Mountains, Moose and Mud

We have been having really bad weather here in Calgary and February was the coldest February on record, so when we started to get some better temperatures and sunshine, we were off to the mountains.

We honestly didn’t expect to see very much wildlife, but we always keep our fingers crossed. We knew, however, that we would see some lovely scenery, so the day would never be a loss. On the drive to the mountains, we saw a coyote wandering across a field alongside the highway. I could not get a photo as we had passed it too quickly, but that was our first animal sighting.

Then as we drove the first few km’s of Highway 40 in Kananaskis, we saw a deer at the side of the road, again no photo. But we did see the mountains.

We drove down the length of Highway 40, but halfway down it is blocked off between December and June to allow animals to roam and mate, free from disturbance, so we took another road called Smith Dorian Trail.

This road is not paved and is very rutted and because most of the snow had melted was incredibly muddy and dusty. Other than a few squirrels, we have never seen animals here, but our luck was about to change – in a big way.

We were driving and chatting when something caught my eye. I told Chris to stop as I’d seen a moose. I just hoped I was right. We turned around and sure enough, hidden in the trees was a young female moose.

We managed to spend quite a long time watching her which she didn’t seem to mind. In fact, I’m sure she was posing for us.

This was an absolutely great sighting and we would have been very happy if she was all we saw, but then we spotted another coyote, this time trotting across a frozen lake. I didn’t manage to get a photo, but I did get some video.

A bit later we saw a flock of Rocky Mountain Sheep grazing alongside the road. They were all female with their young from last year. Then we saw some deer.

Now, I think I mentioned that it was very dusty along the roads. Well, this is the state of our once black truck after a few hours driving the backroads.

Last but not least, there were quite a few Chickadees flying around and they are known for their willingness to land on people. Sure enough, at the promise of some imaginary food, they landed on Chris’ hand and I got a couple of pics. Once they realized there wasn’t any food they lost interest, but a lovely moment all the same