|Posted by Val Fox on April 24, 2014 at 7:35 PM|
We live in an area of Canada where the Southern Alberta sky stretches far in all directions; a view that also includes about 160 km (100 miles) of jagged snow-capped mountains about a half-hour's drive west.
The Rockies are always present yet they change throughout the day depending on the season, wind direction, precipitation and where the light shines. Immense cloud formations often swirl around the peaks, creating vistas that make you want to stop what you're doing and look. Sunsets leave vivid silhouettes that seem to celebrate the heavens.
On a clear day you can view stormclouds gathering 100 km (60 mi) north, plenty of time to assess direction, but speed can be deceiving. The sky of Southern Alberta displays a blanket of glittering stars and thick ribbon of the Milky Way on an inky, moonless night.
We once watched the wide,orange glow of a massive forest fire burning to the south in Montana. And, the tell-tale white of a grass fire sends everyone scurrying when strong winds blow in with no warning. They howl through the Crowsnest Pass carrying moisture that falls onto the mountains, leaving warm, dry air (Chinook Wind) to warm the prairie landscape.
Winter creates fog banks and mirages to test our perception. Once we gazed outside and saw the LDS Temple located 19 km away (13 mi) shimmering high into the sky. It was a mirage created by the cold air and bending of light. We've witnessed flickering pink and green ribbon dances of the aurora borealis; once it glimmered directly over top, crossing in two long quivering spotlights reaching high into the atmosphere.
Summer features knee-high, rolling grasses like ocean waves, splotches of color paint the rolling prairie: purple burgamot, pink prairie smoke and sticky geraniums. Gold and green foothills sprinkled with tiny eight-story wind turbines, the glow of the nearest city 80 km (50 mi) away, and the distant glare of a fracking site catch the eye.
Coyote and fox; white-tail and pronghorn; bison and moose; raptors, pheasant and sage grouse, robins and loons; horses and cattle, badger, muskrat and weasel are just some of the area's inhabitants that travel the vistas.
The vast displays of earth and sky delight the eye and feed the soul. Do you have a favorite vista that inspires you?
The Letter "V"
Thank you for coming; I'll be back tomorrow to feature the letter "W." Bye for now.
Photos © Val Fox
Prairie wildlife; east of the Rockies; Southern Alberta sky; diverse landscape of Southwestern Alberta; Alberta scenery; Southern Alberta sites; Southern Alberta photographs
Categories: Cultures and Communities