Landscape photographers are always searching for the next great site to photograph. I had commented to a friend that I wanted to go to go to Bilby Alberta. Looking on Google Earth, it was beside a lake (I later found out was named Devils Lake), and the rail line from St Albert went close by or through Bilby. This is in the Onoway area. Was there an old town site or something unique there?
Driving to the location was via highway 37 to Onoway, Alberta. You come across a road sign a short distance from Onoway that says “Important Intersection” as you round a curve in the highway. So, taking this road I came to the Edmonton Assembly Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses. This is a very large church building for being in a sparsely populated area such as this. Pretty location though! Past this site to the east, the road gave way to an access to a lake, upon which many people were ice fishing or…?
Out came my trusty camera, as I’d not observed so many vehicles and people on such a small lake before. It was a perfect day near zero. The sun was shining and there was little to no wind. Watching someone drill a fishing hole, the ice was sufficiently thick enough to support any vehicle. I took several pictures of the area. I observed the sun shinning on something on the south side of the lake. Of course I needed the know what that was. Here I thought I was at Bilby. Nope. It’s on the south side of the lake.
Driving to the south side of the lake, I was able to make my way to a rural road that led back onto the lake. Just before the rail crossing however, was a sign and a cairn indicating the was the site of the original Bilby Post Office. A local historical club erected the sign. It’s a beautiful site.
I drove to the end of the road, past some parked cars and out onto the ice. There were more persons out ice fishing with all their gear. One such person had so much gear, it appeared that he’d moved to the location. As I went onto the lake, I noted there are several cabin’s around the lake shore. Must be a good lake in summer?
As I was photographing my surroundings, I had noticed this older couple sitting on lawn chairs way out near the middle of the lake. They didn’t appear to be fishing, but rather just sitting there soaking up the sun. A few moment went by and these two got up, folded their lawn chairs, and walked towards me. I asked if they’d caught any fish? They explained that they live just up the hill and thought it was such a beautiful day, they’d go out on the lake and just sit together in the sun. “Love in the sun!” This couple had retired to the Bilby area five years previous and loved it. They spend their days walking and enjoying the Bilby Wildlife area which is just next to their home.
The Bilby Wildlife area is approximately a square mile of forested area just adjacent to the lake. I didn’t have time enough to walk it. But some day!
Enjoy the photo’s as I did the day.