Many Springs 2020

I was running behind, having spent some time taking care of ‘matters of consequence’ on the home front.  Once turning in toward Westhills Starbucks, I felt the excitement, even in the pouring rain, of getting out to Many Springs and discovering our wild flowers.

We missed Wendy.  We missed Carla.  And, we missed Darlene. And, we missed Darren, too!  Oliver and Cam, glad you could join!  We shared many remembrances as we made our way from our meet-up and headed for the Bow Valley Parkway and then on to our hike.  Only one other group was out on the trail while we were there.

Everything was lush and the colours were more saturated as we wound our way past Middle Lake and on to the parking.  Only a single ‘Bear in the Area’ sign, so nothing to be concerned about.

I don’t think we saw as many orchids as usual, but we certainly saw many more wild Tiger Lilies.

IT POURED….especially as we made it back to our cars.  Thank you, Val and Cathy for sharing this time.  It almost feels sacred.

When the ladies send me their shots, will publish them here…photo credit: Val Vine and Cathy Szata.

Many Springs 2019

A beautiful walk and picnic today at Many Springs with my dear friends and family.  Throughout the hike, I was thinking about our sister-friend, Wendy, who died this past year.  I also thought deeply about my brother, John. His son was able to join us on this Father’s Day and I felt such heart ache for him.  I didn’t talk about anything that was going through my head though, and instead, made a real effort to frame my thoughts around internal monologues such as,

Wendy would say…

“This day is incredible.”

She would say…

“This picnic is fabulous.”

My brother would say…

“Thank you, Sis.”

I held a lot in today, but that’s alright.

In past years, whenever one of us would pop our heads out of the shade of some bush, asking, “What is this one?”,  Wendy would come back quickly with the name of the flower, or would look it up in her reference information.”  We are always going to miss this and so much more.

I’m grateful for the rituals that we share and for the many memories we have collected, as friends and family.  While I didn’t allow the emotions to surface, I felt them all and that too, is very special.

Some of the brilliance of this day is captured in these photographs, but not all.  We all missed our friend, Darlene, today.  She was also in our hearts.

Many Springs 2007

Many Springs 2011

Many Springs 2012

In 2013, the great flood occurred and my mother died after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.  I went home in June in order to stay with my father through the following months.  I watched the news of the flood from Belleville, Ontario.

Many Springs 2014

Many Springs 2015

Many Springs 2016

I didn’t take a photograph of the Sweetvetch (Hedysarum (sweetvetch) is a genus of the botanical family Fabaceae, consisting of about 200 species of annual or perennial herbs in AsiaEuropeNorth Africa, and North America.) that was dominating the walk today, but just now read that its roots are a very common and well-loved source of food for Grizzlies.

We didn’t spot any Western Wood Lilies today or Bracted Bog Orchids.

 

Yellow Lady’s Slippers

Blue Columbine

Aromatic Juniper

Wild Violets

Dodecatheon pulchellum, commonly known as pretty shooting star, few-flowered shooting star, dark throat shooting star and prairie shooting star, is a species of flowering plant in the primula family Primulaceae.

Paintbrush

Western Anemone

Flower Walking at Many Springs

Many Springs 2007

Many Springs 2011

Many Springs 2012

Many Springs 2013

Many Springs 2014

Many Springs 2015

It was that time of year…time to check out the blooms.  It was sad to see Val have to stay back.  Little Ollie got sick at our meet-up spot and his Mom had to do the nurturing thing.  I thought about Val a lot today.

So, it was just the four of us for a walk about and a picnic.  It seems that the lack of water has impacted the lushness of the wild flowers this year.  I don’t know if I’m right on that or not.  We got our standard bridge photograph and the shot from the little floating deck.  Oh!  And this year, we met up with three Kananaskis volunteers who were passing out reminders of etiquette as it relates to bears.  Just up the trail a bit…a little sampling of bear skat was in evidence.  Had to get a photograph of that.  I don’t think we EVER think of bears when we come to Many Springs!  Always a first!

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We missed you, Carla, Dar and Val!  Next year!

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Orchid

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Wild Columbine

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Wild Asters

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Tiger Lily

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Lady Slipper

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Shooting Star

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Paintbrush

Our stops along the way…

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Three Friends

Cathy, Kath and Wendy

Hiking Many Springs

Wendy, Darren and Kath

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Picnic lunch at the end of it all.

 

 

 

Springtimes at Many Springs

Time passes and the rituals of our lives bond us with friends and family members and our communal narrative becomes something timeless and very very special.

Yesterday saw us on our flower walk, this time, missing Carla, Val and the boys.  Our most courageous friend, Wendy, has had some struggles with health this past year and so this spring, her funny and talented husband, Darren, also accompanied us on the trail.  Wendy is witty enough, but get these two together and it’s such a fun time.  Many Springs is always a blessing-time.

I wrote about this ritual in 2011.

I wrote about this ritual in 2012.

I wrote about this ritual in 2014.

In 2011, the water levels were like this.

IMG_8818This year…they were like this.

Kath's Canon June 28, 2015 Flower Walk 073Past springs have seen the water levels change and so the scenery changes.

Copy of On EarthThis year…

Kath's Canon June 28, 2015 Flower Walk 062Our group shots have seen Cameron as an infant and brought us up through his childhood.

And ME!Happiness!At the Bridge

Many Springs 2008 043Westhills Starbucks…our meeting place for car-pooling. Many Springs 2008 012

Cathy’s photo at our bridge…2015.

Many Springs 2015  2RotatedDarren promises me his photos from yesterday, but I DID manage to get a few.  Lilies were the predominate flower…more than we’ve seen on any other hike.  We found only one lady slipper on the entire circle and very few orchids.  The wild columbine was already done.  There were some beautiful wild violets on the far side of the route, but everyone was so focused on managing the chair up and around the incline and the tree roots, that we enjoyed them on the fly.

Kath's Canon June 28, 2015 Flower Walk 069Kath's Canon June 28, 2015 Flower Walk 005 Kath's Canon June 28, 2015 Flower Walk 016 Kath's Canon June 28, 2015 Flower Walk 037 Kath's Canon June 28, 2015 Flower Walk 040 Kath's Canon June 28, 2015 Flower Walk 046 Kath's Canon June 28, 2015 Flower Walk 051Kath's Canon June 28, 2015 Flower Walk 058 Kath's Canon June 28, 2015 Flower Walk 063

O frabjous day!  Callooh! Callay!

A Great Day For Wild Flowers

We’ve made it a part of our late spring rituals to share in a wild flower walk out at Many Springs Trail in the Bow Valley Parkway.  My dear Ya Yas and I shared a delicious pot-luck picnic after enjoying the beautiful blooms along the trail.  The water wasn’t as high along the boardwalk as I had expected and it was a day of extraordinary beauty.  Summer is here.

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Many Springs: Discovering Wildflowers…Again!

Yellow Lady Slipper Orchid

The hiking Ya-Yas and two wee sprouts headed for the Bow Valley Provincial Park Trail System today for our annual spring wildflower hike on the Many Springs Trail.

“The ‘Many Springs’ trail head is located about 2 km west following the paved road that goes through the park. This is a 2.4 km loop around a spring fed lake. This trail is known for its abundance in spectacular flowers.”

“This is also an area known for its diversity of birds. At Waypoint #1, a spectacular view opens toward the north, revealing Mount Yamnuska, Loder Peak and Door Jamb Mountain.”

Anenome canadensis ‘Canada Anenome’, Buttercup Family

“At various points, the trail is going directly over the lake allowing for close study of life in the water below.”

Aster

It was an exceptional day for snapping photographs.

Wild Columbine

The weather co-operated nicely and things seemed to be well into bloom, particularly the wild tiger lilies!

Wild Tiger Lily

We enjoyed a picnic lunch at the trail head and celebrated the tradition of flower-gazing as a group.  It has been such a blessing!

I like the brief quote that appears on the last sign on the trail. “Not many are as lucky…to break from the round of daily chores to come and discover this place called Many Springs.”

Viola Canadensis ‘Western Canada Violet’, Violet Family,

I am not including here, my photos of Indian Paintbrush, Wild Flax and other common flowers from the area.  It was such a joy to find some unusual things and to have the time to try to capture a decent record of them.

Lonicera dioica, Twining Honeysuckle

Out-of-focus, but an intriguing find.  Help me identify this one!

No idea…but this was one of my favourites!

Then there was the wee bush bunny, the conversations and the friendship!  All made for a most amazing day!

Little Miracle

Here’s to another springtime of Many Springs.

Summer Approaching

Happiness!Board WalkAt the BridgeFriends Last!You Can Do It!Copy of My BuddiesGroup of Lady Slippers 2There have been summer thunder storms each evening for three nights and besides setting my pooch to shivering, they created quite a drama about things.  I’ve finally finished with my intense clean-up in my six-by-six foot storage space that floated in an inch of water…and for who knows how long?  It was a bit of a bee in my bonnet as I wanted to be doing other things to get ready for family visits and summer vacation.  I’ve now resigned myself to ease off on the pressure.
 
The plumber who was called in to do repairs ended up being quite the ‘card’ and I took notes as he put a new faucet on our ensuite sink so that I will be able to do the same repair in the house any time.  I was quite the assistant and ended up under the sink as much as above as I learned about various supply tubes, nuts and such.  Shocking to learn about the drain too…and to find what gathers there!  YIKES!  I believe I’ll only have to get myself a larger crescent wrench…some dope…and I’ll be set.
 
I went on a morning wild flower hike with my Ya Yas and ‘the little guy’ on Saturday morning.  It was just so awesome to get away from everything and to get out to the mountains with friends. I’ve still not been into my flower identification book to locate the names of the flowers that we discovered.  It was certainly a successful adventure, apart from the fact that we couldn’t complete the loop either direction because of high run-off and the water levels around the lake.  We had fun trying to take photos at several locations.
 
Right now we are completing the provincial exam schedule, hosting an awards assembly in the afternoon…School wide Mass tomorrow and a Track and Field day in the afternoon…all that sort of thing.  I’m writing like a crazy lady because I want to get a letter and photo off into the mail for each of my language arts students.  Am I being completely unreasonable?  Laughing here….have a ‘brilliant’ day….last week until vacation!  Celebrate with me.  Oh yes…and sign my guest book!!!  It’s easy schmeazy!