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grain elevator
rural scene
Anne Elliott
SE of Calgary
three in a row
Frank Lake area
5 July 2016
built in 1930

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Mossleigh grain elevators

Mossleigh grain elevators
My car woes are almost over, for which I am truly thankful. The day before yesterday, I finally ordered a new vehicle to replace my 17-year-old car. Now I just have to wait 2-3 weeks (hopefully no longer!) for it to arrive. Fortunately, I can still drive my old, very noisy (dead muffler) car as far as the grocery store, which was my biggest concern. No drives for up to three weeks, which will be really hard, knowing that I am missing all the birds AND the mushrooms .... sigh. One and a half days have now passed.

On 5 July 2016, I finally drove down SE of the city to the Frank Lake area. I have missed almost all the shore birds this year and knew that if I didn't go very soon, they would all have left.

As it was, I saw very few birds of any kind. I drove straight to the blind/hide at Frank Lake, where everything was quiet, other than a few Coots with their teenage kids, several Ruddy Ducks including a female lying on her nest, a Marsh Wren that I could hear but not see, a couple of Red-winged Blackbirds, maybe three White-faced Ibis flying by, a few Tree Swallows and a rather handsome Barn Swallow. No Soras, no Eared Grebes. As soon as I had left the blind and taken a few steps down the boardwalk, I was totally taken by surprise by a Black-crowned Night Heron that flew overhead, being chased by a small shorebird. The Heron was letting out a very loud 'hoarse scream' that sounded almost human-like. Just managed to get a rapid shot of the Heron before it flew out of camera view. I so rarely see a Night Heron, though I did see and photograph a beautiful juvenile that was hanging out at Lafarge Meadows in Fish Creek Park last year (2015) and a very recent, close adult east of Calgary.

From the blind area at Frank Lake, I drove eastwards and eventually came to Mossleigh, where I stopped at the three grain elevators to take photos. Can't remember if I had been there just once or maybe twice before. On the way, I stopped to photograph an old homestead which, until recently, I have usually seen and photographed in winter, not summer.

The weather forecast was for a risk of thunderstorms, though fortunately there was just a tiny bit of short-lived rain. The previous week, there had been tornadoes north and south of Calgary, but there was no Tornado Warning in effect on this day. A great kind of sky when a few of the fields were turning bright yellow from the Canola crops. However, a real challenge for my camera, which had recently developed another problem.

A few hours later, it was time to return home after several very enjoyable hours out. More of a cloud, scenery and old barn trip than a birding trip, but those of you who know me, know I love photographing all of the above.

A very interesting and informative website, with a lot of information about this row of old elevators, is found at the following link. I find myself returning often to Chris and Connie's site to read about other places they have visited. It's well worth a visit to read about their travels and detailed research.


According to the website at the above link:

" Update: May 2013. The lineage of the Mossleigh grain elevators has been cleared up. One was built for P&H, one for Pioneer which was later taken over by P&H, and finally one was built for the Searle Grain Company, later UGG and finally P&H. All were built in 1930 but it’s not clear exactly when they changed hands. A forth elevator used to sit here (UGG) but it was destroyed by fire in the 1960s.

Update: September 2013. It’s understood that plans are in place to use the track that remains along the subdivision for some sort of tourist train, operating out of the nearby Aspen Crossing campground/garden centre complex. Time will tell if this will come to fruition – Aspen Crossing as it turns out, does have some rail cars sitting on a section of subdivision track just west of Mossleigh."


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