Sunday, September 30, 2018

More Fish Creek, with some red, and bridges

Here are some more of the shots from the recent Fish Creek photo ramble. Because I know you never get tired of red.



I hung around for a while, trying to get better light on those orange leaves, but it never happened. That's the way it goes sometimes.

Here's a couple warm up shots of the bridges. You get another view of this bridge tomorrow.

Keep this shot in mind for tomorrow as well.

You know how during the winter the weather forecasters here like to give us hope? The weather will be cold and crappy, but a week out they say it will be plus one and nice. That nice day stays there, a week out the entire winter. I don't know if they do it as a public service, trying to cheer us up. Or maybe they're just cruel, I don't know.

The last several weeks have been very un-Calgary weather. The forecasters are already getting into the game. It seems like there's just a few more days of cool rainy weather, then a few nice warm days. We've both been looking forward to those warm days so we can both enjoy the dahlias a little more, if they make it, and the bees can top of their winter supplies. Linda wants to do some fall planting and put the garden to bed, and has been waiting for some nicer days, those promised sunny days. But I think they're done.

I'm so glad I went down to Fish Creek on the spur of the moment. I've already started looking at image of the month, and I can hint that several from that walk will be featured. One of them, nobody but Linda has seen.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Thinking of my buddy Susi

It snowed last night. Very lightly, but undeniably snow. Yes, that white stuff is on the lawn, just a little beyond a really heavy frost.

I think our plants are done for the year, but there are still some not yet made public. Here's some, mostly purple, mainly for Susi, in her warm snug island home where it only rarely snows. She's asked me to come visit, and the temptation is there. But lots to do this fall, so I'm not sure.

Last week I was out helping my neighbours update their community association membership. It's one of those things that people mean to do, but in our busy world they need a reminder. I knocked on one door, and through the stained glass I could see two bicycles parked where most people would put a dining room table. I was so hoping they'd open the door.

She did. The living room faced south, and I was blown away by how she had converted it into an  office. A nice desk, various plants and flowers, some small sculptures, it was a beautiful working space. We had a nice chat while she renewed. She runs several companies, some related to industrial safety, and was talking about working towards the hygiene certificate. I talked a bit about how Susi had worked from being a P Eng in the oil industry, to an industrial hygiene officer for the province.

I've known Susi since we both started the same week at the same company, with offices across from one another. It seems like just an eye blink ago. She got me into triathlon, and is currently trying to uninsulated my 6 pack. An act of optimism if ever there was one.

It's funny, I've worked at lots of different jobs over the years, and it seems like I stay friends with someone from almost every job, even after one or both of us leave it. The local ones are easier to stay in touch with, but even with various technologies it's easy to let people slip away. I've been trying not to do that. So far, in retirement, I've had lunch or coffee with someone every week, getting caught up and maintaining friendships. If I haven't seen you for a while, and you can work me into your busy schedule, get in touch with me.

After some brilliant Fish Creek colour yesterday and the day before, here's a bit of different colour from our garden. Stay tuned, there's more Fish Creek coming, including one that is certainly a finalist for image of the month, at least, and probably even image of the year.

So what do we have here? Clematis, Dahlia, Clematis, Clematis, Dahlia. Enjoy.





Friday, September 28, 2018

I found the red!

Not just red, a few bushes or leaves here or there, but RED!

I spent much of my grade school years growing up in Ontario. (No cheap shots from the peanut gallery about the extent of that growing up.) There are maple trees all over the place, and they explode with colour in the fall. For a while I lived near Hockley Valley road, which is near the top of everyone's lists for a scenic fall drive, and they aren't kidding. Scenic is barely adequate, spectacular is a better word. I didn't know how good I had it.

Calgary in the fall is orange and gold and yellow and evergreen green. It's beautiful, stunning even, if you get the right light and background. Like this,

Or this.


But red is rare. Until you find the ultra secret location, and you get this.


I'm seriously considering getting this printed big. Really big. Then stare at it on the cold white winter days that are coming.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

A snake for Amy

Some of you may be nervous about that title, so yes, there's really a snake (a tiny one!) here today, but lots of other stuff to take your mind off of that, if you're nervous about reptiles.

A bit of a hodgepodge today. I was having coffee a couple weeks ago and looked outside. It took me a minute to focus because I hadn't even had the first sip yet. I did that, then ran for the camera. I didn't care that I was barefoot and the knees of my jeans got soaked in the dew. It was just cold enough overnight to freeze some of the dew or rain. I had fun playing with the camera settings.



Yesterday was a photo ramble in Fish Creek again, down the trail that ends up between bridge 4 and 5. It was lovely! No, really, stunningly lovely. Like this. I'd put an iPhone version of this on Instagram at the time, but this is what it really looked like. This isn't even one of the 4 star images from the day, and a couple of them I'm seriously considering 5 stars.


The path winds down a gully between two big outcroppings. Once the firetruck sirens went away it was peaceful and quiet. The light came and went, and eventually it clouded over, but the scenery was always beautiful. I spent some time sitting on a rock, listening to the creek.

I love walking along slowly, looking around, trying to find a beautiful shot. I'd been looking at the tiny little spring-fed trickle, when my eyes got back on the path and found this little guy less than a foot from by shoes. As soon as I shifted my weight he was off.


One of my Ironman buddies essentially bribed her kids to behaving on race day. She was liberal with her promises. One kid wanted a reptile. I think a python was mentioned. She talked him into a dog instead. (The dog had a long and happy life and recently passed away.) For a while the dog had some intestinal problems. One day the older kid called her at work, and in all seriousness said that he thought the dog had exploded, and what should he do about it? For years after, whenever I heard the dog had problems, I reminded her that she could have had a snake. Nobody has ever called and asked what to do about an exploded snake.

One of my other buddies has a kid, (or kids, I'm not sure) that is/are deeply interested in reptiles. I think she is not quite so sure about this, but is bravely facing the challenge. There was a photo of her that looks like she is getting ready to kiss a lovely boa constrictor.

I first met a snake in person in grade 5. One of my classmates brought in a garter snake several feet long. It took me a bit to work up the courage to hold it. Then many years later, I got a chance to hold a much bigger snake, a python about 5 feet long. It was really cool to feel it's muscles pushing itself along my arm.

The only other snakes I'd met were in my bad dreams. Tree roots turning into snakes. Chasing me. Glowing eyes watching me in the night. I'm glad I outgrew that, or learned to take control of my dreams. When they made me unhappy I'd change them.

Here's the first bit of red I found on the walk. There is more coming. A sea of it, and I don't mean a hockey game. Stay tuned.


I'll leave you with this fun reflection photo.









Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Some mostly, temporarily, happy dahlias

You might have got the idea, somehow, that I like photographing dahlias. Can't imagine where that came from. They're tricky in this climate. They get a bit of a late start, and really start coming into their own in August. But September weather in Calgary can be, well, anything. We've had lovely long  Indian summer and we've had several feet of snow land just after Labour Day and never really leave.

This year we had a bunch of misty cold damp kind of rainy miserable days in a row, which explains why I don't live in Vancouver. I'd be homicidal half way through a Vancouver winter. 

These photos range from very late August to mid September or so. We are amazed they are doing so well. They are still hanging in, just barely, with Linda diligently covering them up every night. One of them opened just enough we can see what colour it will be. Linda wants to make notes, and we might try to start them in a temporary bed in the basement, suitably protected from cat depredations, of course.

Still, we know the end is coming soon for them. Maybe over the weekend. I will miss them.













Cranky critters

Dogs are easy. Everything is their favourite thing. Their human coming to the door is the best moment of the day, and they show it. Cats are different. Lots of times they don't even notice when we come home. When they do notice, it's this. Tells me where I rank, doesn't it?


I wasn't sure she was still alive after a cool damp night. She was moving really slowly and didn't look happy at all. I breathed on her a few times to help warm her up and she started moving. When I checked an hour later she was gone, so I'm guessing she got enough nectar to power up and head home.

Me being inconsiderate and not letting him out. He seems to like glaring at me through the window when I'm outside. Another eternity in cat hell, I'm guessing, once he gets a chance to tell the cat judge.



In other news, today was the first day we set the alarm clock in about a month. You don't want to know why.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Dahlia and steel, front and back

This is one of the new blooms from Sept 24. No idea if it will make it much further into the season, but I was struck by the contrast with the steel cattail sculpture nearby, and the reflections off it.






Monday, September 24, 2018

The red dahlia

Here's the lovely red dahlia that lives in the back patio.

Sept 9


Yes, this is still it, peering out through the white fabric we draped over it to try to protect it from the frost and the snow. Sept 14

And then Sept 17, looking a little worse for wear, but considering we thought it would have packed it in for the season, we're quite pleased.

Shortly after taking this photo I was out firing up the BBQ. We didn't eat outside, though. I think we're done with that for the year.

And then, last one. Sept 24. We are amazed at how well the various other dahlias have come through the cool damp weather. One morning there was actual ice on some of the plants, but most of them shrugged it off. This particular blossom is essentially done but it likely would have been anyways regardless of the weather. There are some other ones starting up in an act of optimism or something. There are a few nice days ahead, but it's the low overnight temperatures that are going to do them in soon.




There are other photos from today including a bedraggled bee, stay tuned.





Sunday, September 23, 2018

Fall Colour 4, last one

I'm not used to seeing Bebo Grove so silent. The storm sewer construction has closed off car access to this part of Fish Creek. I walked down from the top of the hill and strolled around. There was no human noise at all, which is beyond rare. It's a popular place to be on a nice day.



You can just see a bike rider at the top of the path. She came down a few minutes later at full zoom, far faster than I would have done.


 An empty parking lot. So unusual. Love the colour of the tree against the sky. The day had started misty, foggy, and cool. Then it warmed up to be a lovely day.


If you missed any of the series, you might want to look back through the last few days, one, two, and three.


Saturday, September 22, 2018

Fall Colour 3

More from the ramble last week. Including a hit of red, and a surprise critter.


I got a bit lucky with this guy. I had the big lens on, but no time to change the zoom.


 And the hit of red for you. I was loving the silver.



Friday, September 21, 2018

Fall Colour 2

Here's three more from the recent ramble, including red!


Some of you may have seen this one on Instagram.



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