Collecting Summer…

It’s mornings like these that one could hope would last forever—fresh gentle breeze ( zephyr is the perfect word for what I feel just now on my bare toes…), hot sunshine, blue sky spun with cotton candy clouds, and nothing that must be done right now  but to sit and smell the clover and watch the wee striped ground squirrel harvest seeds from the tall grasses, and sit very still when the hummingbird comes to the petunias at my side…


I’ve had a big project going these last couple of weeks.  A daughter’s wedding is in the wings.  But can’t share photos of that just yet… So I’m digging into my summer’s flower collection for today’s post.  I love flowers (in case you didn’t recognize that already. ha!)  And being in a new place means there are new flowers to add to my photo collection ( :

Just beside a well-trodden trail I found these lovelies…

ColumbineBunchberryWood Lily

The Wood Lily was new to me. Incredible that they just pop up in the woods like that!


These, whose names I have mislaid,  come in yellow and in white…




And what a curious little thing is the Lady’s Slipper…

Lady's Slipper whiteP1210222

This bright eye-catching clematis is apparently a noxious weed… Who would guess?Yellow Clematis

But I don’t have to wander far for flowers… In my back yard and just close by there’s plenty of glory…


The clover smells soooo sweet on the breeze these days. It’s delicious to more than just the bees!


And then there’s the blessing and the bane of the Buffaloberry bushes.


They are lovely to look at, though among the bitterest of berries to the human palate (I tried them, in hopes of making jelly. Uck!).  But the bears adore them,  and because there is a bumper crop of these berries in the Bow Valley this year, there is also a bumper crop of bears… which have not been very nice to random cyclists and campers…So… the trails I stroll in the evenings are all taped off till further notice so the bears can enjoy their picnic without intrusion of homo sapien.  Sigh.

IMG_20160703_204808988 But on one of my last strolls I happened upon another wood lily—only this time a yellow one!

The other thing one happens upon around here is coal–a reminder of Canmore’s history and primary reason for existence!


IMG_20160719_165336228_HDR I visited the local museum last week and discovered a map detailing where the mine shafts are under all this flower-strewn picture-perfect land we live on.  It’s startling to see the gaping black holes surrounding the little strip of houses that comprises our street!IMG_20160717_155851206

Smack left of center on this map you’ll see our little stretch of street, on the brink of the black abyss that marks the areas mined underground… Eeek!  The positive effect is that this land is now lovely meadow which isn’t likely to be developed ( :

It’s home to the flowers and the beasts.

deer tiptoeing through yarddeer with fuzzy new headgear

I woke one morning to find these fellows camping just outside our place….elk out back

Mamas with their young were hiding out close by…Elk Mama with baby

Such is the life in our neighborhood!

Thanks for stopping by to share my collection ( :


The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing.  The LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. Ps.145:15-17 ESV












Climb, climb up Sunshine Mountain…


We set out to discover the fabled “Sunshine Meadows”  on this fine summer’s day… prepared to skip the shuttle bus and hike the extra three miles each way for the full experience.

In the winter this is ski country!  But  in the summer and fall tourists are lured up to the alpine meadows above the ski runs with the promise of easy hiking and stunning wildflowers.  A school bus shuttle will spare you the huffing and puffing of the final three miles to the treeline but at a cost which seemed unreasonable to us.

So we walked—at least until it began to rain, and then to hail as we approached our destination! OUCH! At which point we sped up to a trot and took refuge under a gondola lift till it let up!  P1210286P1210293

We were soaked and chilled…

And the poor wildflowers we had come to see didn’t fare so well either…P1210294

It all seemed pretty bleak.  Not only were we wet, and getting cold, but the landscape was a great deal bleaker than we’d anticipated.  Some reward for a three-mile trudge…P1210300P1210303P1210296Even the flowers looked a little blue…P1210314P1210305

Behold, the continental divide.  Look closely and you’ll see the post markers that separate Alberta from British Columbia…


But then, as we topped the rise to the meadows, leaving most of the straggle of visitors behind…P1210326

the sun cam out!P1210325 P1210330

and we rounded a bend to find this little gem—Rock Isle Lake.

Things were looking up!  Shortly thereafter we found  a bench in a sunny protected spot, perfect for a cat nap– to dry out and to warm up!


But the mosquitoes were pesky and the bench hard and I was restless to find wildflowers and to see where the trail would meander next… P1210353

Intending only to snap a few pictures close by,


I had soon left both bear spray and good sense behind as I wondered on down the trail while Jim dozed oblivious to my whereabouts… P1210368P1210370P1210371

Every rise and bend in the trail lured me further along; the views were irresistible.


I strolled right on past a fork in the trail, never considering how Jim would know which way I’d gone…


But I was happy as a lark, or a Sal hunting blueberries* , or a Heidi in the Alps…whistling along, intoxicated with the beauty and the carefree delight of discovering more around each bend…oblivious to the passage of time…

P1210403This ground squirrel seemed to appreciate my song…

The earlier dismay at the stark, wet and chilled landscape had dissolved in the sunshine and birdsong.  It was glorious!


The rest of the story was not as glorious.

For though I neither met a bear, nor got myself lost, and though I did eventually come to my senses and retrace my steps bubbling over with tales of the glory of the trail… by this time my husband was no longer drowsing but searching for me down the fork in the trail I had not thought to take.  Sigh.

Still, we opted to extend our walk together and see what else was to be seen.  We logged just over nine miles before we were back where we’d started, glad to have seen Sunshine, and wildflowers! on an alpine meadow.






Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.Eph.5:1,2 ESV


All this business of hiking in the mountains is ‘old hat’ to these bighorn sheep
snuffling winter’s leftover salt along our way down the mountain…


* Have you read Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey? It’s a picture perfect summer’s classic you don’t want to miss!