Welcome to My Little Piece of the Prairies ...

Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Favourite 10 from 2011











Trying to pick my favourite ten pictures was harder than I thought!  I guess having snapped a photo each day over the last 290 days, I realized that something caught my eye and stirred some kind of emotion within me, with each picture that I took.  Each and every picture reminds me of a story and at the end of this journey, I will have a pictorial story of a year to reflect upon!  Although they are snapshots of the world around me ... I hope there have been photos that have evoked emotion within each of you.  And with 2012 bearing down on us, I would like to wish all of you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!  

Friday, December 30, 2011

December Stubble

Quickly approaching the New Year and the stubble fields remain BROWN!!  Yes, the weather has been gorgeous!  However, it makes one wonder what the remainder of the winter season will bring.  Will we actually get a winter BLAST, will winter arrive in April, will our summer be dry?  Well, I for one, vote for winter during the specified winter months and I definitely hope we are not headed for a dry spell!  I guess only time will tell ...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Along the Fence!

This time last year we had drifts up to the top wire along this fence line.  Well, one year later, the grass is still dancing in the wind along the fence!  How much longer that will last ... only Mother Nature knows!  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Evening Descent

A week into our winter and the days are getting longer!  Hmm ... evening still falls upon us far too early for my liking.  However, I do love the evening blues!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Across the Road ...

And Over the Hill ...

The boys have 'borrowed' the neighbours slough for their skating rink!  After scouting out our sloughs and comparing the ice and amount of slough grass protruding through that ice, my boys (ALL 3 of them) decided that the neighbours slough, across the road, was far better suited for a skating rink than ours!  Luckily for my boys, they have a darn good neighbour, who doesn't mind them converting their slough into a skating rink!  Let the winter fun begin!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day Joy!

We celebrated Boxing Day today by first sleeping in!!!  That's a big feat in our home but yes, we all managed to sleep in until 8:00am.  From that point on it was a day spent with our kids and at the end of it all ... one word wrapped it up!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Treasures

I love Christmas treasures, those 'gems' that evoke emotion!  Not only do they tell a story, remind you of a special person, a special time and/or place to you ... they allow you to share the story behind such treasures to others!  Our Christmas tree is full of such treasures ... things from my childhood, places my husband and I have travelled, 'babies first christmas' ornaments, and very special treasures from friends and family near and far! When I look at our Christmas tree and see so many treasures depicting family, friends and special stories ... how could one have anything but a Merry Christmas!  We are blessed! Merry Christmas Everyone!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Spirit of Santa

They say Christmas is for kids but as a parent seeing the sparkle in a child's eyes is definitely a gift!  The spirit of Santa is alive and strong in our home and I truly hope it remains forever.  I think we all need to believe in a bit of magic!  Since Santa is set to arrive at our house soon, from my family to yours, I wish you all a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Only Flake Around

On the 'Night Before' THE 'Night Before' Christmas, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your opinion ... this is the only 'flake' around (here anyhow)!  Yes, with above seasonal temperatures, we are definitely set for a brown christmas.  Therefore, the only snowflakes contributing to our White Christmas are the snowflakes hanging in our tree!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree ...

With the 'Winter Season' officially arriving at 10:31pm last night, and a bit of a 'snow dusting' the night before last, the excitement level in our home has officially kicked into high gear.  There is only THREE more sleeps until Santa arrives and the Christmas tree awaits his arrival!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Angels Among Us ...

This is certainly abstract but I had to share it.  Our children had their Christmas concert last night and towards the end of the evening the Grade 7-9 students performed under black lights to the song "Angels Among Us."  For a very small rural school with a total of 33 students, of which 9 are in junior high, they were very creative and did an amazing job!  All of the students definitely shared their Christmas spirit!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Green Grass?

Hard to imagine but this looks like a scene after a late spring storm!  Yes, green grass poking through the snow and it's the 20th of December in Alberta, Canada!!!!!  We enjoyed another gorgeous, sunny, warm day (+5C here at home) which has melted just that much more snow out of our yard and left our Santa pleading ... 

They (those darn weather people) are still forecasting flurries but I am beginning to wonder ...

Monday, December 19, 2011

As the Sun Sets ...

The first star twinkles in the distance while the clouds inch their way across the sky.  Our weather man is calling for a few scattered flurries through the night!  And with that news, my husband and I tucked our two lil' boys into bed with high hopes of a much 'whiter' morning!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Wooden Windmill ...

Under the Stars!

Not many of these iconic prairie scenes exist anymore ... a standing wooden windmill, fully intact, upright and anchored in the calm of a clear prairie night!  It's amazing to see them and even more amazing to find them!  

Under the Heavens

Well, if heaven is truly above ... I rather enjoy waking up each day under these heavens!  This is my favourite time of year ... for sunrises!!!  The sunrise palette at this time of year is so incredibly rich with winter blues, salmon pinks and soft hues of yellow and orange.  It is definitely the most colourful part of the day ... (at least until sunset!  LOL!)

Friday, December 16, 2011


In Old Glass

On our way to feed the horses this evening, the boys and I watched the twilight of the day disappear behind the trees.  It was captured in a reflection in the old glass window on the pump house!  Cracked and splattered with dust and grime, who knew such old glass was capable of such reflections (perhaps the dirtier the better!  Haha)  The shortest day has yet to arrive but we are certainly ready for longer days ALREADY! 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Partridge ...

In Our Christmas Tree!

Our Christmas tree is complete!  I found our partridge and placed her in our tree!  Not the prettiest partridge but she has been around for MANY years!  It's one of those 'ornaments' that was around when I was little and now my kids get to enjoy on our tree.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


The Trills of the Common Redpoll

Tis' the season of winter birds!  Yes, here we go again!  But with the colors and sweet sounds of spring, summer and fall behind us ... the trills from a flock of winter birds, like those of the Common Redpoll (Carduelis flammea) can cut through the solitude of a winter day and and certainly warm the atmosphere with their 'chatter!'  We have large numbers of Common Redpolls in our yard that constantly dash in and out of our trees and down to the bird feeders.  Don't worry ... I have about 12 winter birds on a list that I am hoping to see and capture!  ... Only 11 more to go!!!  LOL!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Warmth & Beauty

... Of a Morning Sunrise!

Even Gambler stopped for a moment to take it all in!

For a 'night-hawk,' mornings can be a beast ... anything before 7:00am!  So I don't know if that actually deems me as NOT a morning person but I definitely feel 5:00 am is really unnecessary, especially at this time of the year!  Bonus ... the sun doesn't rise until 8:30am these days, so there is time to send kids off to school and still head out with my camera and coffee in tow.  And on a crisp morning like today, with hoar frost painted across the landscape, watching the sun rise is a gift.  And with gifts like that ... Christmas comes everyday!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Twinkle of Lights

YIKES! ... Only 12 more days till Christmas!  Well, we have our lights on our beautiful Fraser Fir tree and our boys were very busy decorating it tonight.  However, we are not quite done ... so we can't fully reveal the tree just yet!  But, if we were counting the 12 days of Christmas out our house ... I guess we would have to start with the 'twinkle of lights' ... the partridge has yet to be placed in the tree!  Haha! 

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Hmm ... sounds better than it looks doesn't it?  "Samara"♪... it kind of rolls off the tongue!  Haha!  Well, these samaras are the simple, winged, dried fruit produced by the many Manitoba Maples (Acer negundo) or Box Elders in my yard!  The kids and I love laying in the grass ... or at this time of year, snow and watch them 'flutter' to the ground!  And with such an abundance dangling from my trees there is no shortage of birds ... they love the seeds!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Shimmering Potentilla

Today was just a beautiful day and a great day to spend outside!  We hung our Christmas lights, the boys tobogganed, more hay bales were stacked, and I took a moment to admire the warm sun shimmering on my very dormant potentilla bushes!  Despite their 'brown-dried' appearance these days ... they do provide some winter garden architecture!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Final Full ...

Moon for 2011

It's hard to believe but this is the final full moon we will witness in the year 2011!  AND, as a bonus, it comes with a total lunar eclipse, the last one until 2014!  I'm not certain how visible it is to everyone but for those along the far western regions of North America, if you happen to have nothing to do at 5:00am  ... look low in the western horizon (moonset) you might catch a glimpse!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Where Are You Laura Ingalls Wilder?

Summer Hill School

I've driven past the old Summer Hill School so many times but never seem to take the time to stop and take a photo of this historic school.  Well, I did today!  Established back in 1912, it just emanates "Little House on the Prairie!"  I'm not sure if there was ever a 'Laura' that attended this school or taught at this school but it makes one ask "where are you Laura Ingalls Wilder?"  Laura or not, one can be certain that there was definitely a school teacher that stood at that front door greeting her school children as they entered her classroom for the day!


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