Location & Date: Mt. Engadine, Kananaskis Country | 2015
Camera Set-Up: Nikon D800 w/ 200-400mm @400mm
Shutter Speed: 1/800th
For us, Kananaskis Country – a large, quasi-protected area in Alberta’s Rockies – has always been synonymous with grizzly bear sightings, but in recent years, grizzlies have taken a back seat to weasels. In 2014, Jill found a weasel den, and in 2015, exploring the Mt. Engadine region of Kananaskis yielded a prolonged, up-close encounter with a long-tailed weasel hunting Columbian ground squirrels. We had stopped on a side road to look for a moose that had disappeared from sight, only to discover the weasel chasing its prey. The action was taking place on the far side of a small river bridge, but it came to an abrupt halt when the weasel decided the squirrels on our side of the bridge would make for a better meal. In what might be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, the weasel slowly (and if you know how fast weasels run, you really understand how rare this was to see) jogged across the bridge toward us, providing ample opportunity to get my camera set up and position myself for the shot, the moment when the curious mustelid paused to inspect its own personal paparazzi.