• Seeing the Wolfdogs

    If you are coming to Calgary and are looking for something a little different to do, consider visiting the wolfdogs at Yamnuska Wolf Dog Sanctuary. This beautiful natural space just past Cochrane, AB is a lovely spot to be quiet and observe some truly content animals. I can’t stress enough how much this place embodies the “sanctuary” portion of its name, not just for the animals who live there, but for the people who visit. The Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary houses many adorable wolf / dog mixes. These are animals who were bred as pets, but their owners quickly realized that they couldn’t handle the innate needs of their wolfdogs and…

  • Homemade Cherry Liqueur

    Every summer, I keep a close eye on my mother’s Nanking cherry trees. When the bright red berries have finally soaked up enough sun, I pick the trees clean and either eat them all or force my mother confect them into Nanking jelly. This year, there weren’t many cherries on offer. The trees had been struggling to grow and when I had picked what was suitable, there was only about a cup of cherries in a bowl. The local magpies nattered at me the whole time, clearly claiming ownership of the tree’s fruits, but I’m a people and I wanted them, even if there were only a few. After listening…

  • Wild Horse Warm Springs

    It’s a romantic idea: a hot spring, secluded and private in the mountains. There’s no one around, just you and the beautiful mountain views, all yours to take in while you soak in warm water and fresh mountain air. It turns out, such a place exists.

  • Defining “Home”

    Several weeks ago, I was at a market selling my photographs. I was talking with a woman from another table, and we were happy to find out that we both hailed from Montreal. “We’re practically neighbours!” she exclaimed. She told me she moved to Calgary to be with her children, who had been living here for several years. She’s only been here for two years, herself. And then she asked me, “Does it ever start to feel like home?”

  • Cold Brew Coffee

    It’s been really hot in Calgary and as a caffeine addict, this really puts a damper on my morning latte. Of course, brewing a latte and then adding ice is an option, but I always find this ends up tasting so watered down. Recently, Starbucks has been offering cold-brewed coffee in its shops, but I really don’t feel like paying $5 a cup when I know it’s something I can make myself. A friend of Stephen’s had been making his own, so I asked for the recipe. Fellow Calgarian blog Dinner with Julie has a great recipe for cold-brewed coffee that I’ve really been enjoying, so I thought I’d share…

  • Fear of Travel

    As I sat on the bus heading downtown, something about the way the “Stop Requested” lights shone made me feel like I was somewhere else. Like I was travelling somewhere foreign. And I thought about how some people will never travel. They either don’t have the resources or the desire to leave their home cities. It must feel just too scary to leave, to venture somewhere where people do things differently. It’s a survival instinct. Our brains are wired to ask, “How will I find what I need to feel comfortable when I get there?”

  • Looking for Lille

    In my quest to photograph as many ghost towns as I can find, I kept coming across notes about a little gem called Lille, Alberta. Things looked great for Lille when it was first established in 1901. Within a few years, there were about 20 residences on the townsite, along with all the amenities like a hotel, doctor’s office, and a school. The coal mining industry in the area led to the construction of an expansive system of coke ovens, specially made in Belgium. Each brick was stamped with a unique number, shipped, and the ovens were reconstructed brick-by-brick in Lille sometime in 1903-1904.