In Hidden Valley – A Remembrance Poem

In Hidden Valley the sunflowers grew
Between the poplars, fresh with dew.
They marked our divots; and in the sky
The crows, still cawing as they fly,
Break the calm that lies below.

We are the scattered. Short days ago
We laughed, played late, watched bonfires glow.
Then the river rose and now our homes lie
Silent in Hidden Valley.

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Dedicated to the 305 Hidden Valley families who lost their homes in the flood of 2013. For further information about this disaster, go to the website Hidden Valley, Alberta.

Inspired by the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by the Canadian WWI soldier, John McCrae

Golf Carts and Corn Stalks – After Flood Perspectives

Our eyes are side by side – we just naturally look at life in a horizontal perspective!

In the aftermath of the Flood at Hidden Valley, Alberta, a few things that were once vertically aligned are now in a horizontal position. This golf cart near the 4th green has become a little greenhouse for what looks like a sunflower plant!

I turned the camera and took a vertical shot of the 4th fairway. It is now a lush forest of new poplar saplings and – a few more sunflower plants.

I continued walking along the 4th, past the Half Way house, then to the 6th green and bunkers. In addition to much more beach area, I found a corn plant.

This vertical photo shows the lush green growth of the grass – and a few more of the many corn plants in that area!

The Car Guy and I think that bird feed must have been scattered by the flood waters. The wet, nutrient rich silt encouraged the seeds to germinate and grow very quickly.  If these plants manage to set seed, then Hidden Valley could become a non-typical source of food for the birds for many years to come.

There are many other plants blooming in the Valley right now – I’ll post some photos in a few days.

All of our homes may have been destroyed, but the plant life is thriving. In a few years, it will be hard to tell that our Community was ever there.

Link to this week’s Photo Challenge: One Shot Two Ways

Messages – Muddy and Otherwise

There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud.
– Carl Sandburg –

A slippery, gooey, contaminated mud coated just everything in Hidden Valley. When it dried, it formed sheets that cracked as they hardened. Such was the case at Kevin’s house, where his mailbox announced

You’ve got mail – a Letter from your Mudder!

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Hidden Valley was a unique little place – a community on a First Nation’s reserve but with mostly non-First Nation residents.  Many partnerships and friendships were formed between the two entities, and these should have been enough to ensure a new lease. It wasn’t. The “No to a Lease” group continued to grouse about our existence, even after we had been obliterated.

Lately though, some members of Siksika Nation have voiced their disapproval of the people who “bash” us. It takes courage to speak the way they have and we thank them for saying the things we will not say ourselves.

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An entire sand bar was deposited on our Hidden Valley lot.  In some places it must be several feet deep. Inside the house – not so lucky. Mud and mold just like everyone else.

This coming week-end, the Car Guy and the Son-in-Law will attempt to rescue the lawnmower, one (or both) metal garden sheds, and perhaps the golf carts. We don’t really need the lawnmower or the golf carts. If we did, these items would have lived at the Red House, not at the cabin. But, they have engines, and in the Car Guy’s world, no engine should die without at least one resuscitation attempt.

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I golfed with my girlfriends yesterday at the “One Tough Nine”. We were a threesome of Women of a Certain Age, but became a foursome when the Course Marshall (a man with a very odd sense of humour) attached a Much Younger Male golfer to our group. Midway through the game, MYM spotted the Hidden Valley tag on my golf bag. “Hidden Valley,” he said sadly. “See, I have the same tag as you.”

The Hidden Valley Golf Course may be disappearing under a forest of baby poplars, but golfing memories will continue to be told thanks to connections we make with our bag tags!

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Antelope Street Photographers – I’ve been putting this label on my photos ever since I started this blog. I chose the name because Antelope Street is where our cabin is/was. Most of the photos in this blog are mine, but a few are by family members, friends, and lately – other Hidden Valley residents who have let me use their work. Thanks go today to Kevin for the photo of his mailbox!