The secret places tour was just the start. Then there was an all day light and colour extravaganza down the Foothills, via Black Diamond, Longview, Hailstone Butte, Chain Lakes, Porcupine Hills, Clairsholm, and home again. We had spectacular light, and put off supper several times because of it.
Then on the weekend the Neil Zeller tour headed east towards Oyen. Yes, I know, the swingingest hot spot of Eastern Alberta that you've never heard of. It's not far from the town of Empress. Which you probably haven't heard of either, but that's your loss. Where else will you find groceries so valuable they are stored in an old bank vault?
That included 3 different ferries, (Finnegan, Estuary, and Bleriot) (yes put your vehicle on a boat to cross a river), the Great Sandhills for sunset, some star and galaxy shots and a moonrise if you were into it, a stunning sunrise across the fields, The Great Saskatchewan Stone Wall, the long and ultimately futile search for lunch in Oyen on Sunday, plus many abandoned places and things.
And birds. Holy doodle the birds. I personally think that it was the same gang of birds (I'm told mostly Sandhill Cranes) following along with us, teasing the bird photographers by staying just at the outside end of the big lens range.
Between the 3 trips, plus the secret places one, there are almost 200 edited photos that have not been blogged. Never fear, I'm not going to make you scroll through all of them at once. But I have been considering which to show you. Don't forget that the readers on my email notification list already got a sneak preview of the Foothills trip photos. Here's a link to that folder; most of the photos have some comments with details.
If you want to get in on the preview and behind the scenes info action, just send an email to keith at nucleus dot com and ask to be on the blog notification list. Or text, or Facebook/Instagram direct message, or use the smoker to send a signal while doing the ribs. Whatever.
In addition to my blogs, my photos appear on Instagram, Facebook (on my wall and a private group), with overlapping audiences, meaning people might or might not have seen a particular photo, depending on many things, including the vagaries of Facebook algorithms. There is no rule about which photos go where and when; I'm just making it up as I go along.
So, where to begin with the photos? Decisions, decisions.
1. A sunrise is always a nice way to start a tour day. I took it as a good omen and it sure was!
2, 3, 4. All the bridge shots. The first trying to catch the light before it went, and the next two are more composed and are the same shot with different processing. On the private photo page the likes are evenly split between the two versions.
5. Sometimes you look at the big sweeping landscape, other times at a small plant trying to make it in a tough climate.
6. Intentional camera movement and reflections.
7. From the exact same place as 6, one of my fellow travellers looking for something interesting.
8. Sunset from the Saskatchewan Sand Hills.
9, 10. Hand held, on a ferry, (Estuary) but first a serendipitous another ferry (Dawson City, I think).
11. The galactic core before the clouds rolled in, shot from east of Oyen. Sorry, I don't know which gas plant that is.
12, 13. An arty shot of the clouds rolling in and an action shot of the activity around the van.
14. Sunrise, north of Oyen, looking west.
15. About the same place, looking east.
16. The light on the fields was lovely! This pano is maybe a little too wide for the height (it would print out about 7 feet by 1 foot). You might have to enlarge and scroll to appreciate it.
17. There is a giant stone wall in Saskatchewan. Who knew? This is only a tiny fraction of it.
18, 19. The abandoned Hoosier school. I'm going to blog more about abandoned places and things, I think.
20. That tire is not from that truck.
21. We haven't had much rain. The sloughs are dry. No, Neil didn't drive the van across there.
There's more, but that's enough for now. To our regular feature.
Of the day
Flower. Some of the dahlias are still hanging in there.