All photos taken on March 8, 2022.
If you don’t like the weather here, just wait 5 minutes is an oft heard refrain in our part of the world. We were conflicted on whether to do our weekly forest walk today or not. The forecast promised a mix of sun and cloud and limited or no snow.
Meanwhile, a look out the window showed that there was significant flurry activity. We opted to give it a go and set off on our drive in snow and blowing snow conditions.
Arriving to an empty parking lot. Hmmm. I wonder why. Snow is still falling.
…and the snowfall lessened and stopped.
As we walked, we spotted a massive bird flying off ahead of us. We recognized that it was an owl that we had disturbed and we were on the lookout for his next perch as we walked. Owls tend to be sleepy during the day, unless disturbed by noisy hikers like us.
We soon spotted this Great Horned Owl in a tree back from the trail and he/she was a beauty. Definitely trying to sleep, but keeping one squinty eye on us.
Colour: light grey to dark brown, ear tufts, fine horizontal breast barring, facial disk has a dark outline, white chin, underparts
Size: L: 46-64 cm (18 1/4 – 25 1/4 inches) W: 91-152 cm. (36 – 60 inches)
Common year round
(Source: Birds of Alberta – Chris Fisher/John Acorn)
At the meadow, we opted to take the Blueberry Connector to shorten our walk on the Aspen Parkland Trail. We also took this shortcut during our walk at -38 C.
We saw some character tree bands, a moose footprint and a long hidden well protected wasp nest on a conifer.
Back on the Aspen Parkland Trail, we stopped for a break and were soon being investigated by the local Chickadee Gang. We opted to reward them for their appearance.
At the Grove, we headed away from the parking lot on Aspen Parkland and Tamarack Trails to seek adventure on a new path, the Meadow View trail or as one hiker referred to it, “the hike to a view with no view”.
Our hope was to spot one of the 4 moose that live in the meadow, but no such luck. The trail though exceeded our expectations and was quite pretty.
At the top of the rise, we found a log to sit on and “enjoy” our lunch. The wind was howling and we were on the exposed hill, but it was still a fine vantage point.
Lunch over, we retraced our steps .53 km back to the Tamarack Trail junction.