Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Hurrier I Go, The Behinder I Get!

The best laid plans of mice and (wo)men often go awry. December is just a busy month, no getting around that. Also speaking of mice, we had one in the office yesterday. His day did not go as planned, I'm sure.

Here is where I am at the moment....
Optimistically, I will post a few more times this month, and also read and comment on all my fave blogs. Ideally, I will try to get this post done and catch up with everyone's blogs. Realistically, see y'all in 2019.

We had major snow this week and since I drive to work at sunrise and come home at sunset (depressing!) I at least caught some beautiful skies and snowy scenes.

I hope everyone is doing well and I will catch up with everyone soon! Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Cloud House

Whenever I save a favourite photo I try to give it a name instead of the generic number produced by my camera. Usually I will name it for a town near by or something about it that caught my eye.  I always called this place Cloud House. The second time I came by, there was absolutely no clouds, so I think I need a new name. Any suggestions? 

I first found this house by chance back in May 2017. I caught a glimpse of the roof from the road and knew I had to see more. I stopped in the driveway and stood on my car to get a better look at this old place down in a little valley. I could see a few outbuildings and wish I could've got closer. I took my photos and left. 

I was back in the area in October 2018 and found it again. There is some work going on and I think some trees had been cleared as I could see the place much better from the side of the road now. Also the driveway has a new metal gate across it.  I didn't get nearly as good of photos but I did see a barn that I hadn't noticed last time. 

Also wishing my American friends a Happy Thanksgiving! 

Monday, November 12, 2018


This spot has always been one of those 'I'll stop next time I go by' places, I have probably passed it a dozen times before. It's a cemetery, it's likely not going anywhere.

You can only see the sign from the highway and a path going into the trees. The pleasant looking path curves around and leads you to a small little clearing where you can park before opening the gate to the cemetery. It look likes a relatively small cemetery but there is a hill in the middle and more graves beyond it that you can't see at first glance.

Bismark, like many places I have visited, used to be a busy pioneer district that had a Lutheran church, school, post office (from 1903-1922) and a sawmill.

According to Place Names of Alberta Vol. III, Bismark was named after German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. Many of the early settlers where of German origin.

I mentioned above that there used to be a school in the area and that got me wondering if it might still be there. So even though this post was started in September, I had a chance to finish it this last weekend by going in search of the school. Online searching gave me hope as it appeared to still be there. Only one way to find out....

I call this trip a success. I located the school, there is no marker (that I saw), which surprised me as this area has marked their old schools districts. However,  I am going to say with confidence that this is Bismark School since it fits the maps and also is near Bismark Cemetery.  The school opened in 1904 or 1905 and operated until centralization of the local school districts to Crestomere in 1953.

Well folks, I was wrong, I admit it. I had a comment saying the building I assumed was the school was actually the old Lutheran Church that was moved and that the school had burned down. After searching with this new info in mind,  I found that in 1908 a lot was selected, the church was built and the cemetery was developed. The church was relocated in 1947. The congregation joined another parish and then disbanded in 1976.

If this reaches anyone else with more information, stories, photos....I'd love to know or see more!
Thank you.

Abandoned. On the same site as the old church. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


I saw some really interesting clouds recently, so of course I stopped for a photo or 2.

These first 2 images are from the morning of Oct 27th, around 9 am.

These next images are almost exactly 3 hours later on my way back. 

After this, it rained really hard for about 30 seconds then it was all over.
Do you stop for clouds?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Sunup to Sundown

It never fails, a long weekend away from the blog has turned into almost 3 weeks in the blink of an eye. I had good intentions! What's the old saying about good intentions? The road to Hell is paved with them? That doesn't sound right for this particular situation but just know I was thinking about blogging.

I haven't been exploring much, a photo here and there but I have witnessed some amazing skies recently. It's hard to describe the amazingness of the sunrises and sunsets the last couple of weeks. Orange, yellow, bright pink, cotton candy pink, blues, and purples....splashed across the sky like an ever changing work of art and gone before you know it.

Which ones are sunrises and which ones are sunsets?! Both have been equally breathtaking. I know sunrise/sunset photos are easy shots but I can't help it. I love watching the sky change colour and it's kinda cool to know that I will never see another sky exactly the same.

Hope everyone out there is well and I will be catching up soon!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Brace Yourself....Leftovers are Coming.

Happy Thanksgiving long weekend Canada!! 
I will be celebrating with family and friends and enjoying good food and drink.
See you all next week.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

A Foggy Day in Sylvan Town

Morning Fog 
I took these photos on September 22nd (except the top photo). Hard to believe this was the First Day of Fall. Welcome to Alberta.

Not much else to say here, the fog and mist over the lake caught my eye so I stopped for some photos. The water level has gone down considerably at the lake, so I was able to walk/run along the sand bars as I tried to stir up the seagulls for what I was picturing in my mind as a REALLY COOL PHOTO. Instead the lazy gulls just flapped over to a new spot without gaining much height. I also probably looked like a crazy person. Maybe I needed an umbrella...

Not Iceland.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Update on the Stone Castle of Sylvan Lake

Well, September has ended. October has started with another full day of snow. Maybe Fall really isn't coming to Alberta!

Anyway! One of my early blog posts was about the few remaining historical buildings in Sylvan Lake, AB. The town I now call home. Of note was my favourite building, referred to as the Stone Castle or just The Castle. Read my previous post here.

I am sad to report that last week fire gutted the inside of the castle. It has been vacant and boarded up for years, but it seemed to be common knowledge that people had found a way in and were hanging out inside. I think I can safely say that a person was responsible for the fire whether accidental or not. I have read that the owner, who does not live here, has not been cooperative or interested in talking about starting the process to have the building declared historic. It also does not seem to me to be a priority for the town.

On the night of the fire, I was driving home when I saw the smoke, I drove towards it and saw  several cars pulled over and people watching the fire from the back of the property, the volunteer fire department was already on the scene in the front. People seemed shocked to see that it was the Castle. I stood and watched and chatted with strangers about the castle. It was a somber atmosphere, punctuated by the sirens and sparks from a power line that went down as we watched the castle smolder.

No one knows what will happen to that castle now, the stone structure is still standing but the insides and roof are charred and beyond repair. Sadly, I never saw the inside.

Some more photos here:

Here are a couple that I took:

Sept 26th - Side of the castle, hard to tell but there is more back in the trees

Sept 27 - Front of the Castle the day after the fire

I will catch up with everyone's blogs over the next few days!! I have missed being able to read them daily.

Here is a photo from today in Central Alberta....hope things are nicer where you are!

Happy First Day of October!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Wake Me Up When September Ends

September has been busy busy busy around here...never enough time. I am slowly catching up on all your wonderful blogs and will be posting shortly (hopefully)! 

Enjoy a couple recent photos, currently we have snow on the ground which I refuse to acknowledge further or post a photo of.  How's the weather where you live? Take care and see everyone soon.

Monday, August 27, 2018


I have driven by this old property several times as it is just south of where I live. In the summer with the trees you are likely to miss it. On a recent drive by,  I noticed a new metal gate across the overgrown driveway. I tracked down the owner and asked permission to take some photos. He seemed unconcerned and told me to go ahead. He said he put up the gate as people were illegally dumping stuff. Some people...

I came back a couple days later, properly dressed in long pants and covered in bug spray. I do not like the idea of walking through overgrown bushes and thistles in shorts. Also there could be ticks and crawly things. I remember it being hot and muggy that day. The only sounds were the insects and the birds and the occasional vehicle heading by on the gravel, oblivious to me poking around. Probably better that way.

There was the usual homestead finds. A house, barn, granary, shed, outhouse and a bunch of unidentified metal machinery hidden in the undergrowth. All surrounded by a trees, except beside the barn which opened up to a farmers field.

I didn't get any history on the place, the owner was friendly enough but not chatty so I did not want to push my luck.

The Barn

Inside the barn


Granary and shed

The House

Back of  the house

It used to be red....or pink.

Inviting foyer
Thing 1

Thing 2

Photos taken June 18, 2018.