Together we will always manage to weather the storm

Recovering from the big wind and rain storm, in this week's Hammertime.

For most of us in and around Alberta May 24 was definitely a very bad ‘hair day’ in so many wild,weird, and windy ways.

While thousands dashed around in the morning to bring in their precious potted plants, lawnchairs, BBQ covers, and anything else that wasn’t tied down the wind gusts of up to and over100 clicks ravaged all areas of our province for most of the day, and were accompanied in somelocations by cold driving rain and even blizzard conditions.

Thankfully the ‘weather prognosticators’ did warn us the day before that the next ‘Alberta clipper’would be roaring in on Tuesday night over the mountains courtesy of the good folks from B.C. Itcertainly was hectic for most of the day, forcing most people to seek cover, hunker down, andhang on, but as always our skilled and dedicated Emergency Services personnel, utilitycontractors, and many others responded immediately to thousands of calls for vital aid andassistance.

With trees falling across the lines the power outages were occurring throughout Alberta, buthundreds of Fortis employees and others were working long and dangerous hours to restore theservices. There is no doubt that during the storm so many were quickly contacting family,friends, and neighbours to make sure that they were safe, while others were scurrying aroundand salvaging what the wind had misplaced or mopping up what the rain had flooded. There isnothing more assuring and appreciated than community team work and heart-felt care andhelping hands when times get tough.

By Thursday morning the sun was shining, the wind was just a whisper, and the storm washeaded into Saskatchewan, but not before leaving behind hundreds of fallen trees, ripped offshingles, and a huge swath of destruction that they say it will take crews and individuals threeweeks to clean up and repair. There is no doubt that our plants, our yards, and our communitieswill burst and bloom back into beauty soon so that we can start to enjoy summer to the fullestand nature in its finest and mostly mellow and tranquil state.

Be kind to our bees

I was really shocked the other day when I read an article in the newspaper explaining thedevastating loss of over 1/3 of our honey bee population over the past few years and of theimpending danger to our environment and well-being if this continues. How many of us actuallyrealize that these buzzing and busy winged critters are responsible for pollinating nearly 95 kindsof fruits and nuts from almonds to apples and that one out of every three bites of foods that weeat every day are pollinated by bees?

Apparently the growing drop in the honey bee numbers over the years have been caused bypesticide exposure and habitat loss, of which Governments and officials are now working withfarmers and bee-keepers in a sustained effort to stop the losses before it is too late.

So how can communities and individuals help to protect our honey bees? We can create honeybee havens by having our yards and parks and decks and steps and planters full of bee-friendlyplants that are pesticide free, and then allow them to quietly complete their most vital magictouch of nature. As we have all noticed this spring we have unfortunately been blessed with oneof the best crops of dandelions in history, which may actually help to satisfy the bees before allthe plants and flowers pop out of the ground.

Question of the week. Why is it always the person who snores the loudest that falls asleepfirst? Let’s look forward to a ‘hot and hazy’ June, and then go ahead and have a great week, allof you.