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Moving some posts from this blog to another one

I’m going to be moving a bunch of posts off of this blog and onto another one. Mostly it will be the posts related to opinion or essays and the like. Will leave the photos and those posts with comments etc here, though I may copy them to the other blog as well depending on how they fit in there.


Alberta Canada Cattle branding

Photos by Darlene Froberg

The province of Alberta Canada is known as a cattle ranching area. At a ranch near the city of Medicine Hat the cattle are rounded up from the pasture and branded with a mark that identifies them with that particular ranch.



This ranch includes a small herd of goats.


The cows have been brought in from the pasture and the young ones who need to be checked and branded are separated from the mothers. They don’t look too happy about it!


A young heifer is put into a restraining device so it won’t kick the cowboys or injure itself.


The devices is rotated so the animal can be checked, given an injection against disease and branded. It only remains in this position for a few minutes before everything is completed.


The young calves are then free to rejoin the herd and go back into the pasture.


Strange inventions at the Western Development Museum Saskatoon

Story and Photos by Darlene Froberg

Many people have seen photos of the Mona Lisa or heard about the mystery
behind the novel The Da Vinci Code , but few know about Leonardo Da Vinci’s abilities as
an avid inventor. Here is such an invention.  The first  invention shown
here is a tank designed in 1487. The idea behind the tank was that it
could be used instead of elephants to break through enemy lines. It was
powered by eight men and included a turret at the top for navigation.
Unfortunately it was difficult to maneuver and contained an intentional
or unintentional design flaw in which the front and rear wheels turned
on opposite directions.



The second invention shown here is a floatation suitcase patented in
1915, only three short years after the sinking of the Titanic while
sailing in the Atlantic Ocean near the Grand Banks of Newfoundland.  The
idea behind the floatation suitcase was that it would not only provide a
floatation device if someone were to fall into the ocean, but would also
give some protection from hypothermia in the icy Atlantic waters. It was
also portable, in that it could fold up into a suitcase.


Both these inventions have been rebuilt from the original patents and
were on display at the Western Development Museum in Saskatoon as a
traveling exhibit for the television series The Re-Inventors on the
History Channel. The Re-Inventors series takes old patents and rebuilds
the device according to the original specifications. Then they test them
to see if they actually work. I will leave it up to the reader’s 
imagination or research abilities to see if these two inventions
actually worked.


Public Art at the roastery Coffee House Saskatoon

Story and Photos by Darlene Froberg

I am a big fan of wall murals and coffee so this is one of my favorite
places in Saskatoon. It is located outside the Broadway Roastery Cafe,
located on five corners at  Broadway Avenue in the historical Nutana
district. Similar to Whyte Avenue in Edmonton, this area hosts the more
artistic or eclectic members of the Saskatoon population. It is always
entertaining to grab a coffee and people watch from the bench in front
of the mural on a warm sunny day. The artist’s name is on the mural but
I was unable to find any information on him.





This blogpost was uploaded from the Roastery coffee shop.


Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden-Lethbridge Alberta Canada


Panorama photo of the garden with the Pavilion in the distance-click on the photo to see a large size version


In July 2009 I had the opportunity to travel to Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada and take in the lovely Japanese garden that the community has set up. It is operated by the Lethbridge and District Japanese Garden Society and is well within the city limits. It is like an oasis away from the pavement and houses.

The garden was originally designed in 1967 by garden architect Dr. Tadashi Kubo taking into consideration Japanese design tradition, local Alberta flora and climate conditions as well as Buddhist philosophy.

They employ a Master Gardener and Master Pruning Technician from Japan to maintain the garden in an authentic fashion.

Upon paying the entry fee one can receive a nice brochure which includes a self-guided tour. It is an all season garden so any time of the year provides a lovely experience. Check out their website, listed at the bottom of this posting for more photos and information. Here are my photos from taking that tour myself along with description of some of the areas of this beautiful garden.

The Gate


The entry sign and long pathway towards the gate.


Here is the inside of the gate. One is greeted by a young lady wearing kimono dress. She takes your ticket and gives directions and information. This photo is from beneath the pavilion roof.

The Pavilion

The main building in the garden is called the Pavilion. The first photo in this post shows the full pavilion building in it’s garden setting at a distance. It is done in the style of the 17th century and is made of yellow aromatic cypress and cedar and uses no nails in the building. 

The interior is of a traditional Japanese style with tatami mats on the floor and sliding shogi screens to separate rooms.


Above is the tea ceremony room. They do conduct actual tea ceremonies at this location on certain occasions.  It has the traditional Ikebana (flower arrangement) as well as the tokonoma (alcove) in the corner.



A second room is also decorated in the style of a Japanese home.


The Dry Rock Garden

On the west side of the pavilion one can slide the doors open to a well tended rock garden.


The rocks in groupings of 3, 5 and 7 represent islands in the sea. The fine gravel is then raked in a pattern that combines the elements.



Mountain and Waterfall Views from the Pavilion Balcony

On the south side of the Pavilion building one can exit and get a view of the garden area that is representative of mountain and waterfall.


The built up rocky area is the mountain and in the midst of it a lovely waterfall drops into the still pond at the bottom.


This is a closer view of the waterfall.


Other Views from the Pavilion Balcony

As well from the Pavilion balcony there are several other nice views.


To the east is both the bridge and the friendship bell. As well further in the distance is a natural lake that borders the garden.


Rocks are placed carefully throughout the garden. Behind the trimmed willow tree is a large pagoda.


The large pagoda seen from another angle. The 5 levels represent earth, water, fire, wind, sky.


Here we can see some of the careful placement of rocks and other natural elements.


The bridge and the friendship bell with the well tended shrubbery.


Closer view of the friendship bell and the wooden log that is used to sound the bell. The bell tower is built on the compression principle. The weight of the bell holds the structure together.


Wildlife in the Lake Beside the Garden

I was fortunate to come at a time when the ducks had migrated to the adjacent lake and had nested and hatched their eggs. Here are some photos of wildlife.





The Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden is worth the trip to Lethbridge. Although the entry fee may seem a little steep it provides entry into several other attractions if used the same day . First is the Galt Museum and Archives which presents an overview of the history of the local area. As well the national historical site Fort Whoop-Up is included in the admission price.

One could make a whole day of family educational activity in Lethbridge for the price of the ticket.  I’d start at the Museum, move onto the Garden and then drive out to the Fort.



Contact Information

Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden

Operated by the Lethbridge and District

Japanese Garden Society

PO Box 751

Lethbridge Alberta Canada T1J 3Z6

Phone: 403-328-3511

Fax: 403-328-0511

Email: info@nikkayuko.com

Website: www.nikayuko.com


Western Development Museums-Canada

photos by Darlene Froberg

The Western Development Museum located in Saskatchewan Canada has 4 branches in North Battleford, Yorkton, Moose Jaw and Saskatoon. These offer a glimpse of life on the Canadian prairies as it was lived in the early part of the 20th century.

The Saskatoon branch has a complete Boom Town set up with a main street, shop replicas, old vehicles and a great many displays.

Here are some photos taken while on a recent tour:

Inside the barber’s shop


The Chinese laundry. Many Chinese who came to Canada to work on the railroad started their own business of laundries and restaurants in the prairies once the railroad work was finished. The work on the railroads was grueling and many lost their lives and others were never to be again reunited with their families left behind in China.


The small church with organ


Inside the doctor’s office


The fire engine which would have been pulled by horses


Manikins in the general store


Old style hand car that would have been used on the railroad


This horse drawn wagon was used by an old hotel to fetch passengers from the train station to come to the hotel


The view of the main street within the museum


Woman drying fish


Looking down the stairs from the doctor’s office to the street and the photographer’s shop across the way


This type of plow would have been attached to horses


The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) office with metal jail cell


One room school


The early sod house replica


And old steam driven tractor


Inside the general store


The wood stove inside the old school


The front of an old steam train engine



Three Dimensional City

When touring a city we often stick to the two dimensions of the streets.  We see the architecture from that level and experience both the vehicular and human traffic head on.

One thing I came to discover in Europe was the added insight of viewing a city from three dimensions.

In Rome I went underground to catacombs. In Paris was the metro and in Vienna and Berlin the crypts of churches provided a lot of historical depth both literally and figuratively.

As well in Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris a cruise on the river brought a much quieter and less chaotic city. There was time for appreciation of the city without having to worry about traffic and noise interrupting.

Most cities also have some area for a bird’s eye view. In Berlin the TV tower and Paris has the Eiffel tower or Notre Dame rooftops from which a whole panorama unfolds.  Hong Kong has many observation towers as does Taipei now.

So when you travel don’t just look at the flat map. Look up and look down. Travel on the water if you can for a multi-dimensional view of the place.

Here are some of these extradimensional photos.

The Berlin TV tower from an upper floor room at a nearby hotel.

Berlin TV Tower near Alexanderplatz

Paris from the roof of Notre Dame

Paris River from the Roof of Notre Dame

Amsterdam canals from a boat

Amsterdam Canal Bridges

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