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!)

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.