A week ago Saturday, I was having a full English breakfast
in a bed and breakfast in Pevensey Bay, over looking the English Channel.
Yesterday, (Saturday Oct. 1) I had a breakfast bagel at the Tim Horton’s
restaurant in Stettler, AB were a couple farmers and few rig workers were
getting ready to start their day.
Where would I rather be? There were a lot of great things to
see and do during our holiday in England, but it is sure
good being home,
getting back into the Western Canada routine. I feel like I missed a whole
month of my life. When we left Calgary it still looked like summer, and came
home to fall, with all these trees with yellow leaves and a yard waiting to be
raked. (Doesn’t get much prettier than this view of the Bow Valley, in our neighborhood, looking west.)
It was still dark when I arrived in Stettler, but on the way
home with a great sunrise at my back it was great to look across countless
golden stubble fields that had already been harvested. There were a few wheat
fields yet to be combined, and quite a few swathed canola fields with combines
sitting in the field ready to go. One farmer south of Penhold (south of Red
Deer) was already out baling straw at 7:30 a.m.
By all accounts September has been a good month for prairie
farmers hoping to get that late seeded crop harvested. I talked to Matt Sawyer
at Acme, AB, just north of Calgary late last week. He had about three days of
combining left, but said other than one small rain shower, he pretty well had
had a good 30-day shot at harvest. Quality on most crops was pretty good. He
said there was a bit of ergot in the wheat, but it would still go #1 or #2.
One phenomenon I did see Saturday on my travels was a
porcupine near Lacombe that actually made it across the road. I had to slow
down a bit, and the porcupine had to pick up his pace, but he waddled into the
ditch to live another day. Not all porkies can make that claim. A young bull
moose wasn’t quite so lucky near Red Deer — not because of me. He had obviously
connected with some vehicle in the night, with the carcass laying in the median
waiting for removal. (Photo below, Fall in Alberta farming country).
Today, Sunday, we went to a farmer’s market at Bearspaw on
the west side of Calgary. Last day of the season
for this market and you’d
almost think it was the last chance to buy food anywhere — there were hundreds
of people there buying fresh produce and other wares from 80 some vendors.
We hit several of the stands including the Beck
Farms/Innisfail Growers produce stand, which has been at this market for years.
I brought three of the reusable shopping bags with me and walking in my wife
said “we’re not going to need three bags.” Guess what? We
needed three bags and I was glad we didn’t bring anymore — it was a long heavy
walk back to the truck.
Crops harvested, farmers market, trees in and around Calgary
in full color (albeit it is mostly yellow), but it is great to be home, and see
everyone driving on the correct side of the road.
(And for any of you spelling nerds who read earlier blogs,
yes I know that yatch should be spelled yacht, and that the old document in
Salisbury Cathedral is the Magna Carta (not Magna Carter)…but hey I was in a
hurry. I think everyone knew what I meant — thanks to my wife for pointing
these errors out, however. It helps dispel any notion I am perfect.)
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