Three hours from the nearest destination of Jasper, this ‘Diamond in the wilderness’, named by the 4th daughter of Queen Victoria herself, along with the province of Alberta also named in honour of the Princess, is somewhere that, for so many years I have wanted to visit for her natural beauty. Lake Louise shivers in the mid morning air, a thick white duvet of snow and ice covering her emerald green waters as she draws the admiring glances from a host of foreign tongues who have braved the weather reports and danger warnings to see her in this unfamiliar form. My God she looks so beautiful as my eyes survey the vastness of this winter wonderland, where normally one would marvel at her watery banks, and walk around the circumference of her flanks beneath the gaze of those majestic mountains.
My heart pounding, voices ringing in my ears, I make the 1st few steps onto the ice where footsteps like mice on a freshly iced marriage cake, dart off in all directions, evidence of the fun and frivolity that has occurred here these past few days since the temperatures plummeted and the heavy snow hit the province. For five days we have dodged the snow, nestled in pockets of glorious sunlight as our road trip twisted and turned on the winds of fate, to backwater towns and the delights of the big cities as we four intrepid adventurers explored and dined upon our excitement and sense of awe. Mother nature has put on a spectacle as only she can, but never more so than today as I finally stand before the lake I have seen a million times before in magazine photographs, though never quite as magnificent as she is today.
The snow bares the markings of a makeshift ice rink, I am far from the 1st to brave the ice, but euphoric none the less as I walk around where normally I would drown, or at the very least flail around like a soggy sponge in the freezing emerald liquid. A crisp, clear day with wispy clouds that dance a delicious tango across the beautiful skyline, my eyes fighting the glare of the brilliant white snow as I walk alone and document my joy here, my love for this impromptu landscape, so different from my expectations. All about us, the sound of laughter as people slip and fall, caring little for their street cred as they grapple and fight for footholds to pull themselves up from their undignified positions. And me, I’m lying on my stomach in the thick snow which has the pathway wooden seats all but covered right up to the tops, lens pointed at the scenery before me, my wife uttering disbelief at her crazy man, though she knows me well enough by right now of course.
My lungs are full of crystal clear air, so pure, divine as my soul sighs and heart bursts with joy. This is my raison d’etre, Mother nature the only Goddess I worship, Little earth my religion and life. I live to explore, I love to discover and I so enjoy these moments when my camera and I, my brain filled with wonderment and words that I need to scrawl upon whatever writing surface is at hand, are free to roam and see. To touch and feel, to capture and relive as cherished memories, moments in time, markers in the book of my life. Here I am so alive.
Written June 27th 2010
Photograph taken of a frozen and iced Lake Louise in front of the Fairmont Chateau, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.
Nikon D90 10mm 1/125s f/22.0 iso200
Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II. UV filter. MetaGPS geotag
Latitude: 51 25’0.6"N
Longitude: 116 13’4.266"W
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