Tag Archives: travel

Jasper National Park

Alberta’s Jasper National Park is the largest park in the Rocky Mountains and was established in 1907.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Dark Sky Preserve and was also the backdrop for a Marilyn Monroe movie, “River of No Return.” It has one of my favourite hotels as well – Jasper Park Lodge.

If you like to hike, walk, kayak, canoe or just watch the animals, Jasper is wonderful. Loads of trails, lakes and rivers, and, of course, there are hot springs in which to relax those tired muscles after a good day of exercise amidst gorgeous scenery.

Greetings from beautiful Jasper Park. 🙂

A Little More Rain Forest

Here are two more views of the precious rain forest that can be found on Vancouver Island.

The rain forest, although damp and sodden, has a peacefulness that is easily communicated to humans. Our busy lives tire us out so much, and just taking a quick break in a forest is a wonderful, rejuvenating, special thing.

Another view of one of those ancient Douglas firs. Aren’t they wonderful? I hope they live for many, many more decades.

It’s a Bear!

I saw this lovely fellow standing next to the road leading from Wood Buffalo National Park. His coat was shiny and he was very healthy looking after his long winter sleep.

We stopped and then he stopped, and we looked at each other. He made no attempt to come closer, but just regarded us while I took pictures.

I am concerned at his lack of fear. Most of the bears in my locality quickly run away at the sight of humans, but I’m aware that on this particular road, tourists and locals alike will feed the bears, and they grow to expect that.

This is incredibly thoughtless and careless behaviour, because as the warning signs that are posted everywhere say, “A fed bear is a dead bear.” Bears need to be left alone to forage and to keep a healthy distance from humans.

A Rain Forest

Vancouver Island is home to very old, very sodden rain forests.

Many of the Douglas firs in this forest are 800 years old. They were little trees in 1219, when St Francis of Assisi was founding the Franciscans and Genghis Khan was a teenager.

It rains a lot here. A lot! As a result, the trees are covered in velvety moss fronds.

In areas where the sun gets through more easily, the moss is less prevalent.

These trees have seen a lot and are still standing and growing. It is our job to make sure that they can continue their life journey.

Greetings from the giant firs of Vancouver Island.

Northern Garter Snakes

Caution: Just so you know, this post contains photos of snakes. 😳

The red-sided garter snakes of Wood Buffalo National Park are the northern-most snakes in the world.

In April, they begin to emerge from their hibernaculum to mate and migrate across the neighbouring Salt River for the summer.

These little snakes blend incredibly well into their environment.

This area of Wood Buffalo Park is riddled with small caves that go deep underground. The snakes huddle together and sleep through the winter, maintaining a temperature well above zero.

When it’s warm enough outside, they emerge. Over the next few days of April and into May, the males will coil into “snake balls” to mate with any available female.

Can you see the red markings on his underside?

These snakes will then migrate, spend the summer eating, and travel back to the park to give birth before returning to their hibernaculum.

These harmless little guys will stand their ground and hiss at you as did the one pictured above when I got too close. I backed off and gave him his space.

Snakes have gotten a lot of bad press, but in my opinion, it’s the humans you need to watch out for, not them. You can always trust a snake to do what snakes do.

For more information, please see the link below.

https://norj.ca/2014/05/red-sided-garter-snakes-make-annual-mating-appearance/

Greetings from the migrating garter snakes of Wood Buffalo National Park. 🙂