Christmas in Calgary

We arrived in Calgary just in time for Christmas.

Christmas tree felling

First task was to head out towards the Rockies to cut down our Christmas tree.  There is a whole area where you are allowed to do this, so long as you get a permit. It was like a military operation getting ready to go out: best M and S thermals, new ski trousers, furry hats and gloves and finally show shoes! We didn’t really need the snow shoes, but we had hired them so we were certainly going to wear them!

Think these are a bit small!

Think these are a bit on the small side!

The next morning we woke early – well you do when you travel in that direction.  What a view awaited us from a top window.

Our first view of The Rockies in the early morning sun.

Our first view of The Rockies in the early morning sun.

Nose Hill Park

I just love the way they name places in Canada.  A few days later we went for a walk on Nose Hill in Calgary!  Now I wonder why it was called that? It was rather barren and very very cold, but had some stunning copses of white barked trees. An argument ensued between my sister and her husband, both ecologists, as to whether these were birch or something else. It was difficult to tell without the leaves.

Nose hill

Nose hill

We thought we would have to wait until spring to find out, but then a found a Nose Hill Park web site which answered our question. They are in fact Trembling Aspen – a tree native to Canada.

Canadian White Birch

Canadian Trembling Aspen

These are very interesting trees, so called because of the way their leaves tremble in the wind. They propagate mostly by sprouting from root suckers, forming clones of many individual stems.  You can only distinguish the clones in spring or fall when groups of stems form leaves or change colour all at once.

Birds and animals were mostly hidden on this cold winter morning, but we did catch a glimpse of one large bird flying overhead. According to the web site it was likely to be a Northern Harrier or a Swainson’s Hawk. We will never know the answer to that one as I was too slow with my camera and the one person who could have identified it managed to miss it!

Christmas and Downtown Calgary

How about waking up to this on Christmas morning?

Snow covered trees on our street

Snow covered trees on our street

Or this?

Birch tree at bottom of garden

Birch tree at bottom of garden

After Christmas we went for a walk along the Bow River that winds through downtown Calgary.

Downtown Calgary

Downtown Calgary

It was a little cold!

It was a little cold!

Lovely to see some colour amongst all the white

Lovely to see some colour amongst all the white

There was someone feeding the ducks. . . .

Ducks on Bow River

Ducks on Bow River

They were mostly mallards, but there were a couple of these. They were difficult to photograph as they just wouldn’t keep still! Every time I focused the camera they were off.

common Goldeneye?

Common Goldeneye?  Got you!

We had a great week in Calgary catching up with family and then we headed out towards The Rockies. This is where we really saw some spectacular scenery.

Next:  Canmore – A Winter Wonderland.







27 thoughts on “Christmas in Calgary

  1. looks cold but beautiful Annette, I have some poplars and they are trembling trees, I wondered what it meant so looked it up and found the description of the leaves tremble in the wind, they do! I often hear them when they are in leaf and here there is almost always some wind, I have noticed none of the other trees I have, have this habit, good you enjoy seeing your family, Frances

    • I can’t remember all I read at the time Annette, but aspen and poplars are the same family, if that’s the right word, I get a bit muddled with genus/family/species etc. anyway they are related, this surprised me as I had no idea, but, then again I do not know very much about plants, Frances

  2. Stunning photos, and so interesting, this snippet from another place. I began reading, wondering, why not grow a Xmas tree in a pot and then each year, there it is, without cutting down a tree, but it was a lovely read. My xmas tree is a jade plant with red bows!

    • Thanks for commenting Lilith. A tree in a pot would be a really good solution for some, but they would grow quite big. Great if you have space to plant it outside when that happens.

  3. Pingback: Canmore: a winter wonderland | My Aberdeen Garden

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