This is a brief selection of personal favourites from the past year.
January 6: Above is a shot of the Sweet Grass Hills taken from the highway leading to Writing on Stone Park in southern Alberta. The hills are across the border in Montana.
February 26: Directly below is a very foggy day at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church and Cemetery near Prelate, Saskatchewan. I love the iron crosses that mark many of the graves. The blacksmiths of the day were true artisans.
March 28: A natural spring located west of Medicine Hat, Alberta. A favourite spot for water fowl.
April 5: The abandoned Roseflat school house near Fox Valley, Saskatchewan. There are at least three other abandoned schools in the area.
April 18: A mural in Big Sandy, Montana dedicated to the members of the community for helping out a fellow farmer at harvest time while he was undergoing melanoma treatments in Florida. Harvest doesn't wait.
May 26: The lilacs in full bloom at Saint Margaret's Church and Cemetery in the Cypress Hills of Alberta. The lilacs always bloom about three weeks later in the hills than in Medicine Hat where I live.
June 20: A pronghorn mom with her two little ones northeast of Elkwater, Alberta. There were lots of pronhorns in the area this year. The landowner doesn't run cattle here so the gates are left open.
July 9: I planted this miniature sunflower from seed. The first bloom appeared only seventy days later followed by another ten blooms over the next six weeks. Although the plant is only about fourteen inches tall, each flower is a good six inches in diameter. It was a welcome addition to the balcony . . . in a word, "Happy!"
August 9: The train station in McCord, Saskatchewan, now a museum.
September 23: I'm a landscape gardener and this is my favourite workplace. I spend umpteen hours every year keeping up with things here. I also take care of the kitties when the owners are away. The kitties now have me trained very well to be their doorman and on-demand-cuddler.
October 19: Horses in a pasture dotted with native yucca plants just northeast of Hays, Montana. In late spring the yuccas bloom with a three foot tall spike adorned with creamy-white flowers.
November 14: The old grain elevator in Dorothy, Alberta. Everyone has a photo or two of this one somewhere in their archives.
November 24: An abandoned house south of Larson, North Dakota. The lightning rods and roof finials are still in place. Several buildings in this largely Norwegian area have finial decorations. Many descendants of the first pioneers still live here.
December 14: Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto at Saint Peter's Heritage Site near Kronau, Saskatchewan. The grotto was built entirely of local field stone and completed in 1917.
December 15: Sunset near Kenmare, North Dakota.
- Michael Truman