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Alan Poelman  🇨🇦 Atikokan, Ontario 📧 alangauthierpoelman@gmail.com

This iconic place has been on my radar for quite some time now - the lighthouse at Hecla/Grindstone Provincial Park is quite stunning. So when @randyapostol, @riley.anderson.photo and I made the hike out to the point, it was a shock to see that repairs had begun on the structure. Initially I was disappointed that it didn’t have that old rustic look to it anymore, but in retrospect, it’s a really good thing; future generations can make it out for a visit and still enjoy it for years to come... it’s easily one of my favourite spots in Manitoba, and I am grateful for the opportunity @travelmanitoba provided to #exploremb - looking forward to many more adventures in the wonderful Province!

Wild ones... In less than a month these cubs will be disregarded and driven away by their mother as she enters the sun zone and another cycle repeats. She’s taught them all she can about the world up to this point; it’s now their time to depart and make an independent experience without the potential threat of male bears in the vicinity.

After spending a week cruising around California, harvesting as many possible shots as one could muster. I find myself at a crossroads - is this what photography is about, grinding out photos in popular locations, all-the-while missing out on the experiences; the relationships with people and nature that are essential components to nurturing the soul? I’m at a point now where there is little progression in my images both in composition and editing, it’s no longer as exhilarating and enjoyable as it was in the past. At the same time, I don’t know what I would do without this hobby; it almost defines who I am now, it’s what I live for. Travelling and sight seeing is amazing and can provide both growth and development for ones character, having to shoot it all adds a layer of frustration, but not having any shots is equally infuriating.

I’ll be the first to admit my aptitude for identifying varying bird species needs improvement. However, having spent some time in Hecla/Grindstone Provincial Park, working with @travelmanitoba my motivation to learn has significantly peaked. This is a birders paradise - within half a kilometre I was greeted to several dozen species without even looking for them. Time to pick up a Canadian Field Guide and get back out to #exploremb for more photo shoots in the beautiful marshlands of Hecla, Manitoba.

Keep going up in flames... Amidst the distant beach covered in mist and fog, a powerful gust of wind consumes the terrain, rolling up thunderous waves, ceaselessly stirring the great Pacific shoreline. As the light takes its last refuge upon the land, emitting a warm glow to all it touches, slowly fading into dusk; the shade finally lets go, foreshadowing the coming night. An ominous culmination to an otherwise euphoric evening.

Rascally rabbit... It’s amusing to think about an animals plight for survival. With rabbits it’s all about going fast and hard all the time, humping everything in sight for an extended breeding period and having multiple offspring, hoping that a few of them make it to adulthood. Really, they have no self defence mechanisms and give up almost immediately after being caught by a predator. At the very least they’re lucky their fur moults to match the environment, as demonstrated by this enjoyably classy Arctic hare.

Howl at the moon... One of my favourite places in California - Yosemite was absolutely majestic under the glow of a full moon. I spent the majority of the night alone, staring at these mountain tops as the ambient sounds of waterfalls echo in the distance, a glitter in my eyes, dangling my feet over the edge of the cliffside, contemplating the relationship between the lunar phases. It’s moments like these that make it hard not wonder the meaning of it all.

As we grow older, we get colder, we will walk so much slower (not pertaining to baby goat - you know what, maybe it is)... Sometimes you gotta hit the repeat to push out some goatastic edits.

Taking the shots of the golden gate requires the right combination of gear. As my current setup didn’t cut it, I was lucky to meet a rad photographer willing to let me use my dream camera, the Sony a7riii and accompanying lenses. Ended up taking shots with @dante_dugan the rest of the evening and came up with some pretty interesting compositions of the golden gate. That’s one thing about the photography community that blows my mind, generosity and willingness to help a random stranger out.

Beach bum... Met some pretty chill little seals in Cali, these guys were straight up water-dogs!

Do you know da wae!? The Milky Way... so why am I posting this you ask. The answer is simple - I didn’t have eff all else to post! But mainly, I’m sick af of making sure all my pictures are consistent here on IG, so here’s a floofy poo composition of stunning starry scape up in Mount Rainer National Park. Some of you might be like, oh dang, stars... that’s dope af bro, you got that Milky goodness. But all I can think of is blowing such a sick opportunity to capture the Milky Way with an amazing composition in the mountains, forever haunted by some god damn elk bastard pestering me in the pitch blackness of the night. Mofo scared the crap outta me all by my lonesome so I packed up and tucked tail on outta there ASAP. Didn’t even see what it was, just making educated guesses based on the screeching noises and loud thumps coming my way. Eff that guy, whatever it was... Anyway, side tracked. I’m roaming around California right now looking for some more starry scapes to make up for lost time and catching some sweet rays while at it.

The lore monger... Coyotes are typically creatures of the night, taking advantage of a shrouded veil, carefully placing each step through the terrain as if walking amongst the clouds. Constantly on the prowl for their next meal, a deliberate intent towards deceit is merely advantageous in such an egocentric environment. In folklore, they are associated with healing, teaching and creation, having two sides to their personality, much like the cycle of day and night. Many of the traits coyotes are synonymous with; greed, vanity, cunning and foolishness parallel their therianthropic form.

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