Saturday 29 June 2013

Elk Crossing

We were driving along one of the scenic highways when we came across an elk.  We stopped at the side of the road and he walked right past our car!  He was so close that we could have almost reached out and touched him.

His antlers looked like velvet.

He seemed quite unperturbed by the fact that he had an audience and continued to graze for some minutes.

Friday 28 June 2013

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka is a glacial lake, which is located on the eastern side of Banff National Park, about 5 kilometres northeast of Banff.

We had left Calgary on the Saturday morning and driven to Banff, where we spent two nights.

Sunday was our first proper day of sightseeing together, after the days that I had spent at the conference.

We had heard about Lake Minnewanka from someone in town, who told us that given the right conditions (and the right time of the year), it is possible to see the Aurora Borealis from here.  This has long been on my wish-list, but the latter part of the year is usually a better time to see this spectacular light show ~ as well as the hours of darkness.

Still, we had the perfect morning for our visit.  The air was crisp and fresh with a hint of the warmer weather to come, but still cool enough to require a light jacket.

The mountains were breath-taking and the lake reflected both them and the sky.

We admired the scenery and watched for wildlife.

The perfect start to our day of adventure.

Saturday 22 June 2013


The garden has grown in our absence and we returned from Alberta to discover that the clematis had flowered abundantly.  We planted two clematis in the front garden last year and they seem to have settled in well. 
We got back just in time for the start of Summer and also because Canmore, where we had been only a day earlier, has been devastated by severe flooding and a State of Emergency declared.  You can see pictures here.

Campanula is a new addition to the garden this year.

I don't know the name of this yellow plant, which grew from a tiny stem which I picked close to the shore. 
This plant was already in the garden and I don't know what it is either, but the foliage is an attractive colour in contrast to the small white flowers.

Chives always do well in the garden and spread everywhere!  I like to leave them along the edges, as they attract bees.

 Lupins are another perennial favourite and these have burst into bloom in the days that we were away.

I'm still dreaming of my cottage garden, but after several failures with perennials from seed, including hollyhocks, which grew foliage prolifically last year, but failed to reappear this, I am wondering whether I will be able to turn this dream into a reality.

Friday 21 June 2013

Scaling New Heights

The journey began with a long flight to Calgary.  I was attending a conference for work, but we had planned to add some extra days afterwards for sightseeing. 

At the end of the conference, we squeezed in a visit to the Calgary Tower, which stands at a height of 191 Metres.  This offers a whole new perspective of the city, including a view down the tower to the ground!
After visiting the CN Tower in Toronto, the act of stepping out onto the glass floor was far less intimidating (the CN Tower is 553 Metres in height and the ground looks much further away!!)

The views from the deck are impressive, though the afternoon was a little cloudy for any long-distance panorama.

The Rocky Mountains are just visible in the distance.

This is the Saddledome Arena.

This is The Bow, the latest addition to the city's skyline and the tallest office building in Canada, outside Toronto.

The city follows a grid system of roads and city blocks.

Yes, I am standing on the glass floor!  Feeling relaxed at the end of the conference and looking forward to our days of sightseeing during our Rocky Mountain adventure.