Calgary and area went directly from winter to summer this month. We took full advantage. Some days we worked outside, gardening, sealing the driveway, repairing the garage floor, repairing and painting deck railings or draining, repairing and refilling the hot tub. But we also made plenty of time for outdoor enjoyment, by cycling, walking, bird-watching and geocaching. Maybe it’s because we were so busy being outdoors that I struggled a bit when I sat down to select five photos for this month’s post. These made the cut:
This is the mode of active transportation we use most. Most trips to the grocery store are walking trips, with an empty pack on the way there and a full pack on the way home. We always enjoy the scenery and sometimes we’re lucky enough to see birds, deer or elk.
2. In Search of Wildflowers
From May through September, I make a point of heading out every week or two to see what’s blooming. The first wildflowers to show are prairie crocus, which usually pop up in April. In May, I seek out Calypso orchids (aka Fairy Slippers). For this one, I turned on in-camera focus bracketing, which produces a single .jpg from 5 exposures where the plane of focus is shifted slightly between exposures, to give a deeper plane that’s in focus while using a wide aperture so the background is out of focus. What do you think?
Our other main form of active transportation, we also cycle for exercise. In May, we racked up 360 km (225 miles) over seven rides. This is my urban bike, which has 11 gears and a roomy rear carrier so I don’t have to wear a pack when riding. I took this one during a snack break, while I enjoyed watching the Bow River flow past downtown Calgary.
4. Bird Watching
Spotting, photographing and identifying birds is usually a very casual hobby for us. But this month we got a little obsessed with a family of great-horned owls living in a part just east of downtown Calgary. We made four visits to observe the owlets and their parents before the trees fully leafed out, making them very difficult to spot. This is one of the parents. The other parent has the brown colouring that’s more typical of great-horned owls.
Between the deer, rabbits, squirrels and magpies, I sometimes wonder why we spend any time on gardening. And I’ve pretty much given up on vegetable gardening. But there are few days each year, including 1 or 2 days each May, when there’s some aspect of our yard that makes it all worthwhile. This is from peak bloom on our crab apple tree, which lasted less than 36 hours before a strong wind blew all the petals to the ground!
That’s a wrap for me! Head over to a ‘lil Hoohaa and follow the links to see which activities got the other participants outdoors.
While you’re there, please consider joining us! For each month’s theme, you’re asked to share five photos; the amount of accompanying text is up to you. The next theme will be posted at a ‘lil Hoohaa in early June.