Fort Calgary & Other Matters

Getting back to the subject of Jan’s parents’ visit in April/early May, one of our trips out was to Fort Calgary, which recounts the story of the establishment of the North West Mounted Police’s first post in Calgary. Here’s their website.
It’s an interesting half day out although regrettably, there is nothing by way of original buildings left in situ, with all of the displays now housed in this more modern facility.

Once inside, we were fortunate enough to meet and talk with Officer Clarke of the NWMP First Regiment Calgary, who educated us on the uniforms of the era…Outside is a statue of Colonel James Alexander Farquharson Macleod (a name so long that it spills over to a second line of text on the commemorative plate – surely Farquharson was a name too far and were it not for the fact he carried a sword, we feel sure he would have been the victim of frequent bullying!) Anyway, he was a very celebrated Commisioner of the NWMP, to the extent that you find roads named after him (Macleod, not Farquharson, thankfully) all over Calgary and surrounding towns.

After the visit, we sat outside for a bit of lunch, accompanied by a North American Robin (much larger and more timid than the UK version – more like a Blackbird in behaviour and size).

And just to prove he’s more timid, here’s the Robin we had in our garden in St Albans last year before we came out here (ahhhhh…poor fellow was soaking wet from the rain!)

Also on view was a Prairie Dog or Gopher, call it what you will.

Now we think these guys are really cute but the locals take a different view altogether. They (the Gophers, not the locals) do tend to dig holes in your land and create cavernous networks of tunnels beneath so perhaps we can understand but it still left us a bit dumbfounded when listening to the local radio station recently and we heard the DJ talking to someone who had called in to request a tune. The usual chit-chat ensued rounding off with the DJ asking the caller “And so what are you going to get up to this afternoon?” His reply, “Oh, I’m going to go out and shoot me some Gophers!” Cue awkward silence on air followed by the DJ saying “errr, well OK then, whatever rocks your boat!” Not sure we ever heard that on BBC Radio!

Anyway, we digress. The day ended up with a trip to a good spot just north of Downtown Calgary where we managed to get some decent shots of the city, including this one…


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