Crossing the Continent

In late July we left Ontario, headed for the West Cost.  It has been an enjoyable trip, but we have certainly had two surprises.  The first is the haze from forest fires, which we have seen since North Dakota (but also experienced in Montana, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.  The second has been constantly warm temperatures. The peak temperatures (42 degrees Celsius or 106 degrees Fahrenheit) were encountered in Southern Saskatchewan near Grasslands National Park. Sadly, warmer temperatures and forest fires have become more and more common.  We depart shortly for Vancouver Island, but have been warned that air quality there is also a problem due to the fires. We have enjoyed the beauty of nature on this trip and highlights have included moose, bison, a burrowing owl, a black bear and pronghorn, all seen on the Prairies and in the Foothills.  A few photos from the trip follow:

Bison bulls, establishing supremacy

Bull moose, Cypress Hills

Cedar Waxwing, Waterton Lakes NP

American white pelican, Waterton Lakes NP

Rock formations, T. Roosevelt NP, North Dakota

Grasslands National Park, SK

Bison bull

Rock formations, T. Roosevelt, NP, North Unit

Western grebe, Medicine Lake, Montana

Common nighthawk, Grasslands NP, SK

Prairie dog, Grasslands NP

Swainson’s hawk, Grasslands NP, SK

Western meadowlark, Grasslands NP, SK

Milbert’s tortoiseshell

Empidonax flycatcher  (Willow?), Cypress Hills

Monarch butterfly

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