Relocated to the west; blown to the south

Same walk on the other side of the city. I had to pick up a parcel at the Greyhound station today, which is actually on the airport grounds. OK, since you asked so nicely, I had to … pick up the keys to the apartment in Victoria, BC,  where I will be staying for the next 6 to 7 weeks. Not that I am excited, of course.

Back to work, here. Since I had to make the drive, I figured I might as well do my walk over there. That is where  my friend, Lisa, lives, so I am familiar with the area, but we tend to head for the magnificent Assiniboine Park when we walk. I managed to talk Lisa out of painting, and into walking (wasn’t that hard) and we headed out into her neighbourhood.

The walk was a little shorter than we normally do because it was damn  cold. I doubt that the temperature was even below freezing, but the wind was blowing from the north hard enough to take your breath away. I’m proud that we did as much distance as we did, especially since our first stop was near the airport with wide-open prairie. You don’t know cold until you have felt it coming across a flat landscape. Heck, I have a hard time retaining from season to season how pervasive the wind can be. I’m in a fully-aware state again.

Wind aside, we did see some interesting stuff. There is a yard decorated for Halloween (the picture does no justice) to almost a professional level. We were talking to a couple of guys working on the display, and they suggested we come back after dark. I have a feeling it is amazing, but probably no time before really heading west. These guys must have worked for a week or more, just to get it all set up, not counting creating the props.

We also saw a Larch/Tamarack tree in full colour. Lisa is from Europe, so knows the tree as Larch. I am from here, and we have always called them Tamarack. I did a little research, and technically, Lisa has the right term, though even pros seem quite relaxed about us using Tamarack. They are apparently the same genus, different species. The real Tamarack is not native to this area.

I don’t think I could do a better job of describing the tree than this excerpt from this article from Montana Fish and Wildlife:

These so-called “evergreens” are deciduous conifers, whose needles lose their chlorophyll, revealing yellow xanthophyll pigments, and then drop to the ground. In fall, every tamarack forest byway becomes a yellow brick road down which you can skip in a haze of glowing splendor. Even on cloudy days, the roads and trails seem sun-struck by the tiny needles, which reflect light yet seem illuminated from within.

I agree with the illumination idea. A patch of Tamarack vibrates with colour.

I have a few images from the back of the airport — something you don’t often think about. We also walked some very pretty streets, and a fabulous little ravine and creek right behind Lisa’s house. I always knew that little green area was there, but have never walked it. That area of the city is really blessed with green space.

Click on any image to launch a slide show with larger images.



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