One of my earliest forays into commercial advertising started in Lethbridge with a session for an ad for Imperial Fashions.
The ad ran in a magazine called Chimera that morphed into Lethbridge Living.
The image was photographed on Black and White film with my Nikon FTN camera, which I still have and use if I can find film.
Back during Covid, when the government didn’t allow us to have any customers, I was taking a online photo course https://project52pro2016.com/ and one of the projects was to take one frame of film every day for a month. These are a few of the images from that project.
Barn located just off Highway 3 near Barnwell, Albert
Blades for wind turbines stored in Milk River while waiting for transport to the construction site.
Sometime near the end of January to the middle of February Fort St John breaks the monotony of winter with the High On Ice Festival.
They do bring in world class ice sculptures to create some pretty magnificent carvings but there are also local competitors made up of teams from local businesses and communities.
One of the early traditions of the event was creating shot glasses and pitchers that were later used to drink a toast with.
Welding in the Park
Fort St John is also the centre for oil and gas development in northern BC and as such it has a large number of people that are employed in the welding trades. So it was only natural for them to create a summer event called Welding in the park, where local welders were given the weekend to create a sculpture. This metal grizzly bear is the product of one of those competitions.
We start with a photo of a competitor competing in the Butterfly Stoke swimming competition in the 2007 BC Northern Winter Games.
Hockey, hockey, and more hockey
and what would one of these posts be without a couple of the many thousands of hockey photos from over the years. These two are from a game between Peace River and Fort St John
This next one is a scene that I remember from a calendar in what I believe was 1963. If it wasn’t 63 then it was 1964. It was the typical calendar of the time single large graphic, and underneath it a the pages for a small monthly calendar. You would rip the old month off to reveal the new month. I remember the teacher Miss Louis Miller telling us at the time that it was actual a scene from the area.
It wasn’t until years later that I realized that the scene was at the intersection of Secondary 506 and Highway 4 north of Warner. And even later when my mother said that she used to get dropped off here and would walk down to Grandma Frandsen’s farm that at the time was located at that first intersection.
I do remember visiting the farm when I was very young, and not sure when it had been plowed under. But it has not been there for years. This photo is from Feb 10 2020.
If you listen to the pundits you would think that we are about to have the driest year in history. But as usual it is more story than fact.
On the farm, our neighbour Andrew, kept daily weather records. Andrew started keeping those records sometime before 1910. Every day he recorded the high and low temperature. The amount of moisture whether it came down as snow or rain. The wind speeds and directions.
You know what you can tell from real records kept in the same place for over 100 years? Patterns. Yep, if you look, you will see that about every 30 years the weather will repeat itself. Wet years, dry years, they come, they go. Rinse and repeat.
Now, I’m not as accurate with my timelines, because I only remember what I remember. But in the early 60’s we had years so dry that we just plowed the fields back into the ground because the wheat and barley didn’t grow tall enough to harvest. Dust storms so bad that we could not see our pig barn that was less than 100 feet from the house.
Years where you had to keep the combine header so close to the ground that you were picking rocks rather than harvesting grain.
I also remember years where the crops were so tall that it was over my head. To be fair I was a kid, so not that tall, but even by today’s measurement it would be over my waist, making it probably three feet.
One of the other things you notice from looking at those daily records is that in southern Alberta most of our snow pack comes in February and March and major snowstorms can arrive as late as June.
Also in the late 60’s (I think 1967 but it might have been 1968) that we had a May snowstorm that brought all of southern Alberta to a halt.
One of the kids I went to school with was a rancher and Military helicopters were brought in to carry hay to feed his families cattle stranded in the fields.
Our neighbour – the one that kept the weather records – drove the three miles from his farm with his Minneapolis-Moline tractor to see if Dad could take the bulldozer over to his place to plow a path to his cows so he could feed them.
Once he finished there, he moved on to other friends and family plowing their yards out.
Even once all the roads were plowed, it was still like driving through an alien landscape with snow banks along the edge of the road reaching over the top of school buses.
And most of the time the Victoria Day weekend – the start of camping season – is usually cold and wet.
1990’s Chin reservoir drys up
In the early 2000’s Chin reservoir was so dry that it went from being a lake of over 150,000 acre feet to a mere stream. It was so dry that the police were able to recover a rifle that they though might have been used in a murder from the mud.
On February 7 2024 we got one of those snow storms covering most of Alberta with over a foot of snow in most places and several feet in some places near the mountains.
Written by Gilbert and Sullivan The Pirates of Penzance was first performed in New York on Dec 31 1879. One day after it was presented in London, England
Since then it has become one of the most performed of their plays.
I believe in the play that this Ruth, Frederic’s nurse and pirate maid. The other characters were Frederic, a pirate apprentice who had been indentured to the pirates but on reaching the age of 21 decided to leave the pirate trade. However, a technicality – being born on February 29. means he is not reached his 21’st birthday and so much return to being a pirate.