Eagles, Pelicans, and Puffballs at Saunders Lake

Twelve hikers came out for another amazing hike at Saunders lake.
There were a number of pelicans on the lake, as well as lots of ducks and a few hawks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we saw a bald eagle, coming…going…and just sitting on a tree overlooking the lake. (We had seen two eagles there when we scouted on Thursday.) Dustin took this amazing photograph.

Bald Eagle at Saunders lake
Bald Eagle, Courtesy of Dustin

Scott found a massive puffball mushroom. We got all but three left feet in this photo.

Saunders Lake puffball
Saunders Lake puffball, Courtesy of Irene

We saw a few hawks as well, and of course, lots of ducks.
Lunch was in the shade on the road allowance at A33. There was a breeze for most of the hike while the sky remained fairly hazy. Temperature-wise it was quite pleasant.

There are more photos on Flickr

Whitemud Creek and beavers

The hike began with some confusion as there was absolutely no parking at our starting point, Snow Valley. A big ski swap sale was happening and it was very well attended, with people waiting in long lines to get in. We moved our start over to Whitemud Park and headed south into the Whitemud Ravine and Whitemud Nature Reserve.

Whitemud Creek

Led by Oscar, we took frequent stops and admired the scenery from various scenic viewpoints. We studied the creek from the many bridge crossings. We appreciated the silence and feeling of being out in the country even though we were in the heart of the ravine.Whitemud Creek

Beaver
You can just make out the beaver on the left

It was on one of these stops that a hiker spotted a large beaver tucked up on the opposite bank lunching on a branch, or more likely the bark on the branch.

At another stop, we spotted a beaver swimming upstream around a small bend.

We saw both red and grey squirrels and were scolded by some. It appears there are bird lovers that frequent the Ravine and leave birdseed for the birds. The many chickadees we saw were the beneficiaries of their kindness.

Thanks to Oscar for a lovely hike.

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See more pictures on Flickr
2016-10-16 Hike: Whitemud Creek

Kopp Lake Blue Skies

Nine hikers enjoyed the Kopp Lake hike on Sunday.

Tea break

The trail, located on the hillsides of the Gwynne Valley, winds its way through spruce, aspen and birch forest. It was particularly lovely with all the fall colours.

 

 

beaver-lodge-on-kopp-lake

The day began cloudy but it cleared to blue skies.

We enjoyed a “coffee break” at the beaver lodge. We saw no beavers but admired their work. They have been busy—even since the work party passed through.

 

 

We saw two white-tailed deer, a few geese and a squirrel or two. We discovered some flowers blooming—something we didn’t expect in September.

lungwort
Lungwort
bladder-campion
Bladder Campion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new wooden walk installed by the maintenance crew received its initiation. Thanks to the maintenance crew for a well-prepared trail.

Thanks also to the landowner(s) who allow us to share their land for this hike.

hikers

See the pictures on our album on Flickr

2016-09-18 Hike: Kopp Lake