Monday, July 19, 2010

Spring Trip 2010 – Day 27 – Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park – part 1

OK, I seem to have confused myself…according to ‘my pictures’ I should be on day 28…but…it was the next day….so I don’t know where I’ve gone wrong number wise…

Regardless, Wed. May 19th was a very good day….in fact we took so many pictures that day that I’m going to have to break the day down into sections:  So….first Section – Fort Walsh.  It had been raining lightly when we got up but as we had breakfast the rain stopped and the skies began to clear.  We packed up and headed back to the beginning of the paved road, where the informational sign for the area was.

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This paved road goes off to what is, I guess, actually the south…headed to Fort Walsh.  Fort Walsh is a National historic site and is situated just our side of the Montana/Saskatchewan border.

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That, down there, is Fort Walsh.  I understand that ‘in season’ there are person’s in period costume on site…in fact the information center at the parking lot was supposed to be open, and there were close to a dozen vehicles in the area, many with government insignia on them….but like so much of this confusing trip – there wasn’t a soul to be seen and the doors were locked….

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This is probably a more accurate indication of how far we were from the Fort itself.  I think I read somewhere recently that some of the R.C.M.P. horses that are used for the musical ride were raised here…

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This sculpture sits just down from the visitor center….the bench over looks the Fort..

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There is a detail of the sculpture….I think this was the site of the last fight….

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There may not have been anyone around….but there were wildflowers….the hillsides were covered in these Shooting Stars…

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a bit closer look at some of the Shooting stars….I’ll have ‘up close’ pictures later….

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There were also those Yellow Prairie Violets….and some Prairie Crocus….but since I’ll be showing more of those a bit later too….I won’t bore with another Prairie Crocus picture right now!

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The area was also alive with birds….especially Mountain Bluebirds….this female was perched on the ‘no parking’ sign…

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While this was one of the males in the area…

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another look at the male…

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A Red-napped Sapsucker was another species in the area….

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Robins of course…

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and another Mountain Bluebird (male)

So after wandering around here for a bit, basically feeling confused….we headed back up to the plateau….we were just cresting the hill when I caught movement out of the corner of my eye and yelled ‘stop! stop!’….

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there, in the grass beside the road were some Upland Sandpipers!

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These are another shy spooky bird….and another bird I’d never seen before…

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I feel very fortunate to have seen them and to have actually got some fairly decent pictures of them…

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Which is why I’m posting a few of them….this is another species that I don’t expect I’ll get anywhere to see again, any time soon!

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There are actually two of them in this picture….one is in the rear to the top left….

At this point I’ll break off as we are next headed to Conglomerate Cliffs and there are so many pictures we took there that it is going to take a while to do!

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