Sunday, August 01, 2010

Along the Backroads

I don't know if there is a prettier time of the year in southern Alberta than with Canola fields in full bloom from horizon to horizon. I have trouble at this time of year, keeping from over-dosing on photos of Canola fields, and I try and be selective with my Canola photos as not to fill my hard-drives up with photos heavy with the color yellow. The other color that goes well with yellow at this time of year is the color blue, and what would be better than skies, lots of sky above all that Canola.

The other noticeable ingredient that you see mixed in with the blue and yellow, are honey-bees, lots and lots of honey-bees! Canola is so predominant on the prairies that 80% of Canada's honey crop is from Canola. Next time that you are shopping in your favorite grocery store and find yourself in the isle that is stocked with honey, you will notice that a lot of the honey is white honey. Its a sure bet that this honey was gathered by honey-bees going about their business in a Canola field.

By now I would think that most of you are aware that I am involved in amateur radio and mobile amateur radio in particular. Part of my fascination with amateur radio on the move, is the fact that it goes well with my wandering the back-roads of southern Alberta in search of my next photograph. Lately I have been extremely busy in my machine-shop, designing and building a multi-band mobile antenna that took up more time than I thought that it would. Sometimes the best of plans can go array and this was one of those times.
I had a set of design parameters in mind for what I hoped would be the ultimate multiband mobile antenna, as I plan on building and selling a copy of this antenna to the serious mobile amateur radio enthusiast. With the interest that has been shown in my prototype antenna, I have no doubt that I will be quite busy in my machine-shop over the winter months. The fun part on this morning besides shooting photos of course, was the on-going testing of my antenna that is proving to be a winner. I started out on 80 meters with contacts made on 3720 mhz across the western US, and as the band went out I tuned my antenna for 20 meters and made my first contact in to south Texas and then followed Texas up with Ohio. In between radio contacts, I made numerous stops for photo-ops as well.

After a time I found myself in Cluny where I made a stop for a coffee and a couple of freshly baked butter tarts from a cool little bakery that I have frequented before while down this way. I also stopped at Blackfoot Crossing, the Historic Site of the signing of Treaty No.7, that is of National and International historical and archaeological significance. It is a designated national Heritage Site and not to be missed if you find yourself passing by on highway 1. I enjoy this area and was pleased to find prairie flowers blooming profusely across the prairies around Blackfoot Crossing. Too soon, I realized that much time had passed, and with the sun now high in the sky, the light was gone. With one last look back, I pointed my truck in the general direction of home just over the yellow horizon shaded in blue.

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