I have met a lot of friends in my years of working in the Patch but this one takes the cake. I am doing compliance inspections in the Hythe, Alberta area and these two buddies came along looking for a scratch and a pet. My friend who was working with me snapped this shot, they were in no hurry to leave once they got a few scratches. These guys hung around with us all day as we were doing inspections on their turf all day.
In 2001 the Esther Community hosted a homecoming with over 400 people present. Above are some photos of one of the most popular teachers who taught in the Esther School. Doreen Trevor, as you can see was a pretty popular lady with all of her students. Today Doreen lives in the Acadia Lodge in Oyen and is still regarded as Mrs. Trevor by all of us.
I have had many opportunities to go out on weekends and photograph abandoned farmsteads and barns. While I was going through my files of photos I came across this photo of the house I grew up in for the 12 years of my life. My Mom and Dad bought the farm this house sat on in 1946/47 and I was born in January 1949, I was told when I came home from the hospital I rested in a basket beside an old potbellied wood stove. My Dad built an addition on the south side a few years later so we had a bit more room for the family, my two sisters and a brother. In 1963 my folks built a new Nelson built home on the west side of this house and we moved in there in early 1964. Parts of this old house are still being lived in on a couple farms in the community of Esther, Alberta. These old houses have an amazing history that we need to try and preserve by taking photos and asking about family history if we can, so if you see an old farmstead, snap a few photos and ask the landowner if they can give you a bit of the history.
We often hear of small towns in the north being nestled in a river valley. This is one of those beautiful little places, Peace River is nestled along the Peace River on both sides of the river. I had the opportunity to live and work there for a couple years and it was, to say the least, a very unique experience. In the summer it is one of the most beautiful places on earth with long days, sunshine and amazing foilage and grain crops throughout the whole region. However, the winter is an entirely different story. In the dead of winter, it is dark for 20 hours a day and gets down to -35 and sits there day and night for weeks on end. I have to say I enjoyed my stay in Peace River and love to go back when I can but to live there again would take a great deal of thought.
You can drive down almost any secondary highway in Alberta and eventually you will find a Ghost Town. Wostok, Alberta is one of those places. On New Year's day, a friend and I were traveling the countryside of northern Alberta and he suggested we check out Wostok, I had never been there before so off we went. It is a unique little hamlet which has been deemed a ghost town, it has several abandoned houses and businesses like the one posted here. Once again, being a weekend warrior photographer has presented the opportunity for me to find a new and interesting place to add to my list of adventures.
I spent some time on the weekend traveling around the countryside of northern Alberta with a friend taking photos. As we are traveling from place to place I notice the monster tractors and combines that are being used today. It prompted me to find the photo above of my Grandfather, Tom Hewines south of Esther, Alberta with his first tractor. As I was very young at the time I do not remember the exact year he purchased the tractor. I remember it being a Cockshutt 80 and it had a fibreboard cab, he always commented, the cab was a great place for the mosquitoes to hide out in. Note the drum of fuel with a hand pump in it, that would have been purple gas and he would fill up the tank twice a day when he was working the tractor hard. I have operated both the tractors of old like this one and also the new monsters and yes you get over a lot of ground today but that old tractor was a pretty peaceful place to spend the day.
As we are traveling to Oyen to visit family for Christmas, we decided to take a short detour to Meeting Creek, Alberta. Many of my blogger friends have taken photos and posted the history of this beautifully restored railroad station and grain elevator. The railroad station was built in 1913 and from what information I have the elevator was built in 1915. While I was finding the right position to get a good shot, I noticed all of the peaks and lines of the architecture of these two grand old buildings. I know there is a tremendous amount of history that goes with these two buildings but today's blog is all about how sometimes we manage to compose a great photo with all the angles and peaks of the subject.