Karst Springs.

Late June, when this photo was taken, seems like it was eons ago. But it also somehow appears that I blinked and missed the entire month of July. My perception of time is all funny these days.

This gorgeous raging mass of water is Karst Springs, and while I’m sure it is an amazing sight at any time of the year, I’m thinking that it is at its most impressive in June, when the snowpack from the mountains is melting and every body of water is nearly in flood. Karst landscapes are typified by underground streams and formations such as caves; in this location, the water appears to gush out of a solid wall of limestone. It’s quite incredible, and the 10 kilometre hike (out and back) to get there is pretty much flat terrain the entire way.

Alberta snapshot: Brown-Lowery Provincial Park.

We’re having a mosquito year! Heavy spring rains and flash flooding in some areas have brought out the nasty little critters in thick swarms. It’s impossible to avoid them when you’re outdoors, even in the city, where they are not usually a huge problem due to mitigation measures. On a hike out at Brown-Lowery Provincial Park earlier this week, my husband and I added a slightly frantic waving arm/slap routine to our walk and it ended up being quite the upper body workout. The views were worth the ridiculousness, though.

Alberta snapshot: Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area.

This amazing natural area just outside of Calgary is one of my favourite places to visit – the views are incredible in any season and in any type of weather. The Rocky Mountains to the west, rolling grasslands in the south and east, and even a view of the city’s downtown when you gaze north – it’s all eye candy from the trails, and depending on the time of year, you’ll catch a myriad of wildflowers in bloom, numerous bird species, and maybe even some wildlife (we’ve seen moose and deer, and a few small mammals such as squirrels). I took this photo about three weeks ago, when the aspens were just leafing out and their foliage had that brand-new-straight-out-of-the-package brilliant yellow-green colour and the snow pack was still high on the mountains (that actually hasn’t changed much – the peaks remain pretty white).