What’s not to love about February? It provides an extra day every four years. The sunrise comes a little earlier each morning and the sun goes down a little later each evening, providing precious extra minutes of daylight. The birthstone for February is amethyst, which is purple – an awecome colour! And for many in North America, February brings the first three day weekend of the year.
Just as Calgary’s annual smash up of science, engineering and art changes it up every year, so too does the Beakerhead photo crew. For the third year in a row, I put up my hand to serve as a member of the photo crew. Throughout a series of workshops, special events hosted by amazing Beakerhead community partners and 5 days of fantastic (and mostly free) Beakerhead events, I enjoyed working with other members of the talented, supportive, creative and collaborative photo crew as we met the challenge of capturing all that is amazing and inspiring about Beakerhead.
Canada celebrates Thanksgiving in October, but there’s a lot to be thankful for this month, too! Getting out and about to enjoy nature is a sure way to spark appreciation. Also this month, I was grateful to receive a ton of support from friends and family following knee surgery to replace my ACL. It’s a long road to full recovery and your good wishes and messages of support mean a lot!
Water! Here in Calgary, we open the nearest tap for instant access to unlimited, safe drinking water at a cost of roughly half a cent per litre. Inexpensive, ready access to clean water is easy to take for granted. And that’s reflected in my photos – water as an abundant, natural element. Part of what makes water amazing is that we can observe it all three states – gas, liquid, solid – within the temperature range that humans can tolerate. The fact that October is the month for the water theme means the timing is just right to photograph water in all of those natural states.
An awesome wildflower season hike, the Helen Lake trail is also a good option for early fall. It offers great views of Crowfoot Glacier across the valley, has a relatively modest elevation gain of just under 600 meters from trailhead to lake shore, and includes a long stretch of trail with expansive views of Dolomite Peak and several unnamed ridges and peaks. Upon reaching the scenic highlight that is Helen Lake, there are a few options to extend the day, including hiking to the Cirque Peak or a nice ridge walk above the lake.
The Stanley Glacier hike in Kootenay National Park has a lot going for it: 1) less than two hours from Calgary (under an hour from Canmore) it’s about the same travel time to/from as many of our favourite hikes deep in Kananaskis; 2) it’s pretty easy; 3) fossils; 4) new and old growth forests; 5) Mount Stanley, Mount Storm and Mount Whymper; 6) waterfalls; 7) a hanging valley; and 8) Stanley Glacier! After our second trip up and down the trail, we added Stanley Glacier to our list of all-time favourites hikes.