Thursday, 23 April 2015

An afternoon at Carburn Park

Carburn Park Entrance
Yesterday I had a wonderful walk at Carburn Park with a friend. She knew I couldn't resist an invitation that included "it has deer and trees!" I was hooked.  The park is along between the Bow River and the neighborhood of River Bend, in SE Calgary.


We started along the path with a pond on one side and a lawn on the other, but soon veered off the paved path and headed west,  towards the Bow River.

I was surprised to see the effects of the 2013 Flood.  Debris among the trees was still there, indicating the high water level.  There was  tonnes and tonnes of river rock pushed up by the raging Bow. It was it beautiful and peaceful now, and somewhat hard to imagine. 

River Rock at Carburn Park

Gravel and River Rock from the 2013 Flood Carburn Park


Flood evidence - Caburn Park, Calgary

We walked to the water, a channel (not the main part of the Bow)and then turned back to the trees. I was amazed to see what can be only described as a whimsical, yet natural, fairie house, complete with a little inuksuk and a stone cairn.
  
Inuksuk - Carburn Park

I added my own stone pile to the spot before we ventured further into the woods. A person could spend all day picking and arranging the stones and rocks, and never have to use the same one twice.

Stone Pile - Carburn Park

This giant old poplar tree must have been hit by lightening at some time, but was alive and strong. It certainly brings to mind the saying "Never Give Up!"

Lightning Tree - Carburn Park


The poplar trees were just starting to leaf out, but overall everything was still brown.  We almost didn't see this little deer, munching on the new grass shoots, standing in the bushes only a few feet away from where we walked.  We only saw one, but I am sure there were others watching us. 

White Tailed Deer - Carburn Park


Further along the path we saw a Mourning Cloak Butterfly   just sitting on a leaf on the ground.  That is the first butterfly I have seen this year.  I was starting to think there could not possibly be anymore surprises on this walk.

Mourning Cloak Butterfly - Carburn Park

Then we came to the most amazing old tree. This tree is huge.  I could not take an adequate picture of it with my phone. It is massive and partially hollow.  There are many hollow branches, and I saw a duck fly right into the open hole, just above my head.  I didn't see what kind of duck it was,  but am going to guess it was a Wood Duck.  

Heritage Tree - Carburn Park

The tree had a plaque designating it as a Heritage Tree, from 1907! 

Heritage Tree - Carburn Park

Now I am on the trail of more Heritage Trees, starting first with a search for the book "Heritage Trees of Alberta"

There is lots of evidence of beavers leaving and chewing in the park.  Some trees are protected with wire mesh around the trunks.  But, not everything is safe from the beavers.   I did see their lodge,   in the pond in the center of the park, but did not actually see any beavers.

Beavers!

I will be going back to Carburn Park thought the year, as the seasons change. 
p.s. they have ice skating on the pond in the winter!






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