I guess it’s about time I stop whining about how dry it is.
Barely three weeks ago I was lamenting that both last winter and this spring were unusually dy. Not much snow, very little rain. But then a week or so ago the rain came along and changed things for the better. It was a good rainfall, a real soaker.
Still, I found things to whine about. The foothills beaver ponds were low, the creeks were only just barely murky from runoff, my favourite little waterfall was almost completely dry.
Well, I ain’t whining now.
There were twisters of alkali blowing across Deadhorse Lake.
They were spinning columns of white that rose from the clouds of alkali blowing from the dried-out north end of the big, shallow lake. Waves of white dust rolled like fog along the shoreline until they reached the water where the ripples tugged at the bottoms of dust clouds and made them twist. Vortices swirled and rose into the air.
I shouldn’t have stopped where I stopped and I shouldn’t have walked where I walked.
I was just outside the Waterton townsite, not far from the turn to the golf course. There was a stand of aspens there, their trunks stained brown with smoke, the forest floor around them burned black. I wanted pictures.
The sun rose from behind a mountain and cast amber light over the central Idaho plains.
Horses wandered in a pasture looking for morning mouthfuls of dry grass. A hawk glided low along a field of barley ready for harvest.
The Stavely rodeo started a long time ago, back when horses were still a major part of every farming and ranching operation, but the indoor rodeo was first held here back in 1956. And, despite a few ups and downs, it’s been held here ever since.
I broke free of the city just as the sun set and as I looked to the northern horizon I could already see the aurora borealis beginning to dance.
The Friday night lights were starting to shine.
I hadn’t really planned on coming out this way. Three hours before I’d been heading down to the Bow River at Policeman’s Flats to check out the blue heron nesting colony and look for any interesting ducks.
But as I got to the southern edge of the city, I looked off to the west. There was a lot of fresh snow over there so kept going south for a better look. The high country was blanketed from the mountain peaks to the foothills and it looked like more snow was about to fall.
See ya later, herons. I headed west.
The colour in the ice piled along the shores of Keho Lake was crazy.
Deep blues, turquoises, slivers of silver that sparkled with prismatic rainbows as the shards clattered and tinkled on the banks. I was there with my old friend Stu and we could have spent the entire day taking pictures there. But my impatience made us move on.
I know I’d be back, though, and soon. It was too lovely to waste.
The latest chinook has blown away the snow and polished up the ice at a beaver pond that I know up in Kananaskis Country. So I strapped on my crampons and wandered out on the frozen surface to have a look. There were all kinds of cool things both in and on the ice.