The perk of living in the mountains

I am lucky enough to call Canmore and the Rocky Mountains my home. And, while there are many perks to living here, the one that thrills me the most is the close proximity to birds and wildlife.

Just this morning, we were in the car on the way to school (running late again) when we rounded a corner about a block from our house and saw a huge herd of elk – about 20 in number – slowly walking up the hill and into the trees that flank our street. Of course, I pulled over and took some shots. They are so gorgeous! This is a time when I wish I had a better camera, but you get the idea!

A few of the long line of elk near our house

By now, many had moved into the trees and out of sight

Then, after a morning in studio framing block prints and printing block cards, I came home for lunch and found three deer right outside my home! One deer quietly moved out of the driveway, while two others who were poking in the deep snow drifts about six feet from our front door continued to happily munch on the emerging buds of the bushes. So, again, I grabbed my camera and this lovely deer chewed on, unconcerned about me taking her picture. It’s amazing to get this close to such a beautiful creature.

I have just spent the month of February developing a series of block prints and cards that feature moose for Mount Engadine Lodge in Kananaskis. Just the other day, I was thinking it would be fun to develop more artwork based on wildlife.

Can you see the deer to the right by the tree?

We have a lovely natural history museum in Banff (The Banff Park Museum). It has just been renovated and all the taxidermy animals have been “cleaned up” as they get pretty dusty after 100+ years of being in a museum. I thought of visiting it to view some local specimens up close (without being charged) as a way of getting a good artistic reference for something you rarely see.

Who knew that I would get the opportunity just outside my door? I love this place!

What a beauty!

One last look before wandering back into the forest

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