Saturday, April 29, 2006

Walking the Wishart

I was out on the 4 km (Wishart) trail fairly early this morning, and for the first time this season (terrible to have to admit that).

Now that the days have warmed up a bit, morning is actually a great time to get out for a walk. The birds are usually more active than they are in the afternoon, and the trails themselves tend to be less busy than they get later in the day.

Spring walkers will notice that green is definitely starting to peek out from under last year's dead grasses. Many of the deciduous trees are budding as well. It's interesting to see, though, that even with the warmth we've had lately the mineral springs are still frozen and are likely to remain that way for a few weeks yet.

One of my more intriguing finds this morning was the beaver-chewed stump you see below:

And why on earth is a chewed stump intriguing? Well, for at least two years now we've had no sign of beaver activity in the Sanctuary at all. I think they probably moved on to greener pastures (or at least the river) when the water level in the lakes was so low during the drought. A freshly chewed stump is a pretty clear indication that they're back again. This one was very close to the far viewing deck on the West Lake. I'd expect to see the beavers doing repairs on the existing lodge across from the viewing deck if that's where they're hanging out, so make sure you keep an eye open for them.

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