Monday, July 21, 2014


Photo from the top of the 70 Mile Butte trail in Grasslands National Park by Anna Deal.

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So we spent nine days in and around Grasslands National Park in Val Marie, SK in mid-June. (And it has taken THIS long to post the pics...sigh.)

It was raining or overcast most of the time we were there, but there was only one day that we couldn't do the walk we wanted. And even then, after reading all day and playing games and drawing as the storm blustered outside, we were able to get in an evening walk up and down the looong gravel driveway of the hotel where we were staying and then also drive into the park.

The day we were left, all the consecutive days of rain had taken their toll. The road into the park was washed out, as were several other smaller roads. I had wanted to hike the 70 Mile Butte one last time, but the trail would have been nothing but gumbo, so we skipped it.

If anyone is a wildflower and bird enthusiast, I'd strongly recommend Grasslands in June. I found a respectable amount of mushrooms, given that this was the shortgrass prairie - think bleached grasses and heat and cactus - and I hadn't really expected to find any.

The best part of our trip, I think, besides the new-to-me wildflowers, was spending a bit of time with poet/birder Brenda Schmidt and her husband Harvey. Suddenly, there were birds everywhere. And they had names!

I also got really fond of my daily observation of the family of great horned owls, two adults and two juveniles, who lived in a tree on the hotel's property. (On the stormy day, they hid in a little valley bisected by a fence, sitting on the posts & looking very stoic...)

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