Flowery Prose

Sheryl Normandeau's growing words….


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Alberta Snapshot: Kananaskis River.

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A view of the wide Kananaskis River from the Flowing Water Interpretive Trail in Bow Valley.  This is a really pleasant, short, and easy walk with some fantastic scenery and lots of wildflowers.  There’s even a beaver dam (but apparently the beavers were bunking down in their little log cabins out of the gloom on the day my hubby and I were there.  I would have liked to see some babies, but alas). The trailhead begins in Willowrock Campground and is well-marked and worn.  This is another good hike for young families – there is one section of wooden stairs, but they are not too steep.  The stairs would make it tricky for anyone with mobility issues, but the rest of the trail is accessible.

I’m always fascinated by place names – and as I’ve lived here in southern Alberta for several years, I was familiar with the idea that the word “Kananaskis” meant “meeting of the waters.”  But it turns out that’s an erroneous marketing gimmick – the real truth behind the name is actually far more fascinating and…well…bloody.  Check out the historical account here.

Have you ever come across any “tourist” information that wasn’t really true?  Isn’t it interesting how stories are altered over time (or depending on agenda)?


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Flowery Friday.

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We’ve FINALLY had some rain!  This bedraggled yet beautiful Gaillardia at the community garden is a bright spot in the grey.  Hope your weekend is fabulous!


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Flowery Friday.

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A beautiful wood lily (Lilium philadelphicum) found on a recent trip to Brown-Lowery Provincial Park (near Priddis, Alberta).

I hope your weekend is fun!   What are you up to?


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Many Springs hike.

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Rain threatened, but it was warmer during this hike than it looks in these photos!  Many Springs is a really short (1.3 km) and easy walk within the boundaries of Bow Valley Provincial Park, a wonderful place for spotting wildflowers and just enjoying the fantastic scenery.  It’s a great educational site (and would be ideal for anyone with young children), as there are interpretive signs throughout the loop that give some idea of the flora and fauna of the area and the “mystery” of the springs.  Hiking mid-week, in poor weather, meant we had the place to ourselves…ah, bliss!

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Have you done any wildflower hunting lately, or walked in a new (or favourite) spot?


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Flowery Friday.

IMG_1359One of the tidiest, most low-maintenance plants in my garden, Silene uniflora ‘Druett’s Variegated’ (catchfly).  It’s also very amiable:  by the end of the season, the absolute brute that is my Engleman ivy will have flopped and clambered all over it.  No power struggle between these two – they’re like drunken buddies after a long night out.  “I love you, man.”  “No – I love YOU.”

I’ve been planting and watering my new babies like a madwoman…we had some rain earlier this week but it moistened only the top inch or so of soil.  I’m hearing that in the north, some farmers who had their crops wiped out by a late frost are not replanting because of the drought.  “Heat stress” might be the catchword of the summer, as we’re looking forward to some long hot weeks ahead.  I have always tried for mostly drought-tolerant plants because we don’t have a good watering system at the apartment I’m lazy and cannot be bothered to water – I hope I’ve made the right choices that will see the garden through.  Calgary is seriously arid, anyway – that rain shadow cast by the Rocky Mountains is pretty immense.  It’s something we have to take into consideration when we plant.  Or we should, anyway.

My other gardening news:  it looks like we’re finally on track to build a pergola for the community garden, a project I’ve been involved with since late last year.  Hopefully within a month or so I’ll be able to show photos.

I attended a container planting workshop held by the Calgary Horticultural Society last night and was introduced to the decidedly-non-Prairie-denizen dwarf papyrus (Cyperus profiler) – I was one of only a few gardeners in the room who were not familiar with it, so I guess that shows how little I’ve been out in the garden centres as of late (granted, I don’t plant more than one or two containers a year).  Apparently the papyrus sucks back water like no one’s business, which doesn’t really conform to my aforementioned gardening practices, but it’s so funky I will lug water for it daily if I have to.  (Please excuse the photo – I took it this morning in brilliant sunshine).

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What’s new in your garden this week?  What are your plans for this weekend (gardening or otherwise)?  I hope it’s a great one for you!  


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Alberta snapshot: Hoodoos.

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Hoodoos – Tunnel Mountain – Banff.  Photo taken 17 May 2013.

Here’s another pic from my (one-day-in-the-nebulous-future-to-be-defunct) blog There is a Light.  I did some research on the origins of the word “hoodoo” and got snarled up in a linguistic nightmare – let’s just say the word may or may not be a version of “voodoo,” probably referring to the weird shapes of the spires.

I do love the French names for them, however:  Demoiselles coiffées (“Ladies with hairdos”) and Cheminées de fées (“Fairy chimneys”) – so imaginative and beautifully descriptive!  And apparently in Blackfoot and Cree traditions, hoodoos were thought to be petrified stone giants that animated in the dark of night to hurl rocks down at unsuspecting passers-by.

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