ElkIntheStreamI'm not a nature and wildlife photographer.  That's my confession-du-jour.

I really admire the wildlife photographers who can really get out there and get that dramatic shot. It takes time, artistic and technical skill, patience, hard work, physical fitness and both mental and psychological stamina to do it. I am, at best, a tourist. I sometimes make snapshots of cute animals. Occasionally I do an OK landscape. I want to get better, but I'm not there yet.

Elk2If you want an example of a truly excellent wildlife photographer, you have to check out Jason Leo Bantle at bantlephoto.com. Yesterday with Nat, I visited the Canmore, Alberta "All in the Wild Gallery," which is entirely devoted to his work (he has four, in three provinces). Now this guy is a real nature photographer. I was in awe. Go to his page now. You can read the rest of this blog post later. Go! (The pictures here are not his. His are better).

Anyway, here we are in Canmore. Canmore is a town of about 13,000 just inside the Rocky Mountains on the Alberta side, not far from its more famous and more touristy cousin, Banff.  My parents have a house beneath the Three Sisters, which is a series of mountain peaks that has been made the symbol of the town.

elk in waterJust down from the house is a river valley and floodplain. There are trails for both walking and biking, which pass through quite a lot of "undeveloped" land that is used by the animals for grazing, drinking, mating and basically being wild animals. So the other day as we were walking we saw a small herd of elk — females and juveniles — feeding in the water and along the banks of a small clear tributary that comes off the emerald waters of the Bow River at this point.

I grabbed my camera and shot some photos of the elk, but for the most part we left them alone.

Oh, and there were also some ducklings. 🙂