August has been a tumultuous month for us and I am so very weary. I don’t have much to post about but did want to share a couple of photographs of the gorgeous pink skies last evening. Alberta skies never fail to impress me – so beautiful!
Wherever you may live on this beautiful planet, I hope you get the chance to enjoy nature and all its gifts!
As a child a favorite activity of mine was laying in the grass and watching the clouds and trying to see animals or people in their formations. Some time ago I was walking with the daughter of a friend of mine. We had a great conversation about clouds and played the game, what do you see in the clouds? It was great fun. I still love watching the skies. And, I still see things in them. Summertime is perfect for relaxing in a lawn chair and sky gazing. Here are a few photographs captured from the past week. What do you see?
Whether wispy, feathery clouds or dark and menacing, clouds fascinate me. They speak to my heart, to my soul, whispering poetry that could never be defined in words.
You know it’s definitely spring when the pink blossoms flourish on the apple trees. It is a beautiful day here today. I wanted to share a small piece of it with you who have been so kind to visit my blog. I do love spring. The weather warms up, but not so hot as to make it uncomfortable. No need for air conditioners as yet. At least not here in Northern Alberta. It’s been an up and down week as far as temperatures go. Some parts of Canada have seen a late snow. In our neck of the woods we did see a few days of lower temps and rain, but no snow, thankfully. We needed the rain though. As I type this I can hear the red-winged blackbirds singing away around the pond in the green space behind the building. It’s lovely!
But I digress – apple blossoms, yes! In some areas of the city the streets are lined with crab apple trees which are beautiful in spring and feed the birds through the fall and winter. We were out and about and I captured a few photos – some in my son & daughter-in-law’s yard. I felt a little bit silly as I crept ninja-like down their driveway trying to steal up on birds visiting the feeders. Alas, there is a school yard right next to their house where children happened to be playing. Their noisy ruckus frightened the birds away so no matter how stealthy I tried to be the birds would fly off at the smallest sound. Lucky for me there was beauty to be found overhead in the apple trees….
It was a beautiful day for a drive in the country. One nice thing about living here in this city is that you don’t have far to go to enjoy the outdoors. Here are a few photos I managed to capture this morning:
It’s that time of year again. It feels like spring, even though there’s still a couple of weeks before the official first day of spring. Here in the frozen north people look forward eagerly to the river break up. There will be cars lined up along the side of the road as people watch and listen for that first crack of ice. It symbolizes the official end of winter and buoys hope that warmer days are coming. There are five rivers that flow through the city. The two biggest are the Athabasca and the Clearwater rivers.
The city is the oldest European settlement in the province of Alberta, dating from 1788. Prior to that the Beaver people and the Chipewyan Nation made this area their home. They were followed by the Mikisew Cree, Metis, the Dene, Fort McKay First Nation, among others.
Although the Region of Wood Buffalo is mainly known these days for the oil sands, it was a thriving economical area with fishing, logging, fur trading and salt production long before oil was extracted from the oil sands. The area has known many ups and downs including the wild fires that swept through in 2016 and the once-in-a-century flooding of 2020, right on the heels of the sweeping pandemic.
Like the rivers that flow through the region the people here continue to go with the ebb and flow of the times, watching always for change and better times ahead.
Several years ago when we were still living in Newfoundland our son and his then fiancee came home for a visit. When they left the only flight available was at 4 a.m. That meant we had to be at the airport for 3 a.m., which was not easy as we lived an hour and a half away from the airport. We decided to spend the night at a Bed & Breakfast closer to the airport so we wouldn’t have to leave home in the wee hours. Early the next morning we hit the local Tim Horton’s. I mention it because it was one of the oddest visits to the coffee shop ever, bar none. As we drove up to the drive-through there were people ahead of us – on horseback!!!!! That was the start to a very different day. After taking them to the airport we headed home. The drive between Deer Lake and Stephenville is always beautiful with incredible scenery from the mountains in the Deer Lake and Corner Brook area to rivers, lakes, and ponds on each side of the highway. I am posting a few of the photographs I managed to capture in the early hours of that day. You will have to scroll to the very bottom to see one of my all-time favorite captures. I hope you will enjoy.
Yesterday it was -36 Celsius and – 58 with the wind chill factored into it. That’s pretty freaking cold. Today is much the same. Life gets interesting when the thermometer dips so low. For one thing the exhaust from vehicles in front of you freezes in place, making driving even more challenging. On days like this we stay home, if at all possible. Today we have similar temperatures with a slight one degree drop lower. Yup, it’s cold. But the wonder of seeing the Northern Lights somewhat makes up for it. They really are a blessing on a frigidly cold night. So, last night I was out on the balcony to try to capture them. These photos do not do them justice at all, and it was so cold I could not stay outside to try to get better ones.
I really wish I could have captured more, but my fingers were beginning to freeze after mere moments outside
This morning we were treated to a thick ice fog. It’s not easy to really see in this photograph but it was very dense. Oh, the joys of living in the frozen North! Yet, though it is very, very cold I do enjoy the Northern Lights and the ice fog. That is, as long as I can stay comfortably ensconced at home.
“Minds are like flowers; they open only when the time is right.” – Stephen Richards
We are in the depths of winter. We’ve been very fortunate this year and it has been mostly mild with lots of sunny days. (Should I knock on wood lest I jinx it?) We went for a drive out into the country this morning. I was hoping to see a bit of wildlife but didn’t. Sigh. Yet, it was a beautiful sunny morning and we enjoyed the drive. Still, I will be glad to see a bit of color once again. The trees, except for the evergreens, are bare and snow covers pretty much everything. I do appreciate the beauty of winter. I really do, but already my soul is yearning for soft grass instead of ice or snow covered paths and the scent of flowers in the air. It will be at least another couple of months before we begin to see signs of spring. So, I took a stroll through seasons past and the vibrant colors everywhere. If, like me, you’re yearning for a bit of color in this white world please have a look at a few flowers I photographed in summers past:
“All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.” – Indian Proverb
“Where flowers bloom so does hope.” – Lady Bird Johnson
“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly our whole life would change.”
“The smallest flower is a thought, a life answering to some feature of the Great Whole, of whom they have a persistent intuition.” – Honore de Balzac
“The flowers take the tears of weeping night, and give them to the sun for the day’s delight.”
– Joseph S. Cotter, Sr
“It’s the time you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important . . . People have forgotten this truth, but you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“Flowers knew how to preach divinity before men knew how to dissect and botanize them.” – H. N. Hudson
“Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character.” – Lydia M. Child
I love the magical moments, the moments that engrave themselves on my mind imprinting so deeply that many years later I can take them out and appreciate them anew. I was up extra early this morning – 4 a.m. in fact. Don’t ask. At any rate, as I was up I decided to go out on our balcony to welcome this new day and received a blessing. Below me, under the tree in the back yard were two foxes. One was dark in color and the other was definitely a red fox. The darker colored fellow has been visiting intermittently for about a month. I tried a while back to capture an image of him without success. This morning was the first time seeing the red fox. There really is something moving, eloquent, and beautiful about seeing wildlife at any time but in the darkness of the night it seems especially magical. As I watched the red fox sat under the tree and I went inside to grab my phone and was able to capture a decent image of her. It’s not a particularly great image but I am grateful for it. I am hoping our visitors will return, not just to capture images of them, but for the magical moments they provide. Wherever you are and whatever is going on in your life at this time, I hope you recognize the blessings this day brings. I hope you experience many magical moments in life.
“I remembered the fox. One runs the risk of crying a bit if one allows oneself to be tamed.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery