Thursday 29 October 2015

Edworthy Park Druid Walk

Douglas Fir Trail hike  It was a pretty chilly morning, with fog on the river even at 10:30 am.  We met on the bridge by Angels Cappuccino Bar and greeted a some new walkers.  Everyone warmed up quickly with the brisk walk across the bridge and then up the hill.  The steep hill!  

Bow River in the fog
We took the Douglas Fir Trail up the steep river bank.  It is such an unique place, with Douglas Firs, moss and lots and lots of shade.

Douglas Fir Trail
The trail is easy to follow, with wooden steps and railings and bridges where needed.  There are benches along the way and a beautiful view down to the river.  I can't wait to come here  again in the heat of summer just to cool off!

Up the slope...
Beautiful colours and fallen leaves decorated both sides of the trail.  There were some muddy spots and at the end, even some icy patches. I am not sure I am ready for ice, but there it was.

Moss and Massive Roots
There are natural springs along the bank, with running water trickling down in little streams with waterfalls too!

Natural Springs
You don't often see moss in Calgary, but here, under the Douglas Firs, there is lots!  It is easy to feel the magic here.

Old Stone
Even though it feels like you are in a deep forest far from the city, it only takes a moment to look out over the river and see that the buildings and traffic are all still close by, although the fog helped to soften the look!

We met other hikers and dogs on the trail, but no coyotes and no bikers.  The trail was not completely open, The eastern end was blocked off, presumably for repairs.

Coyotes and Bikes
The last part of our walk was on level ground, along the railway and the Bow River.  It was nice to see these bright red Mountain Ash (Rowan) berries.

Mountain Ash Berries
We ended our Druid Walk with a stop at the cafe for Teas and Coffees, and treats. (Even ice cream).  As usual, the  discussion  turns to where next?   Indeed, where next?   Info for the next Druid Walk will be posted soon.
Bow River

Friday 23 October 2015


As I look back through my photos, I see so many water pictures.  I'll share some here for pure watery enjoyment.    Even though we in Calgary are a 1000 kms to the nearest coast, we do have access to rivers, lakes, and streams.  

Glenmore Reservoir 

Red Deer River

Red Deer River

Elliston Park

Red Deer River

Red Deer River

Big Hill Springs
Bow River

Red Deer River

Bow River

Middle Lake

Big Hill Springs

Big Hill Spring

We need water.   Please be respectful and wise in your use of it.

Edworthy Park Druid Walk, October 25, 2015

Our next  Calgary Druid Walk will be at Edworthy Park.

We will meet at Angel's Cappuccino and Ice Cream Cafe, 4105 Montgomery View NW at 10:30 am, October 25th and then walk across the bridge into the park.  

Please join us, dress for the weather, and plan to have around an hour or so walk with friends.  It is good medicine.

Thursday 15 October 2015

Druid walk St Patrick's Island

Our monthly Druid Walks are taking us to all parts of the city and to all kinds of wonderful parks. 

This time we met in Inglewood, one of Calgary's oldest neighborhoods.   It is a short walk from the cafe across the bridge to St. Patrick's Island.   On the east end of the island is the Calgary Zoo.  On the west end is the redeveloped St. Patrick's Island Park, our Druid Walk destination.

You can read all about the changes to the park here:  St Patrick's Island Park  

It seems water has been brought back onto the island, with channels, coves and places to safely step off of the land and into the water.  

A huge big hill has been built (with the earth moved for the water channels) - perfect for sledding in the winter.  Even more interesting to a Druid is that on the very top of the hill is a fire pit!  It is a climb up to the top, but the view is wonderful, and if you are so inclined, a roll down the grassy slope might be fun.

There are lots of  benches, picnic spots and bar-b-ques as well   I am sure this park will be busy every summer weekend!  Top that off with a wonderful playground and an outdoor amphitheater and you can see something for everyone.

You are never far from the Bow River in this park  We walked a loop from Inglewood, onto the island, and then back across the river to the south side along beside Fort Calgary.  

The old Poplar trees provide much loved shade along the pathways. There are also new trees, shrubs and grasses planted throughout the park.  

We ended the Druid Walk in a cafe for refreshments and good conversation.   Our walks are evolving into lovely social events with some fresh air, trees and birds and good company.

Our next walk will be at Edworthy Park.  We will meet at Angel's Cappuccino and Ice Cream Cafe, 4105 Montgomery View NW at 10:30 am, October 25th.

Tuesday 6 October 2015

Second Annual Chinook Hills Druid Camp Sep 18 - 20, 2015

Alban Elfed

As the Wheel of the Year turned from Summer to Autumn we celebrated the Autumn Equinox beside the Bow River, in the trees at the base of  the Rocky Mountains.  It was our second annual camping trip, and even more fun than the previous one.  There is just something magical about sharing time in the woods around a campfire.  

There where six of us, with a variety of accommodations, some more and some less bear proof. Thankfully we did not encounter any bears.    As we set up our camp it became obvious that we were in a very special place, complete with a natural spot for our alter.  This three trunked spruce tree held up a stone (it had obviously been there for a long time, and now was permanently wedged in).


Besides visiting and sharing stories, cooking on the gas stove and tending to our camp,  we had time to explore, to see the stars at night and really unwind.   Even though or maybe especially because  we are 'urban' druids, being amongst the trees feels right.   There was time to think about the individual paths we are each on.  

Half of our group got up early Saturday morning and went on a hike to a magical place,  Karst Spring in Kananaskis Country  to see the spring water that gushes out from under a rock wall.  The adventurers  were treated to some early autumn snow.  The other half of the group were treated with a sighting of  a beautiful doe, and no snow.

Later that afternoon we all went on a hike at Bankhead, in Banff National Park. Bankhead  is an abandoned coal mining town.  Parks Canada signs explained early life in the busy town  in the early 1900s.  

The trail is made of coal.  Not much of the original town remains, but there is plenty of coal on the ground and crumbling building foundations to show where the operations were. 

Later on  at sundown we held our Alban Elfed Ceremony around our campfire.  It was a beautiful late night under the stars in good company.

Sunday morning came much to early, but did bring a beautiful rainbow across the Bow River from our camp.

It was hard to pack up and come back to fast pace of  the city.

Sisters in Spirit Vigil 2015

 On October 5th a couple of members took part in the Sisters in Spirit Vigil in Calgary. 

This was to recognize, honor and demand change to the increasing number of missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada. It was a sad but powerful event. Spirit was honored, women were remembered. Reminding us we are all one family under the stars!