Author Archives: Donna

November In Like a (frozen) Lion

Snow dog!

Holy cow. On Halloween, it rained/sleeted. By November 1, winter arrived with a frigid vengeance. And it hasn’t stopped snowing. In total, I’d guess we’ve had about 15cm so far. I checked back over seven years of my walking blog, and of those, we had snow at this time in November in 2012, 2013 and now, 2017, or three times out of eight. Having said that, by the end of November, we always had snow, except for last year where we had to “wait” until December 4.

It’s just so sudden.

The end of October was lovely. On October 23, my birthday and also Tom’s, we went for a walk in the river valley and it was gorgeous. I can’t remember the temperature but it was about 18C. Right now, it’s -12C, and yes, it’s snowing. Stella and I went for a walk in the ‘hood this morning for about a half hour and it was cold but doable. Other than dog walks, not much walking since late October.

Birthday walk in Glenora and the river valley

I want to welcome winter. I don’t want to wish away any day, or season, but too soon, man. Too soon.

Tom, in the woods


Sunday in the Park with Stella

I gotta say, walking Stella is not without its stresses. I don’t entirely trust her, and she proved herself untrustworthy this afternoon. It’s a beautiful Sunday and so Whitemud Ravine was full of runny, yelly children. She barked at two of them, and lunged at one. The kid came from behind so I didn’t have a chance to rein in her leash. She didn’t make contact with the kid, but he did fall in the leaves. I felt really bad and really frustrated. Not sure where the parents were, somewhere up the trail I presume.

After that, I kept her on the shortest leash possible whenever we were around kids. I know that my nervousness is transferring to her, but I’m not entirely sure how to handle it. I think, as advised by Suzanne, when we come across unfamiliar dogs or children, she should be beside me on a short leash. Oddly enough, in an off-leash area, she’s amazing. Happy, and non-confrontational. She’s such a loveable dog, but still a work in progress.

Other than that, a pleasant walk in the very leafy woods.

It’s been a mostly beautiful October so far. Just that one snow episode in September, but nothing since, although other places in Alberta have had a lot of snow.

Today, it’s sunny, blue sky, not too windy and 17C.

I’ll take it.

Stella the recycler (Thanksgiving Monday, October 9)

OK, so this is from last weekend, but at least it’s here and not on the ephemeral Facebook.

Stella and I went for a walk in Whitemud Ravine on Thanksgiving Monday, and on the way back she picked up a plastic water bottle in the bush. And then she carried it the rest of the way, until we found a garbage. She’s got a thing for plastic bottles. Or recycling. One or the other.

I carried her gob-soaked ball.

I think it was about 20C.


October but really September

September 16, I think…

Double chins much?

I’ve developed a bad habit of posting photos of my walks in Facebook, but not here, mostly because the photos are taken on my phone. Stella is a little more challenging on leash than Maggie, so it’s difficult to handle both a camera and her. My phone is also challenging, and I’m pretty sure it will end up in the drink one day as I hang over a bridge trying to photograph the creek while she pulls in another direction, but suffice to say, I have walked a fair amount. Just not posted here.

So, in September, we’ve had 30C weather, also snow. It’s rained a lot, and some of the days have been super cold. Right now, we are past peak, but there are still lots of leaves on the trees and some green as well.

I will try to do better. Stupid social media.

And now, photos.

The University of Alberta river valley trail, just below Saskatchewan Drive


Terwillegar Stella

Stella posing in front of sculpture

Part of Resonant Progression, by Royden Mills

Finally, a clear blue day. The last week has varied from shades of grey to orange. Mostly orange, thanks to the fires in BC. Most of those days, the sun has been a gold orb. You can stare right at it and not go blind. Sunday, however, the skies cleared. It was a spectacular day. Lots of wind, but I’ll take that over a burnt orange horizon.

Stella doesn’t care, although she loves her orange balls. We went to Terwillegar dog park because it’s a great walk, but also because the new public art installation has opened up – Resonant Progression by sculptor and UAlberta sculpture instructor Royden Mills. Interesting, but difficult to fully take in without some background. It’s interactive, interrelated and involves sound, but the only one who interacted with it was Stella. I will investigate further and return, ready to interact.

The walk was uneventful but beautiful, with some crispiness underfoot and a few daubs of yellow in the canopy. It’s inevitable. Autumn is on the way. Stella loved the river, as usual, and only lost her ball 5,000 times. A good day. A very good day.

11:00-12:00/20C (28C today!)