When the weather advisory goes out early afternoon on July 5th I reluctantly shut down the computer and looked for something else to occupy my time. Huge cloud formations were visible all around and the camera was close by. We jumped in the car and made our way out of the valley to be greeted by distant rain clouds meeting bright canola fields. Ahhh!
Not far from Tuxford is this little church with adjacent cemetery, always a welcome focal point especially with the dramatic clouds overhead.
We really wanted to take it all in and explored roads not familiar to us…
…leading us into the far distance…
…seeking vistas and converging lines…
…never growing tired of the ever-changing sky!
We drove to escape the rain…
…successful for some time!
Stopping along the way to immortalize wind battered outbuildings of an abandoned farm…
…the rain chasing…
…and finally catching up to us!
Another July afternoon well spent in South Central Saskatchewan!
…also called “The Land of the Living Skies” has not disappointed this month and we still have 10 days to go… I posted about the summer solstice last and just realized that a full month has passed since! July 1st, Canada’s 149th birthday, arrived with the most glorious sunset I have witnessed for a while. Could it be that I have not ventured out much lately, perhaps! About an hour before sunset a friend sent me a text message warning of a severe storm heading in our direction.
Most people batten down the hatches, secure the patio furniture and remove awnings – we grab our cameras and tripods, jump into the car and head toward the clouds. It was a show that did not disappoint! The image above was captured along Hwy. # 2 going north of Moose Jaw, SK looking west before dipping into the western Qu’Appelle Valley.
We drove only 2 miles and found the perfect look out point. Immediately after the causeway over Buffalo Pound Lake we pulled into the parking lot: water, escarpments to the north and ever changing dark clouds – the perfect location if there ever was one. Breathtaking imagery… but there is more!
The sky was continually changing as the sun steadily disappeared on the horizon. The clouds took on the appearance of an oil painting and anticipation grew. So often the best show happens after the sun sets!
Could this be a funnel cloud at the far end of the lake?
Clouds like these in painting would be considered artificial and unrealistic – it cannot get more realistic than this!
Sheet lightning was illuminating the sky and every time I engaged the shutter I was not sure if I captured this phenomena. As I was processing the images today I realized that July 1st was the day I captured lighting for the first time! What a way to celebrate our country’s birthday!
These are the two best images I captured that evening. I hope you enjoyed this short weather report from three weeks ago. It’s all about the sky, the clouds, the reflections and nature in this province!
A full moon at Summer Solstice has not been experienced since the “Summer of Love” in 1967. While I was much too young to be aware of this event I do remember owning a camera at that time already… but animals and flowers were mostly of interest then.
This year’s Summer Solstice was much anticipated as I just returned home from an exhausting teaching trip. Grabbing my camera, tripod and a couple of lenses was on the agenda to celebrate free time, and when the weather cooperated I was ecstatic. All day the sun moved across a sky free of clouds. Just in time for Golden Hour a few wisps appeared on the horizon. We headed to our favorite place to capture sunset and moon rise events, Lovering Lakes Recreational Site in Southern Saskatchewan.
Sunset and Strawberry Moon Rise were to take place simultaneously. Sunset was to be at 9:16 pm, the moon was to rise at 9:14 pm. Lovering Lakes is the perfect place to take in both. We set up facing west and took advantage of the still lake and the perfect reflection as the sun neared the horizon.
This was the view east at the same time. With the gently rolling hills in the distance (yes, we consider these slight rises hills here on the southern prairie…) we were unable to witness the exact emergence of the moon. It was difficult to divide our attention between the sunset and moon rise. Swiveling the camera back and forth I finally decided to fully focus on the sunset and capture the moon in its entirety after it had emerged.
Eventually I captured the glorious sphere gently shrouded in a diaphanous veil of clouds.
While the moon gained in height the last light was painting the sky vividly further emphasized by the perfect reflection on Lovering Lake.
Colorful twilight was soon replaced by the light of the full moon. A memorable event captured forever with my camera. 24 hours later the sky is grey and laden with rain heavy clouds. The farmers are happy for the moisture, but it makes for few photographic opportunities…
Tired of broken pavement and ever expanding potholes on Hwy. 15 from Kenaston it wasn’t difficult to reach a decision to explore an alternate route after a delightful lunch at the Highway Host in Rosetown, SK. Heading south on the Hwy. 4 the well-maintained road leads through Elrose and Kyle, with Kyle being the larger center boasting amenities like a Co-op Marketplace, gas stations, and restaurants.
The rolling hills landscape was more pleasant to navigate on this well-maintained road and not too much traffic. As we approached the Diefenbaker Basin we were greeted by lush, green escarpments dappled in light and shadow with the dramatic cloud formations overhead.
At the lowest point the information center was a welcome sight. It was time for a walk about to explore.
With the beginning of the May long weekend the information centre was open. The lower level of the refurbished house has been converted to an interpretive centre. A young couple with baby in tow decided that the “museum” is too small to spend time in… I found it very informative. The Goodwin House Interpretive Centre is well organized sharing the natural history of the area.
Local flora and fauna are also well represented.
A great place to lock eyes with birds indigenous to the area… even if they are frozen in time…
Outside we were treated for a fly-over by a flock of pelicans. It is not often that I have my camera ready to capture such a sight!
Leaving the Diefenbaker Basin we stopped several times to capture the dramatic cloud formations. Saskatchewan isn’t called “land of living skies” in vain.
It isn’t often that destinations in Saskatchewan can be reached from two approaches with the same mileage. This drive was very pleasant and full of new sights and surprises. We have already decided that this is a great place to return to. The cactus will be in bloom in July… stay tuned and check in then to see if we made it back to the western end of the Diefenbaker Basin.