Sixteen people came out on a beautiful sunny day for a hike starting just north of where Pipestone Creek flows into Coal Lake. Eight people took the hike along Coal Lake, from the access north of the Water Treatment Plant, and northward to Hughston Stopover.
The other eight took a shorter hike in the Pipestone Creek Conservation Lands, an area owned and managed by Edmonton Area Land Trust (EALT).
The hikes were full of delights for both groups. The landscape is as rich and green as can be, due to all the rain of the last several weeks. Besides the variety of wildflowers at their peak, the ripening saskatoons are promising to be very succulent this year.
And then there were the oddities. A giant puffball, and a very long garter snake.
Flowers seen were heart-leafed Alexander, common pink wintergreen, flax, buttercups, Canada anemone, western wood lily, Canada violet, goatsbeard, wild rose, strawberries, and at least three patches of milkweed, the favourite food of monarch butterflies.
Thanks to Lee for scouting and leading the Coal Lake hike, to Grant for guiding the Pipestone hike, to Trail Maintenance and EALT for all their hard work, and to the landowners for their permissions and support.
You can find more photos on Flickr.