Vermillion Lakes

This collection of lakes are only minutes west of the town of Banff in Alberta, Canada.

The Bow River disperses its water into these three lakes at the foot of Mount Norquay. This forms the wetland that is home to the wildlife Banff National Park nurtures. Across the lakes facing south, the dramatic peak of Mount Rundle paints the background of the view.

As the sun was setting, the peak covered in white was lit up by the golden light and faded into the dark of the blues in the night. I headed back to this same spot late at night to shoot the stars. My nerves naturally heightened at the sound of wolves, elk, and the rustling of the lush wetland around me in the bitter cold of the Canadian Rockies. I took photographs near the car and at one point, even placed my camera on top of the car. After 30 seconds of taking a long exposure shot, I heard the shutter and looked up at the screen of the camera. The bright green light blinded me and I screamed - ecstatic about what I had captured. The magical phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis was real, and I had it in my camera. I looked up at the glow, not as green as in the camera, it looked like light pollution like that of a large town. Once that glow dimmed over several minutes, one ray stood tall above Banff and danced freely into the clarity of the Milky Way galaxy above me. The lakes mirrored all the lights in the sky and landforms down below beautifully. 

 
 Photo: Nevin Xavier

Photo: Nevin Xavier

 A ray of the Northern Lights over the town of Banff. 

A ray of the Northern Lights over the town of Banff. 

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