The Canadian Landscape Contest – Royce Howland

Royce Howland

©Royce Howland

My day job takes me into the mountains of southeastern British Columbia from time to time, and when possible I carve off a day or two and explore the area with my camera in hand. Going towards Cranbrook, I have often driven by the location of Wardner. Several paths converge here, and one afternoon I stopped for several hours to sit in the warm sun, watching whatever went by. An occasional vehicle drove along the Crowsnest Highway, across the long bridge. The Kootenay River (or Lake Koocanusa around here, since the river was dammed at Libby, MT) flowed below. Up above, clouds swirled among the air currents. An Osprey cruised those same currents, no doubt examining the river for fish. The railway tracks lay gleaming in the sun. On this day they were silent, but the western railway expansion helped bring new activity into the region a century before; many early dreams and speculations for the town of Wardner were pinned to the railway in one fashion or another. Not much remains of those dreams, now, and while these paths all come together here they don’t really lead to this place so much as past it. But on this day, it was my destination. I found a peaceful, enjoyable afternoon… and, of course, something to photograph.


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