Path Side Wonders – Wapta Falls, BC, Canada

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This spring we have spent our fair share of time exploring the mountain parks of Alberta and British Columbia. Our family is finally at the stage where everyone is able to hike, and excited about it too. Last weekend we explored the area around Golden, BC, and on the return trip stopped for an enjoyable hike to Wapta Falls.

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As there had been quite a bit of rain, the sides of the path were lush with flowers and mushrooms. Admittedly, the constant stopping left my family standing and waiting (perhaps arms crossed and toes tapping by our oldest two!), while I crawled around for mushroom pictures.

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The younger three got in the spirit of looking at the wildflowers. This did however lead to a discussion where my eight year old just would not accept that the beautiful flower she had discovered was a dandelion. She was certain it was a rare wildflower (her siblings also chimed in that what she had found was a dandelion which certainly didn’t help matters!).

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Now there is an amusing story from the day we did this hike. My husband and I were certain we had both walked to Wapta Falls a few years ago, we were sure of it. We were so sure of it we described the walk to tourists parked next to us; we had also read the distance, time and elevation gain the night before so we passed on that information. I remembered it being a grey drizzly day. As we walked along the path I thought something was “different”, but I wasn’t about to say anything. We get to the first lookout and at that point my husband and I are saying the hike and falls are different than we remember. By the time we hit the base of the falls we both looked at each other and said “We’ve never been here before!”. And then we twigged. We were thinking Sunwapta Falls……..in Jasper National Park…..we were only a couple of national parks out. Then, we had to come clean with the kids.

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The view from the bottom of the falls was quite lovely. The forest wildflowers gave way to Indian Paintbrush, one of my favorites. We stopped and admired the falls for a while, made a quick sketch, and then returned down the path we had just walked.

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Photography by Debra Hunter

http://www.debra-hunter.com

http://www.htheblog.wordpress.com

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Before and After – Spoon Carving

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We are currently in the process of taking out a rather mongrel hedge and replacing it with a fence. The hedge seems to consist of all sorts of different bushes and trees cut to hedge size. Every now and then, as we pull out the hedge 8 feet at a time, we come across a decent sized tree trunk and branches; these have been going into the “save” pile.

Above is a spoon cut from the hedge. It sits on the remainder of the branch it came from. I am eternally fascinated with taking a raw piece of wood and turning it into a functional object. As the wood has a mind of its own, you never quite know what you will get.

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A River Runs Through It (and more) – land shopping

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We are currently on a quest looking for land to rebuild our cabin on. Just across the Alberta border and into BC has caught our eye. We want more space than before, but are willing to forfeit being 100 meters from a lake. We also know that to make the project work we will have to do a lot of the construction, especially interior finishing, ourselves.

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Before we even get into talking about the build, our first task is finding some land. This is our second look at this plot. It has realistically one snug building spot as seen in the picture above . A snug building spot with beautiful views. However the piece of land also has some weird features too. Firstly, it is almost entirely on a steep incline. Secondly, a disused highway runs through it.

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And then train tracks run through it…..

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And a river too.

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Yes, a very strange property. But it is beautiful. There are lots of logistics to work out on this property before moving forward, it isn’t straight forward. Working out developing this piece of land is going to take a bit of imagination.

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June Garden

I thought it was time for a lighthearted post, and with the garden growing beautifully, I thought it was the perfect subject matter.

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Much of our flower garden consists of perennials. Each year, in our back garden, we are treated to the returning blooms of columbine, lupine,chives, poppies, peonies, daisies and lily of the valley.

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We have expanded our growing of vegetables this year with four wooden raised beds, three galvanized troughs and multiple pots for growing strawberries, tomatoes and potatoes ( we also have potatoes in the ground).

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Vegetables being grown include kale, chard, lettuce, cabbage, beets, carrots, radishes, onions, garlic, peas, beans, potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes and zucchini.

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The front garden and beds grow naturally and only need the odd weeding and very little water. Here we have hardy roses, fern, peonies, lily of the valley, and delphinium.

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And last but not least we have a few planters filled with flowers for a splash of color.

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So far everything is looking great. It will be interesting to do a similar post in July to see what is blooming then. Perhaps by then we will have some vegetables to eat.

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