For our first hike of the winter season we visited the Whitemud Creek from Snow Valley to Fort Edmonton. The turnout was large, at 22 people. Several hikers were joining us for the first time.
We walked from Snow Valley past the Alfred Savage Centre, then turned west along the North Saskatchewan River. West of the Quesnel Bridge, the river was unusually reflective. The water had that turquoise tinge that reminds you of mountain lakes, like Abraham Lake which several of us had just visited on the Goldeye Trip in September.
We were pleased to run into local wildlife photographer Wayne Oakes, who was shooting with a friend. Earlier that morning they had seen a short-tailed weasel. Its all-white coat made a distinctive impression, as we still had not had any snow.
Here are a few creatures that we got quite close to. When there are sunflower seeds around, they are not shy at all.
Thanks to Martha M. for scouting and leading the hike. You can find more photos on Flickr.