Flashback to mid-summer last year and a public planting found in a playground in the Beltline area of Calgary. That mix of foliage textures and the pop of lime green, yellow, and pink-purple (possibly combined with the fact that it was crazy late in the evening and I hadn’t eaten supper yet) made me drool.
Pretty much any colour is making me drool right now….the absolutely bananas weather has given me a serious case of cabin fever!
I’m a newbie pumpkin grower (I grew them once, years ago, with mixed results) and so I’m rather proud of these little ‘Algonquin’ plants that have – so far – weathered extreme heat and hail and powdery mildew. I am anxious for the fruit to ripen before frost hits. Last night, our temperature dropped to a brisk 4 degrees Celsius (39.2 degrees Fahrenheit), so I’m feeling a tad worried about the number of frost-free days left in this growing season. ‘Algonquin’ is a heritage cultivar, and the fruit is quite small and elongated, not round. You can check out a photo and description here.
If I recall properly, there are three lakes in the province of Alberta that share the name “Chain Lakes.” This is the southern one, near Nanton. I checked into the area’s history and apparently it used to be three small, linked lakes that drained into the nearby Oldman River via Willow Creek. When the south and north dams were built in 1966, this long (over 10 km), narrow (>500 m) sliver of a lake was created.
I took this rather moody photo from our boat, on a cool evening this past August. The skies were heavy with forest fire smoke.
I wonder how much soil is under that rock? I’m guessing, not much. And I’m not showing it in this photo, but there was snow clinging to the rocks just southeast of where I was standing. In July. This common willowherb (Epilobium ciliatum), a close relative of the (ahem!) even more common fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium*, also known as rosebay willowherb), is a mountain plant with heaps of beauty AND brawn.
*In another case of Nomenclature Gone Wild, fireweed was previously known as Epilobium angustifolium. I can’t yet find an explanation as to why the genus name was changed for this plant and not for common willowherb…but I’ll keep digging.