“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.”
~ Jim Bishop
The Autumn Colour Palette
Autumns are short here in Calgary and in the nearby Rocky Mountains. If you want to enjoy it, you have to get out there and savour every day you can—lest a particularly hard frost, unexpected snow dump or a big wind takes it all away overnight. It’s happened before: autumn can quickly disappear here by mid-September. But this year, we’ve been extra fortunate. We’ve had a bonus month of autumn—October has been a gloriously beautiful month, with most days being warm and sunny, and graced with incredible azure blue skies. The weather has been so lovely that my potted geraniums are still blooming! It’s highly unusual to have them last this late into the season. We took full advantage of the spectacular weather this whole season and got out for long walks with our cameras in the mountains and in our city parks as often as we could. Here are some of the sights we enjoyed on our autumn walks this year.
Above: Wedge Pond, Kananaskis Country, Alberta.
Beautiful Day Moon
Oh, beautiful day moon! I see you peeking through the golden dabs of autumn foliage. One of my first successful shots with our relatively new Tamron SP 150-600 mm lens.
Look Up! Look Way Up!
Walking through an autumn aspen grove is one of my favorite things to do in the fall. The crunch of the leaves, the sweet, earthy smell of dried leaves and grass, the sound of the breeze playing the leaves like a wind instrument—it all fills me to the brim with pure joy. Trundling about with my camera, looking high and low, seeing so much beauty everywhere, I get completely absorbed in the moment. Hours go by in a flash…
A Varied Thrush, hanging around Kananaskis Country longer than usual due to the warm autumn.
The Golden Glow of an Aspen Grove
Young aspen trees in the foothills of Kananaskis Country. The red highlights in the foliage in the foreground are the leaves and rose hips of wild roses.
Rose Hip Magic
I love rose hips. I’m always so attracted to them when we go on walks and I especially love photographing them. I love the way they glow in the autumn sunlight, making them look like little illuminated red lanterns.
Rose hips contain high amounts of natural vitamin C. First Nations people were the first to discover this and collected and dried the rose hips to consume during our cold Canadian winters. The pretty blue background in this particular shot is from the gorgeous turquoise blue waters found in the ponds at Mt. Lorette in Kananaskis Country.
Walking in Dreamland
I purposely over-exposed this shot just a little and played with aperture, focus and lens flare to create a rather dreamy effect. I think it conveys the wonder of this particular magical morning walk in the mountains.
A Beautiful Morning to Be Alive
Drying it’s wings after getting too close to the water during a hunt, this juvenile Cooper’s Hawk looked majestic in the morning light. I love this shot. My partner took it earlier this fall during one of our walks in a city park here in Calgary.
Nature’s Simple Adornments
Simple organic shapes, pleasing lines and a stunning turquoise blue background provided by a mountain pond.
Golden Morning Light
Trail and footbridge at Mount Lorette Ponds.
Rose Hips In Autumn
The ever-fascinating rose hip. I’ll never tire of photographing them.
Outrageous Turquoise Blue Water
I did not adjust the saturation in this photo—the amazing turquoise blue colour of Barrier Lake is created by the dance of sunlight being reflected and scattered by glacial sediment suspended in the cold, clear mountain water. This light scattering shifts the spectrum of the emerging photons toward the turquoise or green spectrum of blue, a color often seen when observing mountain lakes laden with suspended particles of “glacial flour”.
This guy made us laugh out loud when he stopped and stared at us! The red squirrels were all very busy this fall, trying to harvest all the pine cones they could. This year was an exceptionally abundant year for pine cones and the squirrels, somehow sensing this abundance, gave birth to three litters this summer (which apparently is common when there is a bumper crop). These guys are always entertaining to watch.
Autumn’s Panache and Flare
The flamboyant beauty of autumn, expressed in colour and nature’s pleasing symmetry of lines.
A Single Blade of Glowing Golden Grass
As the month of October comes to a close, the brilliant colours of autumn slowly give way to a more subtle, more muted, but no less beautiful colour palette, which I find lends itself to more contemplative thoughts. There’s something utterly calming and restorative about it.
A Dark-eyed Junco becomes easy to spot in the naked branches of deciduous trees in the mountain woodlands in autumn.
Late afternoon light on dried grasses, when the autumn light magically spins straw into gold.
All photography by madlyinlovewithlife and BJC Photography.
© 2015 madlyinlovewithlife and © 2015 BJC Photography