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Autumn in rural Alberta is immensity amplified.  Big sky and expanse of farmland is the main scenery, something what W. O. Mitchell describes as “the least common denominator of nature… land and sky.”

The air is crisp, fresh, and dry.  Colors are simple:  Big blue sky, golden harvest, even just hay rolled up in bales.  Farming against the snow-capped Rockies, rustic, serene, rejuvenating, harmonious fusion of nature and human endeavor.

Trees as windbreaks in the summer, nature’s sculpture in the fall.  So the leaves are gone, but only then can we see the beauty of the bare branches, like dancers celebrating the changing of the seasons.

The solitary figure in the field… en masse.

“Think I’ll go out to Alberta,
Weather’s good there in the fall.
Got some friends that I can go to working for…”

For some inexplicable reasons, as I’m posting these photos, a flood of nostalgia whirls up in me.  The melodies and lyrics of those songs and singers that we can claim our own keep filling my mind all day. Not too many up-and-coming like to hang around here, since all the fame and glory one seeks is down south.

But these remain our own: Gordon Lightfoot, Ian and Sylvia Tyson, Neil Young… and songs about Alberta, about heading west to seek a new life, or to escape from the pain of lost love.  Maybe the wide open country, big blue sky and wide expanse of land do have their healing powers.

And memories, forever clear, keep us rooted… here’s home.

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Photos taken by Arti of Ripple Effects, November, 09.  All Rights Reserved.

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