Wanisan Saturday Night Golden Hours

Sixteen hikers came out to enjoy the golden hours of the Wanisan Lake trail in this late spring evening.

Photographers refer to the golden hour as the hour before sunset or after sunrise. This is when the position of the sun produces softer light and softer shadows, which shows off scenery at its most beautiful and colourful.

As hikers, we found the early evening golden for spotting wildlife, because the birds and animals were more active.

First, we saw an oriole singing in a tree. Then we noticed the beavers had come out of hiding. We spotted one or two beavers in almost every pond we walked by.

Thanks to the boardwalks installed and enhanced by our Trail Maintenance work party on Wednesday, we were quite close to the action.

Following the hike, we placed a small propane barbecue in the cold, empty firepit so that we could still enjoy our favourite campfire treats even during the fire ban.

Instead of s’mores, we enjoyed watermelon and sample of Rebecca’s dragonfruit.

This was our second annual evening hike at Wanisan Stopover. We’ll definitely keep this a tradition. You can see more pictures, including calla lilies, ribes in bloom, and more beavers on our Flickr page.

 

Annual General Meeting 2018 Report

Forty people came out to the Annual General Meeting at the Central Lions Centre. We reported on the activities of the last year and the new projects that are planned for the coming year. You can read the reports here.

Announcements included an overview of the Skyline Trail hike and a new Beyond trip to the Goldeye Centre at Nordegg, from September 17-20. (If you didn’t get a chance to sign up at the AGM, watch the website for an announcement coming soon.)

This was the last year on the board for Karen Bell (Trail Maintenance, Beyond Events) and Sandra Carruthers (Membership Secretary). We thanked them for their dedication and hard work over the last four years. We then elected four new board members, making a total of twelve. They are JoAnne Burek (President), Lin Keehn (Treasurer), Lee Stickles (Webmaster), Jerry Shaw (Archives), Terry Elrod, Johanna Fischer (Secretary), Kim Cassady, and new board members Ellen Homola (Trail Maintenance Coordinator), Sherry Kunkel, Carissa Wasyliw, and Karyn Murray (Membership Secretary). [And just a few days after the AGM, RoseMarie Jalbert returned to Canada ready to take on Permissions. We co-opted RoseMarie as our thirteenth board member.]

Our guest speaker of the evening was Kris Kendell from the Alberta Conservation Association. Kris introduced us to the amphibians of Alberta. We were fascinated to learn about their very specialized requirements for survival. For instance, toads dig themselves in for the winter in one place, breed in another, and spend their summers in yet other space. Kris showed us how they worked with one farmer to maintain a contiguous, undamaged space to allow toads to carry out their life-cycle.

Even city dwellers can support amphibians by keeping yards that are less manicured and more inviting to amphibians. We could help out salamanders, which are known for falling into window wells and drying up. We can screen our window wells or leave a pile of leaf litter and check on them.

By the end of the presentation, we had a new understanding and appreciation of amphibians in our world. Here is one of the two rescue animals that Kris brought to the meeting – a tiger salamander.

 

 

Devon Trails Ravine Hike

Undeterred by the previous day’s snow, eight hardy souls headed out to the Lions Campground at the North Saskatchewan River in Devon.

The trail through the ravine is now called “Pileated Woodpecker Trail”, and it doesn’t disappoint. Locals who we met on the path mentioned that they often see Great Horned Owls here too.

Enjoy these photos. You’ll find more on Flickr.