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This picture was taken in Jasper National Park several years ago. It has special significance for me because it was a memorable moment I shared with my mother. She passed away in June at the age of 89 so I'm posting this in her memory. She had medical challenges for the last few years, but they escalated early in 2012 and I spent much of my time this year trying to help her. Between that and juggling work before and after her death, I haven't been able to devote much time to Flickr.
For many years, I visited my mother in Alberta during the summer and often took her along on photo trips. She was a good travelling companion for a photographer; my dad never went anywhere without his video camera and mom was one of those rare people with the patience to wait uncomplainingly while a photographer fussed and struggled to get the perfect shot.
She was like that with me too -- except when it came to my complaining about the rain. It had been raining for several days on this trip and mom was tired of hearing me bitch about it. One day, the weather cleared enough that I decided to set out in search of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. I found a herd of female and young ones along the highway and, after shooting for nearly an hour, I was prepared to return to the hotel because it was clear the rain was coming in again. However, much to my surprise, mom suggested we keep going for awhile.
As we approached Jasper, we ran into rain again and turned back. I spotted this male elk grazing beside the road and got out to shoot. After about 15 minutes, I headed back to the car. That's when I saw mom urgently motioning to me to turn around. This was the scene that greeted me — the elk meandering down the grassy verge against a backdrop of lake, mountains, storm clouds, surreal lighting and a magnificent double rainbow. The light was fading fast but I managed to get several good shots. I was simply amazed at the confluence of events (including the accursed rain) and lucky timing that resulted in this picture.
When I got back into the car, mom said: “Are you satisfied now?”
That was my mom. I miss her every day but I have many good memories.