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Posts Tagged ‘Alberta’

“Elk are powerful, adaptable animals that have played a significant role in cultural mythologies. Elk encounters are, for most people, rare,…

The elk represents dignity, power, inner strength, and passion. If you experience an elk sighting, it’s a message to stay steady on your current course. An elk sighting is also a reminder to be diligent and see things through. If you do, you will earn the respect of others for standing your ground. An elk sighting lets you know that because of hard work, you’re about to come into the life of plenty you’ve envisioned. This is a great reward for a job well done.” LJ Innes

Elk were introduced on a military base in Suffield, Alberta in 1997.  Since 1997, the population of the original elk herd has grown and so has the territory they now occupy in Alberta such as the prairie. My home on the prairie is just a few hours away from the Suffield base.  Elk can cross a lot of territory in a few minutes.  They have immense stamina; this coupled with their long-legged stride enables them to out distance predators with ease.

Elk encounters are, for most people, rare – so I count myself as a very fortunate part of the few who have encountered prairie elk.

The first time I saw elk on our property was mid-October, about 3 years ago, just after returning from a safari in Africa.  I have to admit, observing a herd of elk from the comfort of my own home was every bit as exciting as the safari!

The bull in charge of the herd was magnificent! He had the largest set of antlers I have ever seen! He was accompanied by about 30 cows and their calves.  It was bow hunting season so no doubt this herd, was fleeing the bow and arrow hunters.

The elk herd was tired when they arrived at our yard.  Some of the cows were limping and a few calves were exhausted. The bull let them rest and graze here for about half an hour before bugling then rounding them up and moving on.  It only took a few minutes for the entire herd to disappear into the horizon beyond my line of sight.  I imagine, they had successfully out distanced the bow hunter’s long before arriving here.

Normally, bulls and cows keep with their own sex.  It is only during the rut that bulls and cows intermingle.  We have had 5 or so nice looking bulls steadily visit us over the years but until last week we hadn’t seen the main herd again.

Until last week, that is.

It was at dusk and we counted about 30 cows.  See the pictures below:

I was so excited the elk were visiting that it was hard to hold my cell phone still enough to get a few pictures to share. 

Elk is wonderful species of wildlife that lives and breathes out here on the prairie. And, while they don’t visit often; I am always excited to see them. The next time they come through, though, I’m hoping to diligently count a few calves.

As a power animal, elk can remind us that we have enough stamina and strength to go the distance. We only need to pace ourselves and take time to rest along the way to achieve our goals.

 

Thank-you for following, reading, sharing and commenting – The Trefoil Muse

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Dear Readers,

I’m not sure if you’ve heard about the Eighteen Wheels of Freedom slow rolling across Canada from east to west, north to south destined to meet at our Nation’s capital in Ottawa.

Canada is a country with many cultures and belief systems.  Canadians are amicable, hard working, intelligent people who enjoy life.  We have a great sense of humor.  We value laughter.  But, above all, we value what freedoms we are afforded.

However, we are struggling to retain our freedoms during these ongoing episodes of pandemic paranoia. Never ending rules, regulations and changes in policies inflicted by federal and provincial leaders make the most law abiding citizen reel. They dangle our freedom before us like a carrot as they steadily move our reward beyond our grasp with even more mandates. For example, the 90% vaccine compliance in Alberta promised a “Best Summer Ever,” reward which if you remember correctly was quite short lived.  Then they introduced the QR Code so we could supposedly get back to normal but, you have to have to present one before you can join any social activity.

If anyone has the audacity to voice their protest, our Prime Minister describes them as ‘tinfoil hats’ or ‘conspiracy theorists.’ He believes Canadians are meek and complacent people who will do exactly what he wants because, “we are in this together.”

Meanwhile, we’ve lost friends, we’ve lost family and we’ve lost businesses as one by one the Government targets industries and groups with its coercive vaccination measures, passports and nonsensical tax hikes.

The state of our country or, that of any other country in the world since the pandemic began is unbelievable. The Main Stream Media here is the same as elsewhere – it’s all politically motivated pandemic propaganda or twisted with distractions designed to hide politically motivated strategies.  When exactly is enough, enough?

It takes a lot to get under a Canadians skin or ruffle our feathers.  We are known as humble people in Canada but, I’ve always said when the silent majority has had enough of the rhetoric, the world will sit up and take notice. (more…)

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Man Eater – Chapter 3

By: J.V. Andrus

 

It was summer now and all was calm.  I was outside playing one evening when I spotted my run away pony, Judy.  With her head down, she stood quietly in the corral by the barn, stamping her small hooves and flicking her thick white tail back and forth in an attempt to fight off the hoards of black flies that bit at her small golden body.  Slowly, I walked towards the barn and nonchalantly swung the gate closed to trap Judy.  I turned to find myself cornered.

I was frozen to the spot.  Man Eater dove at me, white rimmed eyes full of hate and black ears flattened to the back of his head.  Grabbing me with his teeth, he flung me into the air.  The world exploded as I hit the ground and in half a daze, I crawled under the corral to safety.

Luckily for me, the jacket I had been wearing was my brother’s and being four sizes too big, I had slipped out the bottom.  I sat and watched in mute silence as Man Eater tore the jacket to shreds, then turned heel and headed for the hills.  I was soon to learn that this would only be the first of many attacks by the insane stallion. (more…)

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Man Eater – Chapter 2

By: J.V. Andrus

I was only a small girl but I’ll never forget the first time I saw that wild horse.  He was crazy-mad and full of hate.

We stood still as Daddy and Frank brought him through the yard, fighting and screaming.  His nostrils were flared wide and red and his white rimmed eyes were full of hate.  His head and short mane were caked with blood and lather covered his huge black body.

The angry stallion fought the ropes that circled his neck and held him between the two other horses.  He dived at Daddy’s horse only to be brought up tight by Frank’s rope.  He turned and charged at Frank but was thrown backwards when Daddy’s rope pulled tight.  He was a mass of flying feet and catching one of the ropes in his teeth bit down on it with such fury that the rope snapped but, Frank was too fast and another rope whistled through the air and landed over his head.

I was sick.  I thought the poor horse would kill himself before he would stop fighting.  It took the men an hour to corral the crazy, mad fighting horse. (more…)

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Gone But Not Forgotten

I have always been fascinated by the power of words to convey a message.  When I was young, my mother used to read us stories some of which were her own.  I loved those stories.

J.V. Andrus
Dec. 2, 1934 – Oct. 10, 1989

Sometimes, however, an artist’s work isn’t fully recognized or appreciated until after they are gone – the following story has never been published but, it needs to be. It is a story I have never been able to get out of my mind.

Written by my mother, J.V. Andrus, Man Eater is about a wild mustang captured in the Alberta Foothills before the majority of wild horses disappeared from the range.

Many people like to romanticize the good old days – truth is, times were hard back then and the bitter reality of that truth can be harsh. The story of this wild mustang is raw.  It’s real. It is a battle between a wild animal fighting for a territory being encroached upon by man. So, let’s take a step back into our not so distant history and enjoy my mother’s story of a wild stallion who roamed free in the foothills of Alberta in the 1939’s or 1940’s.

Proudly, I present:  Man Eater by J.V. Andrus.

The following is Chapter 1 of 3.

Man Eater

By: J.V. Andrus

When I was a little girl, my family lived on the CC Ranch southwest of Nanton.  The Ranch, situated on Willow Creek was silhouetted by the wild and beautiful Rocky Mountains.

The land was filled with bush and farther in towards the mountain was thick timber.  I remember that it was not uncommon to see bear, moose and deer on this land.  We knew that many wild horses made their home in the mountains although they were rarely seen.

My story is about a black stallion who gained the band of wild horses and who was snared in the mountains by my Dad and his best friend Frank.

I had only seen the wild horses a few times.  My Dad, who was foreman of the CC Ranch, said the wild horses were inbred.  They had large over-sized heads, crooked legs and big pie feet.  Some were very small.  The wild horses usually had long unshed hair and the older mares had matted manes and tails that hung to the ground.

They stayed high up in the mountains most of the year and grazed on the tender grass that grew along the timber line.  Their bands were very small.  The cold harsh winters and deep snow found the colts and weaker mares starving.  Some were pulled down by Timber wolves, some by another hungry predator. During these times, wild horses usually descended from the mountains into the foothills.

The ranchers hated the wild horses. (more…)

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This golden flower is known as a buffalo bean, prairie bean, golden banner and prairie pea.  These flowers  bloom during 

late May or early June. The buffalo bean can be found in open sandy areas of the prairie and aspen forests where water tables are high. 

The golden bean flowers were once used as a cure for stomach disease and its roots used as a horse medicine.

Dye was made from the yellow flowers and used by the First Nations People to color arrows and skin bags.

Most importantly, the appearance of this golden pea-like flower was used as a form of phenology (study of nature) by the First Nations People because upon its arrival, the spring hunt for buffalo bulls could resume.

 

Warning:  The pea shaped pods of a buffalo bean should never be consumed as they are poisonous!

 

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This is an update on my last post regarding the progress of Bill C-10; an Act to Amend the Broadcasting Act here in Canada.

Let me start this article by sharing a quote from a fellow Canadian regarding the digital sphere:

 

“We need to pay attention to what is happening. 

The very character of our country is at stake,”

                                Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, May 16, 2019

 

I agree; we most definitely do need to pay attention to what is happening! Our entire country is literally being torn apart by some of the very characters who lead it!  The digital sphere is only one area being abhorrently affected by these characters. (more…)

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