On the Prowl - Banff National Park, Alberta

My favorite time of the year to visit Banff National Park is in mid-June. There are several reasons for that. First and foremost is that the Canadian Rockies have a lot of snow on the mountains (it seems winter in Alberta ends sometime in June) and the snow melt has begun. There have been times when you can still see ice on the lakes, which adds a different feel to photos. Another reason is that there are less people around than in the summer months. Since 1996, the number of visitors to Banff National Park has exceeded 4 million each and every year, with summer being the most visited time. Finally, there is the abundance of wildlife. Given that the winter ends late, animals are coming out of their hibernation and can be seen just about anywhere, many times with their young offspring. Although I am not primarily a wildlife photographer, I do enjoy capturing them when I see them. I shot this photo of a lone grizzly (before a closer encounter a few years later) somewhere in the park while he was looking for dandelions to munch on.