Does the City of Calgary use its own WaterWise Gardening and Planting advice along its bike paths, walking trails and public green spaces within the city? This question arose at the City’s booth at the 2009 EcoLiving Fair held at the Mount Royal University campus, September 26 & 27, 2009. There are lots of native plants in the “Special Protection Natural Areas” around the city but not in these other spaces that now seem to have the ubiquitous Canadian coast-to-coast urban plants. Calgary has such a unique setting and ecosystem with stunning visual potential for planned urban local/native/wild flowers.

Apparently it has been a hard sell for local suppliers such as ALCLA Native Plant Restoration Inc competing against petunias.

WaterWise workshop leaders encourage Calgary gardeners to go ditch-diving for native wild plants. But our ditches have pretty slim picking. The incredibly hardy and year-round attractive and useful Kinnikinnick, aka Bearberry or Arctostaphylos uva-ursi is not easy to find in Calgary in city parks let alone ditches (although robust 3.5″ plugs in ‘deep root trainers’ are available at Bow Point Nursery).

Why is there not more sweetgrass Hierachloe odorata planted ?

Plants that are abundant on the lands of the Tsuu T’ina Nation for example could easily be grown anywhere in Calgary with less cost and maintenance than the urban selections we now have. If the city set the example by changing the aesthetic perhaps private corporations and business owners would include more low-maintenance but high-impact native plant varieties. We would also be encouraging local entrepreneurs who have already begun to shift.

Familiarity with native plants could be much enhanced by having more of them in urban parks-perhaps even labelled as hardy native plants-in urban areas and eventually gardeners would surely be attracted to these healthy alternatives.

There are several local small businesses that market native wild plants while slowly educating the public to a shift in aesthetics towards water-wise planting. Bow Point Nursery, has its own glossary of native plants. Bow Point Nursery is also a reliable place to get Sheep’s Fescue seed and extraordinary lawn grass substitute that can be over-seeded with great results in three years. Laureen Rama was at the EcoLiving Fair with huge bins of Sheep’s Fescue seed and very practical hints. For more info on her services visit Eco-yards. The ALCLA Native Plant Restoration Inc. includes this long list of native plants they have available.

Notes

1. Dorothy Harvie Gardens at the Calgary Zoo use ‘deep root trainers’. Root trainer cell packs for seedlings encourage deep root growth, reducing the risk of stress when planted.

2. Westgro Horticultural Supplies Inc., 1557 Hastings Crescent SE, Calgary, AB T2G 4C8, Canada and Professional Gardener Co Ltd
915 23 Avenue Se, Calgary, AB T2G 1P1 -Telephone : 403-263-4200 both have ‘deep root trainers.’

3. Arctostaphylos uva-ursi – Kinnikinnick – Low mat forming evergreen groundcover. Dark green, leathery leaves, turn red in full sun. Small red berries. Full sun or shade. (Bow Point Nursery glossary).

4. Calgary and Area Native Plant Nurseries and Services: Bow Point Nursery, Springbank, 403-686-4434, www.bowpointnursery.com, for native trees and shrubs, and low-maintenance grass seed. Also for composted soil, compost, wood chip mulch, wooden rounds; ALCLA Native Plant Restoration, 3208 Bearspaw Drive, NW, Calgary, AB, 403-282-6515, www.alclanativeplants.com for native perennial flowers and native grass seed mixes; Wild About Flowers, Turner Valley, 403-933-3903, www.wildaboutflowers.ca for native perennial flowers and native grass mixes; Laureen Rama’s Eco-yards.

5. Calgary-based author and gardener, Donna Balzer’s list of water-wise plant recommendations for Calgary gardens which includes many native plants available on the City of Calgary’s website.

Earth Day in Calgary

April 20, 2008


“Just like spring time in Alberta Warm sunny days endless skies of blue Then without a warning Another winter storm comes raging through . . . ” http://www.lyrics007.com

The living room is exploding with tomato, thyme, parsley, chive, pansies, geranium, wheat plants, etc waiting for May 24th. As the snow falls I think of composters, rainbarrels, herb gardens . . .

Earth Day April 2009

See Calgary events 2009 

 

The Calgary Horticulture Society is hosted an even 2009 at the Spruce Meadows, Calgary, AB with an entrance fee of $10. “This annual event brings together over 7,000 gardening and outdoor living enthusiasts for a trade fair complete with vendors, speakers from across Canada, and experts from the gardening community. From its start in the Hillhurst Community Centre with a few hundred guests, the Show has grown considerably each year.” Experts will be available to answer questions. They also host a Plant Share event on Saturday, May ?, 2009 from 9 a.m. to 12 Noon (Hours may be reduced if weather is poor) on the grassy field west of the Society office at 208 – 50 Ave. S.W.

The Calgary Earth Day events will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m, Saturday, April 25, 2009 at the TELUS World of Science,  (701 11 Street SW). The event will be hosted by environmental groups from Calgary and across Alberta, and will feature fun and educational environmentally-themed games for the whole family. While the workshops and green activities are free with regular admission to the World of Science. These local environmental groups, businesses and projects will present their green projects:REAP, City of Calgary Waste and Recycling Services, Alberta Conservation Team, Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta, Claudia’s Choices, Community Natural Foods, Students from Tanbridge Academy, Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation, Scouts Canada A .pdf list of Earth Day Celebration Workshops and Activities in Calgary 2009.

In contrast to the grey skies and high moisture of Vancouver Island’s unique ecosystem, Calgary’s sunny blue skies and dry summers provide different gardening challenges. I’ve become very interested by xeriscape gardening principles which include choosing low-maintenance and drought-resistant plants like stonecrops, sage, goldenrod, yucca and shrub roses. See Calgary Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

Hares

With so many green areas in Calgary has a lot of wildlife such as the wooded areas of Fish Creek Provincial Park along Fish Creek, Sandy Beach Park, Weaselhead, Griffith Woods Natural Areas, Bowness Park, Edworthy Park and along the shores of the Bow and Elbow riversbut they ares along the Bow River., Calgary has a lot of wildlife in the city including huge Snowshoe Hares with voracious appetites. Various gardeners have suggested cayenne pepper. I’ve also been told to try orange peels .

Ground cover

Ground cover, such as rocks, wood chips (cedar chips) conserves moisture in the soil and protects it against effects of weathering while reducing the growth of weeds.

Mulching

Mulching “is one of the best ways to conserve water. It also reduces erosion and discourages weeds. Spread grass clippings or other mulch materials around the base of plants and shrubs. Applying organic matter (such as ground bark, animal manure, softwood sawdust, peat moss, leaves and wood or vegetable products) to soil increases its ability to hold water, and improves nutrient content.”

Geotextiles . . .

Landmaster, a weed control fabric is sold in rolls (3′ x 50′) that last five years. The fabric lets water and air through to the vegetable and/or floral plants but prevents weeds from growing. Weeds should be cleared from the planting area before laying the fabric which can be fit around existing plants or cut with X-shapes to place new plants through fabric. The fabric should be covered with 3″ – 4″ of mulch. Large or medium bark nuggets are recommended since weeds may grow through finer mulch.

Low-maintenance alpine plants suit rock gardens.

Lawns are high maintenance and thirsty.

Rain Barrels

The Clean Calgary Association: Environmental Education, Products and Services, are having a Rain Barrel Sale in partnership with the City of Calgary on

Rain Barrel Description:
The rain barrels are 45-gallon, food-grade plastic barrels fitted with two taps and a screened hole for a downspout.

More choices of rainbarrels . . .

Rainbarrels, composters and many other environmentally friendly products are available all year round at

The EcoStore

809 4th Avenue SW

tel: 230-1443 ext 222

Wed, Fri, Sat 10-4 pm

http://www.cleancalgary.org

Use large recycled containers from restaurants, usually used for bulk supplies of tomato paste, etc.

Composter

“Composting helps reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by reducing the number of trips trucks must make to the landfill as well as the amount of methane released by our landfills (See here for more info).”

“Nourish your lawn and garden with a thin layer of well-decomposed compost and rely less on chemical fertilizers.You can make your own compost for free. Compost helps the soil hold moisture so plants need less water, and provides a slow-release source of nutrients for plants.”

Worm composter:

The “two types of earthworm best suited to worm composting are the redworms: Eisenia foetida (commonly known as red wiggler, brandling, or manure worm) and Lumbricus rubellus They are often found in aged manure and compost heaps. Dew-worms (large size worms found in soil and compost) are not likely to survive.” For detailed information on worm composting visit this site.

Xeriscaping

Xeriscape gardening principles include choosing low-maintenance and drought-resistant plants like stonecrops, sage, goldenrod, yucca and shrub roses See Calgary Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

“Choose labour-saving plants such as those that are drought tolerant and pest resistant. There will be less need to control pests, which eliminates the need for pesticides that might affect your health, harm other living things and find their way into local streams. And you will use less water.”

Plant waterwise plants. “By reducing lawn area or by incorporating drought-tolerant plants that need less water, gardeners can help conserve water during hot, dry summer months. Small leaves, fat leaves, grey leaves, and fuzzy leaves are all indicators of drought-hardy plants.” See here for more info.

Native plants

Ornamental Grasses

Ecoscaping

“Natural yard care (or “ecoscaping”) is about working with nature to create a yard that is attractive and easy to maintain with a minimum of resources. Consider transforming a high-maintenance lawn into an inviting, drought-tolerant landscape that will become an inspiration for the neighbourhood and an important part of its biodiversity.”

Middle ground gardening

Lawns

“Types of grasses in most Calgary lawns are actually cold season varieties which is why they require so much water and maintenance.” Gerald Vander Pyl for the Calgary Herald.

“Leave grass clippings on the lawn after you mow instead of raking and bagging them. This is also known as “grasscycling.”You save time, and the nutrients in the clippings provide organic matter and from 15 to 40 per cent of your lawn’s nitrogen needs.”

Favourites

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is valued for its unusual foliage. Flowers can be cut to remain fresh for as long as eight weeks. Popular varieties of the kalanchoe are the “Calypso,” “Bonanza,” and “Garnet.” Kalanchoe is both a house-plant and gardening favorite since it requires very little care in order to thrive. Kalanchoe plants are attractive in a basket with ivy and curly willows.

Courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden PlantFinderKalanchoe blossfeldiana Courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden PlantFinder

Common Name: kalanchoe
Zone: 10 to 12
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Crassulaceae
Native Range: Madagascar
Height: 0.5 to 1.5 feet
Spread: 0.5 to 1.5 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Color: Scarlet, pink, salmon or yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low

Butterflies

Birds along the Bow River in Calgary in April: Bald Eagle, Northern Flicker, White-throated Sparrow, Black-billed Magpie, Black-capped Chickadee, Rock Pigeon, Mallard, Canada Goose, Herring Gull, House Sparrow, Franklin’s Gull (small, black-headed) is very common in the prairies.

Birds in Fish Creek park . . .

Worms

Water

An expert gardener suggested that a very small, inexpensive (?) container could be installed with minimal change to a garden even on a rental property or where ownership is temporary. (It can be dug up when you leave if the next owner does not like it). Koy are relatively inexpensive (easy to replace), quite hardy and work hard to keep ponds clean of insects. Her neighbourhood cats don’t bother them. Water plants are expensive but even one adds to the pond’s appeal.

Potentially Problematic Plants

Avoid introducing plants described as “seeds freely.” List of Calgary “weeds.”

Didymosphenia geminata algae

January 15, 2008


Bow River Pristine Ice Flows

Calgary is the world’s cleanest city and the Bow River is clean enough for fly fishers. Algal ecologists are closely monitoring a bumper crop of Didymosphenia geminata bloom, an algae that thrives on dams and clean water.

Folksonomy: algal ecologist, bumper-crop blooming, jet-set fly fishers, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, rock snot, NB, Quebec, East Coast, New Zealand, headwater rivers of South Saskatchewan River basin, Bow River, Red Deer River,

Who’s who

Didymosphenia geminata (aka Didymo, rock snot) is a single-celled algae called a diatom which is attracted to pristine clear water, an unusual characteristic for algae. When it blooms it covers river bottom rocks with a shag carpet that can completely inundate kilometres of river bottom. Trout like clean waters and their habitat can be destroyed by this invasive Didymosphenia geminata bloom. It has been noticed in the Bow River near Calgary. See Kirkwood, Andrea E.

Kirkwood, Andrea E. akirkwoo@uncalgary.ca; Shea, T.; Jackson, L. J.; McCauley, E. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive

TERA Environmental Consultants, Suite 1100, 815-8th Avenue S.W., Calgary, AB T2P 3P2

Timeline

2002 “[A]nglers and provincial scientists noticed blooms on lower reaches of the Bow River near Calgary, and the Oldman River below the Oldman Dam (Kirkwood, Shea, Jackson, McCauley 2007 ).”

2004 a “large-scale periphyton study in Red Deer and Bow rivers to investigate natural and anthropolical driven transitions in Alberta rivers” [. . .] The Bow River sub-basin is 26,240 km squared, whereas the Red Deer River sub-basin is 47,831 squared. The SSRB is located in the transition between the Rocky Mountains of western Alberta and the eastern Great Plains. Source water for these rivers originates along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains and is a mixture (depending on the time of year) of rain water, glacial and snowmelt water, and groundwater. Though the Bow and Red rivers share similar edaphic and land-use characteristics, they differ with respect to urban footprints, sewage-agricultural inputs, and flow regulation-diversion by dams and hydroelectric utilties. The Bow River has five dams and one substantial weir that regulates and stabilizes flows, while the Red Deer River has only one dam (Kirkwood, Shea, Jackson, McCauley 2007).”

2005 “95% of the freshwater users of the South Island of New Zealand knew about didymo, yet it is hardly recognized within the general populace of North America and Europe (Special Session on Didymosphenia geminata ).”

2006 Special Session on Didymosphenia geminata. Western Division American Fisheries Society Meeting. May 15-16, 2006 Bozeman, Montana. REVISED Post meeting update. Over 60 scientists and aquatic managers from across the US, western Canada, New Zealand, England, and Iceland gathered to exchange information and discuss new findings at the special symposium in Bozeman. The symposium offered the opportunity for people to meet, develop ideas and collaborations, and to express concerns about the impacts of didymo. Donors included Federation of Fly Fishers, US Environmental Protection Agency, the Trout and Salmon Foundation, the Black Hills Fly Fishers, and the Overmountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

2007 Kirkwood et al noted the relationship between dams and Didymosphenia geminata bloom.

Webliography and Bibliography

2006. Special Session on Didymosphenia geminata. Western Division American Fisheries Society Meeting. May 15-16, 2006 Bozeman, Montana.

Brooymans, Hanneke, 2008. “‘Rock snot’ threatens rivers.” Calgary Herald. January 14. B2.

Kirkwood, Andrea E.; Shea, T.; Jackson, L. J.; McCauley, E. 2007. “Didymosphenia geminate in two Alberta headwater rivers: an emerging invasive species that challenges conventional views on algal bloom development.” Vol. 64. pp.1703-1709. http://restigouche.org/reports/Didymo_CJFAS.pdf

Kirkwood, Andrea. 2008. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.

Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2008. “Dams, Didymo and jetset flyfishers: Didymosphenia geminata algae.”

Bow River Basin

December 20, 2007


The Bow River Basin is fed by ouflow glaciers of the Wapta Icefield which rests along the Continental divide. Wapta Icefield’s glaciers the Bow Glacier (37 km northwest of Lake Louise) at Bow Lake (altitude 1920m 51°40′18″N 116°27′22″W) and the Lake Vulture Glacier, which feeds into Hector Lake (51°34’43.21″N 116°22’3.38″W), both feed into the Bow River. Bow Lake lies south of the Bow Summitt, east of the Waputik Range (views including Wapta Icefield, Bow Glacier, Bow Peak, Mount Thompson, Crowfoot Glacier and Crowfoot Mountain) and west of the Dolomite Pass, Dolomite Peak and Cirque Peak. Bow Lake is one of the lakes that line the Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. Bow Lake is the closest lake to the headwaters of Bow River, and has a total area of 3.21 km².

The Bow River Basin runs through the Rocky Mountains from Bow Lake (51°40′18″N 116°27′22″W) to Lake Hector past Lake Louise, Banff (51°10’19.21″N 115°33’59.86″W), Seebee (51° 5’48.44″N 115° 3’51.19″W), Chief Hector Lake Nakoda Lodge and Conference Centre, Stoney Nation , Morley, (51° 9’43.60″N 114°50’55.68″W), Cochrane (51° 2’42.25″N 114° 3’47.48″W), Calgary (population 1,107,200 – 2006), Carseland, Arrowwood, Bassano (near Bow River), Bow City (50°25’59.03″N 112°13’39.55″W), Scandia, Rolling Hills and Ronalane where the Bow River joins the Oldman River join at “The Grand Forks” to form the South Saskatchewan River (R.J.W. Turner, GSC 2005-194 ). The Bow, Red Deer, and Oldman rivers are tributaries of the South Saskatchewan River. This family of rivers carries water from the Rocky Mountains across the dry southern prairies of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The North Saskatchewan and South Saskatchewan Rivers meet east of Saskatoon then continue to merge with other rivers emptying into Hudson Bay.

Timeline

1850 End of the Little Ice Age

1850-1953 Bow Glacier retreated an estimated 1,100 meters (3,600 ft).

1994 Bow River Basin report

Calgary installed a state of the art sewage system

1980s In the 1980s the Wapta Icefield, on the Continental Divide in the British Columbia and Abertan Rockies covered an area of approximately 80 km² (30 miles²).

2005 Turner, R.J.W., Franklin, R.G., Grasby, S.E., and Nowlan, G.S. 2005. “Bow River Basin Waterscape.” Geological Survey of Canada. Miscellaneous Report 90, 2005.

Webliography and Bibliography

Bivouac.com. “Wapta Icefield.” Canadian Mountain Encyclopedia.

Turner, R.J.W., Franklin, R.G., Grasby, S.E., and Nowlan, G.S. 2005. “Bow River Basin Waterscape.” Geological Survey of Canada. Miscellaneous Report 90, 2005.

State of the Canadian Cryosphere. Peyto Glacier Case Study. Past Variability of Canadian Glaciers.

wikipedia

Tag cloud: hydrogeology; environmental geology; educational geology; watersheds; rivers; surface waters; lake water; reservoirs; groundwater; water utilization; water quality; groundwater circulation; groundwater flow; groundwater resources; groundwater discharge; groundwater regimes; groundwater movement; climate effects; climatic fluctuations; conservation; environmental impacts; environmental controls; hydrologic environment; environmental studies; urban planning; wildlife; pollution; resource management; pollution; resource management; Bow River basin; water cycle

Area: Bow River; Rocky Mountains; Rocky Mountain Foothills; Prairies; Bow Lake; Lake Louise; Banff; Canmore; Stoney Nakoda Reserve; Morley; Cochrane; Bragg Creek; Tsuu T’ina Reserve; Crossfield; Airdrie; Calgary; Longview; High River; Turner Valley; Black Diamond; Okotoks; Strathmore; Siksika Reserve; Gleichen; Cluny; Standard; Bassano; Brooks; Tilley; Vauxhall; Bow Island; South Saskatchewan River Rolling Hills (near Bow River)

Flynn-Burhoe Maureen. 2007. Bow River Basin. > Google Docs


Schmap is the latest of the web 2.0 technologies that heighten my connectivity on the Internet. One of my Creative Commons Flickr photos of Calgary’s Nose Hill Park was picked up by Schmap through Flickr’s powerful Search Engine Optimized tagging tools  – folksonomy for Flickr photo folks. We were planning a trip to the 12 Days of Christmas at Calgary’ Heritage Park. As I use Schmap to prepare for our outing this weekend, I feel somewhat like a 2.0 volunteer in my newly-adopted city.  

North Carolina-based Schmap has been operating since 2004 providing free digital travel guides for 200 destinations throughout the United States, Europe, Canada (with Calgary as one of its highlighted cities), Australia and New Zealand.

They also offer an innovative technology that lets bloggers insert schmapplets – a range of fully customizable map mashups and map widgets  on their personal blogs. I have tried to add the widget to Speechless but it didn’t work. Probably just as well as I am concerned that my WordPress blog is slow to open on machines that don’t have my images and files in cache.


I was never attracted to the paintings of E. H. Hughes while I worked as contract art educator at the National Gallery of Canada. It wasn’t until I lived near his home for almost two years, in the Cowichan River valley area that I began to understand that his work was a highly detailed documentation of plants, trees, geological formations, waterways and marine activity — not an attempt to express the impression of the landscape from a tourist’s point-of-view. The ubiquitous greys of the island from November through March explain the colour-challenged palettes in most of Hughes’ prints. The original paintings are rare since most of them have been sold to a unique collector in Germany. But framed expensive mass-produced prints from the original paintings (which the vast majority of people in the age of Robert Bateman — and more recently high quality giclee1 — mistake for original works of art) are prominent, particularly in the places like the family restaurant in Duncan called the Dog House.

In Canada plein art painting in cold weather is possible but uncomfortable. This small acrylic plein air sketch was painted in a couple of hours on the windy escarpment at Edelweis Point. The larger version will portray the mountains more accurately. I often find myself fantasizing about knocking on doors of stranger’s homes-with-a-view to ask for three hours of air space to paint in the off seasons. Following in the paths of plein air painters I had made up my own rules that I followed for decades. I would not paint from pictures. But I moved a lot since then. Each new Canadian region offers new visual opportunities and challenges for painting. Even the qualities of light itself, its clarity, luminosity, is different from region to region. I spent a lot of time studying the patterns of waves on the coast of Vancouver Island. Now I am confused, overwhelmed by the mountains. I want to hike their trails and see them from as many angles as is possible with easy 5-hour scrambles. These days I take digital photos on our day trips in and around Calgary to ecological reserves, public parks or even roadside in Cochrane, Canmore . . . Now I find myself painting with a laptop open beside me so that my finished painting becomes a visual tool for memory work, another way of living in and visualizing my everyday world. I also used to feel that selling mass-produced prints was dishonest and deluded an ill-informed public. Now I am just happy to have available images whatever their source or quality to compare and learn: Flickr, Google images, Virtual museums like the National Gallery of Canada’s, reproductions, etc. There aren’t any overpriced framed Giclees of specific mountain peaks from our local shopping mall galleries hanging over the sofa at home, but I will study and compare them as another way of seeing.

As I refine tags and folksonomy in the virtual world, I seek out more precise multidisciplinary taxonomies in ecosystems I inhabit. It informs the way I see, and the way that I take photographs and paint plein air. I tag my images through Google Earth, Picasa and Flickr. Adobe Photoshop provides tools that allow me to enhance or layer some images. Using www.bivouac.com, Peaks of the Canadian Rockies, and numerous other maps, images and texts I can hyperlink each mountain peak to its exact longtitude/latitude coordinates in Google Earth (and or Picasa and Flickr). In Google Earth I can link the altitude tool relative to space/ground with the height of the mountain. I can also link customized image icons and detailed information including the exact www.bivouac.com and/or Peaks of the Canadian Rockies urls. The process of social tagging or folksonomy fuels my interest in searching for the names that provide the most accurate historical, ecological, geographical information about mountain peaks, glacial erratics, medicinal plants, post-contact plants . . .

Google searches before and after help refine our understanding of the places we have visited. Public librairies, local museums and even Tim Horton’s customers provide more suggestions. Sharing using one of our many social networks is easy. Flickr provides tools for describing and commenting on details of images, adding textual information as well as refined folksonomy, geotagging and comparing photos with special interest groups. Google docs archives the unpublished notes, annotated webliographies and bibliographies and keeps track of published blogs.

In the process I learn about contributions to Alberta’s history by individuals and communities descended from First Nations, Chinese, Italians, French, Irish, British, African-Americans . . .

Of course it is a visual form of memory work. If we only relied on the printed word for knowledge claims we would find ourselves with limited perspectives provided by experts in exclusive academic disciplines who claim that their magisteria is nonoverlapping.

This is changing so rapidly in a world of integrated management. Ecohydrology combines the fields of ecological processes and hydrology that informs integrated management of watersheds. Google Earth allows nonexperts to view climatic zones, mountain ranges, massifs, river valleys, individual mountains, hillslopes, stream channels, estuaries, gullies, barchannels, recharge areas, and in some cases meter-sized features. We can fly over and zoom in on the watershed of the Athabaskan Lake and River, Fort McMurray, Fort Chipewyan. We can read related reports online and track changes ourselves. This kind of information has never been easier to collect and share.

The most accurate scientific information from legitimate sources provides exact terminologies and taxonomies2 that not only clarify complex issues, they are also folksonomy-friendly.

Footnotes

1. Limited edition archival prints where the editions are limited to a hundred or less of an original work of art and hand autographed by the artist are priced accordingly and were considered to be art collectors items. Robert Bateman is well-known for his high-priced multiple edition prints of his popular wildlife paintings. These are often purchased for a hefty price by uninformed collectors who believe they have an original work of art. With progress in digital technologies, printing inks and processes, giclees from original oil paintings can be printed on canvas that appears to have a varnished finish and priced as much as a unique original painting. Giclees on high quality water colour paper do have an archival life of over a hundred years. Their production is costly so they are priced more than a mass-produced print. Giclee archival prints are a huge improvement over the prints of the Group of Seven and Emily Carr distributed to public schools in Canada in the Post World War II years. Most of these framed prints which unfortunately still hang in public places over fifty years later, have darkened and have lost all semblance to original colours.

I now fully embrace the giclee concept as a way of sharing visual information more widely. It is yet another take on Walter Banjamin’s mechanical reproduction.

2. I looked to wikipedia under geomorphology to find the equivalent of taxonomy for mountains that I have been using to identify wildflowers, medicinal plants. According to wikipedia, “Different geomorphological processes dominate at different spatial and temporal scales. To help categorize landscape scales some geomorphologists use the following taxonomy:

Creative Commons reference:

CC Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2007. “How to paint mountains: Geomorphological taxonomy.” >> speechless. November 13.

CC Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2007. “How to paint mountains: Geomorphological taxonomy.” >> Google docs. November 13.

NB: This article is supposed to be automatically re-published on speechless as changes are made in Google docs. I prefer to have both references available.


Business Editor Charles Frank (2007) cites a FirstEnergy Capital Corp newsletter to clients comparing Alberta’s provincially-funded analysis “Our Fair Share” chaired by Bill Hunter on royalties, to the modus operandi of socialist governments Kazakhstan and Venezuela. Premier Ed Stelmach commissioned a full analysis of provincial royalties as the price of a barrel of oil soared. It is now c. $82.881 a barrel. (It has to be $50 a barrel to extraction of oil from the oil sands profitable.)

EnCana CEO Randall K. Eresman threatened to redirect a billion dollars of EnCana’s planned capital investment out of Alberta to other parts of Canada or the United States if Premier Stelmach adopt’s the “Our Fair Share” report proposals in their entirety.

2007-10-02 Saskatchewan politicians hope that companies like EnCana will act on their bluff and move at least part of their billion dollar threat out of Alberta and into Saskatchewan if royalties are raised too much. Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers industry vice-president David Pryce adds to the oil companies threats saying that if Alberta opts for their fair share of royalties the oil companies will shift activity to the other jurisdictions like Saskatchewan. However, even though Saskatchewan politicians might hold out for awhile, they would pay at the polls just like Stelmach if they continue to operate their energy sector as if the rules of the 1970s still apply. Alberta has lower corporate taxes, no provincial sales tax and no resource royalty surcharge so how much is Saskatchewan willing to give away to enjoy an Alberta boom? (Wood 2007-10-02). Do they really want the housing crisis, the long delays in service to drive their thriving economy even more? Are they willing to forego their fair share to entice fickle oil companies to their province.

CBC. 2007-10-05 ConocoPhillips President Kevin Meyers threatened Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach that ConocoPhillips will postpone $8 billion proposed oilsands projects. Meyers claimed that if royalties are raised as suggested in Our Fair Share and by the Alberta auditor ConocoPhillips would lose an oilsands project worth $500 million next year. They threaten to cut 30 to 40% of the $2.5 billion to $3 billion it plans to spend in 2008 on Alberta-based activity. It is estimated that if all the recommendations of Our Fair Share were implemented, the Alberta government would benefit by $2 billion a year. Alberta has a history of hospitality for oil and gas companies with the low energy royalties (based on oil at ?20 a barrel versus $80 and rising4), no provincial sales tax, no Alberta has lower corporate taxes, no provincial sales tax and no resource royalty surcharge. Oilsands developers have been allowed to use Alberta’s limited natural gas resources to extract their oil as quickly as possible instead of slower technology-intense methods. (Even the oil industry DOE report urges the need for patient money). Images of the Fort McMurray’s envirnomental nightmare landscape of Fort McMurray are courteously not shown around at dinner tables (although in quieter voices Albertans will ask, “Have you ever been to Fort McMurray?”).

Who’s Who

EnCana 10th place in Fortune Global 500’s Mining, Crude-oil production Industry: EnCana with an overall Fortune 500 rank of 431/500 (previously 396/500) and revenues of $17,081.0 millions. EnCana’s profits are $5,652.0 million; Assets: $35,106.0 Million; Stockholders’ Equity: $17,466.0 million. CEO Randall K. Eresman. It has 4,678 employees and is located at 855 2nd St. S.W., Calgary T2P 2S5, Canada, Phone: 403-645-2000
Website: www.encana.com
FirstEnergy Capital Corp. (started c. 1994) is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Its 79 employees including CEO Jim Davidson, Jill Angevine, Vice-President of institutional research, John

Chambers, Ruby Wallis, Bev Thompson, Sheila Kaiser, Margie Gal, and Angelique Cyr work long days beginning at 6:15 AM and engage in the high-pressure industry of investment dealing. These investment dealings and transactions individually involve multi-millions and even billions of dollars of financings2. It is located at 1100, 311 – 6 Avenue SW, Calgary Alberta T2P 3H2 (FirstEnergy Capital (USA) Corp. is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.) The firm has raised $7 million for Calgary’s less fortunate. It now supports over 200 charities. (Every year, [they] allocate a minimum of 2.5 percent of our gross profits to charitable organizations and community groups. Often, [they] significantly exceed this minimum donation. These actions illustrate the strong sense of community that is part of [their] corporate culture.” For example a party they hosted during the rodeo with 1500 guests raised $200,000 for Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse (CCASA), Calgary Quest School and the Parks Foundation Calgary. In June 2006 CalgaryInc named them as the best place to work in Calgary. As well according to their own site “Canadian Business magazine ran a very complimentary article on FirstEnergy in the August 2007 edition covering the firm back to inception and including a mention of our expanded relationship with Société Générale.”

FirstEnergy Capital Corp FirstNews for investors tracks changes in the price of oil, gas through indicators such as unseasonable temperatures (for example in Toronto) or weather disturbances (such as hurricanes), consumer confidence, industry takeovers, bankruptcies, labour disputes, changes in interest rates, the housing market, oil and gas inventories and industry regulation. For example on September 25 they reported that “U.S. stocks fell on Monday, after news that Germany’s largest bank may take a hit from sub-prime mortgage investments. Citigroup and other banks fell after sources said the exposure could reduce Deutsche Bank’s profit by $2.4 billion. Furthermore, the first nation wide strike at General Motors in 37 years raised concerns about the economic outlook. Shares of auto parts suppliers fell, led by a 3% drop in Lear Corp. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 61.13 points to end at 13,759.06, while the NASDAQ fell 3.27 points to close at 2,667.95 (FirstNews 2007-09-25).”

Timeline

1992 Kazakhstan adopted among the world’s most open investment laws in order to encourage development.

2002 After the April 2002 aborted coup against Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez, many observers accused Washington of having been behind the attempted ouster. The Bush administration denied any U.S. involvement in the affair. However, one relatively clear connection emerged between the U.S. government and the anti-Chávez movement: millions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer money channeled through the IRI and other U.S. organizations that funded groups opposed to Chávez during the years preceding the April coup. Writer Mike Ceaser reported that in an April 12, 2002, fax sent to news media, IRI President George A. Folsom rejoiced over Chávez’s removal from power. “The Venezuelan people rose up to defend democracy in their country,” he wrote. “Venezuelans were provoked into action as a result of systematic repression by the government of Hugo Chávez.” With NED funding, IRI had been sponsoring political party-building workshops and other anti-Chávez activities in Venezuela. “IRI evidently began opposing Chávez even before his 1998 election,” wrote Ceaser. “Prior to that year’s congressional and presidential elections, the IRI worked with Venezuelan organizations critical of Chávez to run newspaper ads, TV, and radio spots that several observers characterize as anti-Chávez” (Ceaser 2002). (IRI 2007)

2007-09-25
Rumours circulate that Germany’s largest bank may take a hit from sub-prime mortgage investments (FirstNews 2007-09-25).

2007-09-25 The first nation wide strike at General Motors in 37 years raised concerns about the economic outlook. Shares of auto parts suppliers fell, led by a 3% drop in Lear Corp. (FirstNews 2007-09-25).

2007-09-28 The Global Energy Conference for members only was held in Toronto, Canada on September 28 and announced on FirstEnergy Capital Corp. website.

2007-09-28 “The Kazakh parliament unanimously approved a bill Sept. 26 that would allow the government to modify or break any contract unilaterally in which the “interests of Kazakhstan” are threatened (as defined by the government). They are demanding royalties of 40% up from 30%. Kazakhstan now produces 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil, and if the projects currently signed are completed, within 10 years it hopes to be producing 3.5 million bpd [. . .] Royal Dutch/Shell, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips are part of the oil consortium developing Kazakhstan’s oil. [. . .] The best that Kazakhstan [might end up with a] Venezuela-like situation, in which foreigners freeze all expansion efforts and focus solely on inexpensive methods of maintaining existing output. In Venezuela output has fallen from 3.5 million bpd to 2.3 million bpd since government restrictions began 10 years ago. One of Kazakhstan’sfields is one of the most technically challenging in existence, boasting vertical and variable deposits loaded with high-pressure hydrogen sulfide. The field itself is in a high wind zone that freezes over in the winter. Kashagan will be the most technically challenging — and expensive — oil project ever attempted.” [China has the capital to invest in Kazakhstan but perhaps lacks the technology for now (Offnews.info 2007).”

2007-10-02 Saskatchewan politicians hope that companies like EnCana will act on their bluff and move at least part of their billion dollar threat out of Alberta and into Saskatchewan if royalties are raised too much. Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers industry vice-president David Pryce adds to the oil companies threats saying that if Alberta opts for their fair share of royalties the oil companies will shift activity to the other jurisdictions like Saskatchewan. However, even though Saskatchewan politicians might hold out for awhile, they would pay at the polls just like Stelmach if they continue to operate their energy sector as if the rules of the 1970s still apply. Alberta has lower corporate taxes, no provincial sales tax and no resource royalty surcharge so how much is Saskatchewan willing to give away to enjoy an Alberta boom? (Wood 2007-10-02). Do they really want the housing crisis, the long delays in service to drive their thriving economy even more? Are they willing to forego their fair share to entice fickle oil companies to their province.

CBC. 2007-10-05 ConocoPhillips President Kevin Meyers threatened Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach that ConocoPhillips will postpone $8 billion proposed oilsands projects. Meyers claimed that if royalties are raised as suggested in Our Fair Share and by the Alberta auditor ConocoPhillips would lose an oilsands project worth $500 million next year. They threaten to cut 30 to 40% of the $2.5 billion to $3 billion it plans to spend in 2008 on Alberta-based activity. It is estimated that if all the recommendations of Our Fair Share were implemented, the Alberta government would benefit by $2 billion a year. Alberta has a history of hospitality for oil and gas companies with the low energy royalties (based on oil at ?20 a barrel versus $80 and rising4), no provincial sales tax, no Alberta has lower corporate taxes, no provincial sales tax and no resource royalty surcharge. Oilsands developers have been allowed to use Alberta’s limited natural gas resources to extract their oil as quickly as possible instead of slower technology-intense methods. (Even the oil industry DOE report urges the need for patient money). Images of the Fort McMurray’s envirnomental nightmare landscape of Fort McMurray are courteously not shown around at dinner tables (although in quieter voices Albertans will ask, “Have you ever been to Fort McMurray?”).

Footnotes

1. “Crude oil prices posted big gains on the day. The continued decline of the U.S. dollar and concerns that supply may not be able to meet demand this coming winter, fuelled the price increase. NYMEX light sweet crude for November delivery gained $2.58 to end at $82.88 per barrel [. . .] Canadian stocks continued their five day rally closing higher on strong commodity prices. The government also reported a $13.8 billion budget surplus for fiscal 2006-07, which will be used to pay down debt. Suncor Energy was the biggest weighted gainer, up $2.17 or 2.3% to $95.71. The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 94.76 points to close at 14,129.73. [. . .] U.S. stocks ended higher on Thursday, as energy shares were elevated by higher oil prices. However, a report released earlier in the day showed a plunge in new home sales and the sharpest year-over-year drop in prices in nearly 37 years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 34.79 points to 13,912.94, while the NASDAQ gained 10.56 points to close at 2,709.59. (FirstNews 2007-09-28).”

2. In an online summary FirstEnergy includes in their recent report on their 800 financings and over 200 M&A assignments that they has participated in since c. 1994.$701,000,000 disposition by EnCana Corporation of its Interest in Petrovera Resources LimitedPartnership in January 2004. Others are: $495,000,000: the Sale of Sound Energy Trust to Advantage Energy Income Fund in September 2007; $3,500,000,000: of CCS Income Trust as Formal Valuator and Advisor to the Independent Committee September 2007; $508,000,000: Sale of Capitol Energy Resources Ltd. to Provident Energy Trust. June 2007; $91,000,000 Compton Petroleum Corporation Acquisition of Stylus Energy Inc.August 2007; $980,000,000 for TriStar Oil & Gas Merger with Real Resources Inc. August 2007; $440,000,000 Sale of Find Energy Ltd. to Shiningbank Energy Income Fund September 2006; $431,000,000 True Energy Trust Acquisition of Prairie Schooner Petroleum Ltd. September 2006; $1,500,000,000 Savanna Energy Services Corp. Merger with Western Lakota Energy Services Inc. August 2006; $320,000,000 Highpine Oil & Gas Limited Acquisition of Kick Energy Corp. August 2006; $4,000,000,000 Viking Energy Royalty Trust Merger with Harvest Energy Trust February 2006; $4,400,000,000 Precision Drilling Corporation Reorganization into an Income Trust November 2005; $350,000,000 UTS Energy Corporation Partnership and Asset Sale to Teck Cominco Limited December 2005; $1,400,000,000 Cequel Energy Inc. and Progress Energy Ltd. Merger and Reorganization into a Trust and Spinout of ProEx Energy Ltd. and Cyries Energy Inc. April 2004.

 

3. 1st place in Fortune Global 500’s Mining, Crude-oil production Industry: Anglo American with an overall Fortune 500 rank of 195/500 and revenues of $33,072.0 million; 2nd place in Fortune Global 500’s Mining, Crude-oil production Industry: BHP Billiton with an overall Fortune 500 rank of 205/500 and revenues:$32,153.0 millions; 3rd place in Fortune Global 500’s Mining, Crude-oil production Industry: Rio Tinto Group with an overall Fortune 500 rank of 313/500 and revenues:$22,465.0 millions; 4th place in Fortune Global 500’s Mining, Crude-oil production Industry: RAG with an overall Fortune 500 rank of 345/500 and revenues:$20,365.0 millions; 5th place in Fortune Global 500’s Mining, Crude-oil production Industry: CVRD with an overall Fortune 500 rank of 359/500 and revenues:$19,651.0 millions; 6th place in Fortune Global 500’s Mining, Crude-oil production Industry: Oil & Natural Gas with an overall Fortune 500 rank of 369/500 and revenues:$19,237.4 millions; 7th place in Fortune Global 500’s Mining, Crude-oil production Industry: Occidental Petroleum with an overall Fortune 500 rank of 377/500 and revenues:$19,029.0 millions; 8th place in Fortune Global 500’s Mining, Crude-oil production Industry: Surgutneftegas with an overall Fortune 500 rank of 392/500 and revenues:$18,413.1 millions; 9th place in Fortune Global 500’s Mining, Crude-oil production Industry: Xstrata with an overall Fortune 500 rank of 414/500 and revenues:$17,632.0 millions; 10th place in Fortune Global 500’s Mining, Crude-oil production Industry: EnCana with an overall Fortune 500 rank of 431/500 and revenues:$17,081.0 millions; 11th place in Fortune Global 500’s Mining, Crude-oil production Industry: China National Offshore Oil with an overall Fortune 500 rank of 469/500 and revenues:$16,038.9 millions.

4. Not to mention Tertzakian’s $100 a barrel peak!


Webliography and Bibliography

2007. “EnCana.” Snapshots. Fortune Global 500. September 30. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2007/snapshots/11155.html

CBC. 2007-10-05 “Energy giant rages against plan to hike Alberta royalties.” http://www.cbc.ca/canada/calgary/story/2007/10/05/royalties-protests.html

Ceaser, Mike. 2002. “As Turmoil Deepens in Venezuela, Questions Regarding NED Activities Remain Unanswered,” Americas Program, December 9.

FirstNews. 2007. FirstEnergy Capital Corp. September 28. http://firstenergy.com/research/news/News-2007-09-25.pdf

FirstNews. 2007. FirstEnergy Capital Corp. September 28. http://firstenergy.com/research/news/News-2007-09-28.pdf

Frank, Charles. 2007. “Tough Talk Just the Start to Ugly Royalty Fight.” Calgary Business. Calgary Herald. September 29. C1 & c14.

(IRI) International Republican Institute. 2007. Right Web Profile. Silver City, NM: International Relations Center, July 19.

Offnews.info. 2007. “Kazakhstan – End of an Era.” Offnews.info. Buenos Aires, Argentina. September 30. http://www.offnews.info/verArticulo.php?contenidoID=9429

Wood, James. 2007. “Politicians in no mood to alter Sask. energy royalties system.” The StarPhoenix. Saskatoon.


Creative Commons License 2.5 Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2007. “Fear Industry marries Oil Industry: Albertastan? Canazuela? Who’s Afraid of Social[ism] Capital?” http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=ddp3qxmz_380dvhvz9 September 30. Creative Commons License 2.5 Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2007. “Fear Industry marries Oil Industry: Albertastan? Canazuela? Who’s Afraid of Social[ism] Capital?” >> Speechless. September 30.

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