Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

The Waskasoo Environmental Education Society would like to take this opportunity to wish our friends, fans, followers, and visitors a fantastic New Year.

On a personal note, I'd like to add that I think we have enough snow now, thanks.

The Nature Centre will be open from 1 - 5 pm on New Year's Day. Regular business hours resume on the 2nd. As always, the Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary is open 24 hours a day for quiet nature contemplation.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Allen Bungalow Busby Legacy Gardens

Some time ago I posted about the work that was being done to renew the Allen Bungalow gardens. You can find that original post here. Since then, new beds have been created, some plants were installed in the fall, and a gazebo was started. The Busby Legacy Gardens are well underway.

The Busby Legacy Gardens -- named after the Busby family, who operated the River Glen Dairy and made the Allen Bungalow their home -- will be a fantastic addition to the Bungalow. They'll create a wonderful setting for weddings, give an outdoor break space to people holding meetings in the McCullough Room, and bring back some of the heritage of the original home. The Gardens need your help, though. If you're as excited by this project as we are, you can support it by buying plants, donating funds towards maintenance, or donating your time towards the gardens themselves.

As usual, click on either thumbnail for a closer look at the garden plans and suggested donation levels.

I apologise for the quality of these images; because of the nature of the Blogger platform I had to turn the original files into jpegs to post them. We'll have a clearer PDF version on the main website soon. In the meantime you can drop by the Nature Centre for a hard copy of the brochure, or contact Darlene Kranenborg (403-346-2010 ext 120; email darlene.kranenborg@waskasoopark.ca) for more details.

For more information on the history of the Allen Bungalow itself, check out the Bungalow page on our website here.


I'm beginning to think that I could title pretty much every post "Snow" for the next few months...

I took a  quick walk yesterday to get out of the office for a bit, and let me tell you the obvious: the snow is deep out there. If you're interested in doing the Sanctuary trails (which are ungroomed) I really would recommend renting a pair of snowshoes because the footing isn't very easy otherwise. Our staff can give you a quick tutorial on snowshoe use, and the new, modern snowshoes we have are apparently very easy to walk with. I say apparently because I haven't been on them yet. I don't exactly have great balance. Having said that, though, I've agreed to give it a go this winter as long as it stays above the minus horrible temperatures we've been having lately. We'll take pictures when it happens.

Anyway, here's a little of what I saw in between trudging through snowbanks:

 The heavy snow is really starting to weigh down the bushes. I'd imagine that some of them will be permanently bent after this.

My size 7 boot track compared to a fairly fresh moose track. I don't have terribly big feet, but that was still a good-sized moose.

The Red Squirrels have been leaving their share of tracks as well.

The viewing deck on the West Gaetz Lake is fairly heavily drifted in. It takes a little slogging to get to the deck itself. And then more slogging once you're there.

The lake itself is usually an animal highway filled with tracks this time of year, but even there the snow is too deep for most animals to bother trying. Sorry for the colour of this photo, but I had to darken it a lot just to make those few tracks visible.

The trails are still worth a look even with all the snow, and the snow helps us see what the animals are up to. Just remember that if you're not on snowshoes you'll want to plan more time than usual to get places. Either that or plan a shorter walk, of course!