The prairie amid the smoke

The prairie was hot and dry.

Canada Goose Online And lovely. It looked just like it should at this time of year, a varied carpet of browns with a few green highlights, the seed heads on the grama and fescue grasses full and ripe and ready to spread the next generation. Canada Goose Online

canada goose Here on the Lomond Grazing Association lease, a canada goose outlet nyc patch of native prairie on the west side of the Bow River, the land itself was parched and there were signs everywhere alerting visitors to the extreme danger of wildfires, but the sloughs and impoundments were nearly full and water birds canada goose outlet uk sale were everywhere. I found a blue heron perched on a fence by a dugout canada goose outlet sale and ibises doing wing displays I have no idea why in the shallows by a prairie lake. canada goose

canada goose uk shop A blue heron perches by a dugout near Lomond, Ab., on Tuesday August 14, 2018. Mike Drew/Postmedia canada goose uk shop

But canada goose outlet shop I didn shoot very many pictures. The landscape with all the ripe grass and bird filled ponds looked kinda flat and grey in the mid afternoon, smoke filtered light. True, it softened what canada goose outlet online uk would have been harsh shadows and canada goose outlet store uk didn much affect the sky overhead really nice clouds above the smoke line but I figured that the light would change from grey to amber as the afternoon headed into evening and, since I had planned to be out until sunset canada goose outlet in usa anyway, I make my way back for another look.

Canada Goose Jackets So I headed for Bow City. Canada Goose Jackets

canada goose black friday sale Before the smoke moved in, a grain field near Lomond, Ab., on Tuesday August 14, 2018. Mike Drew/Postmedia canada goose black friday sale

Canada Goose Coats On Sale This optimistically named town is the smallest of the five municipalities actually on the banks of the Bow River. While there are a lot of towns that rely on the Bow for water and recreation, only Lake Louise, Banff, Canmore, Calgary and lovely little Bow canada goose outlet jackets City perch right on its banks. Canada Goose Coats On Sale

Or, in the case of Bow City, on its bank. This tiny town of only about a dozen houses sits on the north bank of the river. And it the last or maybe the first outpost in irrigation country.

Canada Goose online Native grassland runs right up to the south bank of the Bow at Bow City but to the north and canada goose outlet canada east of the town the prairie has been canada goose outlet reviews converted into artificially watered farmland. True, the water that has transformed this land from what would have been varying shades of August brown into carpets of green and gold comes from the Bow canada goose outlet uk River but all that water has been diverted from the flow much farther upstream. Canada Goose online

Canada Goose Outlet A gopher peeks official canada goose outlet out from among cactus and sage brush north of goose outlet canada Lomond, Ab., on Tuesday August 14, 2018. Mike Drew/Postmedia Canada Goose Outlet

Here, the natural flow of the Bow is slow and canada goose outlet new york city shallow and it was actually the native prairie side, the sagebrush and cactus side, that I come to Bow City to explore. But then I saw a flock of blackbirds.

Canada Goose sale They were like a mobile cloud, a horde of birds sweeping across the sky off to the east of town. I couldn resist. Leaving the prairie behind, I headed for the flock and into canada goose outlet irrigation country. Canada Goose sale

cheap Canada Goose I gotta admit, although I love the native prairie, there a lot of beauty in this artificial landscape. cheap Canada Goose

canada goose store Everything is so green and lush here. The hay fields, the corn, the canola after the blossoms drop, the green barley planted late to be cut for silage, it all just, I dunno, so lovely. canada goose store

buy canada goose jacket cheap Sunflowers in canada goose outlet store smoky afternoon light east of Bow City, Ab., on Tuesday August 14, 2018. Mike Drew/Postmedia buy canada goose jacket cheap

And the sunflowers. I came across the first field not far canada goose black friday sale from Bow City pretty sure that where the blackbirds had taken off from and I just couldn help but stop and take some pictures. The flowers themselves were the size of my head and, even at my height of 186 cm a touch past 6 I could have stood in the shade of a lot of them. Shooting the Perseid meteor shower out by canada goose outlet black friday Dinosaur Park a couple of days before I seen thousands of wild sunflowers and in these giants I could see the family resemblance. A prairie native repurposed just for us.

That wasn the only field of them. Down the road was another and then over by Rainier, another. I stopped again at a fourth field to launch my little copter for an aerial view and it was there that I noticed that the amber light I been waiting for to add some extra colour to the native prairie was starting to move in. bonfires was starting to thicken.

uk canada goose A whole whack of corn in canada goose outlet online the yellow light of the smoky afternoon south of Rainier, Ab., on Thursday September 14, 2017. Mike Drew/Postmedia uk canada goose

I thought about heading back to the grazing reserve to shoot the grasslands but as I drove down the road I spotted a family of cats on the roof of a Quonset. Really fat cats. With ringed tails and wearing black masks.

I grabbed for my camera, jammed my knee against the steering wheel and hit the window button while stepping on the brakes as I realized that the kitties were actually coons and watched in dismay as they dropped out of sight through a hole in the roof. The window was still sliding downward and the camera still canada goose factory outlet on its way to my eye as momma raccoon popped back out the hole to give me a quick look before dropping back down again.

I parked and waited, hoping they get curious and pop back up again. Five minutes passed. Then 10. Then 20.

canadian goose jacket No raccoons. canadian goose jacket

Late afternoon canada goose outlet parka light turns spray from an irrigation system coppery south of Rainier, Ab., on Tuesday August 14, 2018. Mike Drew/Postmedia

I drove on. and the light was nearly orange as the smoke continued canada goose jacket outlet to roll in. The sky to the west was amber along the horizon and a soft dove grey above. The greens of the canola and corn took on a yellow tinge and the aerated water from the sprinklers turned a pearly white. Backlit droplets falling from the spray of the centre pivot systems looked like beads of copper.

I turned back toward Rainier and Bow City still hoping to catch the light on the native prairie. But more and more pictures presented themselves as I rolled along. Pasture grass turned gold and the wings of cowbirds flying among the grazing cattle caught the amber light. I just had to shoot aerials of the patterns in a freshly cut canada goose outlet toronto factory hay field. The sun turned into an orange above yet another sunflower field.

Canada Goose Parka Cattle in evening smoke south of Rainier, Ab., on Tuesday August 14, 2018. Mike Drew/Postmedia Canada Goose Parka

uk canada goose outlet But I still had time to make it back across to the native side of the Bow. Sunset wasn for another hour uk canada goose outlet.