Pond Hockey

Pond hockey

Possibly the last ‘snow-free’ day? Sunday (yesterday) was beautiful. We had a light dusting of snow a few days ago, most of which is gone, but the ravine is still frosty. I’ve started wearing my boots because of the cold, but for the walk I wore capris and my running shoes. Not a long walk, about an hour, but still beautiful. I was surprised that Tom and I were almost the only people down in the ravine in spite of the sunny skies and above zero temperatures. Watched a group of kids playing hockey on the frozen creek. It was a very Canadian moment.

It’s supposed to snow a lot today (Monday) so it’s about to go full winter. Maybe.

Frozen Creek


Nice Balls!

Talus Dome

The self-reflective Talus Dome

Made a specific trip over to the Fort Edmonton trail to get a closer look at the much-maligned Talus Dome. I’ve grown to love the thing as a kind of shared Edmontonian experience – the sculpture we love to hate.

Talus Dome 3Up close, it’s really quite beautiful. The thousand silver balls mirror the surroundings and even itself, making the Talus Dome self-reflective and therefore the deepest piece of public art in Edmonton. That’s something.

It was supposed to be about 12C, but it was colder and muckier than I expected. The frost on the trails made mud out of the dirt, once it melted. It was sunny though, and that makes up for what felt like a week of dull skies and rain. A refreshing, chilly, and sparkly walk.

Talus Dome 2

6C/2:00 to 4:00pm

Good Bird (and one squirrel) Day

Blue Jay

October 31st in Whitemud Ravine was a good day for feeding birds. It was cool and everyone including me remembered to bring seed and peanuts. Once the seed came out, the chickadees, nuthatches and blue jays swooped in. They fed off my hand, Tom’s hand, and any surface with food. The overlook was especially lousy with birds. It was beautiful.

Tom chickadee nuthatch

Tom has all the chicks eating out of his hand

Tom Nuthatch


Whitemud colours Whitemud shore

1:30 to 3:00PM/8C

Whitemud Ravine Pipeline

Whitemud Ravine pipeline from the top of the hill

Whitemud Ravine pipeline from the top of the hill (on the right)

PipelineFabulous walk in north Whitemud Ravine this afternoon. Drove down Rainbow Valley Road, parked, and then walked along the trail that crosses by Snow Valley and leads to the river (or Fort Edmonton trail on the left). Really beautiful. We sat on a picnic table by the river under the blue sky, watching ducks swim over one by one. Even with the Whitemud freeway in the distance, it was very peaceful.

On the way back, we walked up a giant hill in search of an entry point for the red pipeline which spans across Whitemud Ravine and should be a pedestrian bridge but isn’t. (Didn’t even know it was a pipeline until this afternoon.) At the top, we followed a grassy trail by the university farm in Grandview toward the bridge. As expected, it’s blocked off by a fence, down a steep hill, and completely inaccessible. Or at least inaccessible for two middle-aged people, not a teenage boy (or girl) with no sense of their own mortality.

I’m just not that kind of daredevil. Or any kind of daredevil. It’s cool to imagine jumping over the fence and walking down a very narrow pathway over to the other side of the ravine, but that will never happen. On the other hand, I do think it should be re-purposed into a pedestrian crossing. With high safety rails and stuff. And some stairs. And maybe a zip line. I’d consider that. But not this.

The pipeline, a few years ago.

The pipeline, a few years ago.

8C/1:00 to 3:30ish

Past Peak

Top of the powerline in Whitemud Ravine

Top of the powerline in Whitemud Ravine

A quick stroll after voting this morning. It has been a tense election. Walking in the woods is an antidote to all that ails. Even vile thoughts of another Harper Government.

Well, maybe.

Birch Trees

Autumn requires few words. The conversation is in the leaves. In the pen and ink wisps of trees and bushes. In the softening light. In the echo of woodpeckers.

Tall woods Whitemud Ravine in Autumn

Peak fall has given way to the muted tones of grey and brown, but there are still bright daubs of colour in the woods. Reds and yellows and greens. A season for detail. For realism. Every dangling, spotted leaf. Every naked branch. Beetles and chickadees. Spruce cones. Tamarack needles. Bright white berries and clumps of red currants. The Impressionists can have summer. Autumn is for close observation, for high resolution imagery.

Two Walks

North Saskatchewan River from the other side of Fort Edmonton

Sunday-North Saskatchewan River from the other side of Fort Edmonton

Haven’t been keeping up with the blog, so here’s two walks for the price of one. Last Tuesday in Rossdale/Louise McKinney/Mill Creek and today the trail along Fort Edmonton Park. Both days were gorgeous. We are really having a fabulous October, which makes up for the cool, rainy September. Some leaves are still hanging in there, but for the most part they’ve shuffled off to their forever homes in the ground. Beautiful deaths, though. I’ll give them that.

Sunday-view from the Fort Edmonton Footbridge

Sunday-view from the Fort Edmonton Footbridge (Tom and I in shadow)

Tuesday-the North Saskatchewan River from the Cloverdale Footbridge

Tuesday-the North Saskatchewan River from the Cloverdale Footbridge

Tuesday-Mill Creek Ravine

Tuesday-Mill Creek Ravine