Category Archives: Observations

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

 

Second Day of September

It was autumnal in the ravine this morning, and cool to start. Stella and I were going to walk up to the pond, but the powerline was full of dogs so we opted for the Westbrook ravine trail head entrance instead. Significant quantities of yellow and red in the vistas and on the ground, but above ground, not a lot. And now, in the afternoon, it’s 25C.

Seemed like a short summer, but they always seem that way, especially the older I get. I am looking forward to Stella in the snow, however.

 

Walking with goats

No, I didn’t run across wild goats on a hike. The City of Edmonton has brought in a herd of 200 goats to munch on weeds in city parks. Love the idea! Who doesn’t like a nice goat? Except, of course the Canadian thistle and other “noxious” weeds that are apparently high on the list of goat-approved snacks.

We travelled on a windy Saturday morning to Rundle Park to the Meet & Bleat, and it was surprisingly awesome. I mean, they’re just goats, but the idea is obviously popular with Edmontonians judging by the size of the meandering crowds making their way around the gated area. You’re not supposed to touch the goats, but many were, including myself and my sister Joanne – a devoted petting zoo enthusiast.

Jeanette Hall, informative goat woman and chief shepherd

Jeanette Hall, the goat shepherd(!), was on hand, telling us about the process of getting such a large and unique operation approved, with some additional goat show and tell. This is happy stuff, for sure. Such an environmentally positive step for Edmonton, and an entirely positive experience for Edmontonians. Hopefully the goats are enjoying it too.

Oh hello!

I am woefully unfamiliar with this part of the river valley. Rundle Park, Goldbar Park, all beautiful areas of the city that have largely escaped my footsteps. I should really make an effort. The view was spectacular, and not just because of the goatscapes.

Over that hill, goats!

Yodeling goat.

Later that day, I walked with Tom around Glenora for a little over an hour. A nice, cool evening, but the sun is definitely buggering off earlier. We arrived home in the dusk.

Glenora, later that day

Noon-1:00pm (goats), 7:30-9:00 (Glenora). About 20C