Hastings Lake to Mottet Hill

Ten people came out to hike a section of East Hastings on a hot, dry Sunday morning.

Capably led by John, we avoided the trail’s many diversions which are well groomed by the landowner. Helen stayed back, flagging unmarked junctions for future reference by both trail maintenance and fellow hikers.

Helen and Elizabeth spotted a two-to-three inch moth with eye spots. It is the Polyphemus moth, and it’s the largest Elizabeth has ever seen in Alberta, more the size she would expect to see in Central or South America!

This trail has many points of interest: seven or eight stiles (some old, some new, some decommissioned, others in need of repair), an electric fence or two, an abandoned building or two, two large stones left by the glacier (“erratics”), private homes, horses and a pony, flowers, and birds.

Thanks to Elizabeth for documenting the burst of tender spring flowers: strawberry, a kind of Solomon’s seal (perhaps wild-lily-of-the-valley), lungwort, vetch (purple), cream-colored vetchling, sarsaparilla (3 balls of tiny blossoms), bunchberry (dwarf dogwood), everlasting, twining honeysuckle, and black currant.

As for birds, Merlin’s sound ID app gave me this list in a short minute of recording: red-winged blackbird, yellow warbler, least flycatcher, Franklin’s gull, song sparrow, and marsh wren. It was noisy out there! We lunched in the shade on Mottet Hill before heading back, grateful for the bits of shade along the trail.

Thanks to everyone who came out, to maintenance, and to the landowners for their ongoing support of the trail. You can see all the photos on Flickr.

Next week is our members’ barbecue and social.

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