Author Archives: Donna

Mill Creek Tuesday

Mill Creek Ravine, upper trail (facing south)

I’m off for a week, so lots of Stella walks and yesterday, a walk with Tom in Mill Creek Ravine, sans Stella. It just wasn’t possible. We always stop at Route 99 for a late lunch, and I suppose Stella could have stayed outside, but she wouldn’t have liked that, and neither would I. She’s a people person. Not quite as much as Maggie, but in the same territory.

Overgrown stone steps

It was, as always, spectacular in my favourite creek. The day started off with a mix of cloud and fog, but by noon the blue had asserted dominance. With all the rain, the ravine was damp, the water was deep, and the foliage was lush and green. I am very aware that yellow leaves and autumnal temperatures are just around the corner, so I’m trying to appreciate every green second of summer.

Came across a nice piece of graffiti of a skull on a blue background. Upon closer inspection, in the eye sockets, a pair of googly eyes!! Not sure if the artist put them there, or if the graffiti was vandalized, if that’s possible. It made my day, more than it was already made by being in the ravine.

Sudden, and rather odd graffiti of a skull (although I like the blue)

Detail of skull, with googly eyes

There were lots of people in the ravine, probably avoiding the promised heat of the afternoon. I don’t want this week to end. I don’t want summer to end.

Yeah, it’s a manhole, but the grass was so inviting…

This morning (Wednesday), I took Stella to Whitemud Ravine via Aspen Gardens, and like Mill Creek, it was ludicrously lush. The only drawback with Stella is that sometimes I have to carry the gob-soaked ball. Most of the time, she carries it, but not always, especially when it’s covered in spit and dirt. And she loves her ball so NOT bringing it is out of the question, at least according to her.

Tuesday, 23C 1- 2:30 pm. Wednesday, 15C (24 later)/10 -11:15 am.

Walking with Stella

Whitemud Creek after 40mm(?) of rain last night

This post, on the first Sunday of my last summer vacation week, is just a bunch of photos from my walks with Stella in Whitemud over the last week.

Torrential storm last night, so the creek was high and the foliage glistening with water droplets. It’s been a wet late July and early August. I am savouring every moment of summer.

Last Thursday evening

Terwillegar with Stella (walk #4)

Terwillegar off-leash

First walk with Stella at the Terwillegar off leash yesterday (Sunday).

It was awesome. I mean, really wonderful.

Stella and ball

It’s been more than a year since we’ve been to a dog park. Maggie loved them, Terwillegar especially, but she was too incapacitated by arthritis to go very far in the last year of her life. The last time we took her, we almost had to carry her back to the car. But she still had fun splashing and yipping in the river! Like Maggie, Stella loves the water.

Although Sharon and Vic have only had Stella for three weeks, she has, thus far, shown surprisingly few issues. She’s not aggressive with other dogs or humans, she mostly comes when she’s called, and she knows how to play. And play. And sleep. Whatever her provenance, I’m pretty sure it didn’t involve abuse. Her only issue is a fear of abandonment, which is entirely understandable, having been abandoned after six years by her previous owners. She stays pretty close to Sharon and is a bit howly around men (sorry Tom), but other than that, she’s a wonderful dog. She doesn’t have the joyfulness of Maggie (or the attachment to me), but maybe that will come.

She also attacks water hoses. But that’s only a problem for the hose. And her teeth.

Stella (with friend) and Sharon

Sharon, Stella and I walked the periphery of the park, stopping many times to throw the ball. Along the way, Stella lost the ball in the bushes or to other dogs, but each time managed to get it back. The dip in the river was fantastic. She made friends with a border collie which had similar colouring to her as well as the same ball. They tag-teamed playing with the ball, or in Stella’s case, losing it in the river. We got it back though, thanks to the collie’s dad. It was so nice to watch a bunch of dogs playing in the river again.

The sky was blue or overcast or rainy or sunny, depending on the minute. But still nice and cool, after a week of hot, dry temperatures.

About 15C/10:00 to 11:00(ish)

A Buttermilk Sky (walk #3)

On Saturday (July 22), Tom and I went for pizza, and then for what turned out to be a most beautiful walk in and around his neighbourhood of Glenora.

We started off by walking to the fountain in Alexander Circle, which in itself, is a sight to behold.

The grand, century-old houses, the fountain and the ubiquitous “gardens in bloom” signs signify that you’ve entered the rarefied world of old money and tasteful garden cherubim.

No hand-crafted Godzilla water features, in other words, like you would see in my beloved Mill Creek neighbourhood.

Definitely NOT in Glenora

Picturesque fountains aside, after reading a few of the inscriptions on the benches, we turned east into the ravine on our way to the river which is just a short 20 minute walk from the top of the hill down a gorgeous, green trail. It runs adjacent to Groat Road, but all you can hear are the birds.

The sky was unbelievable! The clouds had taken on a particularly lovely formation, like puffs of cotton speckled across the blue expanse. We stopped multiple times to look and Tom said the phenomenon is called a Buttermilk Sky (because of the ‘curdled” appearance of the clouds). I had never heard this before, and while it’s unusual for Tom to comment on such things, I took him at his word. Buttermilk Sky. I like it. Although I don’t think of buttermilk as curdled, only something that I would never willingly drink unless its dissolved in pancakes and covered in maple syrup.

At the river, we turned west into MacKinnon Ravine. No relation. It was such a gorgeous evening. We were walking late, about 7:30, so for most of it we were in the cool shade, although the sun was still high(ish) and hot.

After about 15 minutes, the trail turned steeply up over the bridge and back into Glenora. The entire walk was a little more than an hour, and spectacularly beautiful. We will do this one again.

25C/7:30 – 9:00(ish) 

 

Smoke on the Water (walks #1 & 2)

The bridge…in Glenora over MacKinnon Ravine.

Once again, I’m behind on my blogposts, but happily, not my walks. Now to write three posts.

Wednesday evening (July 19), I went over to Tom’s for a walk. The sky was filled with smoke and the sun was an orange orb. You could look right at it without setting your retinas on fire. We walked our usual loop around Glenora. Other than the sun and smoke, nothing remarkable.

The next day, Thursday, I spent my lunch hour walking around a smoke-filled river valley. All week we’ve had a smoke advisory because of the forest fires in BC. It’s not as bad as it was in 2010, but it still makes for some ethereal landscapes.

Emily Murphy Road

The hour-long walk was great, although I didn’t bust 10,000 steps. I walked down Saskatchewan Drive to Emily Murphy and then hung a right through the trail along the river. Usually that path is wet and humid but it’s been very dry of late after a wet spring. Even scanning the horizon, the hills and boulevards on the way to Hawrelak are yellow, in contrast with the spruce trees and the green bushes (of various leafage).

Lots of colour in the river valley, as long as you don’t look up

Because I am writing this a few days after the fact, I can’t remember what the temperature was, but the heat was tempered by the sheath of smoke. Probably about 22C.

Bunny!

Related Reading: A Schmoke and a Pancake (2010)