Nature snapshots that are one of a kind

In collaboration with the photographer Éric Deschamps.

Take a moment to marvel at the snapshots by Éric Deschamps, a young photographer with talent to burn. What makes his work unique? His authentic perspective, contagious passion, skill in capturing moments imbued with magic, and especially the deep respect he has for his subject: nature in all its splendor.

To our delight, he has agreed to share his best moments with us. Ready? Set? Go!

Quentin Orain | © Sépaq

Caribou and their velvet antlers

Éric Deschamps | © Sépaq

Mountain caribou live on the peaks of Parc national de la Gaspésie. This magnificent male is an individual whom I’m lucky enough to watch for a number of months of the year. This meeting took place in August during an absolutely amazing sunrise. The light was extraordinary and the male was with around a dozen caribou. He was calmly eating while occasionally checking out the females around him. During this period, caribou antlers have reached their peak. They’ll shed their velvet in the weeks ahead!

The magic of the snowy forest

Éric Deschamps | © Sépaq

Winter is a season of infinite beauty. At Parc national de la Gaspésie, snow can come very early and decorate the coniferous trees with a thick white blanket. This picture was taken in early December, while the temperature varied between -5 and -10 degrees at 1,000 metres in altitude. The sunset was downright flamboyant, and the trees were absolutely enchanting.

The moose’s intense gaze

Éric Deschamps | © Sépaq

Moose are animals with an incredible character and determination. I ran into this young male around mid-September while he was looking for females to seduce. It was at the end of the day in the boreal forest, which was quite dense in this area. The last gleams of light were making their appearance when this dashing fellow looked me directly in the eye. So I was able to capture this moment in full light.

The beauty of the wood duck

Éric Deschamps | © Sépaq

The wood duck is a bird of unique beauty. For me, these are the most beautiful ducks that frequent our magnificent Quebec lakes. They’re on the scene as of spring, nest on the territory during summer, and leave during fall. This picture was taken at Parc national du Mont-Saint-Bruno during a gentle end of day. There was absolutely no wind, and the males were courting the females. So all I had to do was simply lie on the ground and wait. Some 45 minutes later, opportunity knocked  and I could capture this magical moment.

The caribou’s snowy vocalizations

Éric Deschamps | © Sépaq

The first snow fell early that year. Already, at the end of September, the peaks were covered with snow. During this period, caribou start their breeding season. We can see in this picture the dominant male of a herd of around 15 individuals directing the females. He tilted his head this way as he sounded off, while also advancing toward the females to make them go to a specific place. The setting was pastoral and the moment bucolic.

Kayak sunrise on Grand Lac Touladi

Éric Deschamps | © Sépaq

I had been on the water since 4:30 that morning and it was really great! The atmosphere was unique, and I was able to make dozens and dozens of bird sightings, as well as admire the sunrise. Do you recognize the bird we hear in this video?

Starry sky in the Chic-Chocs

Éric Deschamps | © Sépaq

For a few seconds, let yourself be transported into a completely magical bubble of time. This special moment was snapped during a windless summer night in the Chic-Chocs mountains. You can see the planet Jupiter setting to the right of the Milky Way and a vast array of shooting stars performing their magic in these skies.

The wealth of wildlife: a renewal resource

Éric Deschamps | © Sépaq

The summer season is a time when wildlife yields its richest returns. New denizens are emerging, such as young moose born between mid-May and early June. Have you been lucky enough to spot any newcomers?

The pups’ morning nap

Éric Deschamps | © Sépaq

Your state of mind really determines how well you succeed in your wildlife watching. As I approached this lair during the morning in question, the fox pups and the mother quickly came to trust me, with the mother making no cry of alarm and throwing me only a few furtive glances. At about 6:15 a.m., the sun was beginning to break through the forest, and the mother returned to hunting. As for the little ones, they hit the hay for a nap. The pup that you see in this picture lay directly on top of the burrow. He was about to head back underground for a snooze, but he trusted me enough to stay outside and rest. An ideal set-up for some snapshots!

The waxwing, an honest-to-goodness foodie

Éric Deschamps | © Sépaq

I was in the dining room of the Auberge de montagnes des Chic-Chocs when I saw a group of about 50 waxwings eating berries. So I put on my snow attire and went outside to photograph them. The waxwing is one of the most beautiful birds to watch in winter. This little creature can eat up to triple its weight in 24 hours to meet its energy needs. Impressive!

Gaspésie moose and frost halo

Éric Deschamps | © Sépaq

A unique December morning at Parc National de la Gaspésie… It was around 11 a.m. and the weather was very cold. This halo of frost was visible for only a few minutes. Let's test your eyes! Can you spot the hand? The heart? The second moose?

The moon at the crack of dawn at the summit of Mont Ernest-Laforce

Éric Deschamps | © Sépaq

On November 5, I went to another of my favorite places, Parc national de la Gaspésie. I started climbing Mont Ernest-Laforce before sunrise to make sure I could snap the moon at the crack of dawn. I reached the peak at the perfect moment. The view was absolutely superb. There was snow on the ground and the temperature was around -14 degrees Celsius. The sun was on one side and I could see the moon on the other. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and gave thanks to life for giving me the privilege of experiencing moments like this.

About Éric Deschamps

After beginning actuarial studies at Université du Québec à Montréal, Éric Deschamps made a decision that would alter the trajectory of his life. He dropped statistics, said goodbye to the big city in which he had always lived, and packed his bags. His game plan? To set out on an adventure. So he moved to Cap-Chat in Gaspésie to teach himself photography. Nowadays, camera in hand, he criss-crosses the forests of Quebec in search of snapshots that are one of a kind.

You can also follow his adventures on his Facebook page Nature en vue.

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