Picture of the Week #7

Picture of the Week #7

Hello friends,

If you didn’t know I had a facebook page where I share pictures and links to my blog anytime I a new post goes up! You can click the link to like and follow the page if you want!Β πŸ™‚Β https://www.facebook.com/phoenixraayphotography/Β 

You can also follow this blog by going to the home page and clicking the 3 dots in the top corner and hitting follow!


Here is my picture of the week!

So this weeks picture is not one I have recently taken. It is actually from last fall when in lived in Calgary, AB! I have been very busy lately and haven’t had much time to get out to take new pictures; also, the pretty leaves of fall are almost all gone! The prime fall time leaf pictures have left and now it all just looks barren. Its getting me excited for frost pictures and then snow!

I hope you enjoy this flash back to Calgary and its beautiful fall season. I miss the views you could see of the city!

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Is fall almost over where you live or are the beautiful colourful leaves still out?

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Until next time,

xoxo

September Recap 2018

September Recap 2018

Hello friends,

September was a crazy month for me! It began in Massey, Ontario while I was on vacation visiting family. Probably one of the best ways for a month to start! haha Relaxing before the craziness that September was.

As you may or may not know, I went back to school this fall. I registered in a completely different program than I am use to taking. It was, and still is, a scary thing to do but I have survived so far! Science is what I am used too, I have a degree in Environmental Science and what I am taking now is a Design Studies Certificate, which is an Arts program! From my experience so far, I am not sure if it is so much that the art world is extremely different from science or if its College that is so different from University. I think I will have a future post on my views of College vs University. I feel like everyone should understand this difference and the benefits of each before choosing where to attend!

So with being back at school after a year off and still working a part time job with doing homework as well, you can say I am as busy as a bee! Its a lot of work but I am actually loving it. I have always loved the world of design and this design studies certificate is really opening my eyes to all the possibilities that are out there for possible future careers. A lot of people think wow why would you ever take this schooling when you already have a science degree? My answer: because you need a well rounded perspective in life to succeed. Having the knowledge in science, but also being able to understand the creative process is something I wish everyone had the chance to learn.

Anyways, enough with the rant. I also began trying new gym classes in September. I went to my first ever pilates class – me and a bunch of older people. To be honest I thought there would be more people my age there! haha Even the beginner pilates class was decently challenging. I also continued to do my hot yoga practices – something I need to put more time into it is just hard with a busy schedule to fit a gym class in at a certain time, but that is no excuse!

The last thing in September that made my month oh so busy was my best friends wedding! I was her maid of honour and man was it a busy time – I couldn’t even imagine how busy she was. Even though weddings take up a lot of time, are expensive, and stressful – I would not have changed anything. The bride was stunning on her special day and her husband was a mazing at the ceremony. I wish them all the best! Now they are in Vegas! Can you say jealous? haha

The beautiful bride and her amazing husband!
The bridesmaids -such a great group of gals!
My dad who was the behind the scenes photographer with his iphone! haha He did a pretty good job!
The beautiful bride seconds before she walked down the isle!
The beautiful bride and I after I bawled my eyes out after saying my maid of honour speech!

Not to worry folks – these are already posted all over social media haha I cannot wait to see the professional ones! We were outside in 0 degrees Celcius for hours taking pictures in these dresses and open toe shoes!

So Alberta has already gotten snow a few times however nothing has really stuck on the ground.Β  To be honest I am happy that we haven’t gotten any in Ontario yet! I am ready for fall, but not snow!

Ill update you guys again on how my October month goes if you’d like. I know school is getting busier – the projects are larger and more time consuming every week and now we have extra events to go to as well as a field trip to a museum in Montreal! I also have so many fall activities I want to do too! There is never enough time.

How was your September month? Did you have any big events that happened? Let me know in the comments below πŸ™‚

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Until next time,

xoxo

The Journey to Fort Smith Continues | Part 2

The Journey to Fort Smith Continues | Part 2

Hello friends,

Today I bring to you the continuation of my ice road adventures! If you haven’t seen part 1 you can click here!

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Alright so we left off right after lunch on the first day. We crossed back over the frozen stretch of water to continue north to Fort Smith, NWT. Still a very snowy day, but we were on the lookout for wildlife!

In this field, my mom spotted a fox, or something, moving in the distance. It was snowing too heavy for a good long distance shot, but eventually me and my dad both saw it! haha My mom has such good eyes for wildlife.

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This part of the drive was definitely more stressful then the first half and I wasn’t even driving! The road was much more narrow and the scariest part wasn’t that we were driving on ice, it was the fact that now we were driving on winding roads through forested areas. Now it was beautiful for sure, however there are large trucks that just barrel down these roads, so you had to be careful coming around corners.

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These pictures make the road look wider then it was! haha if you look closely though you can see that the majority of the tire tracks are all in the same spots and with the trees being so tall, you cannot see a thing coming at you.

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After driving for sometime, we crossed over another frozen body of water. At this point driving on water in a loaded down truck is getting less scary haha

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We could kind of see blue skies starting but it was still snowing constantly, which was fine because in the winter I love when it snows, but it also made it harder to spot wildlife!

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These are the signs on the other side of the frozen water. As you can see, there are strict bridge rules to follow! Even if there are no police out here to catch you! However, I assume most people respect these rules seeing as it would obviously only hurt you if you were to speed on this ice and god forbid break through or something….

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Oh and apparently this is also a public parking area, you know if you wanted to just chill and hangout here in the middle of nowhere for a while πŸ™‚ We saw one car parked there and it seemed like it had been there for a while! lol Not a hot spot for hanging out I guess.

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Anyways back into the bush we went! 172 km and we are in Fort Smith! woo lets go!

If you were driving normal speed we would have been there in no time haha funny story about this picture actually. I wanted to get the perfect shot (well as good as I could with what I was working with) and so I kicked a coffee cup out from behind the sign so there was no garbage in my picture. The fact that there was a random coffee cup laying on the ground out here really irks me though. Like who would think littering was a good idea instead of just keeping it in your car until there is a garbage can eh?

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I don’t know if you can see it, but there is a winding road sign as well as the speed limit through here is 40 MAX! “Take er slow boys!”

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By this time we are getting closer to our destination and our eyes were peeled looking for wood bison. We kept seeing all these tracks everywhere and then we saw this! A herd must have been all huddled up on this mound recently. Just seeing this was cool, but I wanted to actually see one!

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When we got to this sign, my mom was like “take a picture because its the only one we will see” haha So I did thinking that she may be right.

And low and behold literally 2 seconds later we saw this on the side of the road. At first, we pulled over because there was a couple trucks pulled over on the shoulder and we thought maybe there was some bison in this valley area.

Well, I am sure there was, but not anymore! What you see in those two smaller pictures above are hunters and a bison….yup I am sure you can guess what happened here. Now it was a unique experience to see this but I still would of rather the bison been alive! They do use literally every part of it though, and one of these bad boys will feed a small village! It is extremely interesting to see different cultures, especially when its just a few hours north of where you live.

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So shortly after seeing the hunters we reached our destination. Literally like the only hotel here haha The back of the truck was packed with snow from the road. My parents said that last year the entire back of the truck was covered with a good couple inches of solid snow. It stayed on there even after we opened the back up and closed it! haha

This night we had a lovely meal at the Chinese restaurant in our hotel. One of the few places to eat here. And they had vanilla ice cream with strawberry sauce which was to die for.. just an FYI if you ever eat there πŸ˜‰

I will be back soon to continue the story of this very cool trip so stay tuned!

Until next time,

xoxo

Vermilion Lakes Road | Banff, AB

Vermilion Lakes Road | Banff, AB

Hello friends,

I have been to Banff, Alberta Canada many times and have always seen this road called “Vermilion Lakes Rd” right before you pass the large BANFF sign entering into the town. I always thought, hmm whats down there but never went! So on a very cold day in December we decided to head down it.

It was my parents and myself in the truck slowly making our way down the road. At the beginning of this day my mom made me get in between them in the middle seat of the front of the truck… it was fun for about a whole 5 minutes until I started to cramp up! haha I am not a tall person, but I do have longer legs and bad joints so you could only imagine how sitting with your knees around your ears wold feel like!

By the time we got to this road I had transferred to the back of the truck, much more comfortable! Now this way I could shuffle around in the back seat popping out of any window I pleased. In this fancy truck of my dads the back windows rolled down too, which was very convenient for getting shots!

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So most of the lake was frozen , but as we would drive along we found a few “natural hot springs” where the water was open. I thought these were so cool, even though I have learned all about them in school haha everything about nature still amazes me! In these springs too there were little duckies! So cute!

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He looked so out of place though with all the snow around him! It was like his flock left him behind 😦

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Now, the road wasn’t too narrow, but also wasn’t very wide with the amount of snow on the “shoulders”. It was quite comfortable when you were the only vehicle on it, and got a wee bit tight once there was one coming the other direction, which really I think there was only one or two.

As we kept driving we came across this massive natural hot spring! I don’t know if the picture does it justice. We could literally see the steam coming off of it.

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It froze all the shrubs that bordered the waters edge.

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I love the look of crisp frozen vegetation. I guess this is one of the perks of living in a place where it can get so cold!

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Now, these next pictures come with a story! haha so I don’t know if you know this, but as people age they become a bit … well entertaining to say the least. (love you parents hahah πŸ™‚ ) So my mom has always loved cattails. Every time when we drove across Canada in the summer when I was younger, heading back home to Ontario, I always remember her making my dad stop so she could grab a few cattails.

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So what do you think she did when she saw all of those! “Howard go get me a cattail!”

And out he got! haha into the -25 degree weather to go get his “lovely bride” as he calls her, a cattail!

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But it doesn’t stop at just getting her one. It needs to be absolutely perfect. So as you can see, he is inspecting them before he made a decision on which one to bring back! Because he knew that if it wasn’t good enough, he would be back out there.

 

He couldn’t decide on one, so he came back with multiple … smart man.

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I nag my parents a lot, but they are he best people to go on a day drive with and find these cool places to take pictures of ❀

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And with that another post comes to an end. Have any of you ever seen natural hot springs in the winter? Or better yet been to any?! I love the natural hot springs πŸ™‚

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Random Road with a View | Banff, AB

Liebster Award 2018

Until next time,

xoxo

Random Road with a View | Banff, AB

Random Road with a View | Banff, AB

Hello friends,

Today’s post is brought to you by a random adventure! As most are on my blog πŸ™‚

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Now this morning, my dad and I had planned to go snowboarding at Sunshine Village, which is a ski and snowboard resort in Banff, Alberta Canada. I highly recommend stopping by there and going for a day if you have never been and are in the area!

Even if you have never done skiing or snowboarding in your life you should still try it out! The mountains are one of the best places for beginners to learn. Lots of space, very wide runs (which mean they are not as crowded), and usually some nice powder … the snow you want! πŸ˜‰ You can get one on one lessons, which is what my boyfriend did his first day boarding this trip, and in a few hours you will be comfortable enough to try it out by yourself. I will warn you that you will fall A LOT while learning, but it is all part of the process! Just DON’T put your hands behind you when you fall … or you will end up hurting yourself like my boyfriend did a few years ago his first time out!

…when will men listen … never is the answer haha

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Anyways, back to the post at hand! My dad and I ended up going back to our cabin and picking my mom up to go out exploring. We went up this road at the beginning of our journey to find the road was closed. However, we parked and I hopped out for some pictures in the minus a million degree weather. This cute cabin was behind us so I snapped a few of it. While I was doing that, all I could think of was wow, I bet they are warm!

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Next I trudged through the fairly deep snow to get some pictures of this massive valley we found! It was a decently nice day out besides how cold it was, so I was able to finally get clearer pictures. Unlike that first day if you remember from my other posts haha oh was the snow ever coming down that day!

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No matter how many times I come to Banff, I am always able to find new little look off points or little back roads to explore. The possibilities of adventures in the Rockies are endless πŸ™‚

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By this point in the picture taking my dad and mom have made it out into the deep snowy field where I was. My mom was so cute all bundled up in her winter gear and her hat ties done up around her chin to keep it on haha I was a frozen little nugget and so as soon as she made it to me I turned around and headed for the truck!

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Back in the truck now as I thawed out, I went through the pictures on my camera to see if any are decent. I always find it hard to actually see the quality of the pictures on that tiny camera screen, I like to blow mine up on the computer!

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I thought the little pit stop down this random road was a success. Now we went off to eat a late lunch back in the town of Banff!

Do you guys ever venture down random roads looking for one thing, yet finding another? Let me know down below!

Until next time,

xoxo

Trying to Catch the Sun | Calgary, AB

Trying to Catch the Sun | Calgary, AB

Hello friends,

Do you ever have those days where you are like.. ya lets go on an adventure! Because I do …

Usually I end up being too lazy to actually go, but I wasn’t this time! Hallelujah! Mind you, an adventure to me is pretty much anything haha like going o McDonald’s for ice cream at 10 o’clock at night is an adventure to me. Anyways, back to the current adventure! It was to go take pictures of the sunset at Crescent Heights in Calgary, AB.

So it was going on 4 o’clock and I texted my boyfriend saying I was getting too lazy to go. While waiting for his response I got all my camera gear together and headed out. He replied saying “Do It” with an unimpressed emoji face.

So I got in my car and headed out. Now Crescent Heights is quite a drive from where I live. Probably around a 40 minute drive North. So what do ya do? I turned on the radio and started to jam out..then I heard about all the car accidents and traffic on my main route to my location! Lucky heading there wasn’t too bad…the wayΒ  home was a different story!

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Trying to get one of the mountains in the back of the city, but the quality is not the greatest.

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A while later my gps was like “Arrived” and I was like but where do I go now haha I have only ever been there a few times which were spread out over the two years! So of course I took way too many wrong turns and I was getting frustrated. The sun was going down and I was panicking. Eventually I pulled over and hoped out. I got a couple of shots, but I wasn’t satisfied!

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Looking at where the sun was, I thought I had a bit more time to drive around looking for where I went in the fall because the site of the city from there is gorgeous! And all I had to do was go back to where I turned left right away and turn right! haha so simple yet it took me 20 minutes to figure it out.

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Some of my favourite pictures from this trip because of the sky colour!

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The sunset made the cement city look pretty!

 

Now I am still not completely satisfied with these sunset pictures. I need to get back out another time to try again at a different spot I think. The only thing with sunset and sunrise pictures is that you don’t know when they will be good ones! Nonetheless I just do my best to predict the weather like all weather stations do, and go for it.

Hoping to get out for a sunrise sometime soon. Obviously you guys will know when that happens!

Which do you prefer more, sunrise or sunset? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

xoxo

 

Well, it’s almost the end of January…

Well, it’s almost the end of January…

Hello friends,

I just wanted to pop in here to see how all of you are doing! I know January is like THE MONTH for resolutions and all of that jazz, and by this time we are usually slipping away from them. So I thought I would update you on how I am doing and then you can do the same in the comments!

As most of you probably read, I wrote up a post on my new years resolutions (click here if you haven’t read it!).

The first resolution on my list was to eat more veggies! And so far I am still succeeding with that! We have only gone out to eat once so far this month, and it was for breakfast so I didn’t really make any changes there because I wasn’t going to have a side salad for breakfast haha but I have been absolutely loving those salad mixes from the store! I use to always just make my own salad at home, but then I would waste ingredients because I didn’t find it tasty enough. Now we buy 2 of those salad mixes every week and they are gone by Wednesday! I told my boyfriend we need to start buying 3 because we love them so much! So, if you are struggling with getting those veggies in try the salad mixes. They are always exciting and there are always new ones to try!

Second resolution on my list was to make more time for my blog. Now this one I think I have decently stuck to. I do take my laptop to a coffee shop on the weekends still to work on it, which I enjoy because its me time (aka time away from the boy toy… love you babe πŸ™‚ ). However, I have started to space out my work more so that I don’t cram it all into one day per week like I was doing before. This makes it more enjoyable to do I find! However, sometimes I can get a bit lazy like I did this morning and pick to watch Netflix instead of work on it! Whoops!

And now for my completely failed resolution so far … listen to the news more! I have found this hard to do haha I use to drive a lot because my second job was 35 mins each way, but now I am only at one job which is 5 mins away from my house! So I never listen to the radio anymore. Even at home, we never really watch TV. Netflix is what we go to… so I still need to work on this one. I will keep you guys updated to see how I am doing!

Last but not least, was to go on 1 or 2 good trips! My boyfriend and I are planning to go on one at Christmas, which will be so exciting! It is not set in stone or anything, but we have talked about it… now time to plan and save up! We will also probably do at least 1 in the summer. I am not too worried about getting a head start on this resolution right now since its only 3 weeks into 2018 lol Obviously you guys will know when I go on any trips!

Well, those are my updates. So far 3/4 are going good haha I will get to 4/4 by the end of the year! Also another smaller resolution that kind of goes with eating more veggies and being healthier is sticking to my workout plan! I am currently on week 4/12 of a new program and I have not missed one workout! So I am pretty proud about that πŸ™‚

Don’t forget to update me with your resolutions/goals for 2018 down below! What have you accomplished so far?

Until next time,

xoxo

Palliser Expedition | Banff, AB 2017

Palliser Expedition | Banff, AB 2017

Hello friends,

Today’s post will be a continuation of our look off journey that first snowy day in Banff Alberta, Canada. We were driving up the windey road and the first stop we made was Two Jack Lake, then we continued driving and came across another view point called Palliser Expedition.

I have never even heard of this before we came across it and I read this sign haha I took a close up one if you enjoy reading these explanations! I know my boyfriend and father both always read every single word on every sign at every stop we make!

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The stone that every time you go to a lookoff you feel obligated to read

Although, this time my boyfriend stayed in the car because it was a wee bit chilly outside. Meanwhile I was running back and forth along this rock wall looking for the best picture opportunities in the blizzard we were in! haha

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I spun around and snapped away. I have cleared up the pictures quite a bit since before editing them you couldn’t really see much due to the snowfall!

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This sign had a very rustic and weathered look, which made sense since its out in all types of weather haha there were many names and initials carved into it.

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I wish it would have been a clearer day because the views would have been so much better. There are days where I love massive amount of snowfalls where the huge snowflakes fall down. These days though, are wen I am inside all cozy and warm with some hot chocolate … not when I am at view points! haha

View points on clear days are incredible. Especially when you are in the Rockies, because the mountains go on for days and never seem to end! I know when we get clear days in Calgary, and you look towards the Rockies, they seem to go on forever.

Do you prefer snowy or clear days? Let me know in the comments below!

If you want to learn more about the Palliser Expedition click here!

Until next time,

xoxo

A Herd of Elk in Banff | AB, Canada 2017

A Herd of Elk in Banff | AB, Canada 2017

Hello friends,

I am sitting here today in a coffee shop staring at my screensaver on my laptop. It is of the herd of elk my boyfriend and I spotted in Banff! This was on our very first morning there and it was incredible.

All throughout growing up I have seen so much wildlife. I was very fortunate to grow up on the greenbelt in Fort McMurray, AB (back when the city was still quite small) where we got to see a variety of wildlife through our kitchen window. It came to a point where my dad would say “Girls! Come down here there are deer in the backyard!” and we were like ya ya we know haha Its the same thing for the Northern Lights; I never realized that most people don’t ever see them in their life. We would get out of the old purple safari van coming home from gymnastics late at night and see the Northern Lights before we went inside the house! So casual and common for us!

Anyways, back to the elk! Like you would have read in one of my latest posts (linked here if you haven’t read it), we got up early to drive to Canmore so I could take pictures of the sunrise, but sadly it was snowing out and the sky was pure white all day. So we went driving around. On our way driving to Two Jack Lake we saw a car pulled over and we were trying to see if they were looking at wildlife, however we couldn’t see any so we just kept going. Now on the way back though, that same vehicle was parked there! They were probably parked there for 20 mins or so. And now I understood why! haha There was a herd of elk back in the trees all lying down and sleeping! It was so adorable and surreal to see!

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So of course I was like “pull over pull over pull over!!” and the boyfriend obliged and did so πŸ™‚

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And voila! I got these pictures that you see! I am oh so happy I had my new lens with me or else these would not have turned out as good. Because if you know anything about wildlife, you need to give them their space. Now as a photographer, sometimes that is very difficult to do because you are so fascinated with everything and want all the pictures at every different angle possible. However,Β  I was respectful to them and left lots of room.

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Now I will tell you about this carload of people though… they were not too smart. So first of all, they had iphones as their cameras, which is all fine and dandy but the zoom is quite .. well shitty to say the least πŸ™‚ So this lady got out with her little iphone and was walking towards this massive herd of elk, like so close I was actually scared for her! The herd was in the bush right, so we can only see however many they want us to see. There was probably so many more further back in the bush too.

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One of my favourite pictures

Now in Banff, if you ever go, you will be one of these touristy people and maybe not from Canada too. Banff has so many tourists from all over the world who have no clue how to act with these very large animals. Which is more so sad for the animals then the idiot people. But I will just give you some advice if you are ever in this situation, go ahead and take pictures if you want but give them their space. Never go sticking an iphone in their face because you don’t know how they are going to react!

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Anyways, I got back into the car and my hands were frozen so I had to sit on them and let them warm up before I checked if I got any decent pictures haha and I did so I was like okay babe we can go now. And he was like “no, I want to see how this plays out” haha talking about the iphone tourist!

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But we did not end up staying, I made him leave eventually. After this adventure we went into town and got small gloves I could wear while taking pictures in -25 degrees because holy cow do your hands ever freeze! And I can’t wear my big knitted mitts when I take pictures or else I will hit every button on the camera.

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This was the main little part of the herd that was showing themselves in the more open coverage.

I felt so lucky to have been able to see these beautiful animals in their natural state. If you ever do go to Banff and you go for a drive I guarantee you will see some animals so have your camera ready.

Have you guys ever been to Banff or seen elk where you live? I would love to know in the comments!

Until next time,

xoxo