“Pic of the Week”, May 27,2017: Spring in the Rocky Mountains

P1070298

I enjoyed a beautiful drive alongside and through the Rocky Mountains in Alberta and British Columbia this past week.  The landscape had greened nicely with the warming weather, but the mountains still had lots of snow on them.  I made a few stops along the way and photographed some of the beautiful scenery.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, then right arrow to advance the slideshow)

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, May 27,2017: Spring in the Rocky Mountains
.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Cave and Basin National Historic Site, Banff

35-02 Cave and Basin (58)

The Cave and Basin National Historic Site is a small site just outside the town of Banff, but is important to Canadians because it was a catalyst to the formation of Canada’s first national park, Banff National Park.

Historic aspects

The Cave and Basin is the lowest of nine sulphurous hot springs, arranged in three groups, on Banff’s Sulphur Mountain.  The water is heated geothermally at a depth of about 3 km (2 mi) and escapes to the surface at these sites.  The Cave and Basin is the only natural cavern in the area big enough to comfortably accommodate groups of people.

Humans have inhabited this region for at least 10,000 years, back to the retreat of the massive …

Read More

Tagged , , ,
Alberta / Car Culture / Central Canada / North America

“Pic of the Week”, March 24, 2017: Cars and Gals

064-Show and Shine Car Show (73)

A scene that seems like it might have been snapped a half century ago — two pretty girls sitting on the hood of a classic car.  Of course, it’s not.  I think the give-away are the tattoos; I see at least three of them (plus there’s a cell phone on the ground, too).  Back in the 1950s “nice” girls just didn’t get tattooed.  That was something “trashy” people did.  My, how we’ve changed…..

Photo taken last summer in Calgary.

Tagged , ,
.All Trips / Central Canada / Manitoba / North America

Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site, Manitoba

02 b-Lower Fort Garry

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 …

Read More

Tagged , , ,
.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Signs of Banff

04 Signs of Banff

Banff is the premier resort town of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.  Nestled on the leeward side of the Continental Divide, it became a popular tourist destination in the early 20th century when the Canadian Pacific Railroad first laid tracks and built tourist resorts in and around Banff.

Today’s Banff is much larger than the Banff I remember visiting as a boy a half century ago.  It still has great historic alpine charm and is in a magnificent natural setting, but during the summer the place is crowded with tourists –mostly Asian tourists  (Japanese especially) but with lots of Europeans (Germans mostly).  People who live in Alberta value and respect their visitors but tend to avoid the Banff townsite during the summer …

Read More

Tagged ,

“Pic of the Week”, February 25, 2017: Percheron Horses, Bar-U Ranch

IMG_5511

Percheron horses are an ancient breed and much of their history is unknown.  Some believe they may have been used by the Romans, others credit the breed to the Moors.  It is known that modern Percherons originated around La Perche in Normandy.

Percherons are large, strong animals that were primarily used for heavy draft work and, as such, were popular carriage and farm horses.  They were used in World War I to haul artillery.  Percherons are known for their intelligence, even temperament, ease of handling and hard-working spirit.

The horses were exported to North America in the 19th century and caught the eye of some breeders.  When I visited the Bar U Ranch in Alberta a few years back, …

Read More

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, February 25, 2017: Percheron Horses, Bar-U Ranch

“Pic of the Week”, January 13. 2017: A Frosty Morning in Calgary

08 frost

The Canadian prairies are rather dry, especially during the winter months.  There’s not much precipitation and humidity is often very low, cracking skin and boosting the sale of epidermal moisturizers.  It’s so dry that at times snow actually evaporates — not melts, evaporates.  There are rare occasions when it’s a little more humid and even rarer occasions when everything works together to give you the amazing spectacle of Hoar frost.

Hoar frost (aka hoarfrost or radiation frost) refers to white ice crystals, deposited on objects such as branches, leaves and wires. These crystals form by condensation of water vapor to ice on cold, clear nights.  Sometimes the hoar frost is so heavy it resembles snow, except that when you look at carefully, these …

Read More

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, January 13. 2017: A Frosty Morning in Calgary

“Pic of the Week”, July 1st, 2016: White Pelican at Victoria Beach

P1030187

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 …

Read More

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, July 1st, 2016: White Pelican at Victoria Beach