Glenbow Ranch, A Kaleidoscope of Summer Colour, Part II
Kodacolor, come hither, to big sky country west of Calgary with its unfailing blue by day, wispy cloud cover by afternoon and lingering sweet hour sunsets. Emerald green meadows aren’t the typical western Canadian prairie fare but this summer they are on the menu sprinkled with wild flora faces. There is no doubt, pounding spring rains can leave destruction in their wake, but, by contrast, a summer trickle settles the dust on a warm prairie evening refreshing the land with welcome reassurance that all is well with the grand old dame, Mother Nature.
Glenbow Ranch, A Kaleidoscope Of Summer Colour
Unlike most early summers on the prairies this one has been wet. Too wet!
Although the water has not been so kind to rivers and streams and folks living nearby, the prairie landscape has flourished under the unusual nourishment, turning native landscapes like Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park into a kaleidoscope of colour. These days saturated doesn’t just apply to ground water levels; after successive (and excessive) rains, the prairie landscape has been enriched to an unprecedented cornucopia of colours. This summer, rainbows, admired for their full range of primary and secondary colours, hang over emerald green pastures, not fescue fields half baked by a sun, reluctant to leave the prolonged days.
Florally speaking, at the macro level, nothing beats the Prairie or Wood Lily (Lilium philadelphicum) or Yellow Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum) when dressed in their finest, hugging the warm side of the colour wheel through the height of summer. Sadly, both species are endangered in some jurisdictions; you know the rules, be sure, when admiring, to look and sneak a capture, but no random stomping or casual picking.
If you like a little contrast in your landscape and don’t mind hand of man, the Canadian Pacific Railway presents a live snake of red and beige cars about seven times daily, easterly and westerly directions, depending on your desire and chosen background. Some just like to soak in the buildup of late afternoon clouds in big sky country, ever hopeful that this time no more rain will fall.
For more on the ravages of the saturated Canadian prairies, see:
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: