Water: essential for life. More than 70% of earth is water covered. The human body is something like 60% water. Adults are supposed to drink 3 to 4 litres (quarts) of fluids each day. And most of us in developed countries take it for granted that when we open a tap, water will flow. Nothing feels better than a cool shower after a long hike on a hot summer day. And research shows that “blue space” (any natural or manmade water body) relieves stress and promotes happiness! With all the bad news in the world these days, this month’s photo blogging challenge theme provides a much needed dose of Vitamin N!

Our part of the world enjoyed water in abundance this month. June rainfall for Calgary totaled 138 mm (almost 5.5 inches). When we experienced terrible flooding in June 2013, total rainfall for the month was 146 mm (just over 5.5 inches). Fortunately, rainfall in the mountains to the west was just over half of what it was in June 2013. So instead of widespread flooding in Alberta, we had farmers and gardeners rejoicing! πŸ™‚

Also this month, we discovered a way to salvage overripe watermelon after choosing poorly at the grocery store. Slice, peel and cut into cubes. Freeze on parchment lined cookie sheets, with a little space between cubes. Use frozen watermelon cubes along with your choice of frozen berries to make a delicious fruit smoothie. Some days, when our outdoor adventure is particularly grueling, I dream of the smoothie reward I’ll enjoy when we reach home. πŸ˜‰

watermelon and berry smoothie

Water factored into most of our June outdoor adventures. It’s essential for kayaking. It rained every time we went bike riding this month. And on several walks/hikes. Thanks to waterproof footwear and top-notch rain jackets, we enjoyed every outing. πŸ™‚ And thanks to weather sealed camera gear, we had a LOT of photos to choose from for this month’s five:

1. Hawke Island

We kayaked three times in June, including a return paddle around Upper Kananaskis Lake. Last year’s circumnavigation was under mostly clear sky and on mirror-smooth water. This year it was pretty cold and we paddled in white caps to start. By the time we reached Hawke Island, our pants were soaking wet. So we landed and spent an hour or so exploring while we dried out. Then we got wise and put on our rain pants before continuing our adventure. I cropped one boring end off this Pixel 4A photo taken in 360 mode. I like how it shows all the tree stumps left in situ as part of the prep work before constructing the hydro dam that significantly increased the size of the natural lake.

Hawke Island in Upper Kananaskis Lake

2. Three Sisters Creek Waterfall

We used to hike to this waterfall a few times/month. But last fall “no trespassing” signs went up at the end of the trail closest to our home. So now it takes a lot more walking to reach this special place and we only make the effort every couple of months. We figured with all the rain that fell in June, it would be looking good. We were right!

Three Sisters Creek Waterfall

3. Lake Minnewanka

We opted to tackle the 25 km (15 mile) hike to the old Aylmer fire lookout in June. That way we beat the “tightly spaced groups of at least four” requirement in effect from July 10 to September 15 each year. The destination provides an almost bird’s eye view of Lake Minnewanka, the largest lake in Banff National Park. I took this photo through a rock piece I found (and left) on site – it had a quarter sized hole in it and I played around with using the rock to “blank out” the cluttery/uninteresting vegetation. One of the Lake Minnewanka tour boats looks like a tiny water bug leaving a trail of ripples behind it. The shoreline is particularly visible in this shot. It’s because the hydro operators lowered the water levels in all the dammed lakes in early June…just in case of heavy rain or faster snow melt.

Lake Minnewanka

4. Over/Under

We bought a pocket-sized waterproof camera back in 2019. It’s also great for macro photography when kitted with an LED ring-light. I’ve been trying to use it more often, especially when we’re kayaking. There’s a lot of trial and error (mostly error πŸ˜‰ ) figuring out how to get a decent over/under shot. I like this one because it shows a bit of the surrounding scenery along with the over/under of the reed grass.

over/under water

5. Shooting Stars

Peak wildflower season in the Canmore/Banff area is late June and first half of July. I’ve spotted more kinds of wildflowers than ever this year. But until June 29th I’d yet to see any Shooting Stars. And then we saw thousands of them on a hiking trail that’s only a 10-minute drive from home! The rain droplets clinging to the stem are the reason this trio of blossom made it into this post.

shooting star wildflowers

That’s it for me. Hop on over to A ‘lil HooHaa to see what everyone else came up with for water. While you’re there, please consider joining us for July. The theme is Get low. All you need is five photos (although I snuck in three extras this month). The amount of verbiage is up to you. We’re a small (but mighty and friendly) community of bloggers ready to welcome newcomers.

Post Script


For each month’s photo blogging challenge, I try to include something Lego and/or something I created.

As I sat down to write this post, I finally thought of a way I could have done a Lego photo. I’ll try it as soon as I find just the right bricks and will post to the private Facebook group.

Earlier in June I tried a mixed media creation: cut paper, coloured feathers, plastic beads and a foam circle on the theme of water. The white feathers really helped create the illusion of spray.

But it didn’t quite make the grade to included as one of my five.

5 thoughts on “Water

  1. I haven’t been kayaking in forever it seems. I keep saying I am going to buy a kayak and then I don’t. It opens up so many possibilities to relieve stress. I’d like to get Harper out with it, too, but I feel she might just jump in!

    The rest of the photos are great. The falls and lake are majestic. I hope one day I can once again visit your part of the world. There’s so much more to see than I did when I was there.

    1. Is there somewhere around you can try renting a kayak, so you can see how Harper deals with it before shelling out to buy one? We bought a really-good quality inflatable kayak and have only one regret…we wouldn’t want to take it river kayaking, so we’re limited to lake kayaking. But just about every outing, someone comes up and asks about the easy of inflate/deflate, stability, packability, etc. and then goes on to bemoan how their rigid kayak(s) hang in their garage because it’s such a hassle to take them down, load them on a roof rack, unload, etc. Can’t see enough good things about the inflatable kayak option in terms of ease of transport, carrying it down to the shoreline, etc.

  2. I’m not surprised at all that “blue space” receives stress. And, you live in a perfect place to see that blue space! I love the over/under shot and I’ve never seen those wildflowers, but think they are awesomely interesting. πŸ’œ

  3. What a variety of fantastic pictures!
    Glad you had no floodings.
    You just remind me to make use of the watermelon “ice cream” Colin and i made. It’s sitting in the freezer, and we haven’t even tried it.
    Lake Minnewanka looks spectacular with the snow-capped mountains in the background. Banff N.P. is one of my favorite places in Canada!

  4. Mandy

    SO creative, as usual, both the photography and the art work! You have inspired me to try that hike to Alymer Lookout again. Hope you have lots more water-filled adventures this summer.

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