East Battle River and famous features

Twenty-one hikers came out to discover the famous features of the East Battle River section of the trail.Prairie Crocus

At the base of the plateau, we stumbled upon the cacti. After scrambling to the top of the plateau, we enjoyed the sweeping vistas and stepped around the prairie crocuses (Anemone patens).


Just as famous as the crocuses is the hill, “Rest and Be Thankful” where we climbed straight up to have our lunch, and actually rest.

On our return, we examined an animal spine and skull, and almost stepped on a garter snake.

Total distance was around 9 km.

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Rest and Be Thankful

Symphony of Birds

Everyone agrees that when it comes to music, nothing beats a live performance. It’s even more true when it comes to bird sounds.

As the sixteen of us walked the 5 km stretch along Saunders Lake, we listened to the distinctive and familiar calls of red-winged blackbirds, Canada geese, ducks, and gulls. Those were the sounds we knew.  Or as Gail described it, the “vocal conversation.”

There were many more bird calls that were not so familiar.

The first unusual birds we saw were several pairs of black and white ducks. These turned out to be the tufted duck (Aythya fuligula), which are increasing in numbers.Tufted duck, Saunders lake

Next, we watched an American eagle soar and then land in its huge nest across the lake.

While we rested under the still-leafless trees, swallows swooped in overhead. Jerry pointed out the sound of sandhill cranes high above us, but most of us we were too comfortable eating our lunches, or engaged in conversation, to get up and have a look.

A red-tailed hawk screeched at us as we headed back.

The total hike was around 10 km.

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Saunders Lake Hike group

New Devonian Trail Explored

17 hearty hikers set out in the sunshine to discover the new connecting trail from the Devonian Gardens to Prospectors Point on the North Saskatchewan River. We checked out the University’s Woodbend Forest on the way.

A Hare scrambled across our path to avoid the herd of people closing in on him.

We appreciated the vistas and lunched by the river.