West of Cochrane…

A Quiet Stream

I was on a job for a local pipeline company where they were exposing a section of pipe for testing. They had used a “Smart Pig” (a hard rubber ball filled with sensors) and pushed it under high pressure down the line to map out anything that needed attention. They apparently had discovered a possible thinning in a joint and decided to have a closer look.

I went around and shot the crews as they were doing their thing and couln’t help but notice during a break, this wonderful little creek just down the hill from where we were all working. I walked down and took a few shots as reference for later and stopped, silenced myself and took it all in. It was wonderful – the sound of the water as it moved past me, was very calming. A gentle breeze tickled the tops of the grass and the leaves in the trees shimmered with delight. I sighed and turned around to head back up to finish the day.

You may think I sighed because I had to go back and shoot an open excavation not 300 feet away. But I have to say I was struck by the beauty of this little valley and more amazingly how this crew and company were taking care to make sure nothing happened to it. I thought what people must think about companies like this, forming opinions based on some crap they hear in the news. I have to say the number of times I’ve seen them at work and especially when I work with the evironmental branch, just how much they care about minimizing the impact they have on the environment. I’ve seen them tape off huge areas of land close to a right-of-way because of a Lichen that they were protecting or stop work completely when Cariboo were walking across that same right-of-way. When I first witnessed this, I was actually in awe, and it challenged my notions of what I had believed. After all, it’s in the news – pipeline companies are bad. They don’t care about anything least of all the environment. I was very wrong.

This piplene has been around for some time and it will be here for decades to come. It made me happy to be shooting for a company that gives a damn and makes a huge effort to ensure that this and other little ecosystem remain intact for all the inhabitants that call it home.

I just came to here document the process and paint the outcome.

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