observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life

My Neck of the Woods :: 1

As mentioned in a previous post, I’m beginning to offer a glimpse into “my neck of the woods”. Most of you know I don’t live in a city or even in a town, but on a farm in NW Alberta. The closest town (of approximately 400 — which I frankly believe is a drastically inflated population number by the town) is about 20 km and the closest city of Grande Prairie (population approximately 52,000) Β is a one hour drive, one way, from our place. The nearest real city (Edmonton) is a six hour drive, one way. So photos you see will consist of the surrounding countryside & farms, the small town where I get my mail, and trips in between. Be prepared to be surprised at some of what you see, because I plan on showing it as it is, including the beautiful, the plain, the everyday, and the ugly. Posts in this project series will not be posted consecutively, but randomly here and there.

Today I’m beginning by leaving our place and showing you one of my three office assistants, Pearl.

And this is a photo of the back of the tire shop in Hythe, with one of the many feral cats watching me very closely before slinking away to safety. The owner of the tire store leaves food out for the feral cats but they do have a tough life, despite his kind efforts.

You’ll see more photos of the tire store in the nearby town in future “my neck of the woods” series. The tire store appears to have a fairly thriving business going for them. As with most places in small towns, the people are very friendly.

Last night I had to make a trip to the Hythe Library and on the way home, I stopped at a nearby dugout with the hopes of taking some reflection photos. Although I always have a camera with me, I had the wrong one for what I wanted to do. My old camera is not great for low light situations so I didn’t get my reflection photos but I got much more in personal satisfaction. The only sounds were of the wind aerator quietly clunking in the distance, and gentle little plops from the fish surfacing. I could really smell the fish too so there must be quite a few of them in that dugout. I also ended up being entertainment, of sorts, for the resident muskrat. S/he swam towards me then veered off. I remained totally still and it swam back my way a little closer to try and get a good look at my ghostly figure standing on the edge of the water. The air was warm and it felt so good standing there in the silence so I stayed a while. As I climbed back up to the road, I saw an opportunity for a couple photos. Here’s one of them.

If you’re not from here and are thinking you may like to plan a trip to Alberta, I’d recommend Frommer’s Alberta (Frommer’s Complete)and if you’re a real hiker, my favourite place is Waterton so I’d recommend this book with great details on the best hiking there, Hiking Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks, 3rd: A Guide to More Than 60 of the Area’s Greatest Hiking Adventures (Regional Hiking Series).

If a good novel is more your cup of tea, I’d recommend the most recent novel by my friend and Hythe’s librarian, Karen Bass. Pick up Summer of Fireto read yourself or as a gift for your favourite teen. See! there is a lot of great talent up in our neck of the woods!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my first installment on the My Neck of the Woods project. There’s more to come.

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Dolly Dennis - September 3, 2010 - 1:36 pm

Diane, wonderful photos as always. I am always amazed at the number of creative people who call your neck of the woods home–painters, potterers, writers, photographers. Looking forward to the next tour.


Deborah Hodges - September 3, 2010 - 2:01 pm

What a nice blog post! I enjoy your photos very much. I’m envious of where you live. I used to live in the country, but alas no longer. I do enjoy those quiet moments you describe, watching and letting nature happen around me when I can. I will live vicariously through you when I can’t!

don - September 4, 2010 - 12:09 pm

I think showing us your immediate surroundings is a great idea. We all get used to our region and tend to forget that others will likely find pictures of the locale very interesting. I know I will. Good start, Diane!

Steve - September 5, 2010 - 12:51 am

Lovely shots all three. Nicely done!

Marcie - September 6, 2010 - 7:18 am

Gorgeous images!! I’d love to – someday – see Alberta. All of it!! Thanks for the glimpse into your world!

Deborah Carr - September 6, 2010 - 1:19 pm

You carry your precious gift in your eye and your heart, so it matters not which tool you use.

sherri - September 8, 2010 - 8:22 am

I love how you focused in on the cat. I always think how things could have been so different if they would have been domesticated as kittens. Your bottom image in this one is very dramatic. Terrific image.

[…] My Neck of the Woods :: 1 […]

DesignTies - September 12, 2010 - 9:30 pm

My Neck of the Woods is a great idea for a photo series πŸ™‚ Looking forward to reading more πŸ™‚ Well, OK, I’m actually going in reverse and already read part 2 πŸ˜‰ Love the picture Pearl — she has the most stunning eyes and such a beautiful face. And the border effect you added is fantastic!!