Tracks In The Snow

The tracks in the snow show how abundant the life is in a riparian zone. Foxes, deer and coyotes frequent the sparse willow growth along the Bighill Creek, mostly at night, when all residents of the town of Cochrane’s Glenbow Park area are fast asleep in bed. As the planted willows and trees grow, more wildlife will frequent the area. The sound of bird life will provide the background sounds for warm summer evenings in the park.

With six years of planting completed, in the “Bow Valley Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program”, it is rewarding to walk the stream banks on areas of the three streams that we plant on and see the difference. Willows and trees that we planted on that first year, in 2004, are now growing to significant height and thickness, to transform the landscape. You may see my tracks in the snow, from my visits to the planting sites. Thoughts of how I can both improve on the program and also identify some areas to plant in the spring of 2020. Most of this has already been figured out.

A view thru thick cover growing along some sections of the lower Bighill Creek.

This year will definitely be a great one for doing some photography of the many sections of stream banks that have been planted, now that the native indigenous willow and trees are large enough to show results. Videos will also be in the program for this spring and summer. It is my enjoyment to share both follow up photos and video of the results of our planting program, over the years.

These Canada geese prefer the warmer waters of the Bighill Creek, where it flows into the Bow River. It is a safe place to hang out, and there is no floating ice to wear away their feathers. It is also a nice place for a visitor to enjoy the weather and view, on a sunny day.

The days are now getting warmer, so there is hope for a normal thaw this spring, probably starting in early April. All it takes is a warm spell that lasts a week or two. This year will be a good one, for getting back into gardening. I am clearing off all of the junk that is presently covering my old garden, so this should be entirely completed by the time to dig is upon us. I am preparing for the “long haul”!

This is a Classic Salmon fly, but when I was a kid there were also Silver Doctor trout flies, which were popular in my own fly box and those of other fly fishers. The trout fly version was a lot simpler in design, but the trout seem to be attracted to the mix of color and the flash of silver on the pattern. The color blue was very attractive to the fly fisher as well!

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