Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Trip to Southern Alberta 2008 – Writing on Stone 2

September 2nd we finally woke to sunshine…which gave us a chance to enjoy this park in all it’s glory….

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First thing we did was go up to the wonderful visitor’s center that sits up on the grasslands, above the campground.  The green trees in this picture are the campground…you can just make out one of the roads, and the beach area….and those hills in the distance are the Sweet Grass Hills in northern Montana….and you can see that the cold, wet weather system that had brought all that rain, had delivered snow to the Sweet Grass Hills….remember it was only the 2nd day of September! 

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back down to the campground, this is the beach that you could see from up above.  There were a few Sunflowers still in flower…

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Here is a closer look at these Prairie Sunflowers…

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time now to repeat the walk we took yesterday, but this time in brilliant sunshine…. looking westward along the Milk River….

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and now south east…

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from up top looking southward…

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one of the ‘rock gardens’ although not much left in flower at this time of the year.  Temperatures along this rock face, in summer time are often in the high 30’s and 40’s….so vegetation has to be tough…

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the various holes in the sandstone are used by lots of creatures….in this case…a pretty good sized Wasp nest.  Raptors build their nests in these holes as well…

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Here is another spectacular view…this time with that tough prairie wildflower – Liatris in the foreground.

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Speaking of Liatris and how tough it is…..

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Here is another view from high up in the hoodoos, looking along the river.

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back down at river level, you can see we are in grass and sage type vegetation…..

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another, slightly different look – the landscape is so breath taking….

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I think this is my favourite picture….taken along the trail

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well these hoodoos are found on the trails that lead from the campground, up to the visitors center…

I should mention that although I haven’t posted any bird pictures, it wasn’t because there weren’t birds…there were lots of choke cherry trees and other berried trees that were absolutely alive with Robins and Cedar Waxwings….we also found a fairly young Gray Catbird living just back of one of the sets of garbage containers…and of course the deer were everywhere.

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