Photo Blogging Challenge – Water (October 2016)

Water! Here in Calgary, we open the nearest tap for instant access to unlimited, safe drinking water at a cost of roughly half a cent per litre. Or we can choose to spend a couple of bucks for a bottle of water. Regardless, we take easy, inexpensive access to clean water pretty much for granted. And that’s reflected in my photos – water as an abundant, natural element.

Water covers almost three-quarters of the earth’s surface, but just a tiny fraction of that is fresh water. Humans use water for drinking, cooking, washing, food production, manufacturing, power generation, transportation, recreation and more. Part of what makes water amazing is that we can observe it all three states – gas, liquid, solid – within the temperature range that humans can tolerate. The fact that October is the month for the water theme means the timing is just right to photograph water in all of those natural states.

1. Into the Fog – Fog is relatively rare in Calgary. It occurs most frequently in November, February, March and April and even in those peak months it usually develops only two or three times. This October has been anomalous, with fog developing 5 or 6 different days that I recall, and to the extent that Environment Canada has issued at least 2 fog advisories. I was downtown at about 8:30 one foggy Saturday morning and was intrigued by the way the tallest buildings seemed to dissipate into the fog. Brookfield Place is still under construction; once completed, it will be the tallest building in Calgary.


2. On the Water – Glenmore Reservoir, the largest body of water in the city of Calgary, exists because of the Glenmore Dam. The dam was constructed on the Elbow River in 1932 to provide Calgarians a safe and sufficient supply of drinking water. This month, I went for walks along two different parts of the pathway system that circumnavigates the reservoir. The last Sunday of the month was a beautiful, late fall day when the temperature reached 13 Celsius (55 F). Hundreds of people were out walking, cycling, roller blading and paddling. And hundreds of migratory water birds were making ripple patterns on the water. Leaves were crunching, a wide range of languages were being spoken, kids were shouting, and birds were calling.


3. Snow – Snow is one presentation of water as a solid. It snowed a few times in the Calgary region this month and has been accumulating on the Canadian Rocky Mountains about 130 km (80 miles) to the west. Skiers are looking forward to opening day at the Banff and Lake Louise area ski hills, which is likely to happen the first half of November. This photo is from the first snowfall we experienced in Canmore this month and conveys the way autumn and winter bump up against each other in this part of the world.


4. Icicle – It’s pretty cool that icicles grow from dripping water. In the right circumstances, they are beautiful. In other situations, they are dangerous. This little icicle formed on our wooden deck railing one weekend and I noticed that the fall colours of the leaves still hanging on the aspen tree across the street refracted through the crystalline structure. There are lots of little bubbles in the icicle, too.


5. Reflecting Pool – This natural reflecting pool is a large puddle that formed on top of colourful fallen leaves. The reflected windmill is decorative, useful only to photographers and to give parents supervising toddlers in the nearby wading pool an indication of wind chill.


* We pay, on average, a little under half a cent/litre for water/waste water service. The calculation takes into consideration the fixed and variable costs of water and waste water services. The rate ranges from about $0.004 cents/liter in high consumption months (when we’re watering the vegetable garden, bee & butterfly-friendly flower beds, and lawn) to about $0.006 cents/liter in the low consumption (winter) months. This equates to roughly 1.6 to 2.4 cents/US gallon, ignoring the exchange rate.

Time to shut the tap on my ideas about water and to head over to A ‘lil Hoohaa to see how everyone else interpreted this month’s theme.

I like to treat this photo blogging challenge as a month-long photo assignment, which makes it pretty low stress. New participants are welcome to join the photo blogging challenge any time. Why not join us? The November theme will be posted here tomorrow.

23 thoughts on “Photo Blogging Challenge – Water (October 2016)

  1. The photo of Glenmore Reservoir is stunning! You describe so well all that was going on around the park, most of which the boater was probably oblivious to.

    1. I took several similar ones – I was so intrigued by the way the birds were making patterns on the surface of Glenmore Reservoir. I think a canoe or kayak would be a great way to get away from all the people on the pathway systems and get closer to the birds.

  2. Kristi

    Our temperatures here in southern California are just now cooling down enough to warrant turning on the heat in the house, and you’ve already had snow! Lovely photos!

    1. Hi Kristi! The snow in Calgary has all melted (for now), but one of the ski hills in Banff opened yesterday – earliest opening day in 30+ years.

    1. Thank you! In case you haven’t noticed by now, I almost always save my favourite of the bunch for the last spot on the page when I’m writing PBC posts.

  3. Awesome job! You captured all the elements involving water. I like the windmill picture the best. And love learning about how other towns well, countries handle their “taxes”.

    1. Ha ha! We have a lot higher taxes here than we did a couple of years ago, thanks to the change in governing party at both the provincial and federal level. And with the carbon tax coming in on January 1, the tax burden will keep going up.

    1. The icicles were short-lived (thank goodness). We’re enjoying sunshine and daytime highs of about 15 C (60 F) this week, which is a welcome break for those who aren’t skiers!

    1. Hope you make it back to Banff and Lake Louise one day. Depending on how long ago you first visited, you may find our Rocky Mountain National Parks MUCH busier than they used to be. Managing traffic is an on-going challenge in Banff from the May long weekend through September. Lake Louise is crazy-crowded in September. And in 2017, with admission to all of our National Parks free (in celebration of Canada’s 150th), it’s going to be even busier! Maybe wait until after 2017 to plan a return visit.

    1. Thanks, Mandy! I took a photo workshop in mid-October and I think it upped my game a little bit. Stay tuned for a separate blog post on that, coming later this month.

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