A portion of the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area is open to the public and features a network of trails that provides access to a range of natural habitats plus mountain and city views. It's a quiet place to enjoy nature, just a few minutes outside Calgary's southwest city limits. Road construction in Calgary's SW quadrant make the drive a bit of an ordeal, but once the SW ring road is completed, access will be quick and easy.
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.
The challenge this month? Step away from your favourite camera/lens and work with something different for the month - maybe a rental lens, a film camera, some glass that's been buried deep in your camera bag for a while, gear-swap with a friend or another change that gets you thinking more than usual. Since June is the start of wildflower season in Alberta, I opted to dig out my 60mm f2.8 macro lens and go walkabout looking for blossoms.
This hike is a scenic powerhouse: four waterfalls, a turquoise mountain lake, a wildflower-filled amphitheatre and an amazing view of the Waputik Icefield (including Daly Glacier, source of Takakkaw Falls). It's ample payback for the challenging 1150 meter elevation gain and total distance of just over 22 km. Allocate a full day to this hike and be sure to pack your camera!
The theme for this month's photo blogging challenge is actually Photographer's Choice. With our oldest son at university for spring semester and our youngest son away at SHAD for 27 days, this was our first time being empty nesters for longer than a few days at a stretch. We opted to enjoy much of our time being out and about, hiking, biking and exploring in Canmore, Banff and Kananaskis Country. The obvious choice for this month's post was to showcase highlights from our empty nester trial period.