Year 2023 is already coming to an end, and what an intense 12 months it's been! Without a doubt, one of the best years of my life, both personally and entrepreneurially. A ton of highlights like the opening of my brand-new boutique in the middle of Rimouski, a dream come true for me, the launch of my three books in the "Colors of nature" series and winning the prestigious Canadian Wildlife Photographer of the Year award from Canadian Geographic magazine!
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, none of this would be possible without our rich nature, but above all, none of it would be possible without your invaluable support over the past 5 years. When you buy one of my photos or a product, you not only allow me to continue bringing you new images, adventures or texts, but also to pursue my mission of conservation and awareness through images. This year, I have donated over $3,500 to Canadian charities working to protect nature.
Now it's time to present you some of my favourite images of the year. Not necessarily the prettiest or most popular, but the ones that stand out the most in my memory! Let's get started!
"Probably one of my favorite moments with this red fox I met recently. He was walking along the edge a few yards away from me, but stopped behind each tree for a few seconds and looked at me exactly that way. A little curious, a little suspicious, a little mischievous and smiling, I see so many things in his eyes!"
"I'm so happy to present my first real photo of a totally fascinating animal, the river otter. Since my departure, and much to my surprise, I have observed otters every day, sometimes for a few minutes, other times for more than an hour. I waited from the beginning to the end of the day, or almost, in the hope of always seeing them again.
I have thousands of photos and videos to show you, but I'll start with this portrait from the blue hour, when she made me wait from 6.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. before going out on the ice.
It wasn't until the very last day that I was able to get up close and personal with one of the two otters I saw every day, in dream conditions. Around 5-10cm of snow had accumulated during the night, and in the early hours of the morning, it was still snowing a little, but with the wind, it was like a small blizzard lasting a few tens of minutes.
As the night had been super cold, she had to make her holes in the ice again, and so came out all frosted and snowy, still as curious as in this photo!"
"My very first encounter with the bobcat (Lynx rufus), what a mind-blowing moment and what a privilege I had! You certainly know my love of lynxes, having spent months on their trails here in Quebec. So it's an understatement to say I was excited and surprised to see this one on a hiking trail during my vacation.
Of course, I knew there were some around; I always do a bit of research on the natural environments I visit, mostly out of curiosity and interest. I never thought I'd spend more than an hour with an individual, in the middle of the golden hour and with a prey in his mouth to boot!
All in all, he was quiet, but the meal he'd just caught definitely helped me to make a discreet approach without him concentrating on my presence. He was from behind when I spotted him, and when he finally turned to look at me, I got chills. What a beauty!"
"What a night to remember forever for all those who had their eyes riveted to the skies of Eastern Quebec last night and this morning. I'm getting chills and visions just thinking about it! Hours and hours of celestial magic, literally all around us; north, south, east, west, I was pointing the camera in one direction and enjoying the show with my eyes in the other. For me, it was unprecedented to see the northern lights so intense and so far above our heads. The low tide allowed me to capture some nice reflections despite the wind, but honestly, I think no matter where you looked, it was beautiful."
"The return of spring, what a joy. Nature is slowly waking up after a few months of rest or endurance in the cold. Despite many years of watching red foxes, it's still hard not to fall in love with the moments between parents and cubs. Glances filled with naivety and tenderness and fascinating behavioral scenes.
It's been 2 or 3 seasons since I've had the privilege of observing the mother and her young, and I've been very pampered these last few days. The light is amazing and no less than 8 fox cubs are running around as mom tries to find a moment of peace and quiet.
"A close-up and a dream session with this juvenile Red-Throated Loon! A bird I haven't had the chance to observe often in the region, as it nests on the lakes of the Côte-Nord. There was a small group of 5 feeding very close to the beach in the shallow water."
"To think I've traveled thousands of kilometers to see whales jumping in Newfoundland, without much success. Yesterday, 10 minutes from home at a spot I frequent a good hundred times a year, I was able to observe two minke whales feeding a few dozen meters from shore. I was mesmerized!!!!
You have to understand that the Rimouski area is not necessarily renowned for whale watching, unlike the Côte-Nord where the water is deeper and richer than on the south side. Seeing Minke whales so close to the shore at Bic does happen, but it's relatively rare. Watching them jump around in a school of capelin for an hour is mind-blowing!
I'm looking at yesterday's photos and I still can't believe it, and what can I say about the colors and the atmosphere! I'll have more photos to show you, but first here's the sequence of a jump, notice the capelin at the top left of the rorqual in the first photos!"
"A dream setting for this magnificent black bear at the start of the day. Curious about our presence, they sometimes stand up on their hind legs to get a good look around and smell! Contrary to some beliefs, black bears have eyesight at least as good as ours."
"An absolutely magical evening with a large flock of snow geese in the heart of Bic National Park. It's truly impressive to see them in such numbers and to listen to their conversations! And what can I say about the sunset, which set the sky and mountains of this bucolic landscape ablaze! So fascinating."
"So much emotion watching the images of that absolutely incredible night from November 5 to 6. After last spring's episode, I think they're the most beautiful and sustained I've ever seen in my life. Although an arc was already visible at 6pm, it wasn't until around 9:20pm that the lights began to dance across the St. Lawrence, much to my delight.
With my eyes round like a child seeing candy, and after a few heartfelt "Oh sh*t's", I wandered around to create several different compositions.
It's such a privilege to be so close to nature!"
"Nature is definitely spoiling me these days! After the incredible aurora borealis, the skies overcast and brought us our first real snow. The atmosphere was magical in the early morning, and impressively calm despite the wind. After a few kilometers of walking all over the place, I came across this little family of white-tailed deer.
It was so beautiful to see them walking under the heavy flakes, surrounded by this vegetation covered in sticky snow."
That's it! I could have presented dozens of images, of course, but I chose the ones that spoke to me the most. I hope you've enjoyed the photos and the associated stories if you've read them. Feel free to check out even more on Facebook or Instagram. If you'd like prints or frames, the links are on each photo when they're available on the store. Don't hesitate to share your comments with me in the section below!
Have a great end of 2023 and thanks again for everything.
My very first encounter with the bobcat (Lynx rufus), what an amazing moment and what a privilege I had! Before starting the big season of photography, spring, I allowed myself a little two weeks of warm weather and surf, to relax. Nevertheless, I always bring my almost all my equipment in order not to regret a rare opportunity, and I'm glad I did!