I made a trip to Grande Prairie this week for a blood test, which the lab in High Level couldn’t do, so off I went for a 900+ km trip, which is actually not bad, since a trip to Edmonton is more like 1600 km… and on my way, with my camera not only out of arm’s reach, but in its case in the trunk, I saw the most amazing thing!!
You see, it had been quite foggy in High Level that morning, and I had made the drive most of the way with various amounts of fog or very low cloud – that my-feet-would-be-in-the-clear-but-my-head-would-be-in-fog kind of cloud. So, as I was driving, I would look to either side and marvel at the cloud rising in wisps above the ground – very beautiful! As I crested a gradual hill, about a half-hour north of Grande Prairie, I saw what I thought at first was another layer of low cloud. But this cloud was darker than the misty layers I had been seeing, so I wondered briefly if it was smoke. Looking closer, and fully clearing the top of the hill, I saw the cloud move… and realized that it was no cloud at all! It was the largest flock of migrating geese I have ever seen! There were hundreds if not a thousand birds, all flying along at the same height, northbound, probably on their way to a particularly good field of grain to feast on! It was amazing! I have never seen that many living things in one place (not counting swarms of mosquitos!!) and the sight was truly awe-inspiring. I actually held my breath when I realized what it was and slowed down… and had my hand on my mouth and was exclaiming out loud to myself in the car… what a sight to see!
I made a few other interesting observations in Grande Prairie, but none as earth shattering. For example, I had not noticed on my previous trip that it’s quite multicultural. I went to 2 sushi restaurants, so I was in restaurant heaven (High Level is so limited)! I also discovered that “Prairie Sushi” is just not a good name for a sushi place… am I the only one who thought of prairie oysters?!?!? Yikes! The sushi there was amazing though, with some of the best I’ve ever had! It was conveniently located next to the Super 8 where I was staying – I couldn’t have planned it better if I had tried!
My last observation came when I returned to High Level. I guess you have to leave a place to see it anew! What I noticed? Ash. On all the cars. A thick layer. I really wish the mill in town would STOP burning off excess wood/shavings and coating the town in wood ash. It ruins the air quality (I could see the layer of brown in the air as I approached town), town cleanliness , the environment (anybody heard of climate change? Here they are burning wood for no good reason – not even for heat or electricity production! Ack!!) and significantly contributes to the amount of fog we get here! Extra particles in the air give the water something to condense on… anyways, I’ll get off my soap box now! As annoyed as it makes me, I have decided that there are more important issues that need addressing more than wood burning in High Level! And I’d rather spend my mental energy making a difference somewhere else and focusing on positive things like that awesome flock of geese I got to see! Wow.
Take care, everybody!