It's hot and dry out in Eastern Alberta and Western Saskatchewan. Really hot and really dry. It's no surprise that crickets and grasshoppers seem to be flourishing. They might be the only things that are.
In other news, before you get to the photos, today is a travel day for me. I've got most of the gear rounded up, now to stuff it it into cases, weigh them, then rearrange as required for weight limitations. Camera gear is very heavy for the volume it occupies, what with all that glass and metal. I'm taking a laptop and external hard drive so that photos exist in two places, but unless I figure out why Lightroom on the laptop is being pissy and fix it, I won't be able to edit photos while there. Which is probably just as well.
I'm planning this blog carefully around the lead photo. This one, just because.
1. This photo is actually a bit of a lie. In real life the scene is bleaker, with the yellow grass looking more dead. There's a lot of yellow dead looking grass, and dried up sloughs.
2. A landscape serendipity from a previous tour to the same general area, though we didn't go past here this time.
3. This is after the van was washed and driven only around the block to get back to the motel. Before was gross. Neil had to wash the front, or drive by imagination and memory. In the Facebook thread I suggested that 'washed' seemed like such an inadequate verb. 'Delaminated' was suggested, and I'd go with that.
Then they got worse. The road was covered with them, the live ones eating the ones killed by road traffic. I've never seen so many. You've heard of hydro-planing, right? Where there's so much water on the road the tires lose their grip. We had a serious discussion about bug-planing.
Remember that scene where Sallah asks Indiana, "Indy, why does the floor move?" In this case it was crickets. There was a long stop during some chip sealing road repairs. I was amusing myself by watching the crickets move. It wasn't quite a carpet, but pretty close. And yes, the van needed to be washed again at the end of the day.
Along the way we ended up in Acadia Valley. We were fortunate it was the last day the tea room was operating, as most of the staff were going back to high school. We had a wonderful meal, and a tour of the grain elevator and caboose. I've never been in either.
Many small prairie towns seem to be dying. The family farm has morphed into an agricultural industry, leaving old homes and barns slowly collapsing. The oil and gas industry is moving on as well, with fewer wells and increased automation for the ones left. Many of the secondary industries, such as equipment sales and service, have diminished as well, and soon after that the post office becomes a series of post boxes, and the schools close because it's cheaper to bus the kids (the few that are left) to a central school.
Acadia Valley seems to be an exception, from what little we saw.
6. The inside of a grain elevator. Don't ask me to explain. If it was closer, I'd totally rent it as photo space for portraits. The light is amazing!
Somewhere in the Foothills during a Zeller road trip last September.
The Clown Funeral, just before they dropped the casket. Because of course they did.