Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Drive In The Country

At this time of year it's very easy to get so involved in the work your garden requires that you don't take time for something as simple as a drive in the country.

Here are some photos of what we discovered one Sunday afternoon.

Muddy road on the Canadian Prairies

It was just a muddy, isolated road that we decided to follow.  It had been raining, so the clay was very slick and slippery.

Ducks swimming in grassy pond - Alberta, Canada

The ducks, however, were very happy to have more than a tiny puddle to swim in - quite a rarity for this time of the year in the prairies.

Abandoned farm buildings on the prairies in Alberta, Canada

Empty fields for miles and miles on end, with only the occasional abandoned building to show that some of these areas used to have thriving communities.  Now, they are only whispers on the wind.

Old stall still visible Inside a historic, abandoned barn

Looking through the window of the old barn, you could see the stalls that used to house the horses, and the pens that contained other animals.  So very small by modern standards.

Prairie settlers have long since left these regions.  Only the abandoned buildings remain.

The buildings are becoming so frail that they are not safe to go inside.  In some areas you could look straight through them - to another building also in its last days.

Broken windmill in isolated prairie field - Alberta, Canada.

With nothing but miles of prairie in all directions, it makes a person wonder what would have brought settlers out these extreme distances.  No water.  No roads.  And no modern vehicles. Just horses and oxen to provide links to others.

The former district (village?) of Mericourt, Alberta.  Only rubble remains.

One of the more recent villages that we discovered.  I wonder what the history is here?

children's cemetary on an isolated road in Alberta, Canada.

Then, further down the road, was a tiny little corner that was fenced off from the adjoining hay fields.  An unexpected reminder of what life was really like in earlier times.

Sign recording the names of pioneer children who died in this region of southern Alberta, Canada.

It makes me wonder at the tenacity of people who came in earlier times.  How did they survive when the crops failed and they lost their children?  Seeing this very isolated cemetary bothers me, in that we didn't even know it was there until we took this particular road.  Yet people lived way out here in the past.

horses in the field

Some horses decided that we needed investigating.  What were we doing in their field?

Grey kitten catching grasshoppers

And a kitten happily catching grasshoppers at a neighbouring farm reminded us that life goes on.

Deer in the field at dusk - Empress, Alberta, Canada.

Coming home, we found this pretty girl waiting to greet us as the sun slipped behind the hills.  Our travels for this day were over.

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