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My favourite 25 Instagram shots from 2015

I know what you are thinking. This post is a wee bit late – and truth be told, you are right. However, while I’m a little late to the 2015 round up posts, I nonetheless still wanted to share with you my favourite images I posted to Instagram in 2015.

2015 was a great and adventurous year for travel where I had the pleasure of taking in many firsts. From climbing frozen waterfalls to meeting grey wolves, travel rocked this year. 

But what you will also see below are a lot of images from home. Saskatchewan continues to be both my playground and muse. I still travel a lot within the province falling in love with it and especially it’s landscapes, over and over again. I am definitely a prairie girl at heart (although I think I’d be quite happy in the mountains too!).

I barely traveled during fall and winter as I was playing catch up with all of my writing. I’m happy to report though, my time spent at home was worth it and I have several pieces coming out in 2016 that I feel really great about.

If you are interested, after you peruse my images you will find links to stories relating to many of the wonderful travel experiences based on the images I chose. Thanks to all my readers for continuing to read my blog and chat with me on all the various platforms!

Without further adieu, here are my favourite images and where they were taken. I hope you enjoy! Please feel free to follow along and say hello on Instagram. You can find me @jennsmithnelson. Cheers!

1. Ice climbing at the Upper Falls in Johnston Canyon, Banff, Alberta. My first foray into this wonderful alpine sport was memorable and I still can’t believe I scaled these beautiful frozen falls.

The Upper Falls of Johnston Canyon in Banff.

The Upper Falls of Johnston Canyon in Banff.

2. During the same trip, I experienced several other firsts. This selfie shot is of me where I was a first time co-pilot for my first ride in a helicopter where I took in my first experience heli-snowshoeing with Rockies Heli Tour in Kananaskis, Alberta. Um, amazzzzing!

Selfies are a must-do, especially when you are trying something outrageously fun and new!

Selfies are a must-do, especially when you are trying something outrageously fun and new!

3. I returned to Alberta once again and was able to give ice climbing another go, this time at the Edge of the World in Jasper. On the way to the frozen waterfall however, I had to stop and take in this view!

Loving where my boots led me.

Loving where my boots led me.

4. After steady winter travel, I took off to Cancun by myself for some much needed R& R. This image was taken at Isla Mujeres, an absolutely beautiful island 13 kilometres off the coast of Cancun. Stunning isn’t it?

isla mujeres

I’m dreaming of my return to Isla Mujeres and it’s tropical, warm waters.

5. A mere two minute drive from my home in Regina, Saskatchewan leads to a grid road and open fields where I often take my dogs out for a run. I’m pretty sure this is the highlight of their life. Sometimes they run, other times they doddle but always they enjoy a wresting match!

dog wrestling

They make look like they are killing each other but this is how boxers and mastiffs play!

6. Every spring me and the boys head out to highway #99 in Craven Valley, Saskatchewan to see if the bluebirds have returned to nest. We were a bit early this year but that didn’t stop my little birders in training from looking.

Budding birders and one very proud mama.

Budding birders and one very proud momma.

7. Horses against the bluest blue sky, also taken along highway #99.


Such contrast creates simply beauty in the ordinary.

8. Moose spotting in Cypress Hills. This young’en trotted right through our campground a few times during our annual camping getaway with friends. He wasn’t too daunted by us so I assume that his home is close by. Incredible animal.


Moooooovin on through!

9. Sunset captured through water. This was taken in my neighbourhood in Regina, Saskatchewan during one of our evening bike rides. I’m very fortunate to live in such a lovely spot and never take for granted the beauty that is found around the corner.

Evening light and water make for a beautiful mix.

Evening light and water make for a beautiful mix.

10. I visited Saskatoon, Saskatchewan several times in 2015. There is so much happening in this city and I am always eager to return! This is a view of the lovely Saskatchewan River from the Meewasin Trail.


Serene Saskatchewan River. I had never seen it so still.

11. Saguenay, Quebec, without a doubt captured my heart this year. A region so chock full of unique adventure, beauty and more. This shot was taken as I hiked through the Parc de la Caverne Trou de la Fée. This is a designation to put on your list. I know I’d love to return.


Saguenay is magic. Lush, dense forests that are so inviting. I swear elves and fairies make their homes here.

12. One of the greatest and most memorable magical adventures to date – the day I met five grey wolves at Saguenay’s Adventuraid, and connected with John, the lone male of the pack.

me and john

Love at first sight. If you thought the heli-selfie was cool, this one has it beat. Yes, I shot this image. 🙂

13. A true adventure in every sense, I was able to travel with my son Finn to Saguenay where after a group media trip, we drove the country side for a few days. It was an absolute delight to be so carefree and open to the sights of the region with my son at my side.

An excited boy leads his momma through a forest.

An excited boy leads his momma through a forest.

14. This image was taken just outside Lumsden, Saskatchewan, a town about 20 minutes from my home when I visited Over the Hills Orchard and took in a feast at the Backyard, Saskatchewan’s first restaurant featuring 100% locally sourced ingredients.


The lush colours of fall in a prairie valley.

15. En route to Grasslands National Park in August, I shot this image from the passenger seat while we drove. I love the mesh of stillness and movement captured  along this beautiful prairie panorama.

Moving standing still.

Moving standing still.

16. This was home sweet home during our stay at Saskatchewan’s Grasslands National Park. Not too shabby hey?

tipi day

Dreamy setting fro a Grasslands getaway

17. During our time in Grasslands NP, we were treated to a dance in the skies as we hiked back from 70-Mile Butte, a popular place to view the sunset in the park. The Land of the Living Skies sure came alive that evening.


Can you believe this sky? Grasslands National Park may be the ultimate spot to take in 360 degree prairie sunset views!

18. And upon our return, the skies decided to put on a show of another sort – aurora borealis amidst a very starry night sky at Canada’s darkest Dark Sky Preserve.

tipi and northern lights

The night view rivals the day view at Grasslands National Park.

19. Wascana Trails was a hotspot for outdoorsy folk in 2015. Even with the mild winter we are experiencing now, the trails remain a go to for those seeking a getaway close to the city (my hometown, Regina, Saskatchewan).


My golden boy, Zevin.

20. It’s also a great spot to let the kids run wild and free. They may even stop to pause for a second to take it all in. 🙂

Sitting still isn't something that happens often, so when it does, mom is on it!

Sitting still isn’t something that happens often, so when it does, mom is on it!

21. During a school outing with my eldest, I accompanied him and his classmates to Landslide Coulee just outside of Regina. I had never been and was instantly taken with it’s beauty.

landslide coulee

No better classroom than outdoors!

22.This is one of the province’s most photographed churches (mostly from the outside): St. Nicholas Anglican Church in the Qu’Appelle Valley east of Craven, Saskatchewan. I found however, these peek through arches of the landscape even more appealing.

sask church

Prairie contrast wins again.

23. In the fall, I made my way for the first time to Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., only to escape after one night there out of town to Hoover Dam. An interesting place for sure and I felt much more at home within the red rock area than inside the dynamic city.

hoover dam

A engineering marvel indeed, Hoover Dam is huge!

24. Taken across the street from where the SATW conference was being hosted in Las Vegas, I couldn’t help but smile when I snapped this sign.


It ’tis isn’t it?

25. During one of our evening bike rides through A.E. Wilson Park in Regina, a muskrat swims below through Wascana Creek.

I love seeing wildlife in the city.

I love seeing wildlife in the city.

If you are interested, here are a few feature articles based on my 2015 travels:

Molly Ringwald joins Jasper Girls Party

Embrace an icy getaway in Alberta

Girl takes on the trail* Unplugged prairie escape in Saskatchewan*

Canadian House Boating Hotspots

Home on the Water (images only) Hot House Boats

Cool new winter adventures in Banff/Jasper National Parks

7 stops in Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean

Saskatoon spots that satiate

Prairie feast debuts in Saskatoon

Sleeping with the wolves

Adventures in family road tripping through Alberta’s Rocky Mountains (German)

Petting wolves at Quebec’s Parc Makihan

*Based on 2014 travel but published in 2015

Where did 2015 take you?



4 thoughts on “My favourite 25 Instagram shots from 2015
  1. Ha! Great minds think alike. I’ve been thinking of putting together a ‘Best Off-the-Blog’ travel photos from 2015. I took a few trips last year and snapped a few photos that didn’t show up on my blog. These are some beautiful photos Jenn, especially the wolf selfie. Talent. Word.

  2. Harlan Brown on said:

    Wow! Thank you for your photo post. I’ve now added new “must visit” destinations to my ever growing list. Saskatchewan is so alluring. I just find myself wanting to get in the car and start north from Florida.
    I look forward to reading more of your fun and interesting posts.
    You even have inspired me to start using Instagram. Time to join the rest of the world, eh?
    Thanks again,

    • Jenn Smith Nelson on said:

      Harlan! Thank you for your kind words. I’m flattered to have inspired you to start using IG. Be sure to share your handle with me. 🙂

      As for a visit here, what are you waiting for? Hop in the car and start driving toward the land of living skies. On second thought, let’s just do a house swap — winter ok for you? Just kidding.

      Hey thanks for making my day with your comment. I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by my little blog. Cheers!


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