Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park
November Monochrome Musings
There is wind where the rose was,
Cold rain where sweet grass was, …
-Walter de la Mare
Now that several consecutive weekend storms have passed, is November anyone’s favourite month?
Hardly! What is there to rave about a month that progressively fades into diminishing light and heat? In most people’s mind, the bridge between fall and winter has us mentally hunkered down in the dark, huddling the furnace with wool socks pulled up to our knees. Folks on the Canadian prairies are content with mere wind and rain but when the white stuff hits the doorstep a touque tops off winter styling in these parts. However, the “in between season” that early winter offers is an important time to pause, reflect and reconnect with nature, ideally, meditatively in a serene and untroubled setting. Often folks abandon these special places over the short days and long nights stretch, thinking that they serve best at the height of summer, ruminating over picnics in daylight that lingers late in the evening, sprinkled with children’s laughter after a park stroll, lolling in heat that does not fade into gradual darkness after 2 PM.
The leaves that haven’t been blown to other prairie provinces have gone monochrome and crunchy, the only sound other than the blustering breeze. No; it is not summer any more but a late fall or winter walk refreshes, invigorates and renews, allows ponder and contemplation. Autumn is but a sweet memory; the malingering, sweet one this fall almost vanquished southern Alberta’s late spring turmoil. We cling to the fading light as the stingy sun holds back more and the days fold into winter, and thank Mother Nature for providing places of respite and reflection before the harrowing days of the pending festival descend upon us.
For more on the goodness of in-between seasons, see:
Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park – Before And After The Floods
Reflecting on the past week, it is amazing what a difference a few days can make.
The rains which plagued southern Alberta to nightmarish proportions were just starting their torrential ruination at the time these first two images were taken. Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park, just west of Calgary was emerald green despite the foreboding skies. Clean and sparkling, readily dressed for those bleaching days of summer which, after all, was scheduled to arrive later in the week. Those brilliant colours typically do not linger on the prairies once the long sunny days of summer perform their desiccation dance and a different “brown season” creeps into the height of summer. For spring brown season, see http://heathersimondsphotography.com/2013/05/20/glenbow-overcomes-the-brown-season/
Mother Nature had a different plan and a lot of southern Alberta is now blighted in slimy, brown silt. The rains and the swollen Bow River that snaked through the prairie lands, more an “out of control” dragon than a lowly serpent, left a sticky, ugly sort of brown that remains long after the withering summer temperatures unfold into autumn. Our minds still grasping the surreal, rationalize with our hearts, saddened by losses and devastation. Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park, like many institutions, is slightly crippled but now open again, changed by the swath of last weeks’ weather but ready to serve nature seekers who want to re-engage with Mother Nature and worship again the wealth she also bestows.
Alberta 2013 flood imagery: http://jcruzfoto.com/2013/live-instagram-photos-of-calgary-alberta-flood
Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park – Green Season
Sometimes you have to get out and see what all the fuss is about when green season hits the Canadian foothills. Late evening spring light is best viewed and experienced from outside of the car window so find a park and get walking.
In the case of Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park in late spring, taking a short walk west from the parking lot can make all of the difference in the world, at least in the prairie and foothills world. After a week of big rain the thirsty land dresses up green almost overnight. Combine the big prairie sky and fading warm light and you have colours sleeping together in harmony; greens and yellows and blues melting into one another. In the colour wheel world a palette of analogous colours are a good thing. So get out of your box, whatever that may be, and look for some colours cozying up at a park nearest you.
For more on Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park see: