Due to the severe weather conditions this weekend and the exposed trails at Elk Island we have canceled the hike for Sunday, December 31st.
With an ambitious crew we set out to blaze a trail lost in 6 years of disuse.
By afternoon we were in the woods where the trail was easier to find but was continually obstructed by walls of deadfall and overgrown brush. Before the heat melted the group we had to head back.
We need a cooler day to finish and therefore shifted the hike and crew for October.
Sixteen people arrived at the boat launch to begin our trek on the particularly sunny morning. The stillness of the air made the lake look like glass. The rain from the previous day had filled the dips in the trail, but it barely slowed us down as we stepped around, aiming our boots for the lush grasses.
The saskatoons here are still ripening on some bushes. Clearly, it’s not too late to enjoy this year’s abundance.
As we approached the final section of our trail, we were more than a little apprehensive when we saw a (gorgeous) herd of brown and white cows blocking our stile. As we were plotting our strategy (stay together–look big), the cows reacted first and collected themselves away and towards the centre of the valley.
Prominent flowers included the richly purple smooth aster (Symphyotrichum laeve) and the many-flowered aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides). We saw some pelicans and several instances of wolf spiders’ traps on the ground, as the heavy dew on their webs really made them stand out.
Oh!–and Vadim Bulitko managed to capture a porcupine.
Check out our photos on Flickr.