Pipestone Creek West Hike

From early in the morning, the weather was cold and drizzly. The forecast called for continuing light rain most of the day. As the hike leader’s car tore down the highway to the trail head, the occupants were making plans on which trails they would scout instead. Because surely, nobody was going to come out on a day like this.

Oh ho! The intrepid hikers sure showed them. Eighteen people came out, proving once again that we are not fair-weather hikers. Indeed, we noted that we would rather hike this particular section of trail on a cool day like this over a hot day in summer.

The landscape is quickly turning green, but the growth is not too lush yet. Another perfect hiking feature.

This trail section has always been treasured for its richness in flowers. So we should not have been too surprised to see the richness in spring. There were early blue violets everywhere, along with a variety of other early spring flowers and blossoms.

Thanks to Lee for leading the hike and to the landowners for their continuing permission. You can see all the photos on our Flickr album.

Where we’re going next.

Swans arrive at Ministik

Sixteen hikers came out to hike the Ministik Bird Sanctuary to Horseshoe Lake. The weather was cool in the morning, warming in the afternoon. It stayed overcast the whole day, which made the hike very comfortable.

When we got to Knull Lake, we saw a pair of trumpeter swans on the water. The birds floated nonchalantly while we all hovered on the shore to get a good close-up.

Farther down on Horseshoe Lake, we saw another pair of swans. And then at one point, we saw three swans, two in the water and one in the air.

The first harbingers of spring were the early blue violets and a large Admiral butterfly.

Early blue violets among the strawberries
Admiral butterly

On the return, we took the path through the muskeg area, stepping lightly while admiring the thick mosses.

Thanks to Helen for scouting and leading the hike and to the University of Alberta for their stewardship of the bird sanctuary. You can see all the photos on Flickr.

Where we’re going next.