Little White Walks: On Omand’s Creek, Part One

The eighth of a series of jaunts in the key of white. This week: the first half of a walk on Omand’s Creek from the Assiniboine River to Brookside Cemetery.

I stand at the mouth of Omand’s Creek. Behind me, the broad Assiniboine River surges by on its way to meet the Red River, just a few kilometres to the east. Ahead is the diminutive Omand’s Creek, my frozen path for the next six-plus kilometres.

It is late February and winter still holds a tight grip on the land. The waters of both the Assiniboine and Omand’s Creek are solid ice and walkable. A thin layer of snow blankets their flat surfaces and the surrounding landscape of bare tree limbs and dead bullrushes. It is a comfortably warm day under the clear prairie sky. The temperature hovers just below freezing. The sun warms the back of my dark parka. Perfect conditions for a walk along one of Winnipeg’s most under-appreciated waterways. Continue reading

Little White Walks: River Trail, Part Two

The sixth of a series of jaunts in the key of white. This week: part two of a January 26, 2018 walk along Winnipeg’s Assiniboine and Red Rivers.

As I approach the Osborne Street Bridge, a form slowly reveals itself below the bridge’s concrete arches.

The first of the warming huts.

The warming huts are the latest iteration of our city’s on-again, off-again romance with our frozen rivers. In past, ski hills have thrust their avid adventurers from high above the river’s eroding banks down to the Assiniboine’s icy surface. So too have tobogganers been sent gleefully on near-death thrill rides from the heights of wood platforms down to the frozen Red River.  Continue reading

Little White Walks: River Trail, Part One

The fifth of a series of jaunts in the key of white. This week: part one of a January 26, 2018 walk along Winnipeg’s Assiniboine and Red Rivers.

Is it a gift offered up by nature? Or is it nature conspiring against the city? These are questions that come and go from my mind as I make my way down nature’s highway, along the frozen surface of the Assiniboine River and, later in the day, the mighty Red.  Continue reading

Little White Walks: Assiniboine Forest

The fourth of a series of jaunts in the key of white. This week: a January 19, 2018 walk through Assiniboine Forest in Winnipeg.

I lift the rear hatch of the car. Styxx emerges from the dark interior, unfolding from a tight curl into a tall spindly majestic greyhound. From his car door podium, he surveys the world. He stretches his head high, scans from side-to-side, sniffs the cold air and I can see in his eyes a delighted recognition of where he is and what he will be doing for the next two hours.  Continue reading

Little White Walks: Assiniboine River

The third in a series of jaunts in the key of white. This week: a January 7, 2018 walk alongside the Assiniboine River in Winnipeg.

It’s a well-trod path, this one. From our home in the Wolseley neighbourhood, it takes me west along the south side of Assiniboine River to my destination, Assiniboine Park, and then back home along trails and quiet streets skirting the river’s north bank. Continue reading

Sunday in the Park with Monk

It’s a cool, calm Sunday afternoon. The urge is there. Time for a brisk walk. I head out, towards the river.

But not before downloading my musical accompaniment, Meredith Monk’s Facing North. This is no random choice. I will be attending a Meredith Monk concert this evening, part of Winnipeg’s New Music Festival. I have only a vague awareness of her work. Here is a chance to acquaint myself more. Continue reading