Storming the Castle

I had a great morning today in RMNP catching first light on the Continental Divide. There was little pre-dawn excitement as I nearly got attacked by a mother moose protecting her calves. Because of the darkness I didn’t see her until I was almost nose to nose with her. I slowly backed away and re-routed around the lake going the other way. Moose can be very violent – particularly this time of year – especially when they have young calves. Fortunately, the calves in this case weren’t newborns or I probably would have still been in an ER someplace.

I had to hustle to get back to my spot for the sunrise but I still had enough time to catch the first light on the mountain. The colors were nice but cloud cover over top of the mountains was sparse. Sprague lake was very calm though and the reflections should turn out very nicely. After the colors of the sunrise faded and I packed up my gear to head home the female moose wanted to make amends for scaring me so she hopped in the water and spent some time posing for some pictures for me. I’m looking forward to getting them home on the computer tomorrow.

Photo of the Day – Darkness on Castle Mountain

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In Banff the moose are like the elk in RMNP. They are everywhere – I even saw them walking down the streets (waiting on the walk signal before crossing too – seriously. I’m sure it was timing but the moose was still until the walk sign turned on and then sauntered across the street making it to the other side before the light changed). In Banff, people don’t even blink an eye when they see moose but this morning everyone that was still there from shooting sunrise was giddy as she drank from the lake and swam around.

I took this picture during my trip to the Canadian Rockies (Banff National Park) in March. This was the shot that I was sprinting to take when I fell five or six times face first in the snow (as described in ‘things you won’t see about the glamorous side of landscape photography‘). The pink cloud above the bridge in the left hand side of this image didn’t turn out as magical as I hoped. I can’t help but think if I didn’t trip and fall numerous times the cloud would have looked a little prettier but probably not. Chalk the whole near encounter with the moose and my near heart attack when I realized how close I was as another ‘not so great moment’ but something that certainly adds to the experience.

Castle Mountain is aptly named since it has the shape of a castle. It was also used (not so romantically of course) as an internment camp during WWI to suspected enemies and/or enemy sympathizers during the war.

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4 thoughts on “Storming the Castle

  1. So you have made some new friends out in the wilderness. *smile I thought moose and elk is the same thing ???? Fantastic shot again …

    • Thanks and funny after you said you thought they were the same I questioned myself? Was I wrong in thinking they were two separate animals and the elk I was seeing were actually deer or something like that. I googled difference between moose and elk and several of the first sites listed noted that in Sweden there is not a distinguishing between them.

      The moose is bigger than the elk but both are deer species so they do look similar. I’m sure ideally they’d be almost indistinguishable as some of the websites noted but at least in RMNP the elk are pretty small while the moose that survive there (and much less of them) are very large. I’m not a scientist but probably the competition for resources factors in whereas in areas where they are more “equal” they might be much more similar in size.

      Sorry for the long response but found some interesting reading and knowledge while on the plane 🙂

  2. I am amazed about the blue color in Your gorgeous photo. Blue is my favorite color, even in my car, but this blue is something which I have not seen ever.

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