Christmas lights and cookies

Just a few pictures from this evening to get in the holiday spirit. A couple of outstanding local light displays and some freshly baked Ice Box Gingerbread Cookies.




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(iPhone pics by Debra Hunter)

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Rockies Afternoon 

Seems like we are always on the move and almost always headed west. The scenery from the road as we drive through Banff National Park never disappoints. Even on a cloudy October afternoon the mountains are stunning.





And of course every road trip includes a little knitting for http://www.handmade-canada.com .


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White

An unseasonably early snowfall has left us seeing white over the last few days in Alberta. Driving on the highway felt more like a trip in January or February, rather than just a few weeks into fall. The following are a few iPhone shots taken while driving down the Q.E.II highway. Not the best day for a drive.

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Saturday Drive To Golden and Back

castle junction

Castle Mountain Junction, Banff National Park (Canada)

On Saturday we decided to drive to Golden, BC for the day. It is about a 4.5 hour drive one way for us, 4.5 hours of amazing scenery. We enjoy driving, plus I needed to get some knitting done (which I find works very well on road trips), so it seemed a great way to spend the day.

Coffee Sweaters being knit for a coffee shop in Banff.

Coffee Sweaters being knit for a coffee shop in Banff.

 

Driving on the Trans Canada Highway.

Driving on the Trans Canada Highway.

Over the last year and a half we have spent more and more time in this area. The scenery is stunning, yet it is less crowded than Jasper or Banff. We never knew what a gem this area was until one day we ventured off the main highway and started exploring the more rural areas and roads.

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Even with the weather rolling in the landscape is gorgeous.

Reflection Lake

Reflection Lake

Reflection Lake has become one of our stopping points. Located only minutes from Golden, it is a great place to view birds while surrounded by great mountain scenery.

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Fall leaves provided  great foreground color as the Purcells turn to grey as the clouds cover the mountains.

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Little creeks are abundant in this area, creating amazing picturesque views.

Hoodoo Creek

Hoodoo Creek

Just before the sky opened up with torrential rain, we were able to get a last couple of mountain pictures featuring fall leaves.

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Photography by Debra Hunter
(just iPhone pics this time!)

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Garden to Table

Vegetable growing in watering troughs.

Vegetable growing in watering troughs.

Eating local is a hot topic nowadays. Buying organic, buying from Farmer’s Markets, and buying from local producers. However one of the easiest ways is to grow your own food. You know exactly how it has been grown, it couldn’t be fresher and it is conveniently located right out your door.

carrots and beets

carrots and beets

This is our first year growing in watering troughs and it has been a huge success. We have been able to turn an underused sidewalk into a garden. The three troughs are home to beets, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, onions, chard, and kale.

We have netted off the troughs as we have a healthy deer and squirrel population that have become quite brave.

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kale and chard

Last night we again incorporated the food we have grown into dinner. We were able to use chard, beet greens, onions and garlic (from another bed) all grown at home.

beets

beets

I have been  wanting to try filo wraps so last night we picked some ingredients from the garden, added in some mushrooms, and gave it a try.

blog filo 1The filling was sauteed mushrooms, onions, garlic, chard and beet greens seasoned with Worcestershire Sauce. My youngest was a trooper and cleaned a whole pack of mushrooms as I chopped. Our kids love helping in the kitchen.

blog filo 2We rolled up the filo parcels,

blog filo 3used an egg wash on top and sprinkled the filo rolls with sesame seeds.

blog filo 4Into the oven they went for about 20 minutes,

blog filo 5and out they came.

blog filo mushroom roll_5359The rolls were a great success. Everyone loved them and ate them up. Another vegetarian meal to add to our list of family meals, and another great way we can use the veggies we grow.

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Photography by Debra Hunter

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Summer Weekends – Big Hill Springs Provincial Park

Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, Alberta Canada

The summers of 2015 and 2016 have been interesting for us, after years of spending every weekend at the cabin, we have now been challenged with learning how to reinvent how we “do” summer. Years of being on auto-pilot of going to the cabin Friday night, hanging out or hiking, then back home Sunday afternoon or evening, have been replaced with “What should we do this weekend?”.

We have discovered staying in the city isn’t an option; you can only go to the pool, walk on the city trails, or go shopping so many times…..plus that is what we do during the week, we want weekends to be different. So this summer has been THE summer of weekend road trips.

The weekend road trips are probably part to blame for this blog being so quiet. Half the time we are in areas with no cell phone service, and when we return home the hundreds of pictures taken are too daunting to go through to get a blog post up before we are off on another road trip.

The scale of the road trips has also been elevated, and have even been going into BC for the day (4.5-5 hour drive each way). Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Golden, Field and hiking areas near Calgary and Canmore have become our weekend backyard. That’s a pretty stunning “backyard” of world class scenery!

Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, Alberta Canada

This weekend we opted for Big Hill Springs Provincial Park. We have driven past the entrance to this park dozens of times and have never stopped. In all that time we had never realized how stunning this area was.

The trail, a family friendly 2.3 km loop, spends the first part of the trail skirting alongside creeks and waterfalls. It is literally one fairy tale waterfall after another. Wildflowers dot the sides of the trails at low levels until you start a gentle and short climb up to a lovely view point. The trail then takes the hiker through a treed area rich with mushrooms and fungi until you come to the final descent.

Walking the trail in this direction means that you do not start the hike with a straight uphill, but rather a pleasant and gradual climb.

I have many more images of the hike to share in the future, but for now, a few more waterfalls……..

Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, Alberta Canada

Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, Alberta Canada

Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, Alberta Canada

Directions to the park can be found by clicking HERE. A great spot to check out if you are in Central or Southern Alberta (Canada).

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Photography by Debra Hunter
http://www.debra-hunter.com

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Busy in the Background

Recently blogging has taken a backseat. It seems the more one has to blog about the less time there is to actually blog.

Today I will share just a few things happening in the background, some of which are on my other blogs.

Photography has been busy recently. Head shots, grads, families and babies. Many an hour past midnight has been spent on the computer editing away. ( http://www.debra-hunter.com or http://www.hunterphotographics.wordpress.com )

With the blooming of wildflowers natural dyeing is a daily event. (www.handmade-canada.com)

 

Plus I have been knitting items for Talisman Books and Gallery on Pender Island and the Bear’s paw Bakery in Jasper. In addition to these two retailers I have been completing custom orders like the hats below…….

blog custom knit hats

and making hats to be posted on the website. ( http://www.handmade-canada.com )

blog child maple leaf hats

With tree pruning there has also been spoon carving. We won’t discuss the scale of this one, it is rather ambitious!

blog spoon

Our land search has taken us to the mountains multiple times, allowing us to enjoy many hikes.

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The thing that keeps us busiest of all are our trips back and forth to the coast. After all, who can resist ocean kayaking? ( http://www.islandhomeblog.wordpress.com )

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I do find I am able to keep more up-to-date on Instagram. I can be found at @debramhunter , @handmadeincanada, and at @hunterphotographics ……..social media is almost a full time job!

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