Jasper Avenue that is – Edmonton’s historical main street.
Last Saturday afternoon (2016 March 26) I took my camera (with wide angle lens) and focused on some of the buildings. How many times have I been up and down that street without slowing down to look. Here is some of what I saw between 109th and 96th Streets:
North-side, east of 109 Street
MacLean Block on the northwest corner of Jasper and 107th
Corona Station Entrance (Jasper and 107th, southeast corner)
Energy Square (Jasper and 106, northeast)
Old CKUA Building (northside of Jasper Avenue between 106 and 107th Streets)
Enbridge Edge (southwest corner of Jasper and 102nd St.)
Canadian Imperial Bank of Canada building (northwest corner of Jasper and 101st St.)
ATB Place and Telus Tower (southside of Jasper Avenue, west of 100 Street)
Goodridge Building (northeast corner of Jasper and 97th Street)
Gibson Block (northwest corner of Jasper and 96th Street)
A chance encounter last Saturday afternoon, while walking through downtown Edmonton brought a smile to my face.
I was walking around for a couple of hours with my camera, getting some exercise and taking some pictures – mostly landscape, architectural or just interesting stuff or angles. As I walked down Jasper Avenue east of the Convention Centre I passed a group of guys hanging out. This is an area where transient and homeless people often spend their days, so I generally avoid eye contact and keep to myself.
As I passed these guys, I had my earbuds in (listening to some jazz tunes). I thought I heard one of them make a comment and ask if I would take their picture. Not sure exactly what I had heard and not wanting to be rude I pulled out my earbud and asked if they wanted me to take their picture and said sure if they wanted. The four of them quickly got organized into a close group, put on good genuine smiles and I took this photo:
Edmonton’s Least Wanted
After taking the photo and starting to leave one of them suggested that I post it on the nearby bus shelter, and title it “Edmonton’s Most Wanted”. Then someone said “No, call it Edmonton’s LEAST Wanted”. I smiled farewell and continued on my way.
This is not the first time (in fact I think it is the fourth) that I’ve been asked by strangers in the downtown area to take their photos. None of these people would ever have thought that they would see the photos but nonetheless they wanted their image captured. I don’t know why but that makes me happy. I am happy to be able to do this little thing for them and I am happy for the genuine smile that each one of them presented to me, to the camera.
The North Saskatchewan River flows through the City of Edmonton and is its lifeblood. Through the seasons the river will change its character and every winter it will for the most part freeze over. Typically in February the ice will soften and show signs foreshadowing it’s breakup. By the end of March the breakup is well underway. Today (March 27) I was able to capture the ice and river from the pedestrian bridge linking Rundle and Gold Bar parks in the City’s east end.
Further upstream, from the 50th Street footbridge, the ice shows a different character :
With something on the ice:
The winter was mild and all indications were that Edmonton would be experiencing an early spring.
Surprise! Two days after the equinox and the snow is falling again.
It’s nothing too serious – a bit chilly but kind of pretty. Here are a few images from downtown around midday.
As disappointing as this little spring snowfall was, I won’t complain after remembering the snow from 3 years earlier on this date:
I continued my search today (March 19), for signs of spring in Edmonton. It actually isn’t that hard to believe that spring is officially just a few hours away. Despite some rather cool days this past week, snow is hard to see (in open areas) and the ground and streets have substantially dried up.
My walk today was at Highlands Golf Course in Edmonton’s river valley. Being situated on the north side of the river valley, Highlands has a nice sunny exposure, so its not to surprising that the fairways are now mostly snow free and the grass is, ever so slightly, starting to green up. Here’s what it looked like:
One of the snowier fairways
I am not what you’d call a big golfer. I might be if I had the opportunity but typically get out only a couple of times each year. Still, I just love the atmosphere of the course and even today I could feel it, and smell it.
Road on the southern edge of the course
Just a touch of snow on the bunker’s edge
[As an aside, I think it would be really “cool”/bizarre/intriguing/fun/appropriate if some Edmonton area course had a bunker that was filled (at least covered) with snow (artificial for most of the season)]
Steps to a tee box
This is looking pretty playable, don’t you think? Maybe a couple of more weeks? (barring of course, a completely plausible and probably overdue, big spring snow dump).
An Inviting Fairway
Yesterday (2016 March 12), I went for a hike in the north end of Mill Creek Ravine in Edmonton.I walked the stretch between the north end of the ravine at Connors Road and a little south of 82nd Avenue.
Winter is in full retreat this year with the mid-afternoon temperature was around 8C as I walked about. This means that the paved path through the ravine is mostly snow free, with just one or two big puddles across the path in places*. However, I didn’t venture off of the pavement as the other trails looked treacherously icy and/or muddy.
Anyway, here is what caught my eye:
The mostly dry and bare path at the north end of Mill Creek Ravine
The one icy and treacherous part of the path, leading up to the Connors Road pedestrian overpass
Under the Bridge (at 82nd Avenue)
No idea why this tree was singled out but I like the green hue of the young poplar tree trunks
Stairs leading down to the path to a bridge over Mill Creek
A typical view looking up in to the trees beside the path
*A few of my artistic puddle reflection pictures can be seen over on my art blog.
Sometimes I like to just walk in my city and see what I can see (and with my camera in-hand, to capture and share images of what is to be seen). So it was on Saturday afternoon (2016 February 27). I walked Jasper Avenue from 96 Street to 116 Street, but in this blog post I will focus on a short section of that trek.
It was on the few blocks east of 109 Street that my eye was particularly active, seeing things of interest in some of the buildings old and new:
Sidewalk tunnel on the south side of Jasper Avenue, east of 109 Street
and peeking into the ground floor of the construction site to the south of this tunnel (left in the above photo):
Peering through the Corona LRT Entrance on Jasper Avenue
The decorative brickwork on the MacLean Block (above Audrey’s Books)
Energy Square at the northeast corner of Jasper Avenue and 106 Street
Here it is, the end of February. Even though its been a mild winter in Edmonton, spring can’t come soon enough. Although there are another 3 weeks until the equinox and being Edmonton I wouldn’t rule out a major snowfall until, say mid-May, the changes in the last week are encouraging: the snow is receding and grass is showing, sidewalks are drying, the river ice is getting soft and melt water is running down the streets.
Here are the signs I saw this afternoon:
The North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton in Late-February
The river ice softening around the Edmonton Queen
Puddle-filled back alley
The river ice breaking up
The seasonal end of the outdoor rink
Here are some images from Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River valley in mid-February:
Edmonton Ski Club
Blue Tip of a Muttart Pyramid
Overlooking the Ski Hill
Top of the Hill
Fitting for Valentine’s Day 2016 in Edmonton, this huge declaration stomped in the snow on the frozen surface of the North Saskatchewan River:
A Couple of Muttart Pyramids
A Place for Two in Cloverdale
Who Needs Roses Red
A Couple Strolls