Our favourite kind of summer fun is hiking. But with so many wildfires raging in western Canada over the past few months, it’s seemed kind of pointless to put in the effort to reach the top of a mountain when, in all likelihood, the views will be obscured by smoky haze.
So for 2017, we’ve switched gears, heading out to explore Calgary on two wheels, thanks to the almost-completed Rotary-Mattamy Greenway. Over the past two months we’ve biked just under a thousand km (roughly 625 miles) on city pathways!
We rounded out our 2017 summertime adventures with some citizen science and finished out the month with every member of our immediate family in a different town.
1. Cycling Cowtown
Fancying up garbage cans is one of the city’s long-term public art projects. Out cycling on a Saturday morning, we came across this fun, cow-themed paint job, perfectly situated, overlooking the Calgary Stampede grounds.
2. Observing the Solar Eclipse
We used three setups to observe the partial eclipse: a pinhole projector, a binocular projector and a camera with 20 stops of ND filters. We put everything out at the end of our driveway. It was a good decision; 5 neighbours and 4 tradespeople working down the street stop by to check progress to the maximum 80% eclipse. Calgary wasn’t in the total eclipse pathway, so we didn’t see the corona. But Mr. GeoK got a few photos that show sunspots.
3. Great Canadian Bumblebee Count
The Great Canadian Bumblebee Count runs from August through to mid-September. I’ve identified 5 types of bumblebees, spotted honeybees in both Calgary and Osoyoos, mason bees in Calgary and leafcutter bees in Osoyoos. The Great Canadian Bumblebee Count is a citizen science project aimed at assessing the diversity and size of the bumblebee population in Canada and it’s been fun (and challenging) to check our flower gardens on a daily basis.
4. Time at the Lake
Whether sailing, swimming, floating, supping, windsurfing or laying on the beach, time at the lake is a summer favourite. I enjoyed the last several days of August at my parents’ place in Osoyoos. A highlight of the trip was the morning we spent at the lake, walking the shoreline from the sailing club to bridge and back. A dozen little sailors were taking lessons at the club, learning in Opti sailboats.
5. Family Time
I really enjoyed getting out cycling with Mr. GeoK many times this month. I also had the opportunity to work with our youngest son over the course of a week or so as he organized everything for university. To wrap up the month, I made a rare visit to my parents’ in Osoyoos, BC, where I managed to talk them into posing with me on the sailing club deck. Sure appreciate the Olympus app that lets me use my phone as a remote cable release for my “real” camera! Also appreciated the wind – even though it made a mess of my hair, it made a hot day a little more comfortable.
August may be over, but summer is not, so here’s to squeezing in a bit more summer fun before autumn equinox. To check out what the other PBC participants did for summer fun, head over to PJ’s post and look for the link up at the bottom of the page.
I appreciate the community that comes with participating in the monthly photo blogging challenge. The one-month time frame makes it a low stress “photo assignment” that motivates me to keep honing my photography skills. New participants are welcome any time, so please join us! The next theme will be posted at a ‘lil Hoohaa on September 1.