As I head off for a week of warm Miami Beach weather, I’m taking a moment to appreciate our beautiful Manitoba winters. Yes, it’s ridiculously cold sometimes, but as we’ve seen this year, it can also be wonderfully warm (for winter). The varying temperatures and wind work to shape the snow… to bring us stunning hoarfrost and to wow us with layers of ice. Early morning or evening walks can be magical when big fluffy flakes are falling, and the air can be so very crisp and fresh. Yes, winter can be a trying season, but it also brings a quiet, chilly beauty that no other season can.
My sister and I went home to visit our family this weekend. I say the same thing every time, but it was so lovely to be out in the country and to have time to visit and relax. Elaine and I were feeling very thankful for each other… both so happy that we have a mutual love for photography and for wandering off the beaten path. The highlights of the weekend were the northern lights and star photography, trudging through the snow in the Cypress River valley and eating soup, sandwiches and pie in the community hall.
Rob and I spent most of this last week at a little cabin in West Hawk Lake. It was really nice for us to get away from our usual routine and to make ‘play’ the focus of our days. We hiked up a cliff, we went to the beach a couple of times, played shuffleboard (Rob won best of seven… twice) and went for a couple of good long bike rides (30km and 20km) on the Trans Canada Trail between West Hawk Lake and Falcon Lake. The trail was full of ups and downs, something I’m not that used to, and my legs were killing me by the end. But it was awesome and super fun. My favourite part of the trail was in a pine stand that was planted in 1959. It was beautiful… tall trees and red pine needles covering the forest floor. In other highlights, we had almost nightly visits from a very friendly deer. I took photos every day… here’s the ones I liked the most (Rob took the ones of me).
This weekend, I went to my favourite place in Manitoba… home. I visited with my family, ate my Mom’s ridiculously good food, had naps, chilled out on the deck and went for hikes down in the Cypress River valley not once, not twice, but three times. The river is wider than I’ve ever seen it, and from the looks of the debris on the ground, it was at least two feet higher earlier this spring. My family tells me there was an ice jam near the bridge and the river got very close to flowing over the road. Each year, the river carves out more of the bank, changing the shape and moving the river bed over time. My mom, sister Elaine and our two dogs, Kato and Cosmo hiked up and down the river valley, seeing all sorts of interesting things. No matter how many homes I’ll live in, my first home will always have my heart.
Today my sister and I went on a short road trip to Matlock Beach and Winnipeg Beach. It was fun to get out of town, most especially to somewhere I haven’t been before. This was my first time seeing Matlock Beach in person (I’ve seen many a photo of those gorgeous piers), and I don’t recall being in Winnipeg Beach before, although it’s possible my parents took me there when I was young.
I think I took the most pleasure in sounds today… the gulls overhead, the waves hitting the shore and most especially our feet hitting the boardwalk as my sister and I walked without having to say a word about where we planned to wander to.
I’ve had a great summer so far, and wanted to share a little of it via some photos. From Jazz Fest to planting flowers to camping/drumming with friends to spending time with Rob up at a cabin in the Whiteshell, it has all been lovely. And tomorrow I head off to the Winnipeg Folk Festival for more summer fun. Woot! Woot!