Calgary was full of surprises.

Not so hard, I suppose, since I didn’t have a clear picture in my mind of the Canadian city, other than I knew that the Winter Olympics had been held there in 1988 — the first of the Olympic games that ever really caught my attention, in part because the chorus from my junior high school sang in the opening ceremony.

So one afternoon a few weeks ago, I was wandering around what seemed just like a lovely downtown park in Calgary, actually once  the site of the Olympic medal ceremonies, now fitted out with an inviting fountain and people lounging about it,  but nothing particularly unusual about this park, until I looked a little closer at the wall just next to me.

olympic plaza calgary

What was this? I did not know. Google was consulted.

“pink tiny statues Calgary”

“pink chipmunks Calgary” (actually originally misspelled “pink chimpunks”, but Google got it right.)

Nothing.

Desperate now, I tried “pink squirrel Calgary park” and after a few more clicks, found what I was looking for.

 

What I should have been searching for was “fusia gophers”, excuse me very much.

What I was looking at was public art installation of 95 of these critter statues, erected last year to celebrate 100 years of Calgary’s parks.

Ah, I see.

But why 95 instead of 100, presuming one gopher per annum?

“Predators of gophers,” Mr. Google, if you please.

Perhaps Calgary is also paying tribute to its native cat, dog, owl, snake, wolf, coyote population?

 

Fusia gophers in Calgary

It wouldn’t surprise me.

 

 

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Alison J. Stein

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