Servitum on the Prairies


This is actually not a picture of Wainwright, Alberta*

I am hoping this upcoming weekend will see us heading to the happening township of Wainwright, Alberta. You might wonder what could possibly make me look forward to a trip like this - this is where my son is currently doing his Infantry training (CFB Wainwright) and this weekend is his 17th birthday which I don’t want to miss if I can help it. When I spoke to him last weekend he said he does have Saturday off but I am still waiting to hear if he can get a leave pass for that day (fingers crossed).

I have grown to love summer on the prairies, there is a certain beauty in the rolling hills and fields and fields of different colours. It’s like a brief, intense burst of life before everything retreats again into dormancy to survive yet another winter. I’m looking forward to photographing whatever I find along the way. 

I have been to Wainwright once before, when I was a young soldier just 17 years old. I had never been outside of the west coast before that time and certainly not anywhere that had an actual horizon (where I lived mountains framed my horizons). Our unit left that summer from the airport in Victoria, BC, in a CF 130 Herc to land on the base in Wainwright. I wasn’t really prepared for my first view as we climbed out of that plane - wide open bald prairie, flat and brown, for as far as the eye could see. I thought to myself we’d been dropped on the moon. A bit of a shock for an Island girl, but strangely that place quickly grew on me with it’s dry heat, roaming buffalo and millions of gophers. I wonder if it will be happy to see me again?  

* This picture is from a field in Cochrane, Alberta, taken in the late summer of 2007. It is called Baleful. I will be endeavour to take some of my own pictures of wainwright on this upcoming trip.

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