This stretch of forest was burned within the past five years under the controlled fire program. Forestry experts now understand that periodic fire is necessary for the ecosystem. Therefore, park personnel set controlled fires periodically in order to both thin out old growth and to prevent calamitous fires in the future. The forest regenerates itself from the ground up and as seen here the hungry elk take advantage of the young and tender growth.
Spermophilus lateralis. Feeds on vetch, berries, bark and seeds. Also eats a number of fungi before hibernation in the early fall. Lifespan of about four years.
One of the most commonly sighted animals in the park are Elk. You can see them by the roadsides in the early morning or at Dusk.
JUST LOVED THE IDEA OF TAKING YOU'RE FOUR LEGGED FRIEND ON HOLIDAY - UNFORTUNATLEY BRITIAN STILL HAS QUARANTEEN LAWS SO MY POUCH HAS TO STAY HOME - SHE WOULD HAVE LOVED BANFF NATIONAL PARK
Crossing the reservoir bridge at Minnewanka we had to stop to allow this young herd of big horn sheep to pass very close to the car - a truely memorable experience.
The photo loses quality as it is blown up, but you can at least make out the features of the Common Goldeneye.
Spermophilus Columbianus. These guys eat flowers, seeds, fruits and bulbs. Apparently they especially like dandelions. Hmmm. I could use a few in my front yard if that is the case.
Looks a lot like a prairie dog and it sits up on its hind-quarters and chirps alarms like the prairiedog, but it is a different species. Not quite the communal creature like the prairie dog.
Moving closer. Gingerly stepping over fallen logs. at this point it indicates no curiosity about us and seems intent to forage about for it's own natural food. Good bear.
Look back in the thickets. There is a black mass moving around. Why it looks like a black bear. Maybe it will come closer if we don't make any sudden movements or approach it.