How we’re acclimatizing this fall

How well we’re adapting to this cooler weather! On a day so gloomy that we could have been tempted to stay indoors, fourteen people instead came to hike in the Blackfoot Recreational Area. Our trail head was the Islet Lake Staging Area, and our lunch stop was in the Lost Lake Shelter.

The grasses have died back and fallen over, and the leaves have fallen off the trees. The rosehips and highbush cranberries will hang on for months to come. The water is not yet frozen. Under grey skies, it’s a moody scene. But to fourteen hikers, engaged in conversation, camaraderie, and exercise, it’s a refreshing and rejuvenating change of pace. We’re looking forward to doing more of this every Sunday.

You can see more photos from the hike on Flickr.


Battle River under a perfect October sky

When people talk about a blue October sky, you can picture exactly what they mean. The sun never climbs to the zenith, but casts long shadows even at mid-day. The rays are golden, giving the sky a distinctive, intense hue that complements the fields of straw, the bare grey tree trunks, and the forests of dark green spruce.

Thirteen of us came out to enjoy the fine weather and sun. When we got up to the meadow on the tableland, we spotted a deer high-tailing into the bush.

After lunch we visited the monument to Peter Fidler, the explorer and map maker. This is one of four monuments in Canada.

On the way back, we decided to take full advantage of the day by taking a relaxing and refreshing break at the pond.

Finally we carried on through the forest that we visited in July, this time without mosquitoes.

You can see more pictures like these on Flickr.


Gwynne Valley and Chickadee Trail Hike

It was a fine day for a walk in the country last Sunday for the fifteen of us who came out to hike. The views are among the finest on the Waskahegan Trail. From the high tableland on the Gwynne section of the trail you can look out on grain fields to the west and south, the Battle River valley to the east, the Gwynne valley—where the tiny community is nestled—to the north, and beyond that, the shimmering blue waters of Coal Lake in its own valley.

Descending from the tableland we landed in a small meadow where horses once roamed. As the guidebook says,

“In the valley, you may meet some horses. Be polite—it is their pasture. If they come up to you, they just want a stroke and a chat. They are Morgans and that is the way with that friendly breed.”

The horses are long gone, but the memory of them is immortalized in Stan Skirrow’s helpful description.


After lunch at the ski hill and our return in the warming weather, we jumped into our vehicles and headed to the Chickadee Trail. This trail, which is on private land, is visited frequently by people bringing birdseed for the resident chickadees. The birds are so tame and accustomed to handouts that they flew up us, looking for treats.

Next visit, we told them.

You can find more pictures on Flickr.