Summer in the Land of the Midnight Sun: Lush gardens, beautiful flowers, small town living

by redelf

The "midnight sun" gives us many extra hours of daylight to take great digital photos of local gardens, and lovely flowers; snapshots of summer life in a small northern town

Summer has finally warmed the north. Though we are not technically the "High Arctic" in this part of the country, we have many things in common with northern climes.

We share their mosquito season to some degree - nothing as bad as the swarms of nasty little blood-suckers I remember form my childhood in the Mackenzie Delta, but not much fun while they last.

We also share their "midnight sun" - the fascinating yearly blessing of extra-long daylight hours that extends our growing season, delights teenagers and everyone bent on enjoying their summer holiday to the fullest, and is the despair of mothers of small children who try to avoid bedtime with pleas that, "It isn't even dark yet."

Serene shaded streets
Serene shaded streets
Elle Fredine

Shady streets and lovely flowers

You might not think that any place this far north could offer such beautiful displays of floral abundance. Our small town, though, like small towns to the south, has its fair share of house-proud   homeowners - avid gardeners who love to adorn their yards and walkways with showy displays of annuals, perennials, and graceful containers burgeoning with colorful blooms.

The street outside is shaded by stately elms, spreading their canopy of green overhead. Up and down the street, front stoops and side yards boast splashes of bright blossoms - drifts of petunias, fragrant roses, stately lilies, massed in pots and flower beds, climbing up bowers and trellises.

Midnight Sun 'Photo Ops' (Photos)

All these photos were taken with natural light at 10:49 p.m.
Pretty in Pink Peonies
Pretty in Pink Peonies
Elle Fredine
Fuchsia Beauties
Fuchsia Beauties
Elle Fredine
Yellow and white symphony
Yellow and white symphony
Elle Fredine
Crowning Glory
Crowning Glory
Elle Fredine

Late-Night Photography

It's easy to take great shots with a great camera, but can you get photos like this at almost 11:00 p.m.?

What's so special about these photos of lovely flowers? All of the photos in this article were taken under natural light, and all at almost 11:00 p.m. - that's eleven o'clock at night - one of the benefits of living in amazing Northern Alberta. 

I take most of my photos while I'm out walking the dogs. They recognize my camera bag, and know that once I pick it up and start rummaging in it we will be going out soon - as soon as I check the bag to make sure I have everything I will need.

Both of the little critters are well-used to stopping every block or so while I click away, but they do get a bit antsy if I take too long lining up my shots. Because of this, I have learned to focus and shoot quickly, and rely on the computer to square up my photos, or crop out any less-than-lovely bits.

The dogs have become, in a way, unorthodox trainers. I may not be a better photographer because of their unwillingness to linger too long in one spot, but I have certainly become a more decisive one. I find I can mentally line up or "frame" my shots much more quickly now than when we first began our walks.

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Beautiful Floral Displays (Photos)

Every yard offers new vistas of floral loveliness
Artful Potted Arrangements
Artful Potted Arrangements
Elle Fredine
Decorate A Railing - Columbine, Million Bells, and  Bachelor Buttons
Decorate A Railing - Columbine, Million Bells, and Bachelor Buttons
Elle Fredine
Pastel Perennials - Lupins
Pastel Perennials - Lupins
Elle Fredine

Peace River Pow Wow 2012 (Video)

Opening Procession: Dignitaries and Dancers

More "North Country" Attractions

First Nations Events in Peace River Country

What else can you do in a place where the summer sun doesn't go down 'til close to midnight? Dance!

One of the other great things about living in the so-called "frozen north" is the North Country Fair,  and the Peace Country Pow Wow.

Every summer, a number of lucky communities in our area play host to colorful cultural events called pow wows.

These First Nations festivals feature some of the best dancing, drumming, and singing in the country, and the Peace Country Pow Wow is one of the best. Many of the performers follow the pow wow circuit, much like rodeo riders follow the various rodeo circuits, ensuring top-notch entertainment.

Peace River Country (Map)

(c) 2012 Text and photos by Elle Fredine, All rights reserved, You are expressly forbidden to copy or reproduce the text or photos by any means without written permission from the author.

Updated: 07/28/2012, redelf
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redelf on 08/08/2012

Thanks so much, tolovaj - It's hard not to get some great shots, but the truly amazing thing is the quality of the light - at 11 p.m.!

Tolovaj on 08/08/2012

Astonishing photos. You have every right to be a proud owner;)

redelf on 07/28/2012

Thanks so much, Enelle - pretty cool the shots were taken at almost eleven at night!

EnelleLamb on 07/28/2012

Some beautiful shots - your 'backyard' is equally as stunning as mine :)

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