Category Archives: Observations

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

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)