The Alberta Prairies

Before I first set foot on the Prairies, I imagined them to be a monotonous, flat, treeless expanse. But I could not have fortold how interesting, varied and beautiful the Prairies have become in my experience.

When I can see the horizon in the incomprehensible distance, the vastness of it all stops me breathless in awe. And endless variety: in some areas flat like a still lake with shorelines beyond the horizon; in others, gently rolling like a broad swell on the ocean; croplands, rangelands, parklands, badlands (see my earlier post); glacial erratics, coulees, hills, and foothills rolling up to the Rockies. And colour! Golden wheat fields, blue sky as big as Montana’s, yellow canola fields, red and white salt pans, and (due to an unusually wet summer), fields as green as PEI’s.

Of course, my emotional response to the visual beauty of the prairies says nothing about the sustainability of its economy.