Some days just come together to produce wonderful experiences. Leaving things to chance often works in a beneficial way, but I was truly energized by my trip last Friday. The plan was to find a snowy owl and hopefully get some sunrise pictures in the process. I messed that up a bit by leaving late, but when I got south of Calgary and looked west the full moon was setting. I wrote of a magical trip to Wells Gray Provincial Park and this day was very similar in how it unfolded.
I drove further west hoping to get the moon above the mountains, but the roads kept winding through valleys in the foothills. Gorgeous country! As luck (or serendipity) would have it, clouds had formed to the east, obscuring the sun which bestowed beautiful colours on the snow.
The first animals to appear were elk, the Majestic noblemen of the forest.
Curious about animal symbolism, I found out on the universe of symbolism that:
Elk spirit animal appears in your life to take you on a sacred journey ~ a trek to embark upon a deeper sense of self ~ a spiritual journey in which you leave old ideas that no longer serve the greater purpose in your life
Well, the day certainly was a journey and I got back on track and headed toward Frank Lake where snowy owls had been reported on eBird. Google maps showed a road around the south part of the lake, but it ended up being a dead end. The further south and east I got, the colder the temperature, bottoming out at -23C. No snowy owls by Frank Lake, but the power lines were glowing in the sun.
I had read a wonderful post about snowy owls near Mossleigh, Alberta (The pictures are beautiful. If you want to see more, check out The Canadian Nature Photographer) so I headed further east and there she was. Serendipity.
She sat and scanned the landscape; however, the sun was in her eyes so I was not able to capture the brilliant yellow. I did catch her trying to cough up a pellet, though.
After about half an hour with the window open, it was getting pretty cold. I had made the mistake of turning on the van and bringing my camera in, only to have the lens fog up when I stuck it outside again. Being wimpy in the cold, I figured it was time to turn around and head back.
Something made me stop again to watch her from the other side of the road, but instead, she flew away before I could stop. The first few shots were quite blurry as I scrambled to stop the van and get the window open. This one speaks “freedom” to me.
She landed on a power pole across the road and I stayed put not wanting to scare her further. Another car stopped to take some pictures and got a bit too close, causing her to take flight again. This time I was ready!
I did end up getting to Mossleigh, but I will save that for another post. Thanks for reading!