A lunchtime walk in the river valley along River Road, MacKinnon Ravine, and Glenora. Once again, micro-spikes were a must. I did not eat lunch at the same time. I’m incapable of to doing two things at once. I would hyperventilate.
It was spectacularly nice. Not super warm (about -2C) but blue sky and sunshine. I’m glad I went when I did because it was starting to cloud over by the time I was finished, about 90 minutes later. I need my blue canopy.
The river itself is not quite as frozen as it should be this time of year. One open area below the Groat Bridge sounded like it was deep in mid-spring melt.
I’ve turned into a bit of a blue sky walker. If the sky is blue, I’m walking. If it’s overcast, I’m pouting. Luckily we’ve had a lot of blue sky lately. It’s been beautiful.
Saturday, Tom and I went for our usual walk through Glenora and into Ravine Drive. A not uncommon event in our lives, especially in this ridiculously warm weather we’ve been having since mid-December.
An Edmonton Journal confirmed what I was thinking about this ‘winter’ – that it’s very reminiscent of the winter of 2011/12. It helps to have a walking blog, but during that winter (apparently meteorologists define winter as starting from Dec 1) it was warm and largely snowless, meaning the snow that had previously fallen either disappeared or turned to solid ice.
It’s a dilemma for walking because the sidewalks are clear but many of the streets still have sheets of black ice. Do I wear micro-spikes? On long walks and in the woods, yes. Walking to the store two blocks away? No. Very much like the winter of 2011/12, which along with this year (so far) is one of three warmest winters ever recorded. We did get snow in February and March of 2012 but it stayed relatively warm.
AMAZING walk today with Tom. Aside from the usual niceness, we spotted a coyote, just below the MacKinnon Bridge. There was a family (with a stroller) about to walk into its path. I yelled down but I think they’d already spotted it and backed up.
The coyote was watching them closely, but turned the other way once it got to the top of the hill. He looked really beautiful and fluffy, but possibly moulting? A friend suggested mange. I hope not. I contacted the U of A Coyote Project just to get their thoughts.
UPDATE: I contacted the very nice Colleen St. Clair at the Edmonton Urban Coyote Project and she said this: “My colleagues at Animal Damage Control agree that those are shoulder mites on the shoulders, which coyotes seem to get from dogs. They weren’t sure about that black patch on the tail. It might just be black fur, but it might also be the start of mange.” Poor coyote. He looked very healthy and alert, other than the fur.
Always love spotting wildlife, especially when I can grab a photo or two. Also saw a leaf that looked like a tree and another example of the rare Glovewood Tree (in bloom), but not as spectacular as the coyote!
Drove over to Whitemud Ravine south (Westbrook trail head) to walk with Sharon, Vic and Stella. It was a frosty, beautiful morning walk under blue skies. It’s hard to stay inside when the sun is shining.
If we couldn’t be together for Christmas, at least we can go for walks. And even though we were outside, because we were walking fairly close to each other, we all wore masks. It gave me a chance to bust out my “Tell Your Dog I Said Hi” mask. A ridiculously true statement. It’s also on my car.
There were lots of folks on the trails, no surprise, and spikes were an absolute necessity since the Whitemud trails have lots of ups and downs. I don’t walk enough on that beloved trail. It’s as familiar to me now, and as resonant with sense memories, as my old favourite Mill Creek Ravine – another neglected trail. There are definitely some spectacular river valley trails where I live now, but I am missing the variety.
Gorgeous Christmas Day walk with Tom in and around Glenora, Ravine Drive, MacKinnon Bridge, and Laurier Heights.
It was supposed to be cloudy and below zero, but it was bright, sparkly and just the right balance of festively nippy and sun-warmed. Altogether beautiful, in other words. Many people out walking, lots of friendly ‘Merry Christmas’ exchanges. It was very cheering, especially considering that I spent my entire Christmas without my family. Just Tom and me.
The Alberta covid restrictions meant that I couldn’t get together with my family as per usual, and by usual I mean, every year of my life. So even though Tom stayed over, I opened presents (from my family) by myself in the morning and made Christmas dinner by myself, just for Tom and I.
I am grateful for that relationship, but Tom isn’t very Christmassy. He indulged me by watching A Christmas Carol, Charlie Brown Christmas, and It’s a Wonderful Life, but it’s not the same as being with family, with all our shared histories. The bright spot was an hour and a half Zoom call in the morning, and the walk in the afternoon.