15 June 2013

Staying Dry in the Wetlands

Here are the promised photos of the wetlands at the Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park.  The John E. Poole Wetlands offers boardwalks through the area with viewing points and informative signage posted here and there. Did you know this area was once covered in a glacial field which, when the glaciers receded, became the perfect basin for the river, lake, and marsh area to occupy.

A cute little yellow finch turned his back to the camera.  Camera shy?

The algae bloom was abundant through the marsh.  This is a portion, above and below, of the boardwalk for pedestrians.  Bicycling is discouraged with signage but that didn't stop a couple people.  At least they were courteous.

Lois Hole said "If we hope to preserve our way of life, the first thing we must do is rediscover our respect for the land, the water, and the entire natural world.  And if we do manage to regain that respect, then we must make sure that human beings never lose it again." 

The water is shallow and very clear.  Above a muskrat paddled through the water, under the bridge where we stood, and then disappeared from view.

Red-winged blackbirds were not so afraid of the camera.  I think the above is a female as the males have a brighter red splash on their wings.

Above, a coot noisily greeted us.  This bird is mostly black with a distinguishing white beak.

A closer view of the coot.  Is this the guy responsible for the saying, "you old coot?"

Oh for the want of a good zoom lens!  My iPhone takes pretty decent landscape shots but to zoom in on these ducks who were performing a mating dance for a single female was just impossible.

Another coot.

A Canada Goose.  It's so common to see these flying overhead or strolling in parks, that I was rather like a child, thrilled to see one actually gliding along with the current, his legs stretched out behind, languishing on the water.

Above and below, the cutest little swallows!  They sat below the boardwalk and groomed themselves for some time.  I really need to find the cord to charge my real camera!

A Canada goose sits on her nest.  All the ducklings and goslings are late this year.  Down in southern Alberta, the ducklings are already losing their downy coat to a few feathers!

Another shot of the pretty bachelors!

If you look close, you can see his legs stretched out behind him.

Two coots visited briefly while we watched.  To learn more about the Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park, visit Alberta Parks.  

Next, a visit to the Farmer's Market (downtown Edmonton)......

Look at the heads on these hydrangeas!!!  GORGEOUS!!

It was noisy, crowded, and filled with amazing delights!  
What a contrast from a morning out at the wetlands!

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