Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fish Creek Park - Part 2

After our last visit to Fish Creek Park, we just had to go back and see it again.  This time we went to a different part of it.

We've had some terrific mid-winter weather lately and a lot of the snow and ice has melted.  It was nice to see some water again.  The ice formations by the riverbanks were impressive, as were the large chunks of ice that had broken away from the sides.

As we stood admiring the view by these two trees....

We noticed that one of them had been slightly nibbled - could it be evidence of a beaver?

The ducks didn't seem to mind the ice, and there were lots of them (including some black and white ones), both on the water and flying around overhead.

As we were walking back to the car, (as we had decided to go back to where we saw the Owl on our first visit), we saw four or five Blue Jays flying around in a tree.  Here's one...

Arriving back where we had seen the Owl before, we wondered if we would be lucky enough to see it again.  We weren't to be disappointed as we came across it in just about the first tree we looked up at!  But look carefully (easier once you get beyond the first of these photos)...there are actually two Owls snuggled together in the tree.  We have since been told that these are Great Horned Owls.  They were huge.

As we continued walking into the woodland, we were greeted by 3 deer.

There were still plenty of birds around despite it being the depths of winter.

As we were making our way back through the trees, the light was fading, giving them a lovely warm glow, which the picture doesn't really do justice.

We would definitely recommend a visit, on a nice day.  The park has such a feel good factor about it.  For free entertainment, pretty much on your doorstep, it is hard to beat.


Friday, January 22, 2010

2010 Olympic Torch Run In High River - A Little Piece of History

The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics are nearly upon us.

In the run up to the games, the Olympic Torch has been on a 106–day long relay journey across Canada, with the flame covering some 45,000 kilometres in that time!  The torch relay has been a huge event over here, a source of great local pride as it has visited one community after another.  We have been amazed by how much support there has been. So on day 81 of the relay, when the flame reached High River, we thought we just had to go and witness what could be a once in a lifetime event.

This is one of the Olympic flags that were lining the local streets.

As the torch was planned to run past our office, we decided to put up our RE/MAX balloon.

The presenter was very good, and very engaging.  We have seen him on news coverage also hosting these events elsewhere so he might have covered a good few kilometres himself by now!

Darrel Janz is our local news presenter on CTV - he too was one of the presenters.

He introduced a local Jazz band comprising of 3 local schools and they were pretty's a video of it.  If you are reading this on Facebook, the video may not work and so you can click here to see this post on our blog.

This was followed by a painter sponsored by the Royal Bank of Canada, who just seemed to use his hands to paint as his canvas constantly spun in front of him.  He was quite amazing to watch.  But you just can't help yourself, you have to ask "do you know what it is yet?"

The finished painting (a picture of an Olympic Torch Carrier), was presented to the Mayor for it to stay in High River.

Coca Cola were handing out special 2010 Olympic branded aluminium bottles of Coke.

Janet managed to get hold of the Olympic Torch...

Another local group performed on the stage...

We were lucky enough to have High River local, and top country act, George Canyon as the big star of the show.  Here is George singing "Somebody Wrote Love"...

...and "Ring of Fire"

As he was coming off the stage, we managed to get a few more shots of him.

Here's the torch coming into High River and making its way to the stage.

The torch on stage and lighting of the couldron.

The Mayor and assorted other local politicians and eminent folk...

The Torch Running past the office in High River on its way to Okotoks.

It was indeed quite something and we are both very glad we had the opportunity to experience it - we were surprised by how much you are drawn into the spirit and emotion of it.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Fish Creek Provincial Park

As Sunday was such a beautiful day here in Calgary and surrounds, we just had to take advantage of the sunshine and the warm temperatures.  We decided to explore Fish Creek Provincial Park, something that has been on our list of things to do for a long time.  We walked for about an hour and a half and it soon became apparent what a vast park it is.

We have since learned, that the park (located in the southern part of Calgary), is one of the largest urban parks in North America, stretching 19 km (11 miles) from east to west and is over three times the size of Vancouver’s Stanley Park.

The Bow River and the Fish Creek pass through the park, which spans the width of the city.  This is a picture of a bridge, over the very frozen Fish Creek.

There are a variety of paved and unpaved pedestrian and bicycle trails that connect the park to the city's extensive trail system.

The park features 80 kilometers (50 miles) of trails, of which 30 kilometers (19 miles) are paved, and it is home to a large variety of natural wildlife, including Deer, Coyotes, Owls and Beavers.  We were lucky enough to have this Owl fly right past us, and we chatted to another couple who have recently seen a Porcupine in the park.

The park features a number of different picnicking and forest areas and of course, the obligatory fire pit / barbecue, which was giving off some fantastic aromas!

We also saw this very noisy Woodpecker...

...a Tree Creeper...

...and of course, some Deer.
 As the light started to fade, the frozen Fish Creek looked stunning.
Two fishermen in the rather fast moving Bow River.

Ice forming at the edges of the river.

The trees looked beautiful as the sun went down.

On the way home the stunning sunset rounded off a very enjoyable day.

More information on Fish Creek Provinal Park can be found at the following link: Fish Creek Provincial Park