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,

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