Thursday, 28 June 2012

Moose Jaw # 1 of 3

We spent a week in Moose Jaw with family. We flew into Regina, picked up a rental and drove to Moose Jaw-- about 40 miles west.

About half-way between Regina and Moose Jaw there's a potash mine & plant. The mine here is considered the world’s lowest-cost potash mine, producing high-purity white potash for use in water softeners, alkaline batteries, and food sweeteners and additives. Potash is used in fertilizers too. (from the Web)

The dark skies behind the white smoke made for an interesting shot.

Railcars loaded with (or waiting for) some potash.

A strange looking cloud hanging over the train.

The prairie is very flat between Moose Jaw and Regina. The crops are just nicely started. They've had way more rain than usual so there are lots of flooded fields.

We had rain the first couple of days, but after that the weather was perfect, while down east suffered through some "40-something humidex days"... glad we missed that.

Latest T-shirt for sale in Moose Jaw... front.


Like the plate says, the skies are gorgeous... clouds and views unlike any we get down here.

Moose Jaw's library. It's in a beautiful park in the centre of town. It's so much more impressive than the boxy ones that are built today.

The foyer: The interior makes you feel that it's somewhere to enjoy a good read or to study.

I spent many an hour as a kid studying here in my high school years.

The biggest church in town-- St. Andrews United... just outside the park from the library.

Memories of childhood... Poplar trees (Eastern Cottonwood I think) with their "necklace" seed pods.

When the pods open, the air is filled with "cotton" drifting on the wind. We were there just at the right time to see it.

Main Street Moose Jaw, from the top-end. The clock-tower building on the right used to be the post office (where my Dad worked) but it's now the city hall. The CPR railway station is/was at the bottom of Main... it's now a very stylish and impressive liquor store. Wide streets are typical of Saskatchewan towns and cities.

Main Street from the bottom end.

There's a Hutterite colony south of Moose Jaw. They don't like their pictures taken but I thought this shot was harmless enough.

Most of the main streets are wide... it makes for easy driving.

The kind of thing you used to see in Ripley's "Believe It or Not"... for those of you old enough to remember it. How many jokes would this guy have to listen to about his name & profession? "My accountant is a Crook." would be one for sure.

This map is in the visitor's centre north of town. Kind of interesting to see where people are from that were in Moose Jaw. Of course there would be lots of others that didn't drop by the center. If you ever go to Moose Jaw, drop by and put a pin in for your home town.

We didn't see many gophers this time. Officially they're Richardson Ground Squirrels... I much prefer gopher. This one was at the visitor's centre. They're priceless to watch as they run around, squealing to each other and diving down their holes when you get too close.

Oh, so sweet smelling... Prairie Roses.

The Snowbirds are based in Moose Jaw. This Tutor jet is at the visitor's centre.

With pedestal removed... Photoshop of course.

This highway leads to the airbase south of town.

"Mac" the Moose is also at the visitor's centre. Locals think his legs look more like what you'd find on an elephant.

Mac is anatomically correct so some local vandals painted his anatomically correct parts in bright colors at one point. They were ok on this visit.

This is "4th Avenue bridge". It's a few 100 yards long. It passes over the CPR railway yard. Moose Jaw is a divisional point for the CPR so there's always something going on below the bridge. It provides a great view of the trains for us train buffs.

A clever comment I thought.

There can be up to 15 or so engines in for maintenance & repair at one time, from different railroads. I took dozens of shots of trains. I'll post them later for any train buffs that read my blog.

Farmers are diversifying. There seem to be more non-grain crops than grain crops now. Chickpeas & lentils are getting more popular. We're still trying to ID this one.

Grain elevators are slowly being torn down but there are still lots to be found. These are in Tuxford, a small town north of Moose Jaw.

These are Alberta grain cars... heading east I assume, though I think most would go through Vancouver.

Southern Saskatchewan isn't all flat. :-) This shot is at Buffalo Lake, north of Moose Jaw. There are buffalo in a huge fenced area here but we didn't spot any. They must have been somewhere in the trees.

I'll post more Moose Jaw later.

- fini -


Friday, 15 June 2012

2nd Marsh -- June 14th, 2012

It was time to visit the marsh to see what June had to offer. The Dame's Rocket show is over. The only sign of the gorgeous display of a couple weeks ago is a few patches here & there.

For now, there's very little color in the marsh. I appreciate that green is a color, but you know what I mean. But with the healthy growth this year, there's more green than usual... taller, thicker... just more of it.

This is the channel along the berm. It's a chore to get close to the water now. No turtles today.

Along the berm: At times the berm is decked out in color... today it's green for the most part.

The strong winds we've had lately have taken their toll. The boardwalk is scattered with leaves, and a couple good-sized trees came down. This one (between the berm and Farewell Creek bridge) isn't a problem... yet. You can easily walk under it.

This one, on the other hand, is a problem. It's about 200 yards west of the Beaver Pond. The clearance between the boardwalk and the tree is about 3 ft (and the trunk is easily a foot in diameter), so unless you're a world-class limbo dancer, you have to crawl on all fours to get under it... or if you're more athletic than I am, maybe you can climb over it.

Canada Anemone

Purple-flowering Raspberry-- Thanks Gerry.

Blue-flag Iris and snail... one lonely specimen near a vernal pool.

There's one patch of Forget-Me-Not in the marsh... that I've come across at least. The larger leaves are Wild Cucumber.

I do like green leaves, in good light, with a simple background.

Many species of fungi are white.

I couldn't get any decent, clear shots of this Tiger-Swallowtail Butterfly, but even in these shots you can see the red & blue dots near his "tails".


Field Bindweed

Birds-foot Trefoil

Cow Vetch

Water Lily in channel along the berm.

White & Red Clover

A male Monarch, distinguishable by the two black dots on his wing.

More green leaves with a simple background.

These are tiny... less than half an inch across, or high.

Dryad's Saddle

Like everywhere else, Wilkinson's Pond is overgrown.

I went down to the GM Tower to see how the new growth was progressing after the fire of about 6 weeks ago. This is what it looked like on April 30th.

And today...

Water Lilies are in the marsh in big numbers this year.

A few Mute Swans... probably loving the new underwater growth.

Until next time...

The Friends of Second Marsh web site... 

A direct link to a map of the paths/trails in the marsh...

A link to a page that has my past posts re the marsh, in one place rather than scattered throughout this blog...

- fini -


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