Every month I try to meet friends in a village called Bragg Creek. It’s just a half hour drive from my home in Calgary. It gets me out of town and up close to the mountains. When I get there, three or four of us engage in mature, adult conversation. Bee talk.
The funny thing is that none of us actually live in Bragg Creek. We just meet there because it’s somewhat convenient for all of us (I’m the only one driving in from the big city.) And we like the Cinnamon Spoon (Alberta is known for its exotic spices and cutlery – all of it imported, of course). The Spoon has decent coffee and good pastries and is cheap enough. In the winter, it’s not hard to get a table, though that changes dramatically in the summer when hordes of vacationers and noise-makers descend on the small alpine-ish village. Bragg Creek is not quite in the mountains, though they’re pines are close enough to smell.
My buddies are all serious bee folks. One friend at our sessions is a descendant of one of Alberta’s great beekeeping dynasties, a prairie bee business with thousands of hives. Her ancestors started keeping bees on their farm about 140 years ago when Alberta was part of the Northwest Territories. It wasn’t until 1905 that Alberta became a province of Canada. My friend’s family transcends all of that and it’s lovely that she has such a keen interest in bees.
Also among our Bragg Creek Bee Club coffee drinkers and beekeepers is a skilled professional carpenter who has an uncanny breadth of knowledge about natural sciences in general and physics in particular. He occasionally brings physics experiments to the coffee shop, puzzlers that I can only pretend to understand. And I am nominally a geophysicist. Our table is further graced with the presence of another science/bee buff, a friend who is also a geophysicist. But the coffee talk is usually bee talk, not geophysics, and it’s great to have friends to bounce bee ideas off.
I hope you also have a group of like-minded characters who share an interest and meet in a similar self-help group occasionally. I won’t detail our club’s latest conversation, but it had something to do with honey bees. Meanwhile, I’m posting a few pictures from my drive from the southern edge of Calgary westward to Bragg Creek. A wonderland of winter near the Rocky Mountains.