As the days get longer and longer, I remember why it's so much easier to get sunrise photos during the winter. I opened my eyes this morning at 3 am saying "No. No. Nonononononononono. It's too early to get up" but, as my pajama clad feet hit the carpet, I knew there was no convincing myself to stay in bed. I retrieved a sleepy and reluctant Creepy-dog from her bed and we headed out of the city. With the pink light of dawn kept safely in my rearview mirror, we raced Westward over the prairies and back in to the blue hour.
When we arrived on the scene, a very excitable Creepy and I bounded over to the lake, trying desperately not to upset the quiet serenity of the morning and fellow photographers (it was a happening place for 5:30 am on a Tuesday morning) As I plunked Rubber Ducky in to the water and began to photograph, I chatted with local photographer Colin (You can find him on Instagram as "Mebzy") about his sunrise project at Two Jack, learning that yesterday was the best sunrise in over a month while Ducky floated farther and farther away from shore.
Creepy couldn't be bothered to retrieve my little yellow companion, and I, clothed in mere jeans and sneakers, was considering a small sacrifice to the god of sunrises and bath toys when Colin waded in and saved me from a pair of wet feet. Sadly, his efforts were for nothing as a short while later both the dog and I ended up in the mud anyway. I picked up Creepy and we went for a quick dunk into the lake to try to rinse off some of the muck, but it didn't help much. As I type this, my feet and good portion of my clothing are sporting a fine tan coloured crust.
This morning marked my first sunrise excursion specifically to visit Two Jack Lake in Banff National Park, surprising considering it's proximity to Calgary and ease of access, but there always seems to be more alluring locations. Lesson learned, I should have visited years ago. It was an absolute treat to witness the first bit of sun kiss the slopes of Mt. Rundle while the geese and loons paraded around in front of me and the sound of a distant coyote echoed through the valley. Lovely doesn't even begin to describe it. However, with the sun high in the sky and both dog and photographer in their typical freezing cold and soggy state, it was time to move on.
The rest of the day was spent cruising around and enjoying the abundant scenery and wildlife. At one point I stopped to photograph a moose, and ended up being treated to a Grizzly bear sighting instead. It would have been a perfect time to own a longer lens as this photo is cropped quite a bit, but sometimes it's important to remember just being there and in the moment is worth more than any photo.