March 2012 “12 of 12”

The “12 of 12” was introduced by Chad Darnell in January 2006. He invited his blog’s readers to capture a dozen photos defining their daily routine with at least one body part in each of their photos. The goal was to have the submissions show how different people from all over the world live the same day. Chad Darnell stepped down from leading the “12 of 12” in December 2011, and it seems to have faded away. Except…

…Sonny of the Podcacher podcast introduced the 12 of 12 to the Geocaching Community in April of 2006 during their Show 49.1: The Caching Commute. As more Geocachers created their own 12 of 12 entries, a thread in the Podcacher Forums began taking submissions for December 2006. Geocachers from many countries have submitted their photos from the twelfth day of each month to that same thread with or without Geocaching activities included. Some people choose a different theme each month, some go along with Chad Darnell’s original thought, and others have their own unique approach to 12 of 12. It’s been quite a while since we posted a link to a 12 of 12 set over in the Podcacher forums, and a quick check shows that participation seems to have dropped off there, as well. The average participation for the past 6 months or so seems to be hovering around 6 or 7 keen photographers.

Nothwithstanding what appears to be waning interest in 12 of 12, on Monday, March 12, we headed to Griffith Woods to search for signs of spring. Instead, we discovered winter stubbornly sticking around…

Icy pathway

The June 2009 flood damaged a long section of pathway along the power line right-of-way. The City of Calgary hasn't yet managed to get around to replacing the paving, so the rocky underbed makes for an uneven walking surface. Cold overnight temperatures freeze the melted snow, making it even more challenging to cover distance quickly.

Deer in shadows

This cautious doe and fawn (maybe a year or two old) stuck to the shadows between the trees.

Griffith Woods is one of Calgary’s three “special protection” natural environment parks, parks of the highest significance to wildlife within Calgary. The diverse natural vegetation in this 93-hectare park provides extensive habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. Deer, coyotes, weasels, hares, and muskrat frequently visit the area as well as the occasional moose, bear, lynx, skunk, fox, and cougar. Over 70 species of birds have been seen in the area. We heard bird song several times but spotted only a pair of deer and a squirrel or two.

Snacking squirrel

This squirrel was so interested in snacking that it sat for several seconds while we snapped a picture or two.

Prior to the establishment of the park, the area was used for agricultural and ranching purposes. In addition, a 138 kV powerline and network of ranch roads have impacted the site. The City of Calgary has developed a restoration program with the ultimate goal of re-establishing diverse native plant communities comprised of grass, wildflower, and shrub species. This site has loess soils (wind-delivered, high calcium soils) where compaction happens easily and is difficult to reverse. The park is home to an understory of orchids and mosses, both susceptible to trampling and disturbance, so signs in the park ask all users to stay on the designated trail and pathway network and keep dogs on leash.

The Elbow River, intermittent streams and springs, old ranch roads, along with beaver activity, have created unusual oxbows and perched water tables.

Elbow River

Elbow River looking east.

Snow-covered banks of the Elbow River

View to the west from the snow-covered banks of the Elbow River, right near where we found GC3584A - Lonely Pole Cat CCARF11.

In about 90 minutes, we covered 4.5 km, found 2 geocaches and got enough photos for a 12 of 12 for March 2012 photo set. Every morning should be as fun!

Stepping stone creek crossing in Griffith Woods

Instead of a typical footbridge, one creek crossing in Griffith Woods is made by stepping stone...lots of fun for kids, but not very safe during spring run-off!

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