ve made over a dozen trips to those epic mountains and some of my favourite memories in nature.

In the last two years, I’ve enjoyed the privilege of visiting seven of Canada’s National Parks. Earlier this month I visited Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia (more on that in a later post), which was my seventh National Park and first National Park on the east coast. I’ve also visited 10 Provincial Parks in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia (11 overall if you count a very small Provincial Park on Grand Manan Island in New Brunswick several years ago). I’ve covered a lot of ground, but with each new destination it becomes increasingly apparent how vast and ecologically diverse this huge country is. I’ve barely scratched the surface. I’ve only been to 5 of Canada’s 10 provinces and have yet to visit any of the 3 massive northern territories. It should keep me busy for a lifetime.

Notable Places I’ve been within Canada:

Very soon I’ll be back in Rockies again. I’m hoping for great light and wildlife opportunities, but no time spent among the mountains is wasted. Until I return (and catch up on writing that Nova Scotia post), please enjoy this collection of images from the past two years exploring Canada’s wild places.

Postcards from Nova Scotia

I've spent the last week pouring over dozens of images from my recent trip to Nova Scotia. It was tricky weather, especially in Cape Breton. Spring was about two weeks behind schedule. It was cold, windy, wet, foggy, and almost leafless (there was even snow in the highlands!). Despite these challenges, I was still able to get a good crop of images.

Stay tuned for a full post about my trip to Halifax and Cape Breton Highlands National Park coming soon!

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Peggy’s Point Lighthouse, Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia

Peggy’s Point Lighthouse, Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia

Lackies Head, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Lackies Head, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Sunset at Lackies Head, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

Sunset at Lackies Head, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

Mary Ann Falls, Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia

Mary Ann Falls, Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia