Pipestone Creek Trail Maintenance

Nine volunteers came out to clip, mow, repair signs, and clear away fallen trees in preparation for the hike on Sunday.

After organizing our equipment and tools at the bridge, we split into two work parties and headed in opposite directions. One group went west on the south bank of the Pipestone, and while the other went to the north bank and headed east.

With the temperature at 29C or higher, it was a relief to spend a good portion of our time in the forested parts of the trail, especially where the trees are most ancient.

Accompanying the west-directed work party was our plant expert Jerry Shaw. One of the special features of this part of the Pipestone Creek trail is the variety of flora. This Sunday, hikers who wish do a shorter distance and spend more time enjoying the flowers will split off into a separate slower group. For our benefit, Jerry put stakes next to specimens of several uncommon species. Thanks to Jerry, flower lovers on Sunday’s hike are in for a treat.

When we finished our work, we all met in Millet at Ivy’s for coffee, courtesy of the Waskahegan Trail Association.

View more pictures on Flickr

Saunders Lake Hike: Birds of All Kinds

Thirteen people came out to hike the Saunders Lake trail. After negotiating the electric fence in our unique ways, we marched forward along the lake.

Saunders Lake is a great place to see birds. Besides the ubiquitous red-winged blackbird along the shore, we saw different kinds of ducks, perhaps mergansers, a grebe, and coots in the water. Swooping over our heads were swallows and chickadees.

 

We also saw a pair of bald eagles settled into their nest across the lake—perhaps the same eagles we spotted last year. Definitely it’s the same nest.

Yellow warblers were also spotted, but alas, no pictures.

And then there was an interesting pair of birds that we could not identify. This species is somewhat larger than a robin. Do you know what this is?

The weather was warm, sunny, and quite humid. The breezes kept the mosquitoes at bay for most of the walk. There were a few types of wildflowers.

Total distance covered was almost 10 km. View more pictures on Flickr from Seonhee, Stella, and JoAnne.

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.