Readers’ wildlife photos

November 10, 2021 • 8:00 am

I issue once again a call for readers’ photos, and would appreciate submissions of good photos.

Today’s contribution comes from regular Jim Blilie, showing a youthful trip to western Canada in (mostly) black and white. His captions are indented, and you can enlarge his photos by clicking on them:

These are all in black and white, mostly Kodak Tri-X Pan. These are from a trip to Jasper National ParkBanff National Park, and Mount Robson Provincial Park in Alberta and British Columbia in September 1981.  We were all poor college students, so we camped in tents and drove by car, straight through from St. Paul, Minnesota, over about 28 hours each way.  Brutal road-tripping.  Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta are BIG!  But the prize at the end was worth it.  We had phenomenal fall weather and great wildlife viewing.

First three are a close encounter with a bull elk (Cervus canadensis).  We got CLOSE to the wildlife.  I think I’d stand further back these days!  50mm lens, 135mm lens

Next are two of Stone Sheep (Ovis dalli).  50mm lens, 20mm lens:

Next is a moose.  This photo is taken with a 50mm lens on 35mm film.  I was TOO CLOSE to this bull moose (Alces alces).

Next are two shots of a herd (flock?) of Mountain Goats (Oreamnos americanus), which are neither sheep nor goats.  Again, all with a 50mm lens.

Next, a few scenery shots from this trip.

Near Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park.  50mm lens.

Lake Louise, sunrise.  Rolleiflex.

Mount Robson at sunrise from Berg Lake.  Rolleiflex.  Yes, I hauled the Rolleiflex and a tripod up to Berg Lake!

Summit Lake with figure.  On the (easy) hike in to Jacques Lake, Jasper NP.  50mm lens

Finally, one color shot (Kodachrome 64).  The group of us poor college students on the top of Fairview Mountain, near Lake Louise.  My 20-year-old self at far right.  My (now) wife is in the foreground.  It was on this trip that we realized that something was happening between us!

Equipment: Pentax K-1000, Pentax ME Super, Rolleiflex 6cm camera with Schneider 75mm f/3.5 Xenar lens, Pentax M 50mm f/2.0 lens, Pentax M 20mm lens f/4.0, Pentax M 135mm f/3.5 lens, Epson Perfection V500 scanner and its native SW, Lightroom 5 SW

22 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Very nice pics from 40 years ago.

    You had terrific luck with the weather obviously. For example, I’ve been around Mt. Robson (highest in the 10 provinces of Canada–not Yukon!) 5 or 6 times, but only once saw the summit properly. Even that day it sure was not like wall-to-wall sunshine.

    In early Sept., 1981 our vehicles might have passed each other on the Trans Canada highway. We were returning to Ontario after many weeks camping and hiking around Banff, Yoho and Jasper.

    1. Big error by me—I had always thought Robson was highest or think I’d always thought that?? Maybe I’d imbibed very old info a very long time ago. But Mt. Waddington near the B.C. coast is higher and entirely within Canada’s provinces. I clicked on jblillie’s, and learned Robson is only highest of Canadian Rockies.
      Surprised that no BC-er sorted me out on that; maybe too polite!

  2. Amazing photos! That was definitely closer than I’d want to get to a bull moose. If mountain goats are neither sheep nor goats, are they part of some other grouping, or do they basically stand on their own (so to speak…I mean, I know they can stand almost anywhere).

    1. From Wikipedia:

      Despite its vernacular name and both genera being in the same subfamily (Caprinae), the mountain goat is not a member of Capra, the genus that includes all other goats, such as the wild goat (Capra aegagrus), from which the domestic goat is derived. Instead, it is more closely allied with the serows (Capricornis), gorals (Naemorhaedus), and chamois (Rupicapra).

    2. Also from Wiki:

      The mountain goat is an even-toed ungulate of the order Artiodactyla and the family Bovidae that includes antelopes, gazelles, and cattle. It belongs to the subfamily Caprinae, along with true goats, wild sheep, the chamois, the muskox and other species. The takins of the Himalayan region, while not a sister lineage of the mountain goat, are nonetheless very closely related and almost coeval to the mountain goat; they evolved in parallel from an ancestral goat. Other members of this group are the bharal, the true goats, and the Himalayan tahr. The sheep lineage is also very closely related, while the muskox lineage is somewhat more distant. The mountain goats probably diverged from their relatives in the late Tortonian, some 7.5 to 8 million years ago.

  3. Thank you for these gorgeous wildlife photos. It was a nice touch to include the color photo with the detail about the start of your romance; how wonderful that the two of you have photos of it.

  4. I love these photos!
    Thank you for the information on the Mountain Goats.
    I never would have known they aren’t sheep or goats.

  5. Ah, the Rollieflex, such a beautiful machine. Your mention of it brings back memories of wonderful times with mine, back in the day, especially in the dark room. Your photos are a tribute to the power of black and white.

    1. One could almost slice out a small rectangle from the bottom-left of that Lake Louise photo, and ask your friend what mountain they were looking at, hoping they thought the photo was not a reflection! Of course you’d sneakily hand it to them upside down.

      I hiked up Mount Fairview once at age 40, once again at 75, (completely?) healthy both times. A very eye-opening difference in how tough it seemed. I did have the beginning of hip arthritis the 2nd time so maybe not completely, but it was the ‘aerobic’ and muscular difference it seemed to me. Fairview would be alongside the lake, just to the left, outside the photo, no big deal maybe 3,000 feet uphill, but quite a view from its summit, up to Victoria and down to the lake.

  6. Splendid! I really like black and white pictures like these. We were at Lake Louise in 1964, with a Praktiflex loaded with Plus-X and a little pre-War Something-or-Other for color slides. I am afraid we missed you by a few years.

  7. Loved these! Tri-X Pan brings back a lot of good memories. You’ve got some great compositions and textures. And the last photo and story make it all very personal.

  8. The geology of those mountains just pops out at you with that b & w film. I rode my bike through Banff and Jasper on my way to Nova Scotia in 1971.

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