Sunday 28 August 2016

Battalion Park Druid Walk

On an overcast day we met at the top of the hill for our August Druid Walk in Battalion Park.  This is one of the many parks I have often seen but never before taken the time to stop and walk around.

This place is a commemorative park, and Wikipedia describes it as:

Battalion Park is a geoglyph site in south west CalgaryAlbertaCanada. It is located on Signal Hill, overlooking the Sarcee Nation, as well as lands formerly known as Camp Sarcee and later Sarcee Training Area, a military reserve used by the Canadian Forces from before the First World War up until the 1990s. The park extends over an area of 93 hectares (230 acres), north of the Elbow River. Its heritage value is associated with its dedication to the heroic efforts of Albertan soldiers during World War I. The site contains four geoglyphs, numbered 137, 113, 151, and 51. The large, whitewashed stones, totaling 16,000 in all, form the centrepiece of the park. Arranged on the side of the hill, and visible from various parts of the city, they represent the battalions numbered 137, 113, 151, and 51.

From the top entrance to the park, you are faced with a stone Cairn and flags, and then a long wooden stairway down the side of Signal Hill.

There are many signs and plaques telling the stories of those who placed the stones here, and of the Battalions they represent.

Halfway down the hillside, another cairn and plaque with a photo of the Battalion Numbers, laid out on the hillside in white washed stones.  (Which, by the way are most difficult to photograph on foot).

As you can see, there are more flags at the bottom, and a partial photo of the Hill Figures.

We walked along the path, below the hill figures, and enjoyed the company and conversation.   Below us was a shopping centre and plans for our after the walk coffee stop where made.

We had also had a friend fly along beside us,  a chattie magpie!

At the east end of the park we found a lovely Burr Oak tree.

Once we left the paved pathway, we found plenty of interesting plants.

The alfalfa (Medicago sativa) was blooming, but we did not see any bees.

We also came across a patch of Canada Thistle  (Cirsium arvense), blooming in all its purple glory.

At the west end of the park, we ventured along the sidewalk amongst the homes for a way, and found this beautiful juniper. and this rose bush, covered with beautiful rose hips.

Probably the biggest surprise of all was this pear tree, and all of the little red pears!  None of us had ever seen pears growing in Calgary before.

After our walk, and coffee, some of us went on to circle dancing....  more about that later.

Summer  Blessings,

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 /|\