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.

Wanisan Trail to Meadow Shelter

Attendance was light for the Wanisan hike, as it also happened to be Mother’s Day. It was a beautiful spring day with the early greens all around. With the shade of the trees and the breeze, we did not get too hot.   

One outstanding thing was how very much the water has receded in the wetlands. Some lakes were dried up.

On the trail we saw violets, strawberry and saskatoon blossoms, a water calla lily, wild sarsaparilla and cattails.

We heard a white-throated sparrow, a sora and gulls. We also saw a red-necked grebe and a blue-winged teal.  Using the Merlin app, we were able to identify the sora by sound. 

The butterflies are everywhere—we saw a swallowtail butterfly, spring azure butterflies and cabbage white butterflies. 

There were e-bikers as well.

Our destination was the nice Meadow Shelter, complete with tables for lunch, and toilets.  We met joggers, another Waskahegan hiker, a fourth Waskahegan hiker and four hikers with dogs.  One dog had chewed through his leash, so we were able to assist with safety-pins. 

On the way back, we stopped at the Wanisan shelter. It was outfitted with with chairs, cooking tri-pod, cooking utensils, golf balls, etc.  

The quality and condition of the Waskahegan boardwalks was impressive as usual.  

Thanks to John for scouting and leading the hike. You can see all the photos on Flickr.

Where we’re going next.