I had big dreams of capturing amazing photos of a fox, lynx, owl and bugling elk. Why not? I was spending three days in a place where these wonderful creatures live and it was the right time of year for bugling elk! Even a realist can sometimes hope!
The initial excitement eased a bit as the kilometres, hours and days drifted by.
The near misses added up. I found a bugling bull elk in near total darkness, a fox disappeared into the brush leaving no evidence on the grassy photo, one osprey flew by at the speed of a fighter jet, a great blue must have thot I would infect it with Ebola from 80 yards away and I somehow managed to drive by the same grouse twice. The owls, bears and lynx were apparently crossing someone else’s path. I tried for the exotic but merely added to my butts, ducks and geese collection.
The whole thing reminded me of one of my favourite quotes, proclaimed in another era.
“We hoped that things would work out for the best,” Viktor Chernomyrdin said once when he was Prime Minister of Russia. “Instead they worked out the way they always do.”
The sentiment always brings a smile to my face! I feel sorry for the optimists who will never be able to fully appreciate the richness of the humour.
My trip would not produce the dream photos. Another instalment of life turning out different than I hoped. Yet the experience was still most enjoyable despite my wildlife focus. I’m not sure if this sprung from the black humour, stunning scenery or just drinking up the fall air.
I walked along fall-coloured, forest paths that no images or words could fully capture. I sat in my lawn chair and watched the warm sun peacefully set on a calm lake. I remembered how much my dad liked being in that wonderful place. I enjoyed the pure luxury of soaking up beauty alone, with only natural sights and sounds. I ate Fibre 1 cereal on a picnic table in refreshing 6C air and it was good. I sat on the forest floor watching a river pond and let creative juices flow.
I also wondered what wildlife would show up as I pondered the football cliche – take what the defence, err nature, gives you. Since it was fall in Saskatchewan, I should not have been surprised that it was snow geese. They weren’t on my bucket list but I had an enjoyable time getting closer to these amusing creatures than I ever had before. (Click on photos for gallery view)
So I guess I could say that, things pretty much turned out like they always do.
Oh yes, I almost forgot, I also found this lonely bull elk …
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