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canadian prairies

Hay Bales on the Prairies—Near Calgary, Alberta

Submit your photo to our Flickr Group to see your favourite travel shot as part of our Photo Friday feature on Where.ca! We’ll credit you and link to your photo.

Why We Chose It

Fall is here and that means (what else?) hay baling season is imminent. A shot of the wide open skies of the Prairies is always meditative, and this image of hay bales diminishing off into the horizon is particularly peaceful. The second “horizon line” that the photographer has cleverly worked into the foreground adds an extra bit of visual interest. And the slightly overcast sky, while not the typical brilliant blue of a Prairies postcard, is perfect for this time of year, suggesting a crisp autumn chill.

Photo: m.ann.n

Alberta Beef: Cowboy Country’s Most Famous Food

by WAHEEDA HARRIS

Alberta beef: the food, the legend (Photo: Tourism Calgary)

Alberta may mean cowboys and mountains to many, but for carnivores it’s the centre of all things meat. As a popular bumpersticker says, “If it ain’t Alberta, it ain’t beef.” (more…)

The Saskatoon Berry: the Prairie Provinces’ Perfect Fruit

By WAHEEDA HARRIS

Photo: Tourism Saskatchewan

A favourite summer taste in Canada’s Prairie provinces, the Saskatoon berry is in season during July and August. Similar to a blueberry in size and colour, the wee berry was gathered by aboriginal people for medicinal purposes—the name comes from the Cree word mis-sask-quah-toomina—and became a staple of the diet of the early farm pioneers.

Modern science has found this purple fruit is high in antioxidants as well as vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and potassium and that it has three times more iron than raisins. Once found only at farmers’ markets or in the wild, the berry it is now the second largest crop in the three Prairie provinces after strawberries, and can be found throughout the Prairies in jam, jelly, syrup and pies as well as in a wide variety of savoury recipes.

Where and how to try Saskatoon berries:

The Riverbend Plantation in Saskatoon offers an array of gourmet treats using Saskatoon berries from its farm—you can even order Saskatoon-berry-and-buffalo pemmican online and have it shipped. If you’re in the Prairies and want to pick your own, check with the Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association (Alberta), BuyFromtheFarm.ca (Saskatchewan) or the Prairie Fruit Growers Association (Manitoba).

Touring Canada’s Most Stunning Badlands

By ALINA SEAGAL

Saskatchewan’s Grasslands National Park (Photo: Tourism Saskatchewan/Douglas E. Walker)

Some of the world’s most spectacular badlands can be found in Canada. Alberta is the most popular destination to view dry geological formations of rock and clay eroded by wind and water. But towering hoodoos, gullies, canyons and other badlands shapes crop up in other provinces too. These enigmatic planet Mars-like sites, often hiding dinosaur fossils, are always worth a visit.

(more…)

Moose on the Loose in Canadian Prairies Cities

By SHANNON KELLY

Photo: Wayde Carroll/Visit Anchorage PR

Think you have to get out into the wilderness to see one of Canada’s most majestic animals? Nope. You can simply wander through any major city in Alberta or Saskatchewan, apparently. Moose have been showing up wandering the city playgrounds and airport runways in Edmonton, Saskatoon and Regina in recent weeks. (more…)

Off the Beaten Path: Waterton Lakes National Park

By Alina Seagal

Waterton Lakes National Park (Photo: Alina Seagal)

Next time you want to hit an Alberta national park, think outside Banff or Jasper. Discover Waterton Lakes National Park, a four-hour drive through Kananaskis Country and wide-open prairies south of Calgary. (more…)

Inside the Piikani Nation Powwow

By ALINA SEAGAL

Photo: Alina Seagal

The Piikani First Nation is a small reserve in the corner of southern Alberta. In the wide-open Prairies countryside between Lethbridge and Waterton Lakes National Park, it’s no prime tourist destination, but thousands flock to it for the annual powwow. (more…)

Double Rainbow in the Prairies—Great Sandhills, Saskatchewan

Submit your photo to our Flickr Group to see your favourite travel shot as part of our Photo Friday feature on Where.ca! We’ll credit you and link to your photo.

Why we chose it: C’mon, now: double rainbow?! Not only did the photographer have the good sense to have a camera at the ready for this fortuitous occasion, but the composition is fantastic and the changes in lighting from left to right even more compelling than what you’d find on a perfectly sunny day. The sense of serenity from this image is overwhelming, with the rolling plains of Canada’s “middle child” province revealed in all their glory. Even overcast, the big, open skies look inviting.

Photo by Varina Crisfield

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Southern Alberta

Every Friday we feature an inspirational travel photo of a Canadian destination taken by one of our readers.

Why we chose it: Skies in the Alberta Prairies need no embellishment, and this image of the UNESCO World Heritage site Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump (where Northern Plains people once rushed bison off a cliff in a form of subsistence hunting) captures perfectly the awesome vastness of plains and wild blue yonder in this part of Canada. The cluster of tipis add a layer of interest to the image and provides scale. Plus, they firmly anchor you in this part of the country, where native heritage is as much a part of the landscape as the “wild West” cowboy culture. (more…)

Canola Field: Near Drumheller, Alberta

Every Friday we feature an inspirational travel photo of a Canadian destination taken by one of our readers.

Why we chose it: Remember summer? This photo makes us want to book our Great Canadian Road Trip across the Prairies right now. The composition is perfect, the colour is vibrant and casts some much-needed (albeit virtual) warmth on our winter days. The shadow across the bottom third of the canola field creates another subtle, interesting line.

A work of modern art in canola, open sky and silos. (more…)

Saskatoon Berry Jams, Syrups and Pies

By Kat Tancock

Saskatoon berries, also called juneberries, are antioxidant-rich, sweet blue-purple berries with (edible) seeds.

Though the berries grow elsewhere in the northwestern US and western Canada, the Canadian Prairies are where you’ll find most of the world’s commercial production of Saskatoons, and in Okotoks, Alberta, about 20 km south of Calgary, you’ll find the Saskatoon Farm, home to 50 acres of pick-your-own saskatoon berries, usually ready in mid-July. (more…)