Last Ski of the Season? – Heritage Ranch (Red Deer, AB, Canada)

After days and days of cold temperatures and snow, it has finally warmed up . By afternoon the temperature had reached +2C and it seemed the perfect weather for a ski.

Today I decided to try Heritage Ranch for my ski spot, I thought a (literal) change of scenery would be nice, instead of skiing my usual route.

The trails were definitely a little bit slippy today with the warming temperatures. I will admit I paused at the top of the long hill before going down it, trying to decide how slippery it was going to be coming back up. After watching another skier tackle it with a slow “snowplow”, I decided to take the same approach.

As I only had a limited amount of time to ski, the plan was to go down to the base of the hill to the large open field and then turn around and go back up.

At the bottom of the hill I had a change of plan. It was pretty slippery in spots on the hill, and I knew it was not going to be fun going back up. I decided to go with “Plan B” and take the bridleway that snakes through the back way instead. It seemed to be a better option to break trail through fluffy snow, than spend the next 10 – 15 minutes sliding uphill. The “unofficial way ” seemed to be the most sensible option.

This just might be the last ski of the season, at least for skiing in Red Deer (Alberta, Canada). The forecast for the next six days is calling for temperatures above zero. Perhaps spring IS going to arrive.

 

iPhone pics by Debra Hunter

http://www.htheblog.wordpress.com

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Winter Walking – Barrett Park

Rose hips dusted with snow.

Bridges over just frozen creeks.

Winter path marked with footprints.

Frozen fungi clinging to an old stump.

Fallen trees and fallen snow.

Winter creek and flowing water.

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iPhone pictures by Debra Hunter

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Winter Walk – Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary 

Even though the afternoons are getting darker and darker as the days shorten, we still try to get out for walks most days. We are lucky to live near several natural areas with paths, but one of our favourites is Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary. One portion of the trail is a quick loop, perfect for cold days or when you are racing against the light to fit a walk in.

The pictures today are just iPhone pics, lighting was so poor it made no sense to take a camera along. Still, the walk was nice, and it is always good to get outside.






Photography by Debra Hunter

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Johnson Lake Paintings – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada — Debra Hunter – photography & art

I was recently going through a few paintings from spring of 2016. During that time I was taking a theme and then doing a few paintings based on a single theme before moving to a new subject matter. I thought it would be interesting to do a post showing a few paintings based on a […]

via Johnson Lake Paintings – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada — Debra Hunter – photography & art

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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