Stories

  • “I think we can get a bit closer,” Jamie says, and we paddle as silently as we can towards a huge American pelican. Soon, we are just metres away from the giant bird, and he looks at us curiously wondering what we’re up to.

  • The pike’s tail thrashes, splashing the sides of the boat. It’s a strong 10-pounder and it’s putting up a fight. This is the eighth fish on our lines in less than an hour but it’s my first. Not just my first today; it’s my first ever.

  • As we cross the causeway to Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park’s Big Island, we stop to admire the view. Sunshine glints off the water and fishing boats, while cyclists cross the causeway. On the island road, the truck in front of us pulls over and waves us on.

  • Looking for a place to do just that this summer that also includes a lovely drive towards the mountains? Then you have to hit up the Cochrane Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings this summer.

  • There is something about paddling any distance in a canoe or a kayak. The sound of the water kissing the sides of the boat, the call of the birds that ripple with the waves and the scenery that changes with every paddle stroke. Its therapeutic, calming and some things challenging.

  • Epic peaks, endless shorelines, tree-clad valleys, thundering waterfalls or silent and secluded alpine lakes. That’s what much of Canada is.

  • Yeah, we Canadians are a quiet lot, aren’t we? Western Canadians even more so than the rest of the country. Maybe it’s because in comparison, the western cities are so young.

  • In front of me, on a polished long table in a refurbished industrial building on the outskirts of Medicine Hat, sits a piece of wood cut in the shape of the province of Alberta.

  • “It feels like candy in my pocket,” Deanna Brett said with childlike enthusiasm as she tucked away another piece of turquoise sea glass from the tumbling surf at our feet.

  • Sitting on a beach, it’s hard to resist dragging your fingers in swirling patterns to create your own mini Zen garden. The feel of the grains on your fingertips and the heat of the sand is very soothing. 

  • Growing up on the St. Lawrence River, gave Liz Fleming the opportunity to dip the paddle into the river on many occasions. “My dad and I would silently slip the kayaks into the marshes and weeds to sneak up on the wildlife.

  • Can there be harmony between a writer and a photographer while out on an assignment? What if the writer wants a photo of one scene but the photographer is adamant that the photo should be of something else?

  • I ride a road bike. But what I’m not good at is mountain biking. I need to see an obstacle way in advance so I can calculate my options. Left or right of a pebble on the shoulder of a road is about all I can handle.

  • Moss won’t gather and roots wont grow under the feet of Nancy Shields. Just following her on Instagram (@nochancenanc) shows she is constantly trekking with a camera dangling from her neck.

  • The absurdly gifted environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy thinks often about ‘sense of place,” that feeling we have when we know we belong within a specific habitat, that priceless experience of being settled.

  • Mesmerized by the powerful and hypnotic beat of the ancient drums, we pull ourselves away from the fire-warmed trapper's cabin (after a delicious bannock and beef stew feast, a Métis favourite!) and hop on the wagon for the short ride to the main stage.

  • When I get too wrapped up in my daily responsibilities, I close my eyes and picture myself outside surrounded by fresh air and immersed in a natural world. Spending even the smallest amount of time in nature centres me.

     

  • Our zen hits its zenith when we sip the 2013 Perpetua Chardonnay following a hearty spoonful of the Ocean Wise seafood chowder.

  • With fishing lines dipping into the glassy ocean, we sat and waited. Boredom brought the lines up from the depths to check the bait that would slip back into the abyss with our hopes firmly attached to the lures. Then we drift some more with the only sound of the trolling engine pushing us on a meandering course.