Do you ever get those days when you just aren't 'feeling' it, when the images you think of making don't seem worth the effort and you move on without making anything, I had that kind of a day today. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed being out there hunting, after all that's why we do this, the thrill of the hunt and the trophy image to come.
So, after over 300 km (190 miles) of roaming some of the most beautiful, scenic, mountainous areas in Canada I finally found a snow blown mountain top with light breaking through to its summit for todays image. I did ultimately make a number of shots but I couldn't help but think they were all a little bit 'Meh'.
I have no doubt that the reason was entirely my state of mind, a frustrating morning and upcoming major life disruption combined to distract me throughout the day. I simply wasn't on my game and sometimes that's just how it is.
So, my image today might well be a reflection of my mood, the storm clouds are passing and I see that glimpse of wonderful light, and that is how it always goes. We all go through times when life invades our thoughts to such an extent that we just can't see the images around us, in my case the changes are very positive, but disruptive nonetheless.
The very last of the stunning autumn colours have now died back to brown all across Kananaskis. Before they did I made a hike up to the Rae glacier in the Elbow Valley. It is a wonderful hike past a crystal clear lake through forest and up boulder fields to a terminal moraine and the glacier beyond.
It is almost always windy, in fact very windy, as the topography funnels air up through the valley, across the boulder field and away over the mountain top. This day was no different and I struggled to hold the camera steady enough to make images but the view down the boulder field is too good to ignore.
So, below is an image from my last autumn hike in this wonderful place, in a few weeks the road to highwood pass will be closed for the winter, cutting off access to this location until June 2022, I hope to make one more trip out here before it does.
This week, for the first time in quite a while, I stood in the rear garden of my home in Canada in anticipation of an approaching solar storm, and it promised to be a good one, however, very often the promised aurora can fall flat or not show at all, but as you can see in the image below, not this evening.
This evening as waves of electrified gases raced through space on the solar wind, some of that energy was captured by earths magnetic shield and pulled down magnetic field lines at the poles. Once funnelled into the polar regions these charged particles excite oxygen and nitrogen to produce the incredible phenomena that fills our night skies with otherworldly illumination.
The most familiar green light comes from oxygen between 100 to 300 km above the earth, pink and dark red is produced by nitrogen molecules at around 100 km. Very bright red auroras come from oxygen at altitudes above 300 km and the blue and purple come from hydrogen and helium though these are much easier for the camera to catch than for the eye to see.
Monday evening was a stunning aurora, bringing to life the usually invisible magnetic field lines with vivid greens, reds and purples that encircled the city of Cochrane below. As always when watching the aurora I thought of those times years ago, when I dreamed of seeing it without ever daring to hope I actually would. I crawled into bed in the early hours, freezing cold and wonderfully happy to have been able to stand beneath such an awe inspiring sight once more.
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