Alberta Snapshot: Middle Lake, summertime.


This is one of my favourite places to photograph:  Middle Lake, in Bow Valley Provincial Park.   I always love how moody this little pond appears, depending on the cloud cover – you can see another shot of it here, snapped when my hubby and I stopped there after an ice walk in February.   These particular photos were taken earlier this month, during a fun, but rather wet camping trip in the Park.  We tent, so rainy conditions are always a bit of a challenge.  It’s really the clean up afterwards that doesn’t hold any appeal for me – we don’t have a balcony or deck attached to our suite, so I usually end up drying the tent in the shower, which means for the next few days, I’m scrubbing tag along spiders and beetles and other assorted creatures off of the walls and ceiling.  Okay, that’s a lie – it’s more like I stand as far away as possible (another room, preferably) and point nebulously and scream hysterically while my husband cleans up the wayward travellers.   😉

Apparently the rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of a truckload of teenagers, who stopped to take a swim in the cold water as we were leaving the parking lot.  The lake is a bit sludgy and wouldn’t be my first choice as a swimming hole, but the nearby Bow River was running too fast for a safe dip.  According to interpretive signs, Middle Lake is shrinking every year and will eventually dry up to become part of the meadow surrounding it.




My brother spotted this impressive old specimen of a balsam fir just off the beaten path.  Wonder just how long it’s been since it was a seed?


  1. I really laughed when I got to the bit about the insects in your bathroom! I really sympathise about the tent drying and cleaning – you definitely need space and a bit of outdoors to do it properly.

    • That would be so nice! It’s getting so I hate camping because of the clean up afterwards. For some reason, it seems to rain overnight and into the morning of the day we have to leave the campground…every single time. 😉

      • Yes! Why is this? We have given up camping entirely – we have a caravan which is warm and dry and there are places to store them if you don’t have any room at home. We are also getting very creaky and have difficulty getting down onto the ground and then find it almost impossible to stand up again!

        • That is so true – we don’t feel so comfortable sleeping on the ground anymore, either! Really feel the cold and damp now, too. That’s a good thing to have an RV of some sort, makes a huge difference to the comfort level.

    • It is definitely one of my favourite spots, that’s for sure!

      Tenting does have its perks – there’s nothing like opening the fly at night and seeing the stars overhead – but I’m not keen on a lot of the rest of it. During this last trip, there were bears all over in the area (they actually closed an adjacent campground due to bear activity a couple of days after we returned home), so that’s always more of a worry with tenting as well.

    • I’m really curious about that…I do know that a few kilometres southwest of that area, there are larch trees well over a century old. It’s a bit strange, too – there aren’t any other balsams near that one that are as large or appear to be as old.

  2. Haha, you screaming in the bathroom. Oh don’t I know it, cleaning up after camping, unpacking a wet, muddy tent and discovering we brought more souvenirs home than a nice bottle of wine!!! But that tree is impressive and beautiful!

  3. I had to chuckle over the description of you, the drying tent, and the wayward critters!
    When I got home from my latest trip (which I spent much of riding in the rain), I had wet bike gear drying all over the place 🙂

  4. stunning contrast in your photos of the Lake:-) Beautiful place! That is sad it will be part of the meadow some day:-( looks like a place that will be deeply missed if it does shring up!

    • It is definitely a wonderful place to visit, and the clouds were so interesting that day with the rain coming on. It seems to me that the lake shrinks every time I see it – not sure if it is actually happening that quickly, or it’s a trick of the mind. There is a pathway that takes walkers partway around the lake and you can see a large meadow on the south end, so I guess the lake was definitely much larger at one time.

  5. That is a gorgeous place and what a great place to to take pictures. I don’t think I would want to take a swim in the cold water but like those teenagers I might have if I were still their age. Sorry about your wet camping trip. I no longer go camping too many biting critters and too much work at my age. We slept on the ground for a few years before purchasing cots. I loved and really enjoyed camping in my younger years. I love the picture of that tree, I too wondered as I looked at it how old it is. Hugs

    • Cots would be a great idea for sleeping in a tent – at least you would be elevated off the ground! I have thought about purchasing some but I’m not sure where I could store them in our limited living space when they’re not in use. But they do fold up nicely, so maybe there is a way.

      And I’m with you about swimming in cold lake water – not for me anymore! 🙂

  6. I’ve noticed that many of the swimming holes I thought nothing of jumping into as a teenager look less than inviting nowadays…with wisdom comes a certain timidity, i suppose. Or it could be that I just have more (well, a little more) sense now. 😉

  7. Sheryl, sad but true you are one of the blogs not in my reader and so because I have not caught you when you like over at Petals, I have not been here. I am SO glad I saw you tonight, because in following you over here, I got such a treat. Your photography is magnificent! I totally loved looking at every single one plus like a lot of others got a huge laugh about the bugs. I have been camping and I KNOW the PIA insects and mud and rain can be. Thank you so much for posting this. I totally enjoyed it. Love, Amy

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