Thursday, April 30, 2020

The beat goes on...

...and it is feeling like a better beat!

Tuesday's forecast said "go girl get out there" so I heeded that advice and off I went to Fish Creek Park for an urban hike.  The sunshine, warm temperature, lovely scenery and exercise all contributed to an elevated level of feeling in a happier place within.   Today's route covered an area of the Park that I had not been before and I enjoyed not knowing what was around the corner or over the bridge or up the hill.  I am learning to "remember to breathe" even within our city limits!

With time on my hands, stones in my yard, paint in my basement, creativity in my mind and a heart full of hope, I passed many hours this past week laying my thoughts onto a rock canvas.  I thought about how much sunrise is my most favourite time of day and how many beautiful ones I got to witness these past couple of months.  I bought flowers for Easter to cheer me and my home up.  They are the prettiest though when you get to see them out in the wild.  I hope I will get to experience that this summer.  I have camping nights booked but will they go ahead!  Some of my best sleeps are in my tent out in the wilderness.  I am in need of some good long deep sleeps!  The many hours I passed painting these rocks was a wonderful distraction away from reality.

It's quite something how my mindset has made such a change!  I knew last night that I would hike up on Nose Hill today and I was so excited and looked forward to it like a child on Christmas Eve.  I have never been out the door so quick after getting out of bed as I was this morning.  It must have been my sixth sense that made me sense I was in for something spectacular!  April 30th on Nose Hill will go down in my books for witnessing the most crocuses ever.  It was a crocus fest! They were growing in areas up there that they have not grown before!  They were sprouting out of the middle of paths!  There were more bouquets of crocuses than I have ever seen.  I starting hiking at 5:56am and I was back at my car at 9:15am.  I love kicking off a day in this way!

April has been bitter sweet, more bitter than sweet.  
I wonder what May will bring!

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Laycock Park from Confluence April 26, 2020

My intentions have been to stay away from city parks and pathways on Saturdays and Sundays to avoid the crowds that venture to them on these days.  When I woke this morning and checked to see what kind of morning it was going to be, I knew I needed to be out there.  Just go early while others are savouring a sleep-in Sunday.  I was gifted sweet treasures today that made being out at the crack of dawn worth it. 
On my "out & about" list was Laycock Park which is in my old stomping grounds neighbourhood.  It has been years since I laid foot or tire track in that Park and I read where developments and upgrades had taken place.  I could get there sans vehicle via Confluence Park.  I first enjoyed Confluence then headed on south to Laycock.  The sun was already up by the time I made it into the forest. 
the golden glow of early morning
only some trees in the forest took on the morning glow
I headed on down into the park bottom to hit the trail that leads to Laycock Park.
The morning was shaping up beautifully.  I noticed a few other people off in different directions who were far enough away that there was no need to even think about physical distancing.  They were probably thinking the same as me, beat the rush.
I passed on bringing my big camera today in favour of my taking my kayaking/running camera.  Because I no longer run and have not been kayaking, I forgot I even had this camera.  I am liking what it is producing.  
The golden glow is gone, the wind picked up and the puffy fluffy clouds are forming.  
I was intrigued how the clouds in this photograph looked like extensions of the branches.  
As I entered into Laycock Park, the area took on a whole different look than where I just was.  No coyotes down in this Park as they remain up on the Hill, this was the only wildlife I saw today.  It was not going anywhere soon and just watched me do my thing.
Back in the day I used to picnic here.
A few things did look different around here from when I frequented the place, yet there were areas where it looked like construction was taking place.  I found out later those areas have been like that for quite some time as the city must have run out of money or interest in finishing up the job.  There were grassy areas as seen in this photo that were nice to stroll around.
This little painted stone was placed in a rock bed.  I believe someone else might be missing their out of the city adventures.  I see a tent with an open door, a fire and the birds flying high above.  We will be out there again one day.  For now, let's be thankful we have the City Parks to escape to.
I was not expecting to spot my first crocus of the season today.  I will be heading back here as it appeared there was potential for more to pop up.  They are late sprouting this year with winter like conditions only going by the way side last week.  When I saw it I sighed!  I now knew today was going to be OK!

It was an 11 km walk this morning.  

Saturday, April 25, 2020

living life lately looks like this

April 22nd was walk day.  It was also Earth Day, an overcast day and a day where Parks People were performing some kind of exercise.  It was a day too where coyote sightings were numerous.  The sunrise did not stand out nor did the landscape scenery.  I was though, intrigued by the Calgary Parks Contractor truck parked on Nose Hill and the two people with two dogs that exited the truck.  They wandered about and then stopped while the dogs barked and barked and barked.  Then back to the truck, they drove to another area on Nose Hill and did the same thing.  I found out from those in the know that they go to the coyote dens and the dogs bark to scare the coyotes away, to where, to the residential areas.  I had a few coyote sightings this morning and was able to capture photos of three of those.  The others were too fast on their feet.  The coyote sightings were scattered throughout this two hour walk and they were all heading in a northerly direction.  I enjoyed being one with the earth yet far from the coyotes on Earth Day 2020!     

Many hours have been spent already on this current cross-stitch project.  It surprises me when lifting my head after accomplishing only an inch worth of work, that so much time has passed.  If I got paid by the hour for this work, I would be a wealthy lady.  I do feel rich from the rewards of relaxation & escape that this craft pays me.

I have been preoccupied lately with what happened on the weekend in Nova Scotia!  While I have lived in Calgary for decades now, I still consider Nova Scotia home.  My thoughts and prayers are with my family and friends there and with everyone else.  I knew I had items displaying the province's tartan so went in search.  Yes I am a bluenoser through and through!   

April 23rd finally came!  We had been working to find a day and today was a good fit for both of us to be in each others company.  I needed to hear words of wisdom from the wise.  We discussed proper distancing and put a plan in place to make for a safe chat.  We visited on an open deck in her area with a far off view of the snow covered mountain peaks.  We donned our masks prior,  measured the correct distance then sat back and relaxed.   We enjoyed the view, the sun & warmth and each others company.  What was to be a wee visit turned into two hours.  I felt uplifted and rejuvenated after our visit.  Finding ways to lighten up a day for some one on the vulnerable side takes thought and preparation and we made it happen! 

 our view, the pond will be filled soon

It's Friday and a beautiful one at that!  I checked my "out & about" list to see where I might like to venture to this morning.  I picked a walk that begins at Bottomlands Park which is a city park, it's an easy drive from home and has parking.   Along the 13 kms route I passed by the Zoo which is closed, yet the path is close enough to see wildlife.  This route is a section of The Great Trail which includes the Nose Creek Pathway and the Bow River Pathway.  While I could see city centre, I was far enough away from it.  There were very few others out which made for easy social distancing, Saturday and Sunday though will be a different story.  A short portion of the path is close to a major road which was noisy but that was no big deal.  I left some of that behind when I went to the  river's edge to see the wild waves at Harvey Passage.   Feeling content, it was time to head on home and enjoy the balance of this gorgeous Friday!  

My mind is everywhere these days!  I can't believe we are on the verge of May already.  Time is flying.  I like to make the most of every day and I have always been that way.  I want to be able to have something to show for it.  Each day is precious and a gift.  Lately I have been so determined, like never before, to accomplish something good each and every day.  While loads of doors are closed these days, many doors have opened this past while and I am walking through them doing my best to see a positive on the other side.   While it has been challenging at times, and at times I don't know if I can make it happen,  yet even if only for two hours a day some days, I am trying to...

Monday, April 20, 2020

Fish Creek Park April 20, 2020

I met my friend in front of her home for our planned few hours of hiking throughout a section of Fish Creek Park.  Before starting we confirmed the rules of proper distancing and as this section of the Park is her stomping grounds she advised me about being careful at corners and to shoulder check now and then.  We did the descent to the Park and entered it at Votier's Flats.  
Very soon into our hike, I realized shorts and short sleeve shirt would have been sufficient.  This was turning into a beautiful day with high double digits on the plus side, bright blue in the sky and some of those wispy white clouds that I like so much.
 crossing to the other side
 The Bow River is fast flowing and dark from being churned up.  
 a tree with a new lease on life 
We found a protected area to sit and snack and spent a half hour or so chatting about anything and everything.  We enjoyed the warmth from the sun and the sound of the birds' songs.   We were away from the beaten path so away from the other walkers, runners and bikers who were out & about.
 We watched him as he watched us snack.
The ground we covered ranged from paved to dirt.  For most of our hike we were on the paved path which today was free of snow, ice, mud, water.  It took some off trail maneuvering along sections of the dirt paths so we could stay dry and clean.
 pointing to her Mother-in-Law at a donation memorial
It was time for a climb which would be up the path along the edge in the middle of the photo.  
This whole area was new to me and I thoroughly enjoyed all the new sights.  
 along the path
 along the path
We exited Fish Creek Park in a different area from where we entered.  We had a couple of kilometers left that was through residential to get back to my friend's place.  As we arrived at the foot of her driveway she looked down and said "oh a heart"!   I needed to capture that heart.  I like to think it had to have meant something seeing it as we ended our few hours of hiking, talking and pouring out our hearts for how we feel about the world happenings these days.  

This was the route we took today showing only the portion of Fish Creek Park that we covered.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Carburn Park to Fish Creek Park April 19, 2020

This year could be a record year for me for the number of Urban Hikes I complete and the number of kilometres I cover on the urban paths and trails.  Today I headed back to Carburn Park and instead of hiking around that area, I immediately aimed in the direction of Fish Creek Park to cover a little more ground there.  We were in for a beautiful day so I went as usual for an early start.  I knew later everyone and his dog and bike would be on this pathway system.  
I arrived at the Carburn Park parking lot just as the sun was coming up and the glow was forming on the tree tops.  The deer were walking about and a lone goose sat on the ice covered pond.
 looking towards the east
 then glancing westward
I veered off the paved path in favour of being on the dirt trails as much as possible.  
It gets you closer to the river and this is what I saw.  
A beaver!  Oh Canada!
I was here a couple of weeks ago and the ground was covered in ice and snow.  
It's looking like spring to me today.
As I entered the Fish Creek Park area, I noticed painted stones on the sides of the path.  I made this collage of the stones I took photos off.  There were many more but I would make no hiking progress if I snapped shots of them all.  They were uplifting!  You could tell they were painted by a wide age range and level of experience.  It looks like someone took the "U" and the "R" from the bottom right set of stones.
It was a frosty morning and frostier in Fish Creek Park than it was in Carburn Park.  
frost + reflection + browns = spring
 reflection in the Bow River at Fish Creek Park
 a lone coyote
There were lots of people fishing in the Bow River.  It is world renowned for this sport.  It would be all locals fishing today.  The two people exited their boat and were fly fishing while standing in the river.
The pathway system was getting busy with a couple of kilometers left to complete on the way back.  The bikers were out along with runners, families, dog walkers, couples and soloists.  We are fortunate to have this pathway system in the city which is open to everyone directly from their neighbourhoods or via parking lots at city parks.  Access to Fish Creek Provincial Park is off limits from it's parking lots.

This is the route I covered today which amounted to 13kms.