The Colour of Summer

To be technically accurate, here are some photos I took after June 21. Not that I’m partial to the colour yellow, but that’s mostly the colour of our summer woods, greenish yellow.

The Colour of Summer.jpg


Sometimes you can see dots of pink, the Alberta wild rose:

Alberta Wild Rose.jpg

or tiny red fruits:

Summer fruits.jpg

Golden cattails by the water before they ripen into brown candlesticks:


The Pond in summer is quiet. In contrast, the woods host a cacophony of songs and calls, like the tuning of strings and woodwinds before a symphony concert, albeit finding the actual sources is difficult, let alone taking photographs of them. The blurry pics just show how hard it is to find them staying still in the clearing for more than 2 seconds.

Migratory songbirds too are mostly yellow here, like this Wilson’s Warbler with his black cap. You might be surprised, but we don’t have any red birds like the Cardinals:

Wilson's Warbler.jpg

The Baltimore Oriole:

The Baltimore Oriole.jpg

The American Goldfinch:

blurry Goldfinch.jpg

In the tree, there’s a tiny spot of silvery blue… the Tree Swallow waiting for lunchtime:

Tree Swallow.jpg

Some can’t wait, like this hungry Robin:

The Hungry Robin.jpg

or this Yellow Warbler. Whatever’s in your mouth, mosquito or fly, I’ve to say, ‘Thank you for eating!’

Hungry Yellow Warbler.jpg

The Hungry Warbler.jpg

What colour is your Summer?




Out of Hibernation

You may have roses in your garden but we still have the remnant of winter. And in Lake Louise, about 58 km (36 mi) from Banff National Park, it is still winter in full swing. This photo was taken just a few days ago:

Lake Louise

People were walking out into the frozen lake, with the glacier in the backdrop.

A snowy but cheery welcome:

Snow Hat

40 mins. drive south to Banff, it’s much warmer, and spring has arrived. The best sign is when you see a grizzly bear coming out of hibernation. See her?

Out of Hibernation

When I first spotted the bear, I was going to quietly walk away until I was told a group of people were already there, well protected and with a park ranger interpreting her every move. So I gladly joined them:

Well Protected

The ranger told us that was a five year-old she bear, officially known as Bear #148, just out of hibernation a week ago. Later I found she had been in the news for trailing a woman walking her dog a bit too close for comfort.

Here she is, still in good shape after a long hibernation:

She Bear 1




I slipped away quietly when she got just a bit too close. What’s the first thing you’d wish for after a long, deep sleep? A hearty breakfast of course.

What an exciting herald of spring.


That Was Then… This Is Now

Just three days ago I was walking along The Bow River, enjoying the brilliant double-digit temperature.  Today is quite a different picture.  These are photos I took just a couple of hours ago, temperature hovering around 3 degrees C.  They were taken not too far from the deer sighting location on Mother’s Day. But today, May 27, three days after Victoria Day, the scene is another world.

As one who tries to preserve the most natural and authentic images, I’ve left the photos as they are, no adjustment, not even cropping here.  I like the blurry overtone, their lack of colors, for in reality, it was snowing heavily and the sky was grey.  I’d enjoyed this impromptu photo session.  I came home soaking wet.

But all this time I’ve been thinking about the oil spill down in the Mexican Gulf coast.  It’s one thing about snow in May for us, or even in July, or baseball-size hail in August, or the fierce blizzards in the winter, these we’ve learned to take as they come, knowing they’re ‘act of God’.

But, if something happens due to human errors or negligence, or which is preventable if more caution was paid, or less greed was involved, or political interests were laid aside, or more value placed on life, human or nature, then it’s a different matter.  Such are the times when we can’t be docilely yielding, as to a sovereign deity. Drastic measures are definitely needed in a time such as this.

No doubt, these pictures are thousands of miles from the Gulf coast, a huge gap in climate, a drastic difference in natural habitat.  Nonetheless, the air that once was in Chernobyl would ultimately reach us just the same as the tides from the tsunami of the Indian Ocean.  We’re shrouded by the same atmosphere; we’re linked by the same waters.  So, your pelican is also my pelican, likewise, my deer, your deer.






All photos taken by Arti of Ripple Effects, May 27, 2010.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.