Again, the European

Good day, almighty human

 

We sing our songs of praises to the great works of the mighty human.  Strong and courageous, he leads us in battle.  Fight the fight of victory and win the battle, be the unbeatable foe.  His words echo in our minds, our hearts follow the courageous leader, and our souls sing the destiny that the champion creates.  

Hail!  Calls out the almighty human and we respond. Hail!  Yes, we will follow, the awesome deeds to victory, the battle must be won.

To build a nation from the great wild and to turn the country into a unified force of goodwill and compassion, each to one another.  An awesome scheme, a grand and glorious notion, a courageous adventure.  From our roots as kindred spirits, surviving and thriving in the great north, we carve our niche in the world and plan and prepare for the great life.  A life  of living the great adventure. The dreams of brilliant forefathers who planned and prepared.  Wealth, riches, the fabulous new world.  The glorious ambition and awesome challenge, to build a nation from the endless stretches of wooded land and rugged landscape.  To carve a niche on the planet and to call that negotiation a nation.  All lands under one contract, all peoples under one law, to live and to die, for the energy and enthusiasm of the quest to build a country.

The west stretched onward in a glorious and encouraging land.  The mighty forests, the endless prairie, the majestic mountains and the far off ocean.  A dream of grandeur, to unite the nation. The negotiated settlements of trading posts, furs for blankets, ammunition, food and craft.  The people prepared for a land of settlement, believing in the sound judgment of their leaders and the peace and prosperity that their brilliance would bring them.  They arrived in anticipation of a new life, a new world, and a new venture.  Farmers, merchants, fur traders.  The energy of freedom filled their bodies, their minds, their hearts and their souls.

“Come!”  called the land. ” Meet my people!”  and the courageous new comer came forth to meet the challenge and be victorious.

It had been 500 years since the Vikings had abandoned the settlement at L’Anse Aux Meadows and again the European came to the call of adventure and to establish himself in the new world.  A fort, a home, a colony.  The French from France now became the new masters of the brave new world.  Again the call for settlement came from the land north of the 49th parallel.  Colonize.

http://www.canadiana.ca/citm/themes/pioneers/pioneers2_e.html

Although the British, Spanish and Portuguese were fishing the oceans off the Newfoundland shore, it was the French who decided to rise to the challenge and to meet the task of colonization.

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/qc/cartierbrebeuf/index.aspx  Parks Canada.  Wintering place of Jacques Cartier.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

July 20, 2014

Cavell Meadows

Cavell Meadows

The Meadows have finally opened. It ‘s late for this year, being the second week in July, and we braved the sweltering heat wave at 35 degrees, just for another peek at the outstanding Cavell Meadows.
It’s 8:30 am and already the warmth of the day is upon us.  A few vehicles are already in the parking lot and some early tourists have focused their cameras on a site, way  up the side of the mountain. Way up, only a speck of white, is a lone mountain goat. We view his early morning activity through the borrowed cameras of the tourists. Their good fortune for this photo opportunity is far better than mine, since their equipment will give them that superb, possibly once in a lifetime  shot,  that my cellphone camera can’t manage.

Packing light sometimes has its downfalls and this is one of those times. I’m grateful to the tourists for giving me the opportunity to view the goat through their lenses and to see the wonderful photo that they have been able to take.

We continue on our way.  The runoff from the Angel glacier is streaming in torrents into the lake below.  The heat of the day, already melting the skirt of this Angel, and we wonder how much longer we will be seeing this beautiful sight.  We make our way up into the meadows, so full of colour, it’s a spectacular sight.  Although this is an annual hike, we never tire of the splendor that awaits us in this easily accessible alpine terrain.   The wildflowers are unbelievable.  Heath and arnicas, paintbrush and avens, they stretch on and on and on, with a backdrop of mountains and the beautiful hanging  Angel Glacier.

Our destination, is the climb to the summit of the meadows.  A rough path of scree and a scramble at the top, that make the already steady climb, more challenging at the top. We’ve planned for a seven hour day, with time for photos and a relaxing lunch when we reach the summit.  The steady uphill hike, takes us through outstanding alpine meadow, to the well worn, rocky path above.   Then on to the scramble at the finish which will take most of the morning.  The views become more and more fabulous and the marmots come out to play.  Today, they are not shy.  They don’t hurry away.  Instead, they pose for photos and watch us with curiosity.  We are one of the first visitors to the meadows today, and since it’s so hot, one of the few.

The climb through the rocky scramble is difficult at times, but the finish greets us with an expansive view of the valley on the other side.  We can see the Whirlpool River, Leach Lake and a long stretch of the Athabasca River.  Unfortunately, the haze of wild fires burning in the south, cloud our view, so the landmarks aren’t as distinct as they usually are.  We peer into the valley below.  There are many snow patches, which is a good sign.  Usually caribou inhabit lands like these.  They like the snow patches to cool their bodies on hot days.  No sign of any.  That is, not until a pair of biologists on the grizzly bear study, join us at the top, and the keen eyes of one of them, spots a caribou and her calf in the valley below.  I pull out my binoculars and hand them around for everyone to have a look.  We linger for about twenty minutes, watching these animals, listed as a threatened species,  until  finally she moves out onto the snow patch with her calf, and lays down beside a large rock.

http://www.mountaincaribou.ca/content/recovery-plan

Mission accomplished.  We have the sighting that we wanted, but not the photo. Impressed and satisfied, we make out descent, through the glorious meadow and back to the nearly empty parking lot.

Now on to the next most splendid venture, the lake.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

A Great Escape

A Great Escape

Good Day Bravehearts

The splendid great wild, with its remote and awesome places. Here, in a world class national park, a UNESCO world heritage site, we live and play and hike to our hearts content. The world of opportunity knocks and we respond with enthusiasm, for the endless adventure in hiking the great wild.
This week, we travel into a remote and little known mountain pass, high up in the alpine. where the curiosity of remote, wild adventure takes us. Ever cautious, we prepare for all weather, rain suites, first aid kits, water ,sunscreen, food, insect repellent, hat, gloves, binoculars and cameras, maps and gps.   It can be cold in the alpine, with changeable weather and here it can be blistering hot, or freezing rain, sometimes turning to hail or snow. We all pack bear spray.
It’s been a good year for bears. Many sightings of females with two and three cubs and the powerful grizzly bear has made her presence well known, with frequent sightings and photo chances of her and her healthy offspring. The alpine is a favorite place of the grizzly and we don’t want to startle one, so our group is large and loud. It’s better to be safe, with large numbers, so the resident predator hears us coming.

The climb is steep and the footing is uneven.  We spent three hours hiking to this remote place, high up into the alpine for a view of the glaciers on another mountain range.  The intermittent showers cooled us and the climb was not as difficult as it sometimes is.

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/jasper/index.aspx  Jasper National Park

Our fathers fought for this great land.  A magnificent mountain range in a far off place.  They fought for  freedom, for prosperity, for a better world and here, in a remote and little known mountain pass, we enjoy and praise the brilliance of that choice.  To protect the land, to save it for future generations, relatively untouched, preserved and intact.  A home for the wild and an escape for us.

We are early in this years adventure.  The spring was late and the wild flowers are not yet as showy as they will be.  But also, we have left the great bear behind us, to forage in the valleys until the alpine will give them a meal.  They will be here soon.

Today, the pass is for us, with only the calls of the birds and the rushing water, the insects and the wind.

The far off glacier is the head waters of our rivers and the source of our daily water supply.   Protected high up in a mountain top, the glacier lies in its own protected domain.  Remote enough, that it is rarely visited and high enough that is remains intact.  The grand great wild, providing fresh drinking water for us and the planet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AF05-slHnNk  Fukushima

These rare, protected places, great mountain ranges like the Rocky Mountain National Parks are home to the awesome wild, the glaciers and the beautiful flowers. The power of the earth lies in these special protected places, where only the fortunate few can roam.  Our drinking water, our air supply, our dark sky,  our much needed connection to the natural world.

Here is where we live and play and praise the foresight of brilliant people who saved this land for us to enjoy.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

 

It’s Only a Tree

It’s Only a Tree

Good Day Bravehearts

The forests of our country are a milestone of preservation. Intact lands, intact lives, intact preservation. The delicate balance of satisfying the needs of competing interests while we grow and prosper, but still fulfill the needs of the great land. The earth cannot survive without the large expanse of lands and environmental protection has called us all to be watchful of the contamination and ruin of the earth. Another mountain of preservation destroyed, another hard fought victory to win. It only takes a few minutes to destroy, what has taken a milenium of earth years to build. A forest, brought down by over harvesting. The balance of the environment overturned. The delicate marshes and the songs of the birds, happily existing in the structure of an ecosystem, so uniquely contrived and so exquisitely orchestrated. The balance of life in the land of the great wild.
The fabulous wild, where the predators roam and quietly, stealthily stalk their prey. A harvest of the weak to strengthen the strong, and to cull the over abundance of grazing and browsing prey. The forest needs the predator, to save it’s new growth, and to take a stand for the preservation of large landscapes.
The balance is superb! The forest thrives and the lives of the living, fill their world with the earth songs of their making.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BickMFHAZR0 The Most Amazing Thing About Trees.

The joy of the wild as it sings the song of the earth to us, the great human. Save us! Only in saving the great wild, will the human be able to save themselves. The preservation of the forest, for our own clean air, for oxygen, for shade, and the protection of the soil. The trees are a necessity. Food, shade, warmth, air, environmental protection and decoration. The varieties are immense and all so different. Large and small with canopies for shade, or strength for wind protection. A tree, such a common plant, so needed and so fragile.
Our houses, from their wood. Furnishings, flooring, cabinetry, whole fields of study from the common tree. Carpentry, logging, forestry, massive business enterprise and international trade. Wealth from wood, paper from by product, our logging industry employs thousands.
Hail to the almighty human, for ingenuity and invention. Your awesome minds and clever imaginations save you there, but lack of foresight is the curse of the human.
Oh brilliant ones, you cannot stop your thinking. The wide expanse of knowledge becomes you and the perpetual motion of time turning to wealth propels you. No poverty there. A world without end. It has to be.
So, brave hearts, as the world turns and another day is upon us, the call from the wild is more urgent and compelling.
Come! calls the great land. Visit and explore. Come to the luxury, to the beauty, to the serenity of the wild! Come to the adventure, to explore and discover. The earth sings, oh great human, don’t be the last.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes
July 1, 2014