Photo Blogging Challenge – Summer Fun (August 2017)

Our favourite kind of summer fun is hiking. But with so many wildfires raging in western Canada over the past few months, it’s seemed kind of pointless to put in the effort to reach the top of a mountain when, in all likelihood, the views will be obscured by smoky haze.

So for 2017, we’ve switched gears, heading out to explore Calgary on two wheels, thanks to the almost-completed Rotary-Mattamy Greenway. Over the past two months we’ve biked just under a thousand km (roughly 625 miles) on city pathways!

We rounded out our 2017 summertime adventures with some citizen science and finished out the month with every member of our immediate family in a different town.

1. Cycling Cowtown

Fancying up garbage cans is one of the city’s long-term public art projects. Out cycling on a Saturday morning, we came across this fun, cow-themed paint job, perfectly situated, overlooking the Calgary Stampede grounds.


2. Observing the Solar Eclipse

We used three setups to observe the partial eclipse: a pinhole projector, a binocular projector and a camera with 20 stops of ND filters. We put everything out at the end of our driveway. It was a good decision; 5 neighbours and 4 tradespeople working down the street stop by to check progress to the maximum 80% eclipse. Calgary wasn’t in the total eclipse pathway, so we didn’t see the corona. But Mr. GeoK got a few photos that show sunspots.


3. Great Canadian Bumblebee Count

The Great Canadian Bumblebee Count runs from August through to mid-September. I’ve identified 5 types of bumblebees, spotted honeybees in both Calgary and Osoyoos, mason bees in Calgary and leafcutter bees in Osoyoos. The Great Canadian Bumblebee Count is a citizen science project aimed at assessing the diversity and size of the bumblebee population in Canada and it’s been fun (and challenging) to check our flower gardens on a daily basis.


4. Time at the Lake

Whether sailing, swimming, floating, supping, windsurfing or laying on the beach, time at the lake is a summer favourite. I enjoyed the last several days of August at my parents’ place in Osoyoos. A highlight of the trip was the morning we spent at the lake, walking the shoreline from the sailing club to bridge and back. A dozen little sailors were taking lessons at the club, learning in Opti sailboats.


5. Family Time

I really enjoyed getting out cycling with Mr. GeoK many times this month. I also had the opportunity to work with our youngest son over the course of a week or so as he organized everything for university. To wrap up the month, I made a rare visit to my parents’ in Osoyoos, BC, where I managed to talk them into posing with me on the sailing club deck. Sure appreciate the Olympus app that lets me use my phone as a remote cable release for my “real” camera! Also appreciated the wind – even though it made a mess of my hair, it made a hot day a little more comfortable.


August may be over, but summer is not, so here’s to squeezing in a bit more summer fun before autumn equinox. To check out what the other PBC participants did for summer fun, head over to PJ’s post and look for the link up at the bottom of the page.


I appreciate the community that comes with participating in the monthly photo blogging challenge. The one-month time frame makes it a low stress “photo assignment” that motivates me to keep honing my photography skills. New participants are welcome any time, so please join us! The next theme will be posted at a ‘lil Hoohaa on September 1.


6 thoughts on “Photo Blogging Challenge – Summer Fun (August 2017)

  1. How very cool that setup for the eclipse is. All those different ways. I was at work and we got to look at it through some glasses. Pretty cool all around. Love the color in your shots, too. Our town does something like the garbage cans, rather with fire hydrants. Local kids and artists do them up nice each year. And the final photo is great. I’ve found as I get older, I tend to cherish images like this even more.

  2. Very creative and diverse pictures, love the cow trash can!
    Glad you got to observe the eclipse in three different ways 😉 Beats the zero I had in Europe.
    I hear the wildfire situation is still not over yet, are you safe?

    1. Still lots of wildfires burning in BC, the nearest ones being more than a hundred miles away from here. We are fine, but getting tired of the smoke. It is, however, a mild inconvenience compared to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, the huge earthquake in Mexico, the massive flooding in Nigeria, Niger, Sierra Leone and DR Congo, and by Hurrican Irma. While we are fortunate so far, we are hoping for cooler temperatures and rain to lend support to the many beleaguered firefighters.

  3. Great photos as always! I love the picture of the lake landscape with the 3 sailing boats good use of strong lighting as the shadows of the boats add to the image.
    I’d like to see the different types of Bee in your bee count 🐝.

  4. Oh my, where to begin! “Fancying up the garbage cans” brought a smile to my face! And, that’s quite the elaborate set up for capturing the eclipse. I got some good shots as well. One is here: Family time is so precious. Looks like you’ve had a wonderful summer. Love the windsurfing boats too! Take care with all the fires in your area. xoxo

  5. Mandy

    This post gives a great appreciation of “nearby nature.” We don’t have to venture into the wilderness to experience and appreciate “Mother nature.” Lovely photos as always and nice to see you experienced some rare blue sky days with your family in Osoyoos.

Leave a Reply