September 2013: Lone Butte
In August of 2013 my wife and I took three weeks in the Pacific North West. We visited Lone Butte and Vancouver in British Columbia, Canmore in Alberta and Seattle in Washington. Every trip to North America for me will always lead to Lone Butte a small town near the metropolis of 100 Mile House. A butte, as per Wikipedia, is an isolated hill with steep, often vertical sides and a small, relatively flat top. The reason I head to lonely flat topped rock town? It's where my folks live. Imaginatively named, Lone Butte is a calm town with an incredibly low population density and therefore a great place to relax and get rid of jet lag. My folks live on the edge of a lake, the very lake where my wife and I got married not too long ago. So really once we are there, there is hardly any reason to set foot off of their property (apart from going to Costco).
My parent's neighbours (my landlords) are from Munich. They spend their summer holiday in Canada with their whole family and were in town the same time we were. They spend their time filling every day with as much fun Candiana as possible. Giant BBQs with the whole family, campfires and whiskey, air rifle shooting and horse riding all in one day.
Prior to this trip my wife had never ridden a hors, yet, had ridden a camel in the Sahara which is not the most common set up. Fortunately for her, our neighbours also have 2 horses so a request was put in, and soon my wife found herself on top of a horse. This is not the look of, "stop taking my damn photo." It's more like the look of," Holy shit ttis horse is tall and I'm not really sure I should have requested my first horse ride." It didn't take her long to figure out that horses are much more sociable than camels and she was enjoying her time in the saddle. I didn't enjoy it so much as I had forgotten just how allergic I was to horses and found myself inhaling a bottle of otrivin within 15 minutes.
This is a Castilleja, more commonly known as Indian Paint Brush or Prarie Fire. It grows throughout North and South America and was used by First Nations People as a treatment for Rheumatism as well as a hariwash to keep their hair shiny. I've used it as neither, but merely as a beautiful subject to stop at, marvel over and take photos of.
My parents have a bird feeder on their porch. Watching the birds eat from the feeder makes me wonder where the saying you eat like a bird comes from. The sparrows and their friends eat like a marathon runner at a buffet. They restock the feeder as much as the dog's food bowl and the birds make far more of a mess. This results in a steady shower of sunflower seeds on the soil below. This year those seeds took root and grew to become incredibly tall sunflowers that brought along a host of bees for company.
This is Zoe, my parent's Rottweiler returning from unsuccesfully chasing down a thrown ball.
Looking out over the lake provided some amazing sights filled with color. The first two nights treated us to amazing views of the Milky Way. It almost felt like we were staring at a poster it was so clear. Then, cluds began to roll in around sunset setting the dusky skies on fire with orange and red streaks that spread from one horizon to the next. Once the sun had set, the real fireworks began as thunder boomed from a distance and brought powerful lightening strikes down all around us, and sometimes felt as though they were hitting the roof.