Trip Leader: Alan Stewart

With North Saskatchewan River flows over the 75 percentile and a sudden increase from 400 to over 600cms, we cancelled the Genesee trip and instead went to Islet Lake for a gentle paddle.

The day was pleasantly warm with a thin overcast at the start. We (Trudy Ayotte, Ellin Campbell, Jeannette Gasser, Freeman Adane, Wes Schultz and Alan Stewart) were sharing the lake with about an equal number of other small craft.

I think the water level is up from last year. Some of the marshy connections between islands and mainland are just passable again; perhaps we’re on a recovery pathway and water levels may continue to rise. We had great sightings of pelicans, big blue herons, black capped night herons, geese with goslings, the usual panoply of ducks and grebes and, at the take out, a group 5 to 10 (numbers kept growing) butterflies congregating on the beach.

Before wrapping up in the early afternoon we had a long, leisurely, chatty lunch and, starting with Wes’ discovery of a desiccated snake followed by finding another 5 or 6, we concluded that we had most likely stumbled on a hibernaculum. A great find to cap off a great day.

And of course I have to report that Jeannette shared excellent chocolate and Trudy shared excellent desert goodies.

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