The Sound of Autumn…

I heard them bugling with the light of dawn… an eerie hollow strained sound ending with a tinny whistle.
I snuck out of bed to watch them from the front window and then the porch—a whole herd of elk just outside my door, feeding on bushes and tips of spruce as they wandered along in the quiet of early morning… P1210982

The mothers keeping watch over their gangly half-grown offspring  eyed me suspiciously standing there in my pajamas…The buck noted my existence but seemed unimpressed… P1210981and then a second larger grander buck came striding intently across my line of vision oblivious to my presence. All the others cleared out of his way, the younger buck taking the lead, and moved along out of view around the end of our string of houses…  Rutting season has begun.P1210991





The following morning I came out to breakfast less impressed.  Not only are elk wild, majestic and awesome to watch… They also eat petunias, ravage lobelia, and generally have no sense of the aesthetic value of a profusion of potted flowers on an otherwise sterile porch…  They left me a straggle of  pansiesIMG_20160829_125702139 and a few token petunias, and the dirt.  The time for flowers is past.  Autumn is upon us, and with it, the elk.

So I took my camera and went scavenging for any remaining beauties in the meadow…

P1220042P1210999P1220003P1220004P1220008P1220014P1220016The bees are scavenging too.P1220019P1220028P1220030P1220038

We squeezed in another hike on a day of mixed sun and cloud…This time, Tunnel Mountain, which sits smack dab in the middle of Banff.  It reminded us of hiking up Scout

Here it is from the highway:

Tunnel Mountain Banff

And here’s the view from both sides at the top…

The Bow River, winds its turquoise thread through the valley


The one remaining highlight of the week was getting to spectate ( :  as The Tour of Alberta got underway on Day 2 from the heart of Kananaskis country just down the highway from us.

IMG_20160902_122656626_HDR Pretty neat!


O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Ps.104:24 ESV












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












Upward and Onward

By the weekend I had sufficiently recovered from my bout with shingles to attempt a real hike…

We started in Johnston Canyon (in Banff) with the lower and upper falls…IMG_20160514_142759917_HDR

And then traipsed onward and upward along a lovely forest trail…


to the Inkpots—an area of natural thermal pools, reminiscent in a very small way of Yellowstone’s wonders.


We munched our lunch and caught some shut-eye on the rocky shores of a beautiful creek before heading home. Our feet were ready to get out of boots seven and a half miles later!

Got a photo shoot of some bighorn sheep nibbling at the roadside along the way home… Is it winter’s leftover salt they’re after?


It’s great to be feeling better, and to get to hike on such a lovely day!


The mountains will bring peace to the people,
And the little hills, by righteousness.
Ps. 72:3 NKJV


(Banff in bloom)