Monday, July 18, 2016

Crazy July by Nancy M Bell

This has been a year of opposites so far. The late winter and spring was very dry here in southern Alberta. So dry that by the end of June the pasture still crackled under my feet when I walked the fence line. Then July hit and down came the rain. In torrential downpours. We had 5 tornadoes touch down in 4 days! Like holy cow, what's with that. Even with all the rain if you dig down four inches in the garden you can find dry earth. Crazy!

Once again this July I was fortunate enough to be invited to read my poetry at Stephansson House just west of Red Deer, Alberta. This is the homestead of Stephan G Stephansson, an Icelandic poet who came to live in Alberta in the late 1800's. The site is an Alberta Historical Site and is very well preserved. The house is wonderful to wander through and the surrounding area is kept much as it was during Stephan's life. It should be on everyone's list if they visit this part of the country. Eight poets read their work, the theme this year was Nature and it was exciting to hear what everyone offered.

Getting back to the rain. Last week was Calgary Stampede when the whole city shuts down and parties. It all began on Friday July 8 with the Stampede Parade where thousands of people lined the streets of downtown Calgary to watch marching bands, horses, tons of floats and the always spectacular showing of the Treaty 7 tribes of the First Nations. This year they have representatives of the seven tribes doing an exhibition during the opening ceremonies of the rodeo each day. Each tribe has different ways of painting their faces and bodies as well as their mounts, the stories and meanings behind each colour and symbol are amazing.

The crops are progressing well with the prairies turning bright gold under the blooming canola while fields of wheat and barley wave in the wind like a sea of grass. There has been some attempts to grow drought resistant corn without much success. Here in Alberta corn is happy only in the south country down by Taber where sugar beets also thrive. A true sign that summer has reached the tipping point and is slipping toward autumn is the appearance of pick up trucks selling Taber corn out of the bed, ears of corn piled on the tail gate.

I have been busy working on the third book in the Longview Romance series tentatively titled Wedding Interrupted. If you want to catch up on what Cale and Michelle have been up to since the end of Storm's Refuge be sure to pick up Come Hell or High Water. It fits right into the theme of my blog this month as it features action at the Calgary Stampede and the Half a Mile of Hell which is the chuck wagon races as well as touching on the floods that inundated Calgary and surrounding area in 2013. Click on the cover to get your copy.

Until next month, stay happy, stay well.