Commencement | June 8, 2020

Volume 1 Issue 10 | | Editor: Colleen MacLeod | #meadowlarkmonday

Opinion | Life | Business | Arts | Health


Most people rank graduation as one of life’s most significant events; if I think back on my own high school graduation many years ago, I find it incredible how much I can recall about that time. This year’s Beiseker Community School graduating class will certainly have very different memories of their graduation. In the May 11 issue I wrote: “I sincerely hope these kids get a chance to walk the stage, collect a diploma, and throw up their caps!” I’m happy to share that this is happening: on Friday and Saturday (June 12/13) the class of 2020 is celebrating graduation. Individual ceremonies will be held for graduates and families with a photographer to capture the moment, there is a virtual grad video being created by the school, and on Saturday afternoon at 4 PM in Beiseker there will be a grad parade. To help celebrate this year’s graduation, The Meadowlark is doing a print version containing photos of the graduating class.


Walking in Nature on the Meadowlark Trail

Walking in nature has proven health benefits. Part of that is due to the sounds of nature, including birdsong. Almost every time I go walking on the Meadowlark Trail in town I hear the lovely, lilting song of the Western Meadowlark. It got me thinking: if I got my inspiration for the name of this newsletter from the Meadowlark Trail, how did the trail committee come up with it in the first place? Here’s the answer straight from the trail committee chairperson. (There is no affiliation between Meadowlark Trail and The Meadowlark newsletter other than an abiding love for these hardy, prairie birds)

Origins of the Name Meadowlark Trail

Jeannette, Meadowlark Trail

I jog around Beiseker and as I ran by, I would occasionally see a meadowlark sitting on the highest electricity post singing its heart out to the village. When Alberta TrailNet and the Trans Canada Trail offered to build a trail between Beiseker and Irricana, I thought of that meadowlark and its clear, piercing call to spring. It would be an excellent, positive symbol that could represent our communities.

The meadowlark has always interested me as my mother used to answer its call in Manitoba by singing out a French ditty “Ti Jean a perdu ses culottes”. This fit the two high notes followed by several tumbling notes perfectly. The English looses in translation as it means “Johnny has lost his pants” and doesn’t mimic the melody. The bird nests in Irricana and can be seen often in the spring on fence posts that align with the Trail. It’s a small bird that is recognizable by its pale yellow breast and a dark brown stripe that drops from each shoulder to meet in the middle of its chest. The song of the Alberta Meadowlark is somewhat different from its cousin in Manitoba but the high, melodic trill is very recognizable. Once you’ve heard it, you won’t forget it. If you want to take its picture, you will have to be very discrete, as unlike the robin, it is quite bashful and will turn its back to you if it notices that you are looking at it. 

The Meadowlark Trail is 10km of gently rising trail for walking and cycling. On the west, you can glimpse the Rockies and on the east, the escarpment rolls away to the badlands of Drumheller. The Trail will be officially opened with a fine gravel top sometime in September.

Motivation and Self-Accountability


This week I have been spending time preparing self-tape auditions and getting ready to return to sitting open houses, activities that signal a return to a more normal life for me. At the end of April, I was able to go and ride my horse again and I also started to show properties to buyers after a hiatus of about six weeks.

I am thankful that these changes back to normalcy have been gradual because I have experienced some mental resistance and even dread with the idea of reintroducing elements of my former life back into my present life. It is good that everything will not be all at once.

Being self-employed there are many activities in which I am only accountable to myself, open houses and auditions being two examples. Auditions are a necessary evil that an actor must deal with in order to get the odd role, and open houses are just one way that a REALTOR® can generate new business.

It has been a while since I have done either an audition or an open house and both involve a significant amount of time, the thought of which encourages procrastination and resistance, that is only overcome by self-motivation, self-accountability and discipline.

Luckily for me, I have been committing myself to various daily activities such as practicing a musical instrument and going for a walk. I find that also focusing on the activity itself and the feeling of accomplishment and pleasure from the activity will result in completing and then repeating the activity. In time the motivation and self-accountability comes naturally.


Virtual Getaway to Nanaimo, BC

Carli, a local pilot, has been kind enough to share some destination photos with us:

“Nanaimo is a beautiful spot! It’s one of my favourite layovers in BC. You can see fishermen catch crab right off the dock, beautiful sunsets. They have a cool little dingy dock where you can eat amazing pub food right on the water.”

Pioneer Acres Museum: the New Home of the Grain Academy

Shelly, Pioneer Acres Museum

Did you know that all the yeast in North America is produced in Calgary? Have you ever wondered exactly what gluten is? And when you buy omega-3 eggs at the grocery store, is that a real thing or just a marketing ploy? If you’ve ever had questions that you wanted to ask a farmer, now is your big chance, and it’s all got to do with a good news story that’s happening here in Irricana: the Grain Academy, which was located at Stampede Park since 1981, has a new home and it is now located at Pioneer Acres. The Grain Academy will be reopening when Pioneer Acres does, on 1 July 2020. Read more.

Trimming Your Pet’s Nails Safely

Tracy, Irricana Kountry Kennels

We all want our dogs to be happy and healthy but many pet owners don’t fully understand the importance of nail maintenance. We hope this article helps shed light on the often-overlooked topic of nail trimming. It’s a task that all pet owners should implement into their dog’s routine. Read more.

The Library Delivers (Curbside)

Beginning June 10, the Irricana and Rural Municipal Library will be offering curbside service. You will be able to place a hold using your library card and then pick up outside the library on the following Wednesday. Follow the library on Facebook for updates and instructions.


Remedy’s Rx Pharmacy

Anamaria & Tammy, photo by Irricana Pharmacy

Grace shared some love for our local pharmacy on I love Irricana: “Love this Town. So happy to have a fantastic pharmacy here!” I have to say I second that. Anamaria, Tammy, and the other staff have been extremely helpful whenever I have needed something. It’s everything you and your family needs in a pharmacy: professionalism and good service with a side of small town charm!


Portraits of Plants, Bugs, Birds, Animals, and People

Chalk art is a cheap and easy way to keep the little ones entertained. You can find lots of ideas online and Jae Jae will be providing a fun chalk art project guideline in next week’s issue.

Prizes by Grace, photo by Colleen

Residents under 13 are invited to enter our first-ever Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest! Your chalk art needs to fit the theme of things that live in our area: plants, bugs, birds, animals, and people. Complete your artwork and have a parent email a photo. Contest closes June 21 (Father’s Day). Grace at ATB has donated bags of candy for the winners of each of the above categories! The 5 winners will appear in the June 29 issue. (Note: If this sounds familiar, it is: we started this contest back in issue 4, but due to low participation, we’ve extended it)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s