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Published: December 22nd 2020
Bulrushes edge the slough
My favourite plant in the marshes
The sun shone on us with autumnal warmth, even while the calendar said winter. The Calgary Greenway
stretches 138 kilometres around the city. We gathered at 16 Avenue and 68 Street NE to explore on foot a section that is usually ignored when we speed by in our cars.
As we rounded a curve from 16 Avenue, we began to parallel Stoney Trail
, albeit from a good distance. Neighbourhoods full of two-storey houses bordered the other side of the path, and it seemed that each neighbourhood had its own path onto the Greenway. Indeed, more than on any other walk, we encountered people striding and strolling for their daily exercise. We all waved and “helloed”. One couple stopped to talk to me. They wanted to know where we were from, possibly thinking we were a tour group. I explained, and they were pleased that we had chosen to walk on their pathway this week. After we reached 68 Avenue and turned back, we saw most of the walkers again, in a grand group appreciation of the fresh air.
Naturally, the grasses and flowers had all died down into a low-level golden glow. Small stands of aspen bare of leaves punctuated the prairie
Man on slough
Getting away from it all!
landscape. Scottish thistles had lost their royal colour. Silver Dollars twinkled their pale seed pods as light breezes rustled the dried plants. In tiny frozen sloughs, bulrushes waved their subdued brown heads. Against the sun, the down on the exploded seed heads shone like white Christmas lights. On the largest slough, covered minimally with ice, sat a man with headphones in a lawn chair facing away from the walkers, obviously enjoying some solitude.
We had our lawn chairs, too. We set them out on the parking lot, suitably distanced, and chatted while enjoying lunch in the sunshine.
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