March, 2017
On this trip I drove through the Canadian Rockies across British Columbia and Alberta with my final destination Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in Canada. Trogon Tours led 4 of us on a search for Snowy Owls and a lek for Sharp-tailed Grouse. It was my first chance to photograph in sub-zero temperatures and a good chance to give my cold weather gear a workout before next winter in Yellowstone.

The snowy owls were fewer in number than the prior week due to a very brief warm snap in the region. Those owls we did see however were mostly cooperative. By contrast the grouse were amazingly non-plussed by our presence and in some cases quite curious about us. It's not often that the subject gets too close to focus when working on wildlife photography.

When not looking for owls or grouse we visited some local parks and abandoned farmsteads. I would love to go back just to see the many abandoned barns in the area. The drive back was shortened to beat the coming blizzard forecast for the western and central USA. I had a great encounter with a herd of Big Horn Sheep and black-tailed deer along the way in on Crow's Nest Pass in British Columbia. Fortunately, I was in the last group of cars heading over Snoqualmie Pass before it closed for 2 days.

Saskatoon was as cold as I expected and once I figured out how to fit multiple chemical handwarmers in my boots and gloves the afternoons became much more comfortable for shooting.