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old homestead
Anne Elliott
© All Rights Reserved
Canadian Pacific Railway
early summer
Southern Alberta
Vulcan County
© Anne Elliott 2017
1 July 2017
Canada Day
rural decay
rural scene
part of an old CPR Demonstration Farm

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Old demonstration farm

Old demonstration farm
Wow, "Western Montana rattled by strong earthquake (5.8, after midnight last night) felt as far north as Calgary." I hope there will be no aftershocks this weekend, as I will be much closer to it!


This old farm house was part of a CPR (railway) Demonstration Farm. I will add a previously posted photo in a comment box below, showing the whole farm.

"The home, the barn, everything seen in this yard once served a rather unique and special purpose. Operating as a fully functioning “demonstration farm”, near Vulcan Alberta, and tied to the Canadian Pacific Railway, it was a show piece of sorts a century ago, promoting the region’s agricultural potential. Prospective settlers would be told where to acquire land and of course similar farm buildings, what crops to grow and how to do it efficiently, what equipment to purchase, what techniques to use and so on.

The CPR had a vested interest, of course, in the success of this endeavour. They’d profit both on the sale of these kit farms and then again, many-fold, on the resultant business brought to the railway through the moving of inbound materials needed by all those new settlers; and outbound agricultural products the area would produce. And the transporting of people in and out, all the stuff needed for new towns that would spring up, and any industry established there, they too all moved by railway. It was win-win for the CPR!" From bigdoer website.


Canada Day, 1 July 2017, was a great day, spent with friend, Pam. I picked her up just after 8:00 am and did a long drive in Southern Alberta. We saw our target bird - a Common Nighthawk, and all sorts of other things including wildlife, plants and old barns. It took a round trip of 414 km to get the Nighthawks, but it was so worth it! Much further than I normally drive. Towards the end of our day, the rain arrived, accompanied by lightning streaks. This couldn't have been timed more perfectly, to wash off a lot of the dust that covered my car after 12 hours of driving hot, dusty roads! So welcome! We have another hot day today and the forecast is for very hot days in the low 30Cs for at least the next few days.

It was such a thrill to see a Common Nighthawk / Chordeiles minor (a rather strange looking bird), as I had always wanted to see one actually lying on a fence post or wooden railing. People get such amazing photos of them like that, and that is what I was determined to find this summer. Last year, I had driven to this area in Southern Alberta, hoping to find one, but had been out of luck. Most of the Nighthawk photos I took five days ago were of Nighthawks lying on metal railings, but I was still thrilled to bits. We saw four individuals, together, and one was on a fence post - not the best angle, but it was still nice to see a fence post perch. How close we came to missing them! I said I wanted to just check the first part of a small side road first, before continuing on the road we were on - and there they were! I had seen a nighthawk on maybe five different occasions over the years, but most were in flight and one was perched very high up in a tree. For Pam, this was the first time she had ever seen one, and she was so happy to see this lifer.

I was so tired after driving such a long distance and it was a hot day - the temperature got up to 30C. I so rarely do such a long drive, and I've barely driven all winter and spring. It felt so good to actually get out on a long drive like this, and we saw all sorts of interesting things that we just had to stop and photograph - of course!

Every single time I go out with my camera for a drive, I never forget to be SO thankful to live in a country where I have the freedom and safety to go where I want, and to see such beauty. Thank you, Alberta and Albertans - and Happy 150th Birthday, Canada! Such a young country.


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