A Silent Hero

Halloween 1994

Most little girls look up to their fathers as their knight in shining armor and want to marry someone just like them.  Fathers keep us safe from dragons under the bed, goblins in the closet and carry us when our feet are too tired to walk anymore.  Fathers are heroes from the day we are born, to when we get married and beyond.  Fathers never stop being there for us even when we marry a man just like him.

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Dad giving me away at my September 2011 wedding

What is the official definition of a hero?  According to dictionary.com the official definition of a hero is: “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities”.  For me I believe a father falls under this same definition with unconditional love added.  My dad falls under this definition times ten.

My dad is everybody’s friend.  If someone needs help moving, building a cabin or chopping wood he will be the first one to volunteer.  He is life of every party and family gathering.  All of his friends would call him the truest of friends and each consider him the best friend they could ever have.  Some would even consider him more of a brother then their own.  He is the glue that holds us all together.

In 2001 my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer and went into remission in 2002.  He fought a battle and won all while maintaining his spirit.

In July 2011 he was diagnosed with esophagus cancer.  He has endured radiation, chemo and surgery bravely to fight this second round of cancer.  He had more courage than ten men put together when the doctors told him the cancer had moved to his shoulder.

He fights bravely every day in battle against this disease, never letting his spirit falter.   He is always the first one to say, “What is the difference between this time and the last?  I’ll make it through this!”

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Dad and I at a family BBQ August 2012

My Dad, My Hero!

B

** This blog was inspired by Plinky prompt “Who is your greatest hero of all time?” **


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The Wonders of Quebec

Over the May long weekend D and I had the pleasure of traveling to Montreal and Quebec City, Quebec, Canada to visit D’s brother M. We were able to see the Eastern Townships on our way to Quebec City on Saturday.

Church in Cowansville, Quebec

The architecture of this build was just awe-inspiring. The scenery was amazing along the Eastern Townships. The grass and the trees were so green and lush.

Lush country side

I honestly cannot decide what was better-the scenery on the way or the old European style buildings. I believe that both were equally stunning in their own way. It took us most of Saturday to travel to Quebec City. Normally it would only take  a couple of hours. But we figured since we only had 3 days to see the province we would make the most of it. We arrived in Quebec City at about 4 eastern standard time.

Old town Quebec was absolutely stunning. When we stepped into Old Town it was like we were transported to Paris.

Church in old town Quebec

Stunning old building

I think the best part of  Old Town was the mural that was painted on the side of a building. The work was very seamless and if you stood in front of the mural it looked like you were actually in it, in your picture. The mural was so big that couldn’t fit it all in one picture. So I took sections of the mural that I found most interesting.

Part of the mural

Middle of the mural

Last bit of the mural

Me in the mural

Next the stop on our to do list for Old Town Quebec was the majestic Chateau Frontenac. It looked like it was transported here directly from Europe. In the late 19th century, William Van Horne, General Manager of Canadian Pacific  Railway, began building the hotel as the ideal stopover for CP travelers. Van Horne retained the services of American architect Bruce Price. Drawing on the architectural styles of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Price immortalized the history of the two great powers that had occupied Quebec City’s highest promontory.  Just standing outside the front doors make any person feel like royalty.

Chateau Frontenac

Although the weekend was fast paced, I feel that we saw all the best of Quebec.

Where will my photos take me next?

B 😀

Political Correctness gone wrong: Animal ethicists shun “p” word

In an article  from Global Edmonton, a new academic journal states that we should stop using the words “pet” , “wildlife”, “vermin” because they are derogatory. The journal even suggests that “animal” is a “term of abuse.

The academic journal also states that by changing how we address animals (or in their case non-human species) by their noun will change how people act and think.

Who really is being offended by these simple terms? According to the journal animals could be offended but the bigger picture is how we treat animals. They are saying that the way we address a “non-human species” relates to how we will treat our pet (or in their case companion animal). However, a linguistics professor states that in changing words it is not a guarantee that people will change how they treat their pets.

The journal has also decided that similes such as “drunk as a skunk”, “eat like a pig”, “sly as a fox” etc are also derogatory and we should stop using them immediately.

The new journal has created a public outcry that political correctness has been taken too far this time. The new politically correct terms of “spring sphere”,”Happy Holidays” and now “companion animal” have taken this topic way too far. In the end would an animal really notice if it is called a “pet”, “wildlife” OR  “companion animal”, “free-living” respectively.

Animal ethicists shun ‘p’ word-the full article

B 😀

Spring is in the air or so we think

What is spring? That is what many of us here in Canada have been asking ourselves for several months now.

I know spring is finally here when:

You can smell rain instead of snow mold

You see robins jumping about

You hear songbirds in the morning

But most importantly there is no SNOW on the ground.

But for us prairie provinces we don’t release a shout of joy for spring until the beginning of June. Our weather can change drastically, within hours, if you just look at mother nature wrong. We can go from sunny skies to an all out blizzard. On the other hand we can get a down pour of rain when thirty minutes ago it was bright and blue.

For example, just when our friends of Manitoba thought spring was here to stay mother nature hit them with a snow storm that resulted in another 30 cm of snow.

Here in Alberta we are holding spring firmly in our hands waiting for the solstice to bring us summer. Right now we will continue the ritual of  watching the weather channel, holding our breaths and releasing  it with a big sigh when we hear there is just sunny skies in our forecast.

However, just for now I think I’ll keep my winter gear ready. You never know what will happen tomorrow till you look out the window.

B 😀

Majestic Canadian Rockies Part 2

In part 2  we will explore Jasper, Alberta. Jasper became a national park in 1907 and is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies.

The town of Jasper was originally name Rocky Mountain House but was renamed in 1817 for Jasper Hawes, who took over the trading post in the same year.*

Just before reaching the town of Jasper, along highway 16, is Jasper Lake.

Jasper Lake

Above the town of Jasper is the towering Pyramid Mountain.

Pyramid Mountain taken from Sixth Bridge

There are two great hiking trails at Pyramid Mountain. However, I haven’t yet explored them. I hope to hike them this summer and post the photos I get along the way.

Where will my photos take me next?

B 😀

* Taken from “The Story Behind Alberta Names” by Harry M. Sanders

Majestic Canadian Rockies Part 1

For this post I will be going back in time to February 2011. In this month I took two amazing trips with my fiance to Banff, Alberta and Jasper, Alberta. This will be a two part blog. The first part will be about Banff, Alberta and its surrounding area.

Lets travel  to a little town called Exshaw just outside of Canmore, Alberta first.

Exshaw hosts a variety of cement facilities along highway 1A that have been in operation for nearly as long as Alberta has been around. The town was named after Lieutenant William Exshaw, son-in-law to prominent railway surveyor and engineer Sir Sanford Flemming. *

Just between Exshaw and Canmore is a little lake called Gap Lake. Beyond the lake is the majestic Pigeon Mountain.

Pigeon Mountain with Gap Lake

When you reach the town of Canmore, Alberta you will see the mountain called  Three Sisters, named for its triple peaks.

Three Sisters Mountain

Canmore refers to the Scottish King Malcom II, who was known as Canmore. meaning
big-head” in Gaelic. Canmore’s name was chosen by Lord Strathcona (Donald A. Smith), however, the name was changed in orthography from “Kenmore” to “Canmore”.*

Next along the stop is Banff, Alberta which is the third largest national park in Alberta. It became Canada’s first national park in 1885 and is the most visited national park in Canada.

The most prominent mountain above the town of Banff is Mount Rundle.

Mount Rundle

Where will my photos take me next?

B 😀

* Taken from “The Story Behind Alberta Names” by Harry M. Sanders

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

That’s right, Alberta has been hit by the fluffy white stuff! 😦  🙂 I don’t know if I am happy or sad about that.

On one hand I freeze when I walk from my car to the train station for school. On the other, I can finally learn to ski this year as my fiance is an avid skier. And there is always the gorgeous photography that the snow provides.

For example, when the snow falls freshly in the middle of the night and you wake up  in the morning the trees look like a winter wonderland all covered with the white fluffy snow.  Those are the mornings in the winter I especially look forward too.

Sunset through snow covered trees

Snowy Sunset

 

Snow field at sunset

I can’t wait till the weather and roads clear up so I can head out the back roads so I can take some other wonderful snow filled pictures for you.

B 😀

What’s in an Albertan Name?

Alberta was named for Princess Louise Caroline Alberta (1848-1939) the wife of Marquess of Lorne. Alberta became a province in 1905. It is a vast Canadian province; from Boreal Forest, Parkland, Grassland, Foothills and Rocky Mountains. Within each of these different areas there are many types on industries. Parkland/Grassland-minning and agriculture. Rockie Mountains/Foothills-Minning and tourism. Boreal Forest- Oil.

Now what does all of this have to do with pictures? EVERYTHING! No matter where you drive in this province you are guaranteed that you will see wondrous scenery. And as a budding photographer I just can’t put my camera down! My camera is like my purse, it is one of the main items I make sure I have before I head out the door. I never know when I might come upon a wonderful picture in this beautiful province. I’m not saying that other places in the world are not beautiful, I’m just saying that sometimes you have to see the beauty right under your nose before you can see the beauty across the world. I love getting to know where I live through pictures.

That is one of the points of my blog. To show you what’s under my nose and what I see when I go elsewhere. Enough about my views on beauty, let me just show you what I mean.

Yesterday I to a trip to the Coronation, Alberta area. Coronation is  a small town about 160km east of Red Deer, Alberta. It was given its name in 1911 to honour of the coronation of King George V that same year.*

And just south east of Coronation is some colourful badlands; called the Paintearth Badlands.

Small Part of the Paintearth Badlands

These are called the Paintearth Badlands because of the iron in the land that creates the red colour through out the buttes.

Back Road Badlands

Along the way I saw someone enjoying the scenery.

 

Cow

View from the top of Neutral Hills

My next destination was the Mud Butte Badlands near Consort, Alberta.  Consort is the home town of country singer k.d lang.  A little south of Consort is the provincial park of Mud Butte Badlands.

These badlands are different from the Paintearth Badlands and the Badlands near Drumheller, Alberta where they stick up from earth unlike the other two that are canyon like.

 

Mud Butte Badlands

After I made this stop I headed on back home. I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about little towns  in Alberta.

Where will my photos take me next?

B 😀

*Information from The story behind Alberta Names by Harry M. Sanders

Need to Know

Alright, I think I have set myself up for some wonderful shots and some amazing blogs! In this blog I will explain a little about the pages at the top.

HOME: This is where you can find my blogs.

PHOTO OF THE MONTH: I will post my best photo at the end of each month for the month.

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT: Here you will find small requests about commenting. Please read before commenting on a blog.

The next blog will be about photography and interesting tidbits about the place I took the photos at.

B 😀

Hello world!

Welcome to my home on the web!  As you can see I am a newbie on here but give me time to gather my thoughts!

I am an budding photographer and I would like to show the world that I live in through my eyes. I will take you across Canada and hopefully beyond someday.

I appreciate comments about the blog or my photos however flames and personal insults will not be tolerated. Please see Rules of Engagement for further information.

To start of the photography part of this blog here is one of my most recent shots of the Canadian Rockies.

Johson Lake, Banff National Park, Canada

Johnson Lake, Banff National Park, Canada

 

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