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Bison, Dragonflies and Frogs, Oh my!

04 Aug

I had A day!

Know what I mean? A fabulous, fantastic, wild, wild day. Finishing up with a great week.

It started with a road trip which is always a good start in my books. I know it’s not the Eco-friendly thing to say but it’s true. I love the open road and when time is my own with the potential for anything to happen and nothing but time to think and dream and plan.

Plains Bison

There was weather to watch, hay being baled and canola and flax in flower creating a mosaic of beauty as I drove across the prairie.

I went to Elk Island National Park, arriving around dinner time. The plains bison were there to greet me upon arrival and the bulls are in rut. WOW!!! They actually sound like lions and there were four bulls bellowing and chasing each other around. The young males were sparing until one of the big guys would march over and then they’d scatter like skinny high school boys in the face of a college dude. So funny!

Bull Plains Bison Roaring 2013

Elk Island Bison Rutt 2013 164

The calves are beginning to shed their baby down for the darker brown coats but there were some late-born calves that were still red which is why they’re called Little Reds.

I couldn’t get enough of it but they started to move into a meadow so I headed on. I wasn’t hungry though so went for a hike. I got myself all freaked out that I’d come around a corner face to face with another bull so to distract myself I started paying close attention to detail and taking photos.

Beaver Pond Trail

Amisk Wuche Trail        Elk Island Bison Rutt 2013 043

Dragonfly Beaver Pond Trail         Elk Island Bison Rutt 2013 050

Elk Island Bison Rutt 2013 052

The foliage and scenery were spectacular and after weeks of dealing with swarming mosquitoes at home, it was sweet relief to hike in freedom and be able to enjoy my surroundings. Then I started seeing the ground moving and realized there were wood frogs and boreal chorus frogs hopping left and right. They’re hard to catch but I finally got a wood frog halted long enough for a cameo.

Wood Frog

I was taking a wildland fire course and was so inspired again that I took one evening and parked myself in a coffee shop to do the final edits on my story for that international short story writing competition.  Yes, it really did end up being about a wildfire. I had a co-worker read it to make sure the scenario I posed was possible and that the fire language I was using made sense. I hit it about 95% accurate. Anyway, I got the story submitted with 24 hours to deadline. It felt super to have completed it. I have no thoughts of winning but then a person has to start somewhere and I have officially started. You never win a competition if you never practice or compete, right?!

I’m IN the game!!!

I spent one night tenting in a cool little shelter that is both hammock and tent that I’ve had for years but never figured out how to set up. It took some time getting used to only having about six inches of clearing all around my body but then I slept like a baby, pretty certain I’d set up in a spot that a bison wouldn’t forage its way into during the night. And he didn’t … THAT night. Two nights later he did but by then I had moved inside to sleep in a proper bed in park housing. Thank goodness! Imagine having woken up to this big guy munching on the leaves above your head in the pitch black of night. Ug!

Elk Island Bison Rutt 2013 094       Elk Island Bison Rutt 2013 098

Elk Island Bison Rutt 2013 195

Other than my one night in the coffee shop writing, I spent every other evening soaking up those crazy rutting bison and exploring more trails.

Elk Island Bison Rutt 2013 182       Elk Island Bison Rutt 2013 178                                                                                              Elk Island Bison Rutt 2013 026

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Posted by on August 4, 2013 in PonderQs

 

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