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.
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.
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.
We didn’t spot any Western Wood Lilies today or Bracted Bog Orchids.
Yellow Lady’s Slippers
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.
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!
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.
Past springs have seen the water levels change and so the scenery changes.
Our group shots have seen Cameron as an infant and brought us up through his childhood.
Westhills Starbucks…our meeting place for car-pooling.
Cathy’s photo at our bridge…2015.
Darren 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.
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.
“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.”
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.
There 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!