Oh, Glorious Autumn!

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“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.

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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.
 
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Flaming Reds

Brilliant, bright, beautiful reds glow in autumn sunlight. Don’t you just love backlighting?
 
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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…
 
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Varied Thrush

A Varied Thrush, hanging around Kananaskis Country longer than usual due to the warm autumn.

 
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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.

 
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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.

 
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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.

 
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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.

 
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Nature’s Simple Adornments

Simple organic shapes, pleasing lines and a stunning turquoise blue background provided by a mountain pond.

 
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Golden Morning Light

Trail and footbridge at Mount Lorette Ponds.

 
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Rose Hips In Autumn

The ever-fascinating rose hip. I’ll never tire of photographing them.

 
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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”.

 
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Red Squirrel

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.

 
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Autumn’s Panache and Flare

The flamboyant beauty of autumn, expressed in colour and nature’s pleasing symmetry of lines.

 
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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.

 
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Bare Branches

A Dark-eyed Junco becomes easy to spot in the naked branches of deciduous trees in the mountain woodlands in autumn.

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Spinning Gold From Straw

Late afternoon light on dried grasses, when the autumn light magically spins straw into gold.

 

Image Credits

All photography by madlyinlovewithlife and BJC Photography.

© 2015 madlyinlovewithlife and © 2015 BJC Photography

26 thoughts on “Oh, Glorious Autumn!

  1. Thank you very much for these wonderful pictures Jeannie,
    it is a pleasure to admire them, wonderful autumn hues.
    the squirrel is cute. :-)
    I wish you a good weekend.
    Hervé

  2. Lovely Jeannie. You live in such a beautiful place…thank you for showing us what you see at this time of the year. I never tire looking at your photography!

  3. Those colors… that turquoise water… those mountains… the red rose hips… but best of all… THAT MOON! WOW! WOW! WOW!
    And I agree with you… when out with nature… hours go by in a flash!
    Once again… loving your photos! Bravo!

  4. A wonderful series of shots Jeannie.. Harvest is done….Finally!! Time for a road trip again :)
    Have a great Halloween and weekend :)

  5. Your photos are so gorgeous as usual. Glad you are having an extra long autumn, my very favorite time of the year. We usually have a hard freeze by now, but haven’t so far. Hopefully this means a mild winter. We can only hope.

    • Hello Diane! Thank you so much for your comment. I’m hoping the same as you, that this mild autumn is heralding a mild winter. Thanks so much for stopping by. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you. :))

  6. Oh, how glorious indeed! It seems your partner has been making some wonderful photographs too. I love the squirrel with the nut in his mouth, and each and every shot is spectacular. Thank you so much for sharing. This made my evening! :))

    • Hello Takami! Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I too love that photo of the squirrel—he was so comical he made us laugh out loud. And, yes, I see you’ve noticed that my partner is also taking photos now. He got himself the same camera as I have and we love to go out on photo shoots together. It’s been years since he’s done any photography and he is enjoying himself immensely. We are now both getting lost in the pleasure of it together. He’s especially adept at using our new Tamron lens, which I am not. I still need to develop a bit of strength to use the lens handheld like he does and I also need more practice focusing quickly on moving objects whilst trying not to jiggle the end of the lens. The lens is so long that every little body movement is magnified, but with a subject that will hold still for a while (like the moon) I seem to be able to hold it steady enough for good focus. Thanks again for stopping by, my friend. Sending you and yours many warm thoughts. :))

  7. Jeannie…you & your partner’s photography is just breathtaking. I would love to live in such a beautiful place. You’re so lucky! I would have commented earlier, but I just
    come home from work and collapse! It’s a wonder I can even get a blog post up! Anyway…know that I am reading & appreciating your adventures. Have a wonderful weekend!
    Lis

    • Hello Lis! Thank you for your kind comment. (And, please, no worries about if or when you comment. I truly appreciate every comment I receive but I have absolutely no expectations. Blogging is only fun if we don’t put any pressure on ourselves.) Thank you again for your lovely comment and for letting me know that you are appreciating my posts. Wishing you a happy week! :))

  8. Oh boy, this is an unreal and incredible tribute to autumn…amazing photos Jeannie and also a great ride with the words as we move from one place/feel to another. The opening shot for me sets the stage so well (nothing like mountains, water and reflection to soothe a soul), reminds me of Teton a bit. Then the Aspens shot made me see autumn in its glory which was followed by the rosehips which gave me a feeling of winter peering just around the corner. Brilliant!
    Wishing you a great weekend!

    • Hello Randall! I know you have had many wonderful and intimate experiences with your favourite mountain peaks and ranges, as your beautiful photography attests to. Each of the ranges have different but beautiful personalities. I’ve never visited Teton and we’d love to take a road trip down there some day. Thanks for your kind words. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you. Wishing you a very happy day. :)).

  9. Oh Jeannie, thanks so much for this glorious autumnal celebration of life on earth. I honored each photo, and appreciated your joy expressed in words and photos. Both you and your partner take wonderful photos.

    • Hello Jet! Thank you for your very kind words. My partner and I both dabbled in film photography years ago, but never in any serious way. Now, this amazing world of digital photography has made it so much more fun to go out and take seemingly endless numbers of shots without concerning ourselves with the cost of developing film. This new freedom gave us the confidence to get out there and learn more about nature photography. This is the first year we’ve tried any bird photography and we’ve fallen in love with going out for long nature walks and trying to spot birds. Thanks again for your lovely comment. :))

  10. I am tired…

    Scrolling up and down a dozen times, I gave up, to pick one best shot from this incredible series :)

    Gorgeous images, Jeannie :)

    Thank you so much for sharing :)

  11. The quote from Jim Bishop has definitely been true for Calgary this fall. Such a long and beautiful autumn we have had. Your photos are beautiful! We did a hike to the Barrier Lake Prairie Look out this fall and it looks exactly as your photo – spectacular colours!

    • Hello Inger! Thank you so much for your lovely comment. We have been so fortunate to have an extra long autumn this year. I’ve no doubt you’ve been out and about doing lots of hiking and enjoying every moment you can. The yellow leaves truly were stunning against the amazing blue water of Barrier Lake. We are fortunate it’s so close to Calgary. I’m glad you got to enjoy the very same sights. Thank you for stopping by. ~ Jeannie :))

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