By Art Martens
Until a few weeks ago, 20 Mile Creek flowed at an unimpressive low ebb. Then the sun turned up the thermostat and began melting the snow high on the mountains. From our vantage point in Hedley we see virtually no snow anymore but it must be tucked away somewhere, out of reach of the sun’s warmth until now. We know the snow is there because the creek is flowing furiously. We gage the amount of flow by observing its level at a particular rock. When the water mounts the rock and roars over it, we consider the water to be at an intense flow. Not there yet.
A few blooming Saskatoon bushes along the way give promise of tasty berries later in the season. It’s always a competition between humans and the local black bear. The bear invariably insists on getting more than his rightful share. We knows he’s been munching when the branches are in considerable disarray, and have been stripped of berries and leaves. The bear is not a tidy eater. Some people don’t appreciate the seeds, but he seems not to be troubled by them.
Flowers are beginning to bloom, even on the bank along the trail, where there appears to be no good soil to encourage growth. This flower is an Arrowleaf Balsam Root.
Yesterday Linda spotted a bird hiding in a clump of grass, obviously hoping its colouring blended well with the surroundings. Although I didn’t think it would show well on a photo, she took the camera and managed to get fairly close. We weren’t sure what type of bird it was so she later asked Frank Schroeder, our local bird expert. He compared it with pictures on his phone and identified it as a spruce grouse. It is his opinion that because it doesn’t show bright colours, it is likely a female.
The area is still fairly pristine, thanks to people like Lydia Sawicki, Frank Schroeder and Bill Day who have been active in removing garbage left by those who show little respect for the wilderness. Lydia has played a key role in persuading people not to dump or leave anything behind.
I am frequently impressed by the beauty, orderliness, and intricate interrelationships within nature. For me the phenomenal complexity is convincing evidence of a Designer’s mind, still active behind the scenes, keeping it functioning in a manner that delights and surprises. We’re blessed to have 20 Mile Creek, a wilderness gem at our doorstep.
Source:: Living Significantly