beauty of open space

The question is not what you look at, but what you see.
– Thoreau

wide open spaces

field near Regina on the first Sunday in May

I don’t understand people who don’t see the beauty of the prairies!

So, if you’re not from here, and you happen to be driving through Saskatchewan on your summer vacation, veer off the TransCanada Highway for a bit on a grid road, stop on the side of that road, get out of your car and breathe in the air. If you’re feeling a bit fanciful, maybe lie down in the grass (hopefully there aren’t many mosquitoes), and watch the clouds roll by for a few minutes.  If you’re feeling a little self-conscious, a little too grown up for that, at least stretch your legs and take a good look around – there’s beauty in just being surrounded by open space.

sunrise on the prairies

In the last year, I’ve been lucky enough to experience some of the best scenery Western Canada has to offer.  From the Great Bear Rainforest off the west coast of Northern British Columbia, to the beaches of southern Vancouver Island, and Banff National Park (those are probably my top three favourite places right there, although if I had to, I’d choose Tofino and Pacific Rim National Park over southern Vancouver Island), but I’ve been staring at prairie landscapes my whole life.  The prairies are familiar, are ingrained in me.  I’ll keep going back to the mountains and the ocean because they still seem exotic to me, but the prairies are home.

These are a few pics I didn’t post in July after my one and only sunrise shoot this summer just outside Regina.

mid July Sunrise on the prairies 2 Mid July Sunrise on the Prairies

mid July Sunrise on the prairies 3

land of living skies

Land of Living Skies is the slogan that’s been on Saskatchewan license plates since 1998 and yesterday’s sky lived up to the name.  Yesterday’s photography excursion was cold and miserable, but really enjoyable at same time.  I knelt in that field of wheat for a long time, taking pictures from different angles and trying different effects – you know you’ve found the right hobby when you get caught up in the moment and time seems to fly by. And then, half an hour later, the sky opened up and it hasn’t stopped raining since.

land of living skies

side of the road

Some lyrics from one of my favourite songs, “Side of the Road” by one of my favourite bands, Blue Rodeo…and because the pictures remind me of my summer job in university spent walking through farmers’ fields doing a corrosion survey of a pipeline. I remember one particular moment very clearly. I was done walking my mile, but my radio had died so I couldn’t let the driver know I was ready to be picked up, so I just decided to lie down by the side of the road (it was a dirt road in the middle of nowhere so no worries about traffic!!) and just look up at the sky while I waited.  I might have been there for five minutes or maybe it was an hour, I just remember being both relieved and slightly disappointed when the van finally appeared.

I walked across this farmer’s field
And I looked up into the blue-white sky
I started singing this song in my head
Just because the sun, the sun was high

wide open 2

wide open 4

Near Eastend, Saskatchewan

a walk around Wascana Lake

For a flat prairie city, plunked in the middle of nowhere, Regina is actually a very pretty city. When I moved here many years ago I certainly didn’t think it was, and didn’t plan to stay very long, but this is my home now. Wascana Park is one of my favourite places in Regina.  I took most of these towards the end of a walk around the lake (I was walking for exercise, too, not just picture taking opportunities, so I had to keep the momentum going!)…well and the sun was setting, too, so the walk was timed perfectly…

These were all taken in about a half hour time span. I love how the colours changed in that short period of time (they are posted in the order that I took them).

Wascana Lake 1

Wascana Lake 2

Wascana Lake 3

Wascana Lake 4

Wascana Lake 5

Wascana Lake 6

Wascana Lake 7

Wooly Bully

Most of my Saturday was spent south of the city taking pictures in the country, on a very hot day (about 35 degrees), starting at about noon til 8pm.  This fine specimen seemed like he wanted to model for me (I was across the road), so I obliged him and then for the rest of the day couldn’t get the song “Wooly Bully” out of my head! So, this is just something lighthearted before I go to bed on a hot summer night. Please, summer, feel free to stay until October!

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