Tag Archives: Glenora

Day of the Giant Water Bug

This photo in no way conveys the absolute f’d up size of this thing. And it was crawling.

I was today years old when I found out that we have something called Giant Water Bugs in Edmonton. Turns out, they are the largest insect in Canada, and (after getting my face nice and close) they are poisonous!!

When I first spotted it, about a block off 142 Street as we headed west to the MacKinnon Bridge, I thought it was a palm-sized moth. It was rather hideous and clearly on its way out. When I shared the photo on the What’s App family thread, I was corrected by my ever resourceful niece Kate, who said it was a Giant Water Bug (or GWB). She sent along a photo of what it looks like when it’s healthy and ready to kill. Good god.

From the interwebs, a sprightly GWB!

Also from Kate: “The only reason I know about them is my Bio 30 teacher lectured us during a swamp diving field trip. Apparently, the year prior she had to send a kid who got bit to the hospital because his arm was melting.”

It was really creepy, crawling on the road propelled by what looked like two large antenna, or as my other niece Beth suggested, like it had swallowed a frog, head first. Gross and fascinating. I had considered putting my hand beside it for scale, but glad I didn’t. I’d hate for my epitaph to read “Killed by Giant Water Bug”. Or, would I?

Some of the comments from my Facebook post:

Brian Thair: “It’s a true ‘bug’. It has piercing mouth parts to inject digestive enzymes which dissolve the innards of living prey caught with those 2 powerful front legs that you can see. What has always impressed me is the aquatic, paddle shapes of the legs. Rolled over, the underside of the body has a keel like a boat. If wing span mattered for the size of Canadian insects, then several of the Saturnidae moths are the winners. Polyphemus and Luna are overshadowed by Cecropia which can be the size of my hand.”

Janice Hurlburt : “Not sure if you saw my post from a week ago of a White-faced Ibis with one in its beak. Here’s what John Acorn (the Nature Nut) said “Wow! Giant water bug (Lethocerus americanus)! Physically big, with a painful, tissue-dissolving bite, and chemical deterrents as well. Not sure what an ibis might do with such a thing. I’ve never seen ANYTHING eat a giant water bug. Very cool picture!”

White Faced Ibis carrying a Giant Water Bug (photo: Janice Hurlburt)

It was an otherwise uneventful morning walk, with some fabulous non-bug scenery.

From MacKinnon Ravine bridge
Glenora fountain in Alexander Circle

Awash in Colour

A riot (of colour) at the museum

Late afternoon walk in and around Oliver, the museum, and Glenora. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

View of Groat Road from the bridge at 102 Avenue
The always beautiful grounds at the (old) museum
Pale rider

16C, 8,500 steps.

Here Comes Autumn!

MacKinnon Ravine

As always, September is a spectacularly changeable month, second only to May. There are days when the morning brings an exponentially yellower canopy than the day before, with piles of leaves ever deeper on the ground. Over the years, and especially since I got a car, I’ve come to view Autumn in terms of what comes next—winter, which pushes me out of pure and present enjoyment of the season. It’s beautiful out there, and the temperatures are brilliant, but I can’t help thinking about the snow and ice just around the corner. I used to be a winter person.

The Glenora trail to MacKinnon Ravine

Beautiful walk this morning with Tom. We left around 9 am and did our usual route, but instead of walking up to 102 Avenue, we walked down to MacKinnon Ravine and the river. Several times a week we end our walk at The Colombian Coffee Bar & Roastery (right by Vi’s For Pies) for an almond milk latte and almondine croissant. It’s wonderful. I’ve turned Tom into a late stage coffee drinker! On two separate occasions, Leon Draisaitl and Zack Kassian walked in to grab a coffee. Glenora is lousy with Oilers.

Heading up to the bridge (MacKinnon Ravine)
Thanks Mr. woodpecker for pecking so close to me and my camera

About 8C to start and 13C at the end (it’s now 19C).

Do I Have Heat Stroke?

Victoria Park Trail: green grass on the golf course, and everywhere else, yellow.

With Tom keeping super early hours because of the Olympics, no walks with him this week, but I’m still getting out as much as possible. Today was a little crazy. I should have gone earlier, but to be truthful—and reckless, I left at 11:30 AM in the 26C degree heat. The tan I had developed over many afternoon walks had faded over our span of early morning walks and I wanted to bump it up a bit. To be clear, as a redhead my tan isn’t much and it’s mostly freckles, but a little colour is always nice. (I do wear sunscreen on my face, and randomly, over my shoulders and arms).

So, I walked. And walked. By the time I was finished, two hours had elapsed, my counter registered 14,729 steps (Oliver, Victoria Park trail, River Road, MacKinnon Ravine, Glenora, Oliver), and it was near 30C. I was really hot and for the last three or four blocks—even as tired as I was, I took a slight detour into a leafy neighbourhood to avoid direct sunlight. When I got home, I chugged down a big glass of ice cold water and sat in front of the fan. I wanted to take another shower, but I wasn’t 100% sure I wasn’t going to collapse, so I had a banana and that did the trick. I felt much better. I am a little redder and have a few more freckles, but that was probably too much.

Victoria Park Trail

Thursday will be another hot one. I think I might take the day ‘off’. Today we tied for the most days over 30C (only 1961 had that many 30-degree days), and that record will surely be broken in the next few days. What a godawful summer. I hate to wish away time, or seasons, but with the record-breaking heat and lack of rain, this summer has been hard on humans, animals, trees, and every other living thing except weirdo heat worshipers with air-conditioning. Let it be over.

From CTV Josh Klassen:

As of August 4….

A Perfect Summer Day (with shade)

Kind of a perfect summer day. A little hot for me but nothing a bit of shade couldn’t take care of. No smoke, and a couple of brief rain episodes have greened things up. More rain would be great, but today’s circuitous walk via the museum to Tom’s was super nice. Also, a bonus kitty!

Tiny perfect pinecones…

The Panther of Glenora

26C, 10,342 steps.

Summer Storm (finally)

First big storm of the summer last night. Much needed torrential rain, and lots of thunder and lightning. It was awesome. Early this morning we went for a cool walk, no smell of smoke although the sky was a bit apocalyptic.

Saw a bunch of hawks, not sure what kind. Probably peregrines.

12C, 11,690 steps.