Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Naptime in Canmore - Molly-Style

Zoe is all about the curling up and Molly is all about the flopping out.  This was a favourite chair last summer and the cats seem to be returning to their old haunts.  Save that Molly has figured out how to get on top of the fridge and then on top of the cupboards.  She has quite the drive to explore.  I've discovered that the best way to catch a Molly-cat is to open a drawer that I don't want her to hop into and wait a few seconds.  Zoe on the other hand prefers sneaking into cupboards rather than drawers.  Molly has also checked out every empty box and still likes hanging in Lululemon bags and all other nature of bags.

She is even napping after I put food in their bowls... although Zoe predictably ate some out of her bowl and now is sleathily going to the bathroom where Molly's bowl is - thinking I'm not going to notice if she eats Molly's food first and then comes back for hers.  Sneaky kitty.
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Naptime in Canmore - Zoe-style

I have to admit to thinking that Zoe is one of the most striking, if a little chubby, cats in the world.  She has the best little white paws (except for one which is black on the backside).  She is very happy to have my deskchair back - to the point where I only keep my computer on the desk to charge, since she seems to be monopolizing my chair.
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hydrograph of the Bow river

This shows the water level measured in Banff during the flood event for any of you engineering types out there.  I wish I had an estimate of the flow rate because not only is the water level higher, but the river is flowing faster than usual.

On my walk this morning the river still looks high, but its dropped a few feet from yesterday at the bridge.  Hopefully things are receding downstream too.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The water under the Bridge St. Bridge is slowly receding on the Bow River
Snags caught on an island in the Bow River

My favourite nursing bench surrounded by water...

View from the now closed to the public Engine Bridge of the water at bank level

Flooded Riparian Zone

Paintbrush flowering early

Another few days have passed and it sounds like most people can get back in their homes except for 45 houses along Cougar Creek which have been deemed uninhabitable.  Hopefully, it is possible for at least some of them to be made habitable, but I can't imagine how those folks must be feeling right now.  Hopefully, I'll never know.  I remember how I felt when my insured car was destroyed by a drunk driver.  I don't think that even holds a shadow to having your house damaged.

The river levels are slowly falling and life is slowly returning to normal - although town is very quiet with only residents present.  People are being extra kind to strangers.  One resident suggested a medal for the operator of the excavator that toiled for 24 hours straight and managed to save the road.  I'd concur. Bins have been placed in 3 neighbourhoods to allow residents to dispose of flood damaged property.  On the other hand, it is still hard to get in and out of town and it is raining again.  I hope that I'll be able to do something to help in the long run.

However, my main concern is calling for me.. and so I'd better go play and read stories.

I haven't seen as much TV coverage in the last few days, nor have I been to any of the locations where their was significant damage.  I've heard that there was quite a bit of damage in Kanaskis too.
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Zoe Bathing

Zoe is her stripy self and has stopped hissing at Molly, but I gather there is still some tiff between them.  She went to her vet appointment and got a clean bill of health except the vet suggested we put her on diet food as she is about 2 lbs over weight.  She isn't a huge fan of the food change, but she'll get used to it.

In the meantime, she has returned to her favourite haunts of the back of the chair and sitting by the window.  She is currently sitting on the single bed.  She has been having fun playing with cat toys and chasing Molly.
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Molly and Zoe Test All Surfaces in New Old Digs

We've been busy not only worrying about the flooding, but also moving and painting.  We finally moved back into our place about 2 days ago and the cats are thrilled for the bigger space, big windows near bird filled trees and lots of surfaces to lie on.  Here Molly tests Alekni's dresser.  She also has tested out the top of the fridge, the table, the counter, every chair, above the fire place, the side tables, the beds, the top of the toilet, the desks and several places on the floor.  Yesterday evening she was curled up around the leg of a kitchen chair.  Hard to believe when we last lived here I could pick her up in with one hand.
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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Canmore Flooding 2

Park near bridge - flooded

Water under the Bridge Street Bridge - normally you can walk or bike under the bridge - not so much today

Hydraulic flow around the bridge piers - downstream side

Policeman's Creek

Sunset over the flooded Bow River - looking towards Cascade Mountain and Banff

The water sounds like it is going down slowly (see hydrograph for the Bow in Banff). Note you have to agree that the graph might be inaccurate and then it should bring you to the graph page.  Miraculously our parkade is dry, but we are lucky to be in a very well built building.  Its beautiful weather out right now - sun - clouds just ringing the mountain tops - as soon as I finish my coffee I think we'll go for a little walk - although the trails we were using last week - a lot of them are closed, but downtown is dry. 

We've been asked to conserve water - and of course - being used to being on trucked water and sewage - this is fairly routine for us.  Although, I wish I'd taken a shower before the conserve water order - I still have paint in my hair.  There is an amazing video of the damage and flooding here on The Globe website.

Looking out our window, there is no hint of the destruction on the other side of the valley where Cougar Creek ran amok - although last night they were pumping water out of the legion's basement and a lot of shops are closed.  We, of course, are trapped here with no traffic east or west save for the escorted busses returning people back to their homes for those working in Banff and live in Canmore or vice versa.  Somehow, they also got food trucks in to the grocery stores.  

I'll try and take a few more pictures today - all the ones in this post are my fiancees. One of the toughest things for me given my Civil Engineering and Water Resource Engineering background has been not being able to go see as my duties as a mom and one who was in the process of moving and painting kept me indoors and away from the action most of the last few days.  Obviously, I wouldn't be one of those people to do something foolish and risk my life, but I might have gone to the safe vantage points to shoot a few pictures.

The pictures from Calgary have blown me away.  Canmore is a small town, but seeing the downtown of the largest city in the province underwater is scary.  On the flip side, I think the mayor of Calgary is one of the most well spoken politicians I've ever met.  I am incredibly impressed by his handling of things and the way he spoke to his citizens.  In the meantime, my heart goes out to all the folks who's home and properties.  I hope that things get better soon and the damage is less severe than it looks.
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Canmore Flooding Part 1

The Bridge St. bridge - with water flowing just below the road surface. - 10:30 pm June 21 2013

Looking Banffward (westish) down the Bow River.

The area to the right is usually dry.

The moon rising over 7th Avenue as it has finally stopped raining after at least 215 mm of rain have fallen.

More moonrise... this time over the laneway.

I feel compelled to write an actual real blog entery.  I've spent the last few days painting and moving and watching flood coverage and playing mom to a 7 week old.  The flooding in Alberta is the first time I've been in a disaster zone.  On the one hand, I've been spared any serious personal troubles by the rain.  We've carried on with our lives somewhat normally and walking down the Main St. in Canmore - it looks as though Policeman's Creek is flowing really high, but otherwise there is very little evidence of the flooding and destruction in other parts of town.  Looking at the pictures of Calgary is frightening - but I can't even keep my eyes open any more - so I'll write more tomorrow.
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Friday, June 14, 2013

Orchids and 100,000 page views on my site

While I wasn't looking, somehow, my page view meter went right over 100,000!  I started this blog in November 2005 and added the stat counter a little bit later - but still I'm surprised to see that I've reached a big number (and somewhat curious as to what percentage of those hits are from me).

As for the Orchid - one of the best parts about having a year off and spending it down here is that I'm getting to see spring from start to finish for the first time in half a decade and I'm enjoying watching the flowers bloom as the season changes.  These orchids are so far the most stunning plants I've seen, but sooner or later the mountain meadow flowers will come out and I'll have more pictures to share.  I can see though that the next post needs to be an entertaining cat picture as its been a while.
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Evening Light in the Valley

Part of this mountain has the unfortunate name of "The Squaw's Tit" - I'll let you figure out which part.  However, in this light you can really see how this mountain range does look like a woman lying on her back.  The head is really well lit this night.
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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Atmospheric Skies Beyond Policeman's Creek

The weather has been varied here... yesterday we were walking in sunshine and rain at the same time.  This picture was taken a few days before and captured some awesome skies on another day where the weather was undecided between rain and shine.

I can't believe that we are nearly halfway through June and that small human is almost 6 weeks old.

Trying to decide whether to do something that needs to be done or go on a hike this afternoon.  I'm not sure where the morning went either.  
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Sunday, June 09, 2013

Burstall Lake

Nothing quite as pretty as a mountain lake.  Nothing quite as amusing as baby noises as she tries to figure out how to reach something.
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Ground Squirrel at Kanaskis

This little guy was chomping away at vegetation and pretty much ignoring us as we wandered by appreciating the glacial and geological forces that created such incredible scenery!
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