Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas, everyone!

For anyone who thought that I might have disappeared, no such luck. ;)

And for anyone looking for something to do over the holidays with visiting family or friends, please remember that Kerry Wood Nature Centre is open every day (excepting Christmas Day itself), and that the trails in the Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary are accessible to the public even when the Nature Centre building is closed.

For more information on our holiday hours or upcoming events, don't hesitate to call us at (403) 346-2010.

A quick note to our staff bloggers: This blog has been switched to the new version of Blogger, which means that you'll have to sign in using a Google account from now on. For now, though, just sign in to post as you usually would. Blogger will give you instructions on how to create your new account.

Monday, December 18, 2006

A looooooonnnnggg walk somewhere by Fox Lake

Snowmobiles. Some people like them, some don't. I followed a trail through the forest a couple of days made ago by them. The trail was wide enough for two snowmobiles side by side heading into the forest. I thought that it would lead back to Fox Lake turning back to the left. However after a very long walk, and the sun going down, I gave up trying to find Fox Lake by continuing the trail and decided to back track. I was thankful for the wide trail on the way back as it made it easier to tell which way was home in the dark. And I knew it would be a long walk back, I was hoping a snowmobile would stop by. But no luck. I saw lights and heard them in the distance. One was even coming my direction but then turned off into the forest. My legs were so sore the next day (turned out to be a 6-7 hour walk). So I still don't know how I feel about snowmobiles. I saw lots of tracks across the trail, even saw two critters at different instances scurry across from one side to the other. The first I think was a red squirrel as the tracks led from tree on side to a tree on the other but it was pretty far away so hard to say. Tracks looked squirrelish but not very identifiable. The second critter that scurried across was closer, a small brown plump little thing that climbed up little ledge of trail back into a hole under the snow. A shrew maybe? I saw mouse tracks further down the track leading from a tunnel to another tunnel. I saw a pair of pine grosbeaks, both male - they were so red, nice against the green - I should've known I wasn't getting that close to Fox Lake by the trees... it's pretty much all aspen around where I live, but this forest had quite the number of spruce trees amongst the aspen. On my way home, there was some big creature close by the trail too. I didn't get to see it, but I heard it - I must have scared it (it sure scared me, as hear this huge thrash right beside me, something running away knocking branches full of snow right by me). And it was too dark to look for tracks. I'm sure it is used to the few strange big things announcing itself from long off such as the noisy, bright snowmobiles. It was an experience, that's for sure :) A beautiful peaceful walk (I didn't see or hear any snowmobiles until after I wanted to see one, three quarters of the way back home so I really did get to enjoy a beautiful peaceful walk with safety from not getting lost by staying on the trail). Hopefully though, as suggested by my aching muscles, my next adventure is a bit shorter :)