If you've never been to Police Point in Medicine Hat, Alberta it's a giant natural wilderness area within the city, surrounded by a bend in the South Saskatchewan River. The park derives its name from being a North West Mounted Police outpost back in the late 1800s, although there are no remains of the post in the area anymore.
The cliffs on the far side of the park define the eastern edge of the city, and as such, they're the last part of the park to get light from the setting sun. The scene was actually quite incredible when I was there. As the cliffs became bathed in deeper shades of orange and red, I was taken back for a moment at how jaded I'd become towards the local landscape. It was gorgeous.
The signs of an approaching autumn are becoming more apparent by the day, and in some of the lower lying areas of Police Point where you could feel the cold air rolling off of the river, it's already arrived. Fall in the prairies is a short season, and the leaves don't stay on the trees very long once they start changing. The freckles of gold and yellow amidst a still lush and green backdrop was absolutely picturesque. The rich contrast provided by the last hour of the sun's light only emphasized the detail of my surroundings, and I immediately recalled shooting We Two Kings here in the winter of 2009 and thinking about what a transformation this place goes through.
There isn't a paved path to the riverbank, but it's not difficult to find smaller trails that lead there. The cliffs, as stunning as they were, turned out not to be main attraction though. As I reached the water's edge I stumbled onto a group of beavers. They seemed to be playing and gathering sticks, and I immediately regretted not bringing another lens to get closer shots of them swimming. I counted five in total as I walked along the riverbank, and it proved to be the perfect cap to such a scenic walk. It was only minutes later that I was in darkness though and I had to head back.
I look forward to my next visit.