Thursday, May 30, 2019

Long Prairie / Pine Ridge / Macabee Ridges May 30, 2019

I was keen for today's hike seeing as it was a route I had never been on before and it would be an opportunity to catch up with a friend or two I had not seen in a few months.  I opened my front door to begin loading my car and deja vu, the wildfire smoke had arrived in Calgary and it smacked me right in the face.  My heart sank a bit and I thought it is still May, this is too early.  It's already time to start monitoring the smokeforecast.  Thankfully when we arrived at the trail head location, the air was clear and it remained clear for the duration of our hike.

We went for a clockwise direction to cover the big loop starting with Long Prairie Ridge.  The landscape was so vibrant green with snow covered peaks a way off there.  There were thousands of little pink wild flowers and also dandy lions.  It was good to have some blue sky up there.  
my friends motoring up the ridge
There were crazy trees here of a different sort from last Sunday's hike.
For me the ridges blended all together.  I just followed along and enjoyed the scenery and the conversation.  One thing I realized when I got home and downloaded my photographs, I did not have a selfie destination shot.  It never crossed my mind while being "out & about" today to secure one.  I just got caught up in everything else about this day.
There was not a single crocus out in this area but loads of other wildflowers.  The last count of kinds was nine.   They were there by the thousands and it was difficult to avoid stepping on them.  I did capture photos of two kinds.

shooting stars
calypso orchid
Along the way I spotted big brown movement in the forest.  It was not high off the ground, about eye level.  It was a wide wing span that caught my eye and I knew it was a big bird of some sort.  I called out to my friends and we went to investigate.  This was what created that big brown movement!  We think it is just a big ole barn owl.
We came off the last part of Macabee Ridge down to the creek and then followed the fence back to our starting point completing a great big loop.  We cut the day short by a kilometre and a bit of gain in favour of getting back before any significant rain.  We did get a few sprinkles but that was all.  Much more is needed here and even more so up in northern Alberta.
I savoured a beer today after our hike but it was not outside in the warmth and sunshine.  Today I stayed inside with all the doors and windows shut guarding against any smoke.  I realized I better truly appreciate today's hike because what will tomorrow be like and the days to come.  

My prayers and thoughts go out to all those who are being affected by these wildfires.   

1 comment:

  1. So strange to think of fires this early. We are still getting snow. Hope it doesn't continue up there.


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