Finally a hat trick!

_T6C2367 (1), deer, white-tailed deer, winter, Saskatchewan, snow, looking back

This deer seemed to be at a pivotal point. The tracks behind lead to the top of the ridge and the path ahead disappears into the unknown. The deer is heading forward but glancing back uncertainly. A photo and a metaphor.

Strange things happen when I watch too much hockey – it starts to get all mixed up with my photography. I suspect it’s a uniquely Canadian problem.

During a prairie winter, wildlife can be scarce. On a cold, windy February day, most creatures from around here are hunkered down hoping for faster global warming to help prevent frostbite. The rest are lying on a warm beach sipping cool drinks in a far away climate.

A lone coyote in a vast expanse of snow stops and takes a look at a vehicle a long distance away before continuing on its journey.

A lone coyote in a vast expanse of snow stops to take a look.

A bad case of photography withdrawal had started to set in since I had not tripped the shutter on any wildlife for a long time. So last week I headed out again to some of my favourite spots desperately hoping to find something, anything. Lo and behold I managed to shoot a deer, magpie and coyote in the same afternoon! In the euphoric drive home I decided that definitely counted as a Krahnpix hat trick on the snow-covered prairies. In some strange way, it all seemed to make better sense at the time.

For beach readers in warmer climates (surely there must be some), a hat trick in hockey is when a player scores three goals in the same game. A multi-dimensional player may record a Gordie Howe hat trick – a goal, an assist and a fight.

During my illustrious (vague term disguising lack of skill) hockey career, I was graciously spared all manner of hat tricks. Now suddenly I owned one of hockey’s highest honours. Or was that photography? No matter. I nearly threw my toque out the truck window to celebrate but it didn’t seem quite the same without an audience!

I’m curious what a Krahnpix hat trick (wildlife or other photography genre) looks like in your part of the world this week?

Now I need to find a hockey game on TV.

The sun hitting the snow-capped bales really brought out the brilliant yellow colour especially since the snow had swirled around the bales, almost framing them.

The sun hitting the snow-capped bales really brought out the brilliant yellow colour especially since the snow had swirled around the bales, almost framing them. Is that a magpie in the photo? Great!


Latest Comments

  1. Inspired and pretty says:

    I just adore your photos and I like to read the stories behind them. The photo of the deer is amazing and superb, as is the bale photo.


  2. mariayarri says:

    Hi ! Lovely photos ! We have deers and magpies in sweden but not the coyote , so thank you for sharing.
    Your blog is great . // Maria


  3. FeyGirl says:

    Heh, great post…. Love them all, but the colors and scene of the deer image is just sublime!!


  4. Fotografin Thee Ballmer says:

    Congratulations! Normally I like hat tricks in Ice Hockey 😉 But hat tricks in Photography are definitively a challenge. Seems the deer is a White tailed deer ? or am I wrong ?
    A hat trick to me would mean: great show from a Snow leopard, from a Panther and the same day to take shots from George Clooney;-) Guess the first 2 of them are easier
    have a great day, Thee


    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks, yes it’s a white-tail which is nowhere in the same league as a snow leopard – that would be something. Photography hat tricks definitely set the bar higher, especially if you start adding criteria.


  5. Mandy says:

    Thanks for liking my post Lyle. You must be amazed at the photography skills 🙂
    By the way, I am also a hockey nut but over here it is played on turf not that cold stuff.


    • lylekrahn says:

      Your photos and stories amaze me because they provide a window to completely different world so the answer is yes.
      I suppose playing on ice would not be a real option over there.


  6. artsifrtsy says:

    Wow – The deer – just awesome! I love that magpie and the coyote to boot! I kind of felt like I had a hat trick Saturday – Cardinals, Warblers, Red-breasted Nuthatches. My lens has to be shipped off for repair so I’m thinking it will be a while before I have another day like that.


  7. jane tims says:

    Hi. I love the background in the deer photo – the red dogwoods make a nice counterpoint to the deer’s browns and whites! Jane


  8. Phil Lanoue says:

    Really like that deer! The setting is outstanding and I would *almost* want to be in a cold, snowy area to get a photo like that. 😉 I saw a deer here Sat. morning and got a few distance shots then I approached closer and she took one look at me raising up something (my camera) and gave me a butt shot during the quick exit.
    Several years ago I was at a Devils/Rangers playoff game to decide which team was going to the SC finals. Prior to the game Mark Messier predicted the Rangers would not only win the game but he would score three goals. They did and he did.
    My personal hat trick would probably be good eagle, alligator, and roseate spoonbills shots on the same day. Very tough because we only rarely see the spoonbills. I would have to go back and check my files, surely I have it on the same month, maybe even the same week, but not sure on same day.


    • lylekrahn says:

      Glad you like the deer. So apparently I just need to take a few amazing photos and you’ll be convinced to experience a real winter?
      I’m enough of a fan to remember Messier’s prediction. That was quite something.
      I’ll have to look up spoonbills – I’m not familiar with them. I’m a bit surprised that you didn’t list gators first!


      • Phil Lanoue says:

        Well I might be tempted to to try that winter experience but after getting two cold unusually nights here (we almost hit -2C) I’m not sure.
        IIRC Messier’s third goal was an empty netter, but hey it counts right?! 🙂
        If you want to see pics of the spoonies I mentioned I have a gallery of spoonbill pics at the top of my blog and a catagory of spoonbill posts (which are different photos) listed on the right side. I try to take advantage when they are around.


        • lylekrahn says:

          When you use February, cold and -2C in the same sentence, one obvious word doesn’t belong! We were out hiking and taking photos yesterday and it was below -20C.
          Empty net always counts on the scoreboard so it counts.
          I can see why you like the spoonbills. That’s not just another boring bird! Loved it. It must make all the other birds envious – causing even more fluffing.


  9. Sid Dunnebacke says:

    Score! Well done, Lyle. Being a mere hour or so away from they seem to call Hockeytown, I appreciate the Gordie Howe hat trick comment all the more.


  10. rachel bar says:

    Even though I’m in NYC right now, Los Angeles had summer weather a week ago. About 78 degrees…

    The only analogy I can make to Hocky is when Kobe shoots a three points which he hasn’t done much lately:(.

    I love the first picture!


    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks – I like the deer photo a lot. I keep hearing these reports of strangely warm weather in other parts of the world – so different from looking outside. I also suspected the hockey reference would not connect to a lot of people in warmer climates. It really is much more a Canadian thing.


  11. roberta4949 says:

    very nice pictures, winter can be a drag sometimes even for the animals, don’t know why there are people who don’t want global warming, I am all for it. I hate the cold.


  12. Mike Powell says:

    I feel like I should be one of those announcers with the prolonged “G…O…A..L…”. Congratulations!

    I grew up outside Boston during the era of Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito and got drawn peripherally into the hockey culture (which means I am old enough to remember Gordie Howe as a player). If you ever saw me trying to skate, you’d immediately understand why I played basketball in the winter and not hockey.

    I really like all three photos. The one of the deer produces the most visual impact, I think, because you can see the expressiveness of the deer’s face and body position (and I like your interpretation in the caption). The coyote shot gives a real sense of the vastness of the winter prairie, which makes it amazing that anything can survive. The final shot, though, is the one that I most closely identify with you. When I first started following your blog, I remember your photos of the rolled bales of hay on the prairie and now my mind inextricably associates them with you.

    What would constitute a hat trick for me? When things were iced over this winter, it might have been photographing a deer, a beaver, and a muskrat in the same day. However, I’ve hardly seen a deer all winter.

    It’s good to set aspirational goals and I’ll have to think about establishing a spring “hat trick.”


    • lylekrahn says:

      In a bit of a twist, I lived nowhere close to Boston but was so enamoured with Bobby Orr as a 12 year old, that I have been a life-long Bruins ever since. Sports sometimes makes for strange but persistent loyalties.

      I find it amusing that you associate me with round bales since I didn’t think I actually took that many photos of them but then maybe I was only focusing on the hawk sitting on top. In this case it was the magpie that led me to the bales. I have to say that the deer photo is much more special for me.

      Looking forward to seeing your spring hat trick.


  13. Victor Rakmil says:

    Great shots. I can just imagine how cold it was. I find it a great struggle to get past the cold when the windchill dives.


    • lylekrahn says:

      Thank you. Some days I do a lot better than others with the cold. The wind is always what tips it over the edge. It often doesn’t matter how cold it gets if it’s perfectly calm.


  14. Seenorway says:

    I particularly liked the first one. That’s a beauty!


  15. Kyle Kuns says:

    Looking forward to the next hat trick!


  16. rprtphoto says:

    Congrats on the Hat Trick, Lyle. Always nice to see signs of life up in the frozen hinterlands of Canada! 😉

    RPRT Photo


    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks. Absence makes it all that more special when it happens. When there are signs of life, there are usually signs of pretty amazing and adaptable creatures (including photographers).


  17. Rick Alonzo Photography says:

    Gordie Howe hat trick, love it! Had never heard that one before! Love the deer shot!


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