Photo Blogging Challenge – The Written Word (August 2019)

The written word has been an essential aspect of day-to-day life ever since I learned to “read” by memorizing the Dr. Seuss classic Green Eggs and Ham as my Dad read it to me over and over (and over). Escaping into the pages of just about any book made it possible to get through those terrible high school years. Almost four decades on, I still have a daily reading habit that closes the back cover on more than a hundred books a year.

But the written word is more than just books! It’s also recipes, signs, letters and cards, e-mail, text messages, hashtags and more. Here are five examples from August when I made note of the written word:

1. Sign

Warning signs like this one have been up all over the Bow Valley for pretty much the entire month of August. So we took appropriate precautions: double-checked we were carrying our bear spray and air horns, didn’t listen to music/audiobooks when out walking, shouted “yo bear” every minute or two and didn’t go out walking or cycling alone.


So we were astounded to read this month that Parks Canada staff in Jasper National Park stopped posting bear warnings. Why? Because for some people, the desire for the perfect social media shot overcame their common sense to the point they started using bear warnings to go searching for bears!

2. Recipe

I do a lot of cooking from scratch. It’s the silver lining that comes from having an immediate family member with multiple anaphylactic allergies. Most of the recipes I come across call for specific quantities of specific ingredients. This month, while hiking to the trilobite beds on Mount Stephen, our guide shared a recipe for well-preserved fossil beds!


3. Graffiti

Whether you love it, loathe it or vary your view depending on the nature of it, graffiti pops up on just about any appealing surface with no security camera in sight. I spotted this old-time “carved into a log” graffiti just off the Mount Stephen hiking trail. This area first became a park reserve in the late 1800s, so somebody wasn’t following park rules when they got to work with their pocket knife. 😉


4. Kobo

E-readers have come a long way in the past 10 years or so. And while reading ebooks on your phone or tablet works well, I read enough that I prefer to use a purpose-built device. I can load more than enough ebooks on my Kobo to get last me through a three week vacation. And the ability to control the screen brightness and cut the blue light means reading from my Kobo at bedtime doesn’t interfere with falling asleep. I really like the colourful tree of life cover Mr GeoK ordered for me. When it’s closed, it looks like a little notebook. 🙂


5. Visual Aid

Sometimes the written word alone is not as helpful as the written word plus a visual aid. For years, Parks Canada and Alberta Parks personnel have been trying to get park visitors to understand what it means to stay at least 30 meters (3 bus lengths) away from elk, deer, mountain sheep, moose and mountain goats and at least 100 meters (10 bus lengths) away from bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars and bison). Now they’re rolling out a card with little windows cut out that they hope will give visitors a better sense of how close is too close. I don’t think we’ll be carrying this card with us every time we go out, but it’s helpful just to get the sense that you should be able to completely hide predators with the tip of your baby finger and completely cover ungulates with the top joint of your thumb (turned horizontal).


Yes, there are two bear cubs inside the little rectangle cut out for predators!

That’s it! August is over and fall will officially arrive soon. Before it does, hope on over to a ‘lil Hoohaa’s post – link up at the bottom of the page – to see how other participants present the written word. While you’re there, please consider joining us! This photo blogging challenge is like a low-stress photo assignment. 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 at the start of next month.

4 thoughts on “Photo Blogging Challenge – The Written Word (August 2019)

  1. Always a great read with the photos. And after coming through your neck of the woods recently, we heard a lot about bears. But it doesn’t shock me that some people would like to try and get close up for that perfect phone photo of a bear … Darwinism, I’d say…

  2. Susan Chomistek

    I look forward to reading your blogs when they are posted, and I send the GeoKs link to family and friends who are looking for accurate information as they prepare for hikes or other adventures. Your style of writing is so captivating and I appreciate the authentic voice that shines through. Thank you for sharing your brilliance!

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