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The great Canadian prairies (and their American counterparts) grow a lot of food. More food than can be consumed in either country and which is then transported to destinations all around our hungry world. The Canadian prairies extend from Alberta in the west, to Saskatchewan, to Manitoba in the east.
While driving across the prairies to visit my father in Winnipeg this past year, I made a point of randomly turning up a country road or two, driving a few miles to see what was there.
One turn lead to field of corn. Corn is not that common a crop on the prairies and this likely would end up as feed corn for livestock (less likely for consumption in nearby Winnipeg …
A few of the murals I saw while driving around Winnipeg this past summer. Over the years the number and quality of these has shown an appreciated increase throughout the city.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance)
One of my favorite places to visit in Manitoba is the main entrance to it’s Legislative Building — home of the province’s governing body. Within the entrance is a magnificent staircase framed by two bison — know affectionately by me as the Bison Stairs (but to most others as the Grand Staircase). The bison is the symbol of the province of Manitoba.
The staircase is composed of Carrara marble and has three flights each with 13 steps. The bison flanking the lower stairs are solid bronze and were cast in New York, each weighing 2 1/2 tons. Apparently to install the bison without damaging the marble floors, the main entrance was flooded and left to freeze. The bison were slide in on …
These photos were taken almost a year ago, after an unusually long and cold winter, with snow lasting well into May, 2018.
I visit my elderly father, who lives in Winnipeg, as often as possible. He is no longer able to drive but he still likes to go on road-trips. Just a little over 2 months ago we headed north of Winnipeg to the beach community of Victoria Beach, situated on the shore of massive Lake Winnipeg, where we’d had a cabin in the 1980s and 1990s. My dad and I both have many special memories of this community during those years.
A focal point of the community is its pier, built and maintained by the Government of Canada as a place …
Sometimes it’s good to stop at places you’ve driven by hundreds of times and actually explore them. Such was the case with my visit to the Union Point Church south of St. Agathe in southern Manitoba.
The church is situated between the north and south-bound lanes of highway 75, the road that connects Winnipeg to southern Manitoba and North Dakota. It’s a fairly important road, so thousands of people drive by the church every day but I suspect hardly anyone ever stops for a visit.
Union Point church was originally built in 1887, destroyed by fire in 1939, and rebuilt in 1940. There’s a small cemetery beside the church with tombstones dating to the late 19th century. There was once also a …
Grain elevators, prairie sentinels, prairie cathedrals — all synonyms for the large structures that have dotted the Canadian prairies for more than a century. I recall when traveling across the plains as a boy, you could spot these wooden towers at great distances — often 20 or more miles away — providing welcome relief to the otherwise flat landscape. Each elevator was a storage facility that marked the location of a prairie town; the larger and more plentiful elevators were in a given location, the larger and more prosperous the town.
The business of the prairies is agriculture and mechanisms needed to be developed to get the bountiful grain crops to world markets. After some experimentation with bagging the grain, it …
I’ve visited many interesting and historic places in my life, and hope to see many more. Lower Fort Garry was the very first of these and, in a way, may have stimulated my desire to see and visit unusual destinations. As a boy we traveled here by school bus for field trips, learning of the fort’s history and seeing actors in period costumes telling us about the lives they lead in the 19th century. It was a hard life — much work, long bitterly cold winters, warm to hot summers filled with millions of mosquitoes. Not at all pleasant.
Lower Fort Garry was built as a Hudson’s Bay Company post in what was then Rupert’s Land (now is Manitoba). Fort Garry …
It’s Canada’s birthday today — Happy 149th to all my Canadian friends and relatives, eh?! What better way to celebrate than to feature the American White Pelican, but in Canada. Highly symbolic of the identity crisis many in the country have, feeling neither American nor Canadian.
Pelicans are great birds to observe in nature. There’s nothing like watching a group of them catch a thermal and ride it for hundreds of yards, looking more like a formation of fighter aircraft than living creatures. Among the largest of North America’s birds, the American White Pelican is almost pure white, but with black feathers in its wings visible only when flying. Immature birds, like the one featured above, often have some dusky feathers …