Saunders Lake Hike

The Saunders Lake trail is one of our traditional outings for bird watching. This year, 17 people came out on a warm sunny day to hike the south end.
It was noted that the eagles have returned again to nest across the lake. But hatchlings are not the only young ones. Here, the calves have gathered together and are watched over by a few cows.

Thanks to Stella for organizing this hike. You can see more photos on Flickr.

Miquelon Trails in May

Twenty people came out to hike the trails of Miquelon Park on this Victoria Day long weekend Sunday.

The terrain here is “knob and kettle”, a complex array of mounds and depressions resulting from the melting glacier of 10 thousand years ago. The result is a picturesque mix of forests, slopes, channels and ponds and a new view at every turn.

We saw a patch of morel mushrooms emerging along a path. We also saw early blue violets, the white Canada violet, saskatoon blossoms, and the rare wild clematis. Thanks to Alison, we identified the sound of an ovenbird.

Thanks to Irene and Scott for leading the hike. You can find more pictures on Flickr.

Elk Island Wood Bison Trail

At 16 km, the Wood Bison Trail is one of the longer hikes on our schedule—and there are no shortcuts. Thirteen people came out on this fine Sunday morning to take up the challenge and to observe the woodlands waking up for spring.

As we approached the lake, noisy Franklin’s Gulls circled over our heads. We knew the Wood Bison were with their new calves, so we expected them to stay out of sight. So, we were delighted when we spotted a group high up on the crest of a hill. They paused to stare at us while we stared back at them, and then they moved on.

We also encountered an aggressive grouse (apparently well-known to hikers) and saw what was probably a muskrat in the water.

Flowers in bloom include violets and wild strawberries.

Thanks go to the following people:

  • John from the Friends of Elk Island Society who joined us on the hike and talked about the Park’s activities and their methods of studying the ungulates and other wild creatures.
  • Terry for guidance on planning for the hike.
  • Lee Stickles for scouting the hike and his relative Lee Hecker for detailed information on the Wood Bison.

You can see more photos on Flickr.