Warm thoughts.

I headed out to Nose Hill and Whispering Woods shortly after sunrise this morning and spent a couple of sun-filled hours meandering on the trails…I am so thankful I had the forethought to put my ice cleats on my boots or I would have had to turn back right at the gate to the Hill.  Even with the extra grip, I was still skidding all over the place.  (Who needs to go out to the mountains for an ice walk experience when there are such excellent opportunities at home?).   😉

Yesterday was humid and cold and so the trees were all caked in frost, but as I walked I could feel the warm air currents slip down into the valleys, and the sunlight quickly burned off the ice.  The aspen were so strongly scented they made me think of spring thaw.   And that’s a very pleasant thought, indeed….

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Frost…no frost…. 

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Very green aspens in Whispering Woods

IMG_0789Thistles may be annoying, but boy, do they have winter interest! 

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Alberta snapshot: Canola fields and sky.

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Photographed 7 July 2014, near Hanna, Alberta.

Even though canola fields in bloom are a common sight on the Prairies at this time of year, there’s no way I could ever grow tired of those brilliant swaths of yellow. I once had a summer job at the museum in Fort St. John, British Columbia, where I learned to work the till in the gift shop. With our location on the Alaska Highway, we were a popular spot for tourists to drop in for maps and other information, and I remember that the postcard I sold the most copies of featured a canola field under a stormy grey sky. “What are those beautiful yellow flowers?” was the third most popular question, behind “Do bears eat people?” and “Where is the washroom?”     🙂

Is canola or rapeseed a common agricultural crop where you live?

What is canola?

Willow catkins.

I have to run to catch up with spring, it seems…it’s all flying by in a blur!  I noticed our neighbour’s flowering plum is starting to bloom, even while a few doors down, there is a forsythia going strong.  The dandelions are threatening to take over the lawn (which makes me wonder why the rabbits choose to eat my liatris instead), and there are a million wild crocuses (Anemone patens)  up on Nose Hill flowering in sync with the golden (buffalo) bean.  The larches and the chokecherries and the aspens just leafed out these past couple of days – everything is that crazy young, glossy green, so bright it’s hard to comprehend.

I found these willow catkins this morning while walking on Nose Hill – what an amazing texture and colour!  You can really see the pollen on a couple of these images.

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What are you enjoying most about spring (or autumn, if you live in the southern hemisphere)? 

 

Crocus and sunshine.

To celebrate the passing of winter and the blissful appearance of bright sunshine and blooming crocus, I’m going to permit myself to undertake an elaborate happy dance and some ebullient shouting.  But I’ll spare you that particular photograph….  😉

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Weekly Photo Challenge – May 2 -8 – Spring!