Thursday, 25 August 2016

Druid Walk - Local Hill Figures

It's time for our next Druid Walk.      We will meet at Battalion Park at 10:00 am, Sunday August 28th.  Park your car, or take the bus to  3001 Signal Hill Dr. S.W. and we will explore the local hill figures.
Battalion Park, originally known as Camp Sarcee in 1915, opened on November 3, 1991 and was built to commemorate World War 1. Members of the Calgary, Lethbridge, Central Alberta, and Edmonton battalions hauled 16,000 stones in sacks onto the hill.
The original stones were used to form the numbers 137, 113, 151, and 51 which represent the regiment numbers of the above battalions. Members of the 137 Battalion fought for years to maintain the rocks and have them declared a historic site. The stones were carefully stored and saved by Stewart Green Properties Ltd. (As per City of Calgary Parks website)
Summer Blessings to all!
Feather /|\

Monday, 1 August 2016

Lughnasadh Blessings

Sandy Beach Druid Walk

Here are the photos from our walk at Sandy Beach on a hot sunny summer day.   With all the rain and thunderstorms we have been getting in Calgary, it was an amazingly hot day!   There are a couple of parking lots,  one at street level, and one down the hill at river level.  There is shade, and picnic tables (all occupied today)

Calgary is a prairie city criss crossed with many rivers and creeks.  This is the Elbow River.

Indeed, it is a magical place.  As often is the case on our Druid Walks, we ask each other,  "Did you know about this place? I didn't know it was here".   There are so many beautiful recreational parks and pathways in Calgary  just waiting to be (re)discovered.

This pretty purple flower is called Showy Fleabane and is often found in our parks.

There were many people out with there dogs today, and most could not resist a swim in the river!

Sandy Beach is part of the Elbow River Pathway, which in turn is part of Trans Canada Trail.  This Great Trail stretches over 20,000 kms, through 13 Provinces and Territories and 3 coasts.  Just imagine a Druid Walk of that length! 

There were lots of Red Osier Dogwood along the Elbow River.  Birds love the berries!

It was good to see plenty of people out on the pathway today, enjoying the sun and the river.  

Our next Druid Walk is August 28th at Battalion Park in the community of Signal Hill.

Summer Blessings /|\

Thursday, 21 July 2016

July 24 DruidWalk at Sandy Beach

Come and join us for an easy nature walk at Sandy Beach.

Meet at  10:00 am.  Park  along  14a St SW near 4500.   We will  meet near the corner of 50th Ave and 14a St SW and walk along the Elbow River Pathway.

As usual, dress for the weather (what ever that may be!)

Pictures from Bowmont Park

We had a beautiful walk in Bowmont Park, along the Bow River.  The rain had stopped, but the sun wasn't quite committed to showing himself yet...

The park gets its name from being between two early towns, Bowness and Montgomery, both now part of Calgary.

We did not go far enough along the trail to see the tufa formation, and the 3 meter tall waterfall, however we did enjoy the grassland meadows, the ponds, and the balsam poplar trees. 

The sense of adventure that grows with each step along a new trail, following the paths (or not) and  exploring the park is one of my favourite parts of these druid walks.

Beavers, always busy beavers leave their marks wherever they can.  Some of the trees protected by the wire cages are already halfway chewed through!

There were several little waterfalls (springs) running down from that bank.  Just above is the aptly named neighbourhood of Silver Springs.  The sound of the water, combined with the quietness of the overcast sky made this a most magical and refreshing spot.   

On this day, Bowmont Park most certainly was Blessed by the Element of Water.  

Many Blessings of the green grass and running water to you,
with hopes that you will find yourself in such a peaceful place,

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

June 26 Druid Walk in Bowmont Park

Here is a reminder for our next Druid Walk.   

10:00 am at Bowmont Park in the NW. 
85 Street NW and 48 Ave NW. 

Dress for the weather - what ever that may be!

Warm weather blessings to all!

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Druid walk in the spring snow

Today was wet, and in some parts of Calgary, very snowy.  Everyone 'knows' that it often snows on the May long weekend here, and yet when it does, we are all amazed, and at the same time some how a little bit pleased that we 'knew it would'.

Our group met as planned in the parking lot with warm clothes, rain gear and little offerings to take to the Medicine Wheel. The first steps off the pavement were slippery, muddy and uphill... more than a bit of a challenge.  In fact, we had to be very careful where we trod, as there was an awful lot of slipping and sliding and more than enough falling.

Driving up to the 14th street parking lot on Nose Hill

A couple of things started to happen as we walked along.  First, we realized that the park looks different under a little bit of snow, and that a Medicine Wheel made of small stones will be almost impossible to see until we get right to it.
Second was the problem of the ravines.  The steep dirt-now snow covered muddy paths were too slippery to navigate, and the wet snowy grass was not much better.  

A beautiful snowy path on Nose Hill

After we walked for about half an hour, marvelling at the great long earth worm stretched out on the trail, and the many flowers poking up through the snow we admitted we were not going to make it up the hill to the Medicine Wheel.    It was not as tragic  as Franklin's failed expedition to find the North West Passage, or as disappointing as a failed Everest attempt.  We, being a creative bunch, decided we could choose our own sacred space, leave our offerings to the park, and head back to the cars and go for coffee.  

Uphill and slippery

We choose a spot beside a crossroads of paths, and tracked a footprint circle in the snow around a pretty purple flower.  After a short ceremony and a few short words we left our offerings of flower seeds, oak wand wood shavings, a feather and some oak leaves to the spirits of the place, and to Nose Hill Park.

Our little altar (possibly Houndstongue - Cynoglossum officinale)

Even though we did not find/arrive at the Medicine Wheel, our intentions were good, and it felt like a right place for our purpose.  We did realize that it is highly unlikely we would ever find this exact spot again, if we looked for it.  Somehow that was fitting in a mysterious and magical way.

Bright and sunny buffalo beans poking through the snow.  (Thermopsis rhombifolia)

There is an old abandoned road on the hill, with beautiful and tough poplar trees growing up through the pavement.  It is a wonderful example of nature's power.

Poplar trees growing through an old asphalt road

Moss and lichen on the north side

Green and wet

Rose hips

We all agreed to come back and complete our goal of a walk to the Medicine Wheel, preferably on a hot and dry summer day.   As usual, we ended our walk over coffee and treats at a nearby coffeeshop.

Wet spring blessings to all!