A visit to Fort McKay to see the Wood Buffalo

Our eldest daughter does not live nearby. In fact she lives too far away for my comfort, but that’s just the worrier in me. She lives in Newfoundland, while, we, in comparison, live in Alberta – many hundreds of miles away. During each visit we have driven to Fort McKay to see if the buffalo are out and until this visit went away disappointed. It was a lovely summer day and the time we had together was growing short. So, the day before she left, we decided to try once again – with success! The animals were laying in a field not far from the fences that keep visitors out. They mostly had their backs to us but not long before we left a few of them began moving about.

The wood buffalo are well looked after and guarded from over zealous tourists

I stood there with my daughter watching them and wondering what it would be like to see hundreds of these animals thundering across the plains. The small herd here is a subspecies of the American Bison and seem very placid and calm. Try as I might I cannot imagine these animals thundering anywhere! Plus, these animals, wood bison, are heavier than the plains bison, which were all but wiped out by the early settlers. These guys seemed quite content to loll about in the sun and seemed more like the herds of cattle I am more familiar with. Still, I am glad we get to see them from time to time.

One shaggy beast was a bit more active than his fellow buffalo
Sun bathing seemed to be all most of the animals were interested in
If a person is fortunate, you may catch a closer glimpse of these magnificent shaggy beasts when they come out for a cool drink of water on a hot day. This photo was taken on a previous visit. They did not venture to the pond this time around.
This one seemed at least a little bit interested in the humans beyond the fences…

I am grateful to live a mere 54 km (34 miles) from this place where the buffalo roam. And I am grateful that after many years and several trips, my daughter could experience these beautiful animals as well.

For everything there is a season – turn, turn, turn

Well, it’s true, I guess, there is a time and a season for everything under the sun. It’s been a busy summer – not much fun to be had while packing boxes etc. But that is behind me now. I am still not finished with the unpacking, but at a point where what’s left can be done bit by bit. I am so grateful for the help of my children, especially my daughter who came to help with it all. She returned to her home last evening. I will miss her terribly, but very appreciative of all she did. I cannot help but mention all the help my son and daughter-in-law were as well as my other daughter and her boyfriend. We are so blessed in our family.

My body still hurts somewhat and it will take a while to recover from it all but I am content with what we have accomplished so far. We even have a few pictures on the walls that makes this little place feel more homey. We have walked around the park-like setting that butts up against the back yard here and enjoyed watching the ducks in the pond (photos will follow soon). There isn’t a lot of summer weather left but I intend to enjoy it as much as possible before the chill of fall sets in. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope you’re enjoying the season. I am back ha ha. Cheers!

Looking out over the city, a view from the balcony

We have moved! I am still working on getting rid of boxes and totes and finding places for everything but the worst is over (I hope). Moving is never easy and my muscles continue to remind me I am not as young as I once was. But we are here and I thought you’d like to see a view from the balcony – one of the perks of this place is being able to enjoy watching ducks in the pond and looking out over the city. It will be a while yet before I can get back to reading your posts and writing my own but I am getting there. Have a wonderful week and until next time…cheers!

It is nice to watch the ducks in the pond and to look out over the city. As the thunder rumbled and lightening flashed we were safely ensconced in our new home.

Another shot of the view from the balcony

Warehouse living

Yup – that’s what it feels like – I am surrounded by boxes, like a warehouse. I am so not inspired in this present moment, and I miss you all – your wonderful poems and stories and beautiful photos and artwork. It will take me some time to catch up, once this bloody move is over with. Anyway, here is a photo my daughter took of me and my cat. She’s my number 1 comforter as I pack and purge. I’ll be back….

Summertime and missing the ocean

I was born in Newfoundland and lived there until Dad moved our family to Ontario. Every summer I get homesick for the island. I have so many wonderful memories of playing in the woods or on the beaches. My husband and I would later move back there to raise our own children.

Summer in Newfoundland is beautiful, there are loads of trails to hike, and of course bonfires on the beach as well as swimming. It is a nature lover’s paradise. Recently my brother gave me this wonderful aerial photo of the old house, which, sadly, is long gone. Looking at it takes me back in time. There have been many changes since we were children.

Port au Port West, NL, Canada – photo by Barra Studio

Our house looked over Bay St. George, a wild, tumultuous bay – unlike the quieter Port au Port Bay. This photo was taken on one of the rare calm days. The beaches on Port au Port Bay are mostly sandy beaches whereas Bay St. George beaches are very rocky. It was awesome on a stormy day to watch the waves crash loudly on the shores. It was also the lullaby I fell asleep to.

As a child we often visited our grandparents who lived just a little ways up the road, or to play with our cousins who lived nearby. I also remember going often to Mr. Martin’s house across the road. He had built wooden stairs down to the beach – the steep banks would have been difficult to navigate even for agile children. I don’t know why we addressed him as “Mister”. He was actually our great-grandfather’s step brother – but that’s another story. My husband insists we don’t have a family tree, we have a family forest – easy to get lost in it. But I digress, yet again.

You will see I labeled the photograph. “The old homestead” was built by my grandparents. At that point in time they did a lot of farming, as well as fishing to feed their large families.

“The pond” was formed when Port au Port Bay flooded the area during a storm. After that a breakwater wall was built to keep the bay at bay (pun intended). We used to go skating on the pond in winter – in more recent years it has been used for snow mobile races.

We had a barn on the property where we kept a cow and chickens, and, from time to time, a pig. I remember what fun it was jumping from the hayloft down into the hay below. It was not an easy life for our parents. There were a lot of chores to do from cutting wood for the wood stove to making home made bread to hauling water – we did not have indoor plumbing – that was a task my older brothers especially detested on laundry days. Everybody had chores to do from eldest to youngest. Still, I am so grateful to have been born there and to have these memories to treasure.

Found a place to live

I dislike moving intensely and what with hubby’s health issues and work, it’s going to be challenging. But, we did finally find a place to call home. This time it’s an apartment, which will be a big adjustment and we will have to downsize once again. Purging cherished items can be difficult, but the up side is that there will be less to haul.

The new place looks over a park and there is a walking trail not far from the back of the building. So, at least we will have a nice view. I have to get back to packing, but I am taking a bit of time to myself today. I just wanted to let the people who follow my blog know that we have found something that I think will work for us. I appreciate you all more than you could possibly know. If I could prevail upon your kindness, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as hubby cannot lift or haul anything at all so we will need a lot of help. Yet, God is good and has provided for all our needs thus far. I will trust in the divine. Have a great day and a wonderful week. Until next time – cheers!

Abiding pleasure

To let go of the need to control

And all that I would manipulate,

If I could – consciously or no

Is such a pleaure

To open wide my eyes, my heart

To gather all you would impart

Is ecstasy- a joy beyond my capability to capture

In words

I thank you for help and healing