Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON
Sometimes you just get plain lucky. Late on Monday, as we drove from Haines Junction to Whitehorse, I was shooting through the window of the fast-moving 4WD, as I had done right through the trip. We were more than halfway through the journey when I spotted an oval-shaped lake.
There was very little breeze, so the surface of the water was absolutely calm, reflecting the beautiful yellow and green tones of the fall colours. We turned around and headed back up the highway so I could take some shots of the reflections - and while I did so, we could hear the high-pitched sound of what I thought was a herd of caribou.
But Margaret Goodwin, of Yukon Tourism, pointed out that it was actually the sound of elk. In the stillness of the evening, the sound was clear and dramatic. It drew me like a magnet.
Sure enough, less than a quarter of a mile up the highway, up a grassy knoll, was the herd. I got some shots of the animals closest to me, when we noticed the antlers belonging to a stag.
So there I am, pointing my lens at this magnificent beast, but what I really want, more than anything else, is for him to look directly at me. Antler shots are great, but there's nothing better than actually having a stag looking directly into your lens.
When in doubt, improvise. So I relied on the age-old theory that if you don't know an Aussie bloke's name, you call him Bruce.
"Psssst, Bruce," I called out (not too loudly, though) as I tried to attract the attention of the stag.
If Crocodile Dundee could hypnotise a water buffalo, maybe (just maybe) I could get this fella to look straight at me.
"Oi, Bruce," I tried again, speaking in a low, measured tone that I hoped would carry clearly. "Look this way."
So he did. And I hit the shutter as quick as I could, before he turned majestically away.
I have to say, though, my best animal photo from this week was a priceless shot of a Charging Grizzly. Do check it out and tell me whether you agree wth a very funny comment from Sharon Ishika, a brilliant doctor who has been a close friend of mine since we were about seven years old.
She checked out the shot I took of the grizzly on the charge and had a short but succinct message for me. This is what she said: "That is exactly what I told my mother when she insisted you were a "nice boy" -- he's stupid! Forty years down the line you prove me right. Forget the attempts at being smart like working out the camera details."