28 June 2008

Alberta Trip Gets Cut Short - Koty Sees the Vet

Well, phooey! We had to cut our Waterton/Glacier trip in half. It's kind of my fault although I really couldn't help it. I went off my feed, which isn't unusual for the first couple of days of a trip but when it started to drag out mom got worried and I'm glad she did! I'm fine now but I was mighty uncomfortable I can tell you that. Turned out that some bones I had eaten had made kind of a calcium block in my intestine. Mom thought I wasn't pooping because I hadn't eaten but that wasn't the reason and I couldn't tell her. Lucky for me the block had worked it's way nearly to the exit and an enema fixed me right up. I guess that's more than you wanted to know but there it is.

Our last day at Waterton we went up Red Rock Canyon to the Crandall Lake turnoff. Mom wanted to walk along Crandall Creek and see if she could find some nice wildflowers. We didn't find any wildflowers of note but we did find this big black bear. He was just strolling along enjoying the day. No one's heart was in the walk so we headed back to the campground. That's when mom decided we were pulling up stakes in the morning.

Mom always likes to say every cloud has a silver lining and really it does. On the way home we stopped at the Crowsnest info station and discovered there was a really neat place to explore only 75 miles from home and after fourth of July we are going to do it! The photo is of Crowsnest Mountain.

We went straight to the vets when we crossed the border and after I got fixed up there we headed to the ranch. At the gate we were greeted by a Whitetail doe and her fawn. You gotta get a kick out of those whitetails when they go flying off!

So, we hung around the ranch for a couple of days and visited with our friends here. Mom chopped some wood and I played tag with a doe. It was really fun. I was in my enclosure and the doe and I chased each other round and round until we were both pooped out. Mom was too busy chopping wood to get a photo. She's got her work cut out as we had a lot of blow down this winter and there's nothing tougher to split, and she does it all by hand, than dead wood.

Yesterday we took a little trip down to the Stillwater National Forest. Wanted to check out Fish and Bull Lakes. These lakes turned out to be yawners. The bear grass is starting to come out and mom did get this photo of some lilly pads from a bluff overlooking a private pond. I was a nice hike anyway.

So, that was our week. Hope yours was great too!

Visit my mom's website to see her most recent photographs. Or visit any of her many galleries. Prints start at just $8.95.

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

22 June 2008

Waterton Wildflower Festival

Surprise! Surprise! We are on the road again! We just decided to pack our bags and head over to Waterton, Alberta. Didn't arrive until late afternoon and it wasn't until we got here that we found out it was the annual wildflower festival. When we got here there were very few people and very few wildflowers.

Wednesday we took the hike up to Bertha Lake. It's not far, just a little under 5 klicks, but it's mostly straight up. No problem for moi but I noticed you know who doing some huffing and puffing. We were in the snow by the time we got to the lake so there wasn't much you could do once you got there. Mom thought the most scenic thing about this hike was this view of Waterton Lake. In the afternoon we went over to check out the buffalo at the Bison Paddock. Bison Photos

Thursday we took a drive up to Pincher Creek just to see the countryside. It's quite rural and pretty. Being on the east side of the rockies, the plains stretch out before you as far as the eye can see. Lots of cattle ranching and some of the most beautiful bulls we've seen.

One things for sure there is a lot of water running around in Waterton Park. The late spring has put the wildflowers back a couple of weeks but there is water runing out of these mountains everywhere. Mom spent the afternoon taking photos of the new fawns around town and I took a siesta. Fawn Photos

From a wildflower point of view we haven't seen a lot. Yesterday it was looking like they were finally starting to bloom. Then last night a big storm blew in so who knows what we'll find today.

That pretty much sums up our week. It was a stellar one for sure. Hope yours was too!

15 June 2008

Houston We Have Lift Off!

It's not for nothing the favorite refrain around here is "If you don't like the weather just hold your horses and wait a few minutes". Last Wednesday it snowed all day! Now we have sunny skies and 75 degrees. It must be for real this time cuz the wildflowers are starting to bloom! But, the farmers are complaining cuz their grass ain't been growing. Looks like we are just going to skip spring altogether this year and just go for summer! BUY or just get a better look

The little critters are starting to come out in force, like this tiny chipmunk we saw on one of our hikes through the woods. BUY or just get a better look

In the little village of Eureka we have this place called the Historical Village. There all kinds of historical displays, old buildings, cabins, equipment etc. Mom has a particular fascination for this old rail car. There isn't much rail traffic anymore since the logging business has gone the way of the Dodo bird. Mostly just lumber from Canada headed south. BUY or just get a better look.

On another hike we stumbled on this little pond with a waterfall coming down into it. The water in this pond was so green it was amazing. I don't know what causes that but it sure is pretty. Oh, gotta tell you a funny story. On this particular hike mom found a big blue/green egg in the trail. She thought it might be a grouse egg. Whatever it was it was really pretty. It was cold as a stone so there wasn't going to be any birdy from that one. Anyway, mom put the thing in her breast pocket and no sooner did she do that then it started to rain. In order to protect her camera she slung it across her chest and under her arm. In doing so she smashed the egg. She's still trying to get the smell off the camera! Every time she puts the camera to her face to take a photo she gets a good whiff! LOL! BUY or just get a better look

Last but by no means least we snuck back into British Columbia and Kikomun Park. Spring was in the air here too. Lotsa of life in the lakes, there are about a half dozen of them. This photo is of a female mallard preening herself. The logs in the water were just covered with painted turtles and we saw loads ducks and ducklings. We still think this is an exceptionally nice park. If you're ever up this way and looking for a place to camp this park is a winner!

That was our week! Hope yours was a winner too!

©Kinsey Barnard

07 June 2008

How to catch a ground squirrel & other ranch chores.

How can I best describe this week. Oh yeah, I know, BOR-RING! We've had fits and starts at good weather but haven't been able to put two days of sunshine together. This morning it's 40 degrees and there was snow on the mountain behind us last night!

So we pretty much stuck around the rancho. Mom serviced the ranch vehicles, oil and lube jobs. That was akin to watching paint dry. We also went out into our forest and started working on the wind fall. Mom is quite handy with the old chain saw. She puts up five to seven cords of wood each year. That was a little more fun but not much.

The biggest excitement was mom and her ground squirrel trapping project. Those little suckers are as destructive as prairie dogs. Mom can't bear to kill the little buggers so she traps and relocates them. She has this trap she got off the internet and it seems to work pretty good. When she bought it they sold her some stinky gunk for a lot of money and she never caught a thing with it. Then she tried Hoody's, in the shell, peanuts and she can catch 'em like crazy! Funny how people are always trying to sell you a bunch of expensive junk when the best stuff is already handy in the house. Nothing like living in the woods to get you using your noggin.

We did take some hikes in the forest around us and visited some local ponds. This one was kinda pretty.

And we saw this very nice mule deer buck who was in velvet. He really was a beauty. Looked like he was going to have a very nice rack. Oh, did I tell you? I found mom a shed antler and that really got me extra pats and treats! Yea for me!!!!

We had a pretty nice sunset last night. One of the neat things about living at altitude is you sometimes feel your right in the clouds. Well, I guess we are now that I think about it.

That was our week. Hope yours was a great one!

©Kinsey Barnard

01 June 2008

The West Kootenai & the Ten Lakes Area

This week we made a couple of junkets to the West Kootenai and one to the Ten Lakes Scenic Area. The picture above is of Sullivan Creek in the West Kootenai. The creeks and rivers are really rising as the snow begins it's melt in earnest. Anyway, mom went a little water crazy.

Next we tooled over to Tooley Lake. We were hoping to site a moose to photograph. Moose often hang out here but not this day. Speaking of moose, if I had a nickel for all the moose poop I walked over this week I would be a millionaire! And, we didn't see one darned moose! Mom took this picture of the lake. Cool in an eerie sort of way.

Around the middle of the week we headed over to the Ten Lakes Scenic Area. We thought we might make it to Weasel Lake and look for moose but we couldn't make it. There was still too much snow on the road. We hiked up the Blue Sky trail a couple of miles. Tons of moose poop but no moose! The photo is of Graves Creek. Lotsa water flowing down that baby!

Friday we headed back to the West Kootenai. We thought maybe a photo of Little North Fork Falls would be good with all the water coming out of the high country. Well, as it turned out there was too much water. The volume was so big it was like squeezing a toothpaste tube. The net result made for a very uninteresting picture. Or so mom said. As it turned out the photo of the day was of this regal eagle perched high above the Kookanusa.

That pretty much sums up our week. Hope yours was a great one!

©Kinsey Barnard Nature & Wildlife Photography