A lot of pictures.

Snow came just before we left, making it hard to get Luka to come.

But he knew damn well where we were going and would never let me leave without him. We were on the road before too late, retracing at least half of my old work route. Had to wonder if anybody I knew was up there.

There was a half day to be worked and at least half a dozen last minute chores to be done before leaving, though, so we did travel into the night.

Sweet, sweet, catless sleep.

That right there was pretty much everything I wanted to do too, but I wouldn’t go to Jasper without a stop by one of my favourite restaurants, which I have loved for years as much for the pizza and canopy of interlocking trees as for the staff, who take great delight in entertaining their very youngest customers and encouraging them to run around.

I do always try to get up to Medicine Lake, too, so up up up up up we went, up the frozen Maligne Road.

Up to the burn line of a recent year’s fires.

Medicine Lake always looks different. I’ve seen the water to the tree line in a particularly turbulent spring, but this time of year it has drained fully away. The fires certainly changed it’s landscape as well.

The descent proved to be a very bad combination with sinus pressure so it was later the next day before we got out again. Met a very unfortunately habituated local at Athabasca Falls.

Luka and I found a quiet trail that led directly to the moon.

Back in town, having somebody else drive for a change made for an opportunity to pull over and get a shot of the man in the mountain from an angle I’ve always liked, and under a beautiful soft evening light.

Obligatory photo of a Jasper elk, except I’m not photoshopping out all the wires.  That’s what our wild spaces look like now.

And unfortunately increasingly like this. We just don’t get the cold weather we need to stop the spread of mountain pine beetle anymore.

Stopped by the Sixth Bridge of Maligne Canyon for a final leg stretch. Very frosty.

Very misty.

Very precise.

Very thick.

Very shaggy.

And then the road back.

And ultimately into more frost.

Not too far into that we saw the belching smoke of home.

Hard to get too lost with neighbours making that big a cloud system.

The only danger would be heading to the wrong one, since there are a considerable number of them visible for quite a distance out here.

And then back, I was informed, where I was supposed to be.

I missed you too, Diggity. Don’t worry, this mama didn’t leave you to the ravens. This one came back.




Warmer, warmer, warmer, cold.

My spinach should absolutely not be growing in December, and yet it is. Alive sure, snow packs can have some remarkable insulating effects. But not thriving like it has been this past week.

The seas of ice are gone.

It’s disquieting.

There was a brief clattering of snow pellets on Sunday, like a light hail shower. Yes, when you have a husky even your ice is covered in dog hair.

We’ve been quiet, communing around a common cold.

We plan to continue being quiet. Excepting, perhaps, disagreements about sharing the upholstery.

Regarding the Chickens

One thing all of this sunshine has given us is a beautiful view of our Mr. Food-Pun-Name-of-Your-Choice’s big boy feathers, now fully grown in. He’s no small bird, but then a Canadian heritage breed wouldn’t be. We’re really happy with our cold hardy Chantecler.

And he knows he’s pretty.

But you can’t blame the guy for showing off, he’s got four new girls to impress.

And they are tiny little things. Free to a good home and all we were told before picking them up was that they were “regular white chickens”. I was expecting commercial fryers, but I’m pretty sure they qualify as bantam, and I certainly wasn’t expecting the big combs. Their eggs are just adorable. I was a bit concerned about how well they’d mix in with our much bigger girls, but they are holding their own.  I hope they’re happy here.

But on the subject of daylight that’s nearly gone, so I better get gone too.

Up up up up up

We’ve always sung scales of “up up up up up” when we go up hills. Now we sing them anytime anything goes up. Balloons, birds, cars on ramps. Up up up up up.

Today was a continuation of organization began yesterday. Getting the size she just grew out of packed away. Getting the size she’s going to grow into  next out of storage. There’s no way to know when she’ll take that leap.

You have to be ready. When it’s time to grow you’re going to grow, and whether or not you’re prepared for it decides whether that’s something you can handle or not.

It’s a good day to be getting ready to grow. Much to do.

Pretend I Posted This Yesterday

We had a quiet and eerily warm weekend. Mid teens dog moving into the shade water running everywhere warm. Went into town on errands and drove past seas of ice.

Got a lot done, unfortunately not everything we had attempted, but we did discover two gorgeous nests – magpie we’re guessing – in a lovely little tucked away spot we investigated while stretching our legs before the drive back.

Still enjoying our indoor pursuits too, and the warmer weather means fewer layers means messier pursuits.

And reckless rubberneckers.

And then with everywhere in the entire house to choose from, this is where she decided was the best place to be next.

Because wherever she is she’s usually in her favorite place to be, regardless of how sensible a place to be it isn’t, because her favourite place has little to do with where it is.


4X4 Hot Rod Combine

This one was in the trees over the chicken coop, listening attentively to the cacophony it was kicking up. I didn’t get a better view before shooing it off, but all indication and most likely possibility is a juvenile bald eagle.

This was stuck to miscreant #1’s butt. Literal poetry in motion, that kid. Of course I still have my mom moments with miscreant #2. Whatever she turns out to be, she is very much mine too. Poor kid’s got to be somebody’s, after all.

And speaking of miscreant #1, she was minding none of her own business when she found these pants that I look forward to learning the history of, because apparently it’s a long one.

I mean they’ve been darned. How many people even know how to darn anymore? 30″ waist and with the hem on top of my foot the waistband hit about an inch under my arm.  And then I had to put them away. I developed a wool allergy as an adult which inhaling disintegrating clouds of it aggravates quite badly, evidently.

Here’s how it works around here, Mr. Happy. You ask for attention,

you get attention. No takesie backsies.




Do clever kitties squat on top of wet dishcloths? No, clever kitties do not squat on top of wet dishcloths. 

Doesn’t have the common sense her mothe… oh yeah. Hey it was a grow your own cat kit, not a build your own cat kit. All I can do is feed her and hope what brains she has develop.

We had a good weekend. Made it out to the pasture where we were escorted across the clearings.

He does look out for us on our walks, and I do feel better with him there. I don’t know who else is out there. There are a lot of possibilities.

Certainly nobody whose company I’d prefer to keep.

Made a town run, too, and I got to be a passenger again on a particularly sparkly afternoon.

Saw my third bald eagle this week too, but regrettably it was not on the photographer side of the car.

Took some pictures of Anthony Henday drive which aren’t interesting at all right now but I intend to look at them again in a decade or so and see what they look like then.

Still becoming increasingly outnumbered in the yard.


And then we got yelled at so we went in. Not a great shot of a squirrel, but I love the slightly opalescent, impressionist colour effects of the poor resolution.

See? That’s why I love the internet. I would never be able to identify impressionism as the movement this photo evokes for me in a conversation. I need my handy dandy search engine to tell me what they called the way that Monet guy my mom liked paints. I’m infuriatingly picky about saying exactly what I mean, too, so *hugs search engine*.

82 words and a few pictures.

Happy end of hunting season. 

Hauling season is by and large over too. It’s nice to have peace return.

And friends.

You know how dogs learn important times of day like when people come home and dog food is served? No word of a lie. Deer can read calendars.

One of her fawns is on the little hill down the road. She had two with her, both in beautiful condition.

We have a crappy evening planned. I’m thinking of changing our plans.