Sunday, August 30, 2020

Heritage Park August 30, 2020

My friend put a shout out for a photography outing at Heritage Park!  I jumped on that wagon like there was no tomorrow.  We last shared "out & about" time in early February so we were long overdue for a, face to face from two metres, catch up.  Life happens and we go down different paths for a short distance and time, but as friends, our paths always circle back around.  

These days tickets for the Park need to be purchased online in advance for a certain time slot entrance. They are offered at a discount and free parking is also offered.  We met at the parking lot, discussed a plan for the day and voiced our feelings on comfort level and distancing.  Why was I not surprised to find we were on the same page.

We enjoyed a gorgeous day wandering and meandering all over Heritage Park.  As it was a photography outing, I do have many photos to share which are displayed below with some bundled into collages.  After close to five hours of roaming, we topped off our get together savouring speciality drinks while sitting on the shore of the Glenmore Reservoir.    

Thank you for today!  I look forward to when we circle back around again!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Fish Creek Provincial Park August 27, 2020

We were afforded a gorgeous late August day to invest some sister time hiking around Fish Creek Park. Like the many other times I have ventured around that park, again today there were new sights for me to see.  This was my sister's first time here so everything was new and eye opening for her.  After a few hours of wandering about, we then picked up a gourmet lunch from Annie's Cafe.  With still lots to chat about, we settled on a bench under a tree, savoured our lunch and many, many more sister seconds.  

 (NOTE: With the recent Telus migration to Google, blogging is now not as simple as it had been. In addition to that now with the change in the Blogger platform, nothing now is user friendly.  I am trying to find ways to still enjoy the blogging process and to have my posts look orderly and presentable.)

just living life

I feel a change coming on!  In the weather that is, especially when I needed an extra layer and gloves as I began hiking from the Glenbow Ranch parking lot on this morning.  I heard the coyotes crying out during the early hours but I could not spot them when I looked in the direction the howls were coming from.  I would not secure a coyote photo to sketch but I did capture a perfect shot of the baby muskrat having breakfast.  During this fresh invigorating morning hike, at times I could not distinguish between sunrise shades and late summer hues.  Feeling fulfilled after three hours, I hit the hill back up with hopes I would see pretty pictures when I downloaded them.  Ah, success!

What was to be a two hour visit turned into close to four at Ralph Klein Park.  Today was a gentle step in the right direction in finding a way to safely share time being out and about in this new world of ours with a very vulnerable friend.  We made certain to take all the necessary safety measures.  We talked, we smiled, we strolled, we laughed, we picnicked.  We made this work!  The architecture here is intriguing, every little thing has a reason and a purpose. My apple sketch was quite something to build also, from getting the shape right, then using six different pigments layered on top of each other, each pencil stroke heading in the right direction.  This Park is on the outskirts of the city where not a whole lot of people venture to, it was a lovely quiet escape where we could work at solving our world's problems.

You have to know at some point I would attempt to sketch bears!  I did and this is the outcome!  I already worked with fur and eyes, now it was time to lay down a few snouts.  I have dozens of bear photos from over the years and these three photographs stood out when I glanced through my photo folder.  As my sister says "you and your bears", well I agree, yes me and my bears!

Sunday, August 23, 2020

dog days of august

Well into August by now and I already know when I look back at it, it is going to be memorable for the heat, record breaking heat.  I found a way to work around that all except for the night time hours though.  Who needs night after night after night of good decent sleeps anyway when enjoying the simpler things in retirement and not investing time in long days away on the road and aiming for high heights.  Time for that again is just around the corner.    

My dining table is covered in everything necessary for colour pencil sketching.  These are my recent projects:  my cabin in Jasper, my blogger banner photo, a squirrel peaking out from a rock and a lunch stop overlooking Horseshoe Canyon.   I have been getting into sketches that entail lots of detail and I am enjoying that.  It's those projects I truly get lost in!

North Glenmore Park
To avoid the heat of the day, I have been hitting the local spots early to pass a few hours.  Smoke from the forest fires west of here have contributed to pretty sunrises and sunsets.  Once I captured a handful of photos, it was time to put the pedal to the metal and cover 10kms at a walk racers pace.  

Douglas Fir Trail & Bow River
I enjoy spending lots of time along the Bow River during the dog days of August but that Douglas Fir Trail is not desirable at all except for the view point.  Oh one other thing, the trail is in the trees and offers up protection against the sun.  This whole area along the river is a happening place, there is something for everyone so you cannot blame the hoards for wanting to hang out here.  

Inglewood Bird Sanctuary
I hit the sanctuary with hopes of finding a sketching project or two.  I got what I came for!  The blue heron photo was captured first thing upon arriving at the sanctuary.  I tried photographing it from many angles and with different lighting over a twenty minute time frame.  It stayed put that entire time, then it spread its wings and was gone.  As more and more birders arrived and the minutes ticked on, fewer and fewer birds were visible.  I was fortunate to have arrived early and secured some sweet shots.  

Nose Hill Environmental Park
Where have all the coyotes gone?  I am still searching!  Maybe they are only a spring time novelty.  No coyotes this morning nor deer but lots of beautiful coral, pink, orange, yellow shades as the sun rose.  Along one trail I spotted this heart shaped rock and it became my muse.  I love early mornings, sunrises and the colour orange!  

Carburn Park to Fish Creek Park
I was up with the birds this morning and the fishermen and those off to work along the Deerfoot.  As like other times, I captured some shots and then made my time here a business of covering lots of pathway kilometres quickly from Carburn to Fish Creek and back again.  Lost in the pretty and peace is a perfect pairing to start kick the day!

Saturday, August 15, 2020

what this week looked like

From city living to standing on a mountain top, from the foothills to the wetlands, I have experienced it all these past few days!  Into a weekend again, it's time to gather my photos, sketches & thoughts and lay them down here.  When I review my collections I realize WOW I have all this so close to home.  I believe if permission was granted to adventure far beyond these days, then I would not be appreciating some of these local gifts.  At times I feel down but as I see "what this week looked like" it makes me realize how sweet it is!  

Frank Lake Wetlands
I heard about this place two years ago but had no interest in venturing there.  It is all about the birds which now I have a  budding interest in.  This was an early morning visit just after the sun came up and the birds were wide awake creating the sound of music.  It's a 50 minute drive for me south then east of High River and it's a place I know I will visit again soon but with my rubber boots on.

Inglewood & The River Walk
This area of city centre is a walkers world with wide open pathways, sights to see, spots to sit, and education galore. We strolled along the Walk with somewhat of a plan in place and just went with the flow.  The route follows the Bow River which was refreshing to be beside on one of the hot, dog-days of summer.  

Mount Saint Piran
I have not been frequenting the mountains like I normally do in mid summer.  Of course the experience of getting to and from there and being there is different this year.  Because I go less frequent, when I do go, I go for what I  know will fill my soul.  I knew what I would be in for today so I just bit the bullet and got there, parked my car, hit the trail, and then at the main turn off to the right I was on my own, in my own world, climbing higher and then reaching the summit where it was just me with that 360 degree view. The cold breeze nipped my nose!  It was paradise!

Nose Hill Environmental Park
Visits to some of my favourite places are not only for the exercise and fresh air but now include the reason to photograph what I think I might like to sketch.  After three hours I came away with many  many many photos but only two that jumped out at me to replicate through my eyes.  It has been a couple of months since I have seen coyotes up here and that is my hope each time I go now.  I want a new coyote photo to sketch!  

Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park
I like that sunrises are a bit later lately and I don't need to hit the road so early.  When I arrived at the parking lot then stepped out of my car, I quickly needed to layer up and that included gloves.  I could see my breath on this crisp and cold morning.  The sun came up and filled the sky with pink.  It was calm enough for reflections in the pond.  Also in the pond I spotted a muskrat family, Mom and four little ones.  A baby muskrat swam close enough to the edge before it spotted me then dove under water.  This Park is ever changing for the better.  There is now a beautiful new sun shelter along a wide open section.  While still only mid August with lots of summer ahead, it did feel fallish and I  could see some autumn shades.  This Park is beautiful in all seasons!

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Little Fish Lake Provincial Park

I had a little road trip in me yearning to come out!  Today I wanted to be anywhere other than in a mountainous area or where views were of the city scape kind.  Desert type landscape is easy access for me and that's the direction I headed even on a day forecasted to be +30C.  What was I thinking? Well, I was thinking wisely!  I googled directions to Little Fish Lake Provincial Park and just short of two hours later I arrived at this lovely little Campground and Park.  It sits about a 30 minute drive east of Drumheller.  

This post is more of a resource for me to look back and remember this place and this day.  It was a most beautiful, quiet, peaceful experience here and I am thankful for that. This is one of the Provincial Parks that will be permanently closed at the end of this summer due to cutbacks.  If this needs to happen, I can understand why this Park was picked.  It is out of the way (25kms down a dirt road), small (only 10 campsites for tents or trailers), protected water (no swimming and not good for consumption).  I am glad I got to see it.

On this day three of the ten campsites were occupied at $20.00 a night, no services other than a water  pump which would only be good for putting out your campfire.  There is a small structure with vault toilets. The campground section looked so nice each with a picnic table and fire pit and shade from the trees which is a must in this desert heat. There was also a swing set to the side and a small group campsite down a short path.  The sites all have a front row seat to Little Fish Lake.  

There is a maintained walking trail through the hills above the Lake.  It offers views of green grassy layers of rolling hills, a view of the Lake from the top of the hills, a view towards the campsites and the wildflowers were in abundance on the sides of the trail.  The wildlife visible today were one deer and one coyote.  Sunrises and sunsets would be awesome here! 

The campground section had animal proof garbage bins.  The bins were obviously full as two garbage bags were neatly packed and placed beside the bins.  I am not sure how often the garbage here would be collected but I could see this being an issue if it sat there overnight or for any length of time.  

This is a first come first serve campground with payment of your $20.00 by the honour system.  There is a secure box at the entrance to place your payment.  Being off the beaten path (25kms down a dirt road), I would not want to arrive here with intentions of setting up camp for the night, only to see it full.  Today the dirt road was in great condition, speed limit 80 and it was fine going at that speed.  It was a pretty drive even if it was along a dirt road.

Even though my visit here was two days ago, I still think about it and I wonder what it would be like to spend a night here!

walk way down to the Lake
view towards the rolling hills from the beach
looking back at the little beach
swing set
along the walking trail
view of Little Fish Lake from the walking trail
along the trail
looking back and down to the beach and campground which is in the trees on far left in photo
on a hill with Little Fish Lake behind me
along the trail
walking back to the beach
campsites are in the trees to the left
view along the dirt road drive

August 6, 2020 visit to Little Fish Lake Provincial Park