Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park – A Park For All Seasons
Tis the season of hustle bustle and we seem to be either full on or hunkered down in avoidance. The festive days around the Winter Solstice has, for centuries, had folks ebbing and flowing between gluttony and celebration and retreat. We know where the food trough is but we can’t always easily find places to feed the soul. Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park offers just what the season requires to keep the season’s demands in balance.
After imbibing to the point of satiable stupor, head out of town. Long days, yes, but the advantage is you don’t have to get up so early to take in a sunrise. Venture from the Visitor Centre for some new experiences. Bring snowshoes or skis and break a trail in the recent snowfall. Watch wildlife sustain through the longest, coldest part of winter. Catch a winter sunset, the ones you have to bundle up a little more for, have you driving home with frigid fingers and then treat yourself to warm sustenance when you get home. Partake in a park event http://www.grpf.ca/events . And, here’s the big secret, this time of year there is more wildlife than people around. That will keep you in the zen.
Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park is truly a park for all seasons, ready in all kinds of weather to nurture daily stresses, including the one you sometimes need to run away from. Tis the season.
More Mongolia Camel Trekking
On a good day you can spot a lost camel or horse or cow or whatever lost herd animal you are looking for…. just climb the closest rock formation and look in any direction across the plain. The setting of Semjit Hairhan, southwest of Ulaan Bataar, the capital of Mongolia, is a sharp contrast to the flatter terrain of southern Mongolia, including the Gobi Desert. Giant geological formations (as opposed to a mountain range) settle into the treeless steppe. Watch out for the largest wild mountain sheep in the world, Argali Sheep (Ovis ammon) are indigenous to the area. If you are a camel herdsman you will be wearing a heavy outer coat with a bright orange sash and thick, tall leather boots. The sheep just might spot you first! The latter need to be removed when playing frisbee, but, otherwise, work well for the terrain and the herdsman’s duties which may include getting your feet stepped on by an upset animal that doesn’t want to pull a camel cart of luggage. (see http://heathersimondsphotography.com/2012/09/27/mongolian-camels-do-spit-at-the-herdsmen/ )
This is an unusual place in the high desert of Joshua Tree National Park. Unusual because of the vegetation, the rocky mountain landscape and the water reflection. Most desert areas are replete of large bodies of water but, here, a dam was built by early settlers in hopes enough water would be available to keep herds year round. The heat of the summer was not taken into consideration. The area was abandoned when the water quickly disappeared in the late spring followed by daily temperatures well over 100F. The park just commemorated it’s 75th year in the national park system. The unusual rock-scape and dessicated aura provides the photographer with a myriad of images, this long exposure being taken on a windy day with stacked filters to smooth the clouds and water.