Foothills fields of gold

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, July 28, 2016

Folks driving west into Cochrane along Highway 1A are greeted by fields of golden canola embraced by the Canadian Rockies, as in this vista observed near Lochend Rd. Photo by Warren Harbeck

Silence is golden, they say. So I’ll keep my comments brief to celebrate a golden moment near Cochrane that leaves me speechless.

Last Friday, while I was at the post office, one of our longtime coffee companions rushed up to give me a heads-up about a vista I simply had to photograph.

Judy Stewart, who delights in the beauty of human interactions in Alberta’s natural settings, had just driven into town from the east along Highway 1A. There to the southwest, embraced by our beautiful Canadian Rockies, were fields of golden canola at their prime, radiant in the midday sun.

“The blue and golden colours are vibrant and encouraging,” she said excitedly. “The scene simply makes me happy enough to stop and smile.”

Now, when someone like Judy, who is highly regarded for her passionate commitment to our foothills ranching heritage, suggests I better give my camera a treat, I pay attention. I hurried home, grabbed my Nikon D800, popped on its 70–200 mm lens, and drove to the turnoff at the RockPointe Church.

There it was, glowing in all its golden glory. The fields were alive with the sound of silence, broken only by the clicks of my camera – and by the buzzing of bees. What would eventually yield its oil to grace our meals was at that moment blessing honey bees with an ecosystem paradise of their own, protein-rich in nectar and pollen.

Yes, like those fields of canola and the oil they will produce, silence is, indeed, golden. So thank you, Judy, for drawing my attention to this beautiful scene. It really does leave me speechless.


© 2016 Warren Harbeck

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