Monday, June 29, 2015

Gratitude Monday -- High Test

Ptarmigan Cirque Trail, Kananaskis, Alberta.
I'm grateful on  many fronts today.
The Ptarmigan Cirque Trail in Kananaskis is one of my benchmarks. I haven't done it in years, but wanted to so as to see how I am doing.
It's not that long a hike, but it is in the mountains and it is up.

The first time Mike and I did this hike, about 23 if not 25 years ago, it took me two hours.
About 15 years ago or so the same climb took me half an hour.
On Saturday it took me just under an hour. For the record it was nearly +30C (86F) during our hike. Later, when we had lunch, it was +31C.

It was a good hike and I am pleased with how quickly I did it.
I rested quite a bit. At one point during the climb I sat in the shade while Mike went to a nearby viewpoint. I had my head in my hands when a nice young man coming down the trail asked me how I was.
I respond I was good, thanks, and how was he before realizing why he was asking.
I expect I looked as worn as I felt.
He asked if I had water, did I need water, was I sure I was all right?
I am grateful for this and for knowing a stranger was willing to give me his water if I needed it.

The trail goes through a mountain stream, twice. I splashed refreshing mountain water on my face and even drank a bit. I am grateful it was there.

We had a fine picnic later on in a shaded spot by a creek. It was relaxing.

Afterward we went to the rock glacier where Mike set up a chair and waited for pikas while I set a chair under a tree. I'd been wanting to sit quietly under a tree for quite some time. It was wonderful.

For all of this I am grateful.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Gratitude Monday -- A Good Trip For The Soul

We've gotten out and about several times in the past few weeks. I am grateful for that. It's good to use the time when you have it.
We've usually gone west into the mountains, but on Saturday we went east, to the prairie.
It was a wonderful change. It had been years since we were out that way and it is good for the soul to see the open spaces.
We went to Gooseberry Lake Provincial Park north of Consort and looked around.
It was peaceful, and beautiful and surprisingly quiet given there was a rodeo going on across the road.
I took plenty of photos, mostly of the American avocets along the lakeshore.
It was a long day, but a good one. And for it I am grateful.

American avocet searching for food at Gooseberry Lake

Friday, June 19, 2015

Photo-Finish Friday-- A Grizzly Breakfast

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This fine looking fellow was spotted along Hwy. 11 early Saturday morning. He was rooting around for food in the ditch west of Nordegg near Abraham Lake.

Click, enlarge, enjoy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

How About A Look At Ram Falls?

Ram Falls is about a 70 mile drive from Rocky, yet still within Clearwater County.  The y are found along  the Forestry Trunk Road and it makes for a lovely drive. Here's a quick look at the setting and the falls.

Please enjoy.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Gratitude Monday -- Mountain Lunch

We had lunch in Golden, B.C. on Saturday.  The setting was wonderful.
We made the trip to the see the wolves at the Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre.
Afterward we had a picnic behind the Visitor Centre in Golden.
It was a lovely spot and I was even able to get a really good cup of coffee there as they had Kicking Horse Coffee.  It is a good coffee, and it's made not far down the road from there.

Mike enjoying lunch in a grand setting.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Photo-Finish Friday-- HooDoo You Do?

Below are photos of the hoodoos on HooDoo Creek as promised.

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The two HooDoos together in the morning light.

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The larger hoodoo at a different angle and in the early afternoon.

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Same big hoodoo, different angle and in silhouette.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Morning Wrendition

The wrens have been busy building. And sometimes they sing.
I got this video early last week. I put it on YouTube earlier today and let the nice people there fix the lighting for me.

I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Grizzly Seeking Breakfast

On one of our recent drives we saw a young Grizzly bear digging for breakfast in the ditch.
We took many photos and a few videos of his hard work.

He was in the far ditch. Any traffic had to go past us and, since I don't know how to edit those passes stay in.

I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Gratitude Monday -- My Goat Legs Edition

I've really earned my goat legs this spring, and for it I am grateful.
What that means is I've done some hiking in the mountains and done it reasonably well.
On Saturday we did a hike out west called HooDoo Creek. It involves walking up the mostly dry and very rocky stream bed of a creek. About a km or so up the stream appears. That means crisscrossing it for the best footing.
Just past the one km mark there are some hoodoos. I will post pics another day.
Along with being in the mountains this hike has a 400 m elevation gain and it is gained through a steady climb. I stopped to rest every 50 to 100 metres. I've learned that as soon as I hear the partridge drumming it is time to rest so the blood can stop pounding in my ears.
I didn't go the whole way. I stopped about 200 m short of the 2.4 km end. There one can scramble up a fair ways to some  caves.
Mike went, I rested.
As far as I am concerned not only do I have my goat legs for the year this hike earned me a spare.
Once we were back down we drove a bit up the road, pulled out to a place near some trees, and enjoyed a picnic.
It was one of our best days ever and for it I am grateful.
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If you look at the bottom of the pic just left of the stream you'll notice a narrow ledge. It's just wide enough for a foot. It was a very exciting part of the hike.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Photo-Finish Friday --Grousing About

On our Sunday drive last week we saw a ruffed grouse.

He crossed the road in front of us so fast we barely had time to get photos and not time at all why he was doing it.

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Here's a closer view:
Ruffed Grouse

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Details Still Sketchy

But I like to think I am improving.

I took a sketchbook along on our recent hike in the West Country. I sat in the warm sun and  did a very quick preliminary sketch of what I saw.  Several days later I started work on it.
A few days after that I decided to call it done.

Drawing is not my thing, but I see I am learning and am getting better at it. I may not get much better than this, but it doesn't matter.

I am enjoying myself, and expressing myself artistically. Good, bad, or indifferent sketching is stretching.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Gratitude Monday - The Wrens Are Here

Our faithful wren couple returned a little while ago and have consented to build in the bird house on the back deck.
We are both very grateful they've come back.
They sing, they cuss, and they work.
It is glorious.
These photos were taken yesterday morning as they took turns waiting on the clothes trees.
I had to shoot through the window on the screen door so as not to disturb them.

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