South Coal Lake is especially lush at the moment. The foliage is fresh and green from the recent rains. The trees continue to bloom—now we have highbush cranberry in addition to saskatoons and chokecherries. And the bluebells (Mertensis), the wild strawberries, and white Canada violets are just getting started.
The air buzzes with columns of fish flies (Chironomids) while flocks of black-faced Franklin gulls circle above.
The Coal Lake area is also grand. The lake is wide and long, the banks are high, and the trees tower above the trail.
In this setting, 22 hikers set out on Sunday like a marching row of ants. We brushed through the narrow path over meadows, through woods, and up and down hills—some of which featured ropes and stairs. We watched pelicans on the water and a hawk overhead. And Helen shared the the story of the geological origins and features of the Gwynne valley.
At the end, we said a big thank-you to the trail maintenance crew who put in extra long hours on Saturday to make this Sunday hike perfect.
You can find more photos on Flickr.