Sunday, April 08, 2007

Blackfoot Crossing

Canon EOS 20D with 70-200 @ 200mm

I am the Earth
And the Earth is me.
Each blade of grass,
Each bit of mud,
And stick and stone
Is blood and muscle,
Skin and bone.
So earth needs
Grass and stone
And things that grow here

This morning was my day to head out and after a quick stop at the Tim Horton's drive-thru I was underway east to Blackfoot Crossing located 85 kilometers southeast of Calgary. After a week of cloudy weather it was a pleasure to see the sun rise over the eastern horizon. I made several stops on a round-about trail as I meandered down various secondary roads where I had some success in shooting photos of Swans that I had been looking for sitting on small roadside sloughs. Satisfied with that I made my way south of Cluny to Blackfoot Crossing. Before long I was scouting a location for my first photo of the Blackfoot Crossing Interpretive Center. That proved to be from the "Little Washington Cemetery" overlooking the Bow River Valley. I found it to be a very interesting place to visit, as all cemeteries are. When I saw this scene unfold before me, I thought of this Earth day poem that I read some time ago and have forgotten most of it, but I think you get the jest of it. I thought it was fitting for this view of the Blackfoot Crossing Interpretive Center set in the escapement overlooking the Bow River valley vista beyond.

My first view of this heritage site found me overwhelmed by the visual impact of the center with its teepee-shaped skylights which light the interior space. Aboriginal forms and symbols, such as the traditional geometric designs on teepees, will be incorporated into the wall and floor patterns of the building.

I have not seen the inside of the Interpretive Center as of yet but based on the exterior, it is a sure bet it will be a visit not to be missed.

I had parked my truck in the parking lot and took my camera for a few quick pics including this stunning view of the center overlooking Siksika Territory, at this place called Blackfoot Crossing. As one gazes over this pristine Bow river Valley vista, it is easy to imagine oneself being transported back in time. The air is filled with the smell of wood smoke rising from hundreds of tipi's in the encampment. For thousands of years Blackfoot Crossing has been an important meeting place for Native peoples. In 1877 at Chief Crowfoot's insistence, Treaty 7 was negotiated here.... I will stop here and let you discover this facinating place called Blackfoot Crossing for yourself.

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