Throughout Cyclewrite, I’ve featured magnificent deer, elk, bighorn sheep, eagles and blue herons. Most photo gems taken by myself and Jack, were simply random opportunities where each of us did not plan to stalk the creatures.
Serendipitous Benefits and Outdoor Activities
Over the years, serendiptous wildlife sightings are just another benefit of spending lots of time outdoors on bike or on foot a lot where there are parks, mountains, water bodies and natural habitats in large swaths of Canada.
We see these magnificent animals while hiking, cycling, snowshoeing or driving by. They just flew, trampled or scampered near our path, line of vision for Nature enjoyment. Sometimes I’m just waiting around –like I did for Jack by Lake Minnewaka in Banff National Park. Then a chipmunk scrambled onto a rock and froze for a few minutes.
Not Dedicated Animal Stalkers
Neither of us would ever claim to be animal photographers. Neither of us are birders who faithfully consult bird breed manuals and haul binoculars around. I don’t really have patience of a still blue heron, to hunker down for hours to wait for photo flickers of wildlife loping around. My patience is when I’m thinking and creating stuff for many hours.
I’ve been fortunate to live areas of Canada where bald eagle, deer, beaver, muskrat and wild rabbits do occasionally hang out in the city parks. In Calgary, occasionally large wild rabbit or two, bolt across a busy car traffic road in downtown, not far from a local river park. A bewildered moose stumbled into a local shopping mall parking lot just 10 km. north of home. A rare, but real concern to shoppers.
Wild Park Preserves Near Home
Just less than 100 km., from home, there are national and provincial parks. Places where big and small wild creatures put Canada on the world map as a tourist destination especially for Europeans and Asians where their large wildlife is either gone or very rare.
We even forget that not everywhere in the world there squirrels.
There are certain animals I miss seeing while living in western Canada. In southern Ontario where I lived for 4 decades, I used to see red cardinal and blue jay birds. I guess the prairies just have less trees for these lovely bright birds.
Meanwhile other times, I simply didn’t have a camera. Once while biking home from work, in fall twilight there was a snow owl crouched in a tree by a river above a small crowd of admirers. Earlier this spring, I just didn’t stop flying by on my bike to work. I heard “whoo-whoo” and a walker stopped to look. That was the sound of an owl.
Don’t be in too much of hurry all the time nor be engrossed in your iPhone while waiting. Sometimes creatures big and small, will just reveal themselves for just few tiny minutes or seconds. Just a flicker, eye wink in time.