“Pic of the Week”, May 7, 2021: Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, Banff National Park

01 Rocky Mountain Bighorns

It’s not often that I’ve seen bighorn sheep traveling in family units — father, mother and youngster. But that’s exactly what we saw when visiting Banff National Park.  Usually, in my experience, if you encounter bighorn sheep they travel in larger herds, often females and their young stick together, as do groups of males.
But this family unit was standing in the snow on a rocky outcropping overlooking a group of human admirers. The small one — probably almost a year old — was especially cute hanging out beside dad, before deciding to wander off.
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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Scenes from Banff National Park in Winter

06 Banff area winter

While the cold weather and especially the long winters can be a drag in Canada, there are some days when the beauty of the scenery almost makes it worth while.
Banff National Park is one of my favorite places in the world. My wife and I headed out there with our dogs a few weeks back (dogs on leashes are welcome in Canadian National Parks), and were rewarded with beautiful mountain landscapes.
Most of these photos were taken around Lake Minnewanka, the largest lake in the park, which was frozen sold. Lots of people were walking on the ice and, it being Canada, a hockey game was being played on the lake. The building in the middle of the ice is the …

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“Pic of the Week”, April 23, 2021: Crowfoot Glacier, Banff National Park

00 Crowfoot Glacier

Crowfoot Glacier is located in Banff National Park, off the Icefields Parkway, about 32 km (20 mi) northwest of Lake Louise. This hanging glacier rests on Crowfoot Mountain, with Bow Lake nearby (see photo below). Its meltwater drains into Bow Lake, then on down the Bow River and ultimately to Hudson’s Bay.
The glacier was originally named for its appearance of three claw-like ‘toes’.   The glacier has retreated since the end of the Little Ice Age and lost one ‘toe’ by the 1940s, but the name remains.
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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Street Murals of LaComb

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LaCombe is a small town of around 13,000 residents in central Alberta, between Calgary and Edmonton. It has a charming historic core and an interesting collection of street murals.
Lacombe is named after Father Albert Lacombe (1827–1916), a Catholic missionary who served as peacemaker between the Cree and Blackfoot tribes and facilitated the Canadian Pacific Railway construction of Canada’s transcontinental railway.
LaCombe’s mural program is unusual in that the murals are located BEHIND the buildings, often in alleyways or facing rear parking lots, and are hard to see from main roads. You really need to look for them, but I found them worth seeing. The murals feature historic scenes from the city’s past and incorporate the building’s design into the mural itself.
Most …

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“Pic of the Week”, April 2, 2021: St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Red Deer

03 St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Red Deer (7)

The small prairie city of Red Deer is not a place one would expect to find great architecture, but St. Mary’s Catholic Church is a notable and interesting exception.
The design of this church was the first project of Canadian architect, Douglas Cardinal Born and raised in Red Deer, Mr. Cardinal is Metis.  Today Cardinal is best known for designing the memorable Museum of Civilization in Ottawa and the Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC.
Planning for the church’s construction began in 1964 and it was completed in 1968. The entire structure is curved — the walls, roofline, even the roof.   There are no windows — light enters …

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Prince’s Island: A popular Urban Park in Calgary

00 Prince’s Island Park, Calgary

One of the most popular places in Calgary during the (all too few) warm summer months is Prince’s Island Park.  The park occupies an island in the Bow River and is situated immediately north of downtown Calgary.   It’s open from sunrise to sunset (5 am to 11 pm).  Several pedestrian bridges provide park access from downtown. 
Prince’s Island Park was named after Peter Prince, who moved from Quebec to Calgary in 1886. Mr. Prince founded the Eau Claire Lumber Mill, and formed the Calgary Water Power Company to provide hydroelectricity to the city.  Prince’s Island Park was developed as a community park after the Prince family sold the land to the city in 1947, resulting in the development of a …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 19, 2021: Education is the new Buffalo, Calgary

00 Downtown Calgary Library (29)

I was intrigued by this work of art, created by Lionel Peyachew, which is prominently displayed in Calgary’s new Central Library.
Historically the key to survival on the prairies was a successful buffalo hunt.  Today the key to success is a good education.  Peyachew has used welded steel letters and numbers to construct a an icon that combines past and present tools for survival. 
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.All Trips / Alberta / Car Culture / Central Canada / North America

Great Cars along the Highway: 1935 Ford Pickup

191-Show and Shine Car Show (215)

Came across this lovely souped-up Ford Pickup in Calgary — and in one of my favorite colors.
Hard to believe it’s almost 85 years old.  Powered by a 302cc V8, it was popular when it was made and still a very desirable collectible.
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