Saskatoon Island

Twenty minutes west of Grand Prairie, Alberta, lies the beautiful Saskatoon Island Provincial Park.  I decided to take a drive out there to have a look around.  The weather was quite clear and cool, and the sound of geese, ducks, and bush birds made for an excellent soundtrack to explore this preserve.  Being a Saturday, I was surprised to find only a few other people walking around.

Sony A7R w/ Minolta Rokkor-X 24mm f/2.8
Sony A7R w/ Minolta Rokkor-X 24mm f/2.8

Wild Rose grows abundantly throughout the park.  In winter, the bright red Rose Hips remain on the plant, adding a splash of cheerful vibrance to an otherwise brown and yellow terrain.

Sony A7RII w/Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 58mm f/1.2
Sony A7RII w/Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 58mm f/1.2

Groves of Birch trees break up the rolling fields of the island.

Sony A7RII w/Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 58mm f/1.2
Sony A7RII w/Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 58mm f/1.2

 

Sony A7RII w/Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 58mm f/1.2
Sony A7RII w/Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 58mm f/1.2

Wide, grass paths run throughout the interior of the island providing an easy terrain to walk between points of interest.

Sony A7RII w/Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 58mm f/1.2
Sony A7RII w/Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 58mm f/1.2

 

Sony A7RII w/Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 58mm f/1.2
Sony A7RII w/Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 58mm f/1.2

There was an abundance of Bohemian Waxwings all throughout the park.  They kept busy searching for berries to eat.

Sony A7R II w/ Kiron 70-150mm f/4 (MD Mount)
Sony A7R II w/ Kiron 70-150mm f/4 (MD Mount)

A light breeze across the lake generates a rush of sound from the long grasses growing along the shoreline.

Sony A7RII w/Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 58mm f/1.2
Sony A7RII w/Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 58mm f/1.2

 

Sony A7RII w/Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 58mm f/1.2
Sony A7RII w/Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 58mm f/1.2

 

Sony A7R w/ Minolta Rokkor-X 24mm f/2.8
Sony A7R w/ Minolta Rokkor-X 24mm f/2.8

 

Sony A7RII w/Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 58mm f/1.2
Sony A7RII w/Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 58mm f/1.2

As the day wore on, it got colder and the wind picked up.  I decided to head back inland to warm up a bit.

Sony A7RII w/Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 58mm f/1.2
Sony A7RII w/Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 58mm f/1.2

While walking back to my car, I came across a stand of Spruce trees.  I paused there a moment to grab a quick photo of these pretty pine cones.

Sony A7R II w/ Kiron 70-150mm f/4 (MD Mount)
Sony A7R II w/ Kiron 70-150mm f/4 (MD Mount)

While I was fiddling about with my camera, a very loud, disapproving sound suddenly blurted out from within the tree.  I carefully walked around the tree to locate what was making the noise.  What I found, made me chuckle to myself:  I was being cussed out by a very territorial squirrel.

Sony A7R II w/ Kiron 70-150mm f/4 (MD Mount)
Sony A7R II w/ Kiron 70-150mm f/4 (MD Mount)

This little guy was not happy that I was lingering around his trees.  Apparently, they’re all his trees.  A few minutes of scolding had me convinced I should just move along.

Sony A7R II w/ Kiron 70-150mm f/4 (MD Mount)
Sony A7R II w/ Kiron 70-150mm f/4 (MD Mount)

What a neat day!  I really enjoyed my visit to this park; not crowded, quiet, plenty of wildlife, and conveniently close to town.  Talking with some locals, I’m surprised to learn that many of them have never bothered to pay a visit to the lake.  If you live in Grand Prairie or are just passing through, I highly recommend a visit to Saskatoon Island Provincial Park

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Saskatoon Island

  1. These are incredible. They brought tears to my eyes. God’s creation is so amazing. I have too many favorites in this post… Way too many. 🙂

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  2. So glad you enjoyed it Hun. The whole time I was there I was thinking how much better it would have been having you and the kids with me. Those were some nice hand-holding paths. I’m so homesick.

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  3. Very nice comments, Tom and Jen!! The way it should be- *smile*
    As always, beautiful pictures, Tom…
    As I started reading this post- the question popped into my mind- with all the travelling you do- and all the places you’ve been-
    Where is your favorite??? (besides home!)
    Wes

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  4. That’s a good question Wes. I’ve sat here awhile thinking about it. I’ll answer that in two ways:
    1) If I consider my comfort, peace, and safety in the goal of capturing the natural beauty woven into our planet, my favorite country to do that in is the USA. Our country has such an amazing variety of landscapes, people and cultures that I find no need to go further than our own shores to find that which my eyes and heart crave to capture. I would encourage anyone with similar interests in shooting to get in their car and drive a complete lap of the country. By the end, you’ll have a new appreciation for the vast beauty we have here. I’ve personally driven coast-to-coast 9 times (Northern and Southern routes) and numerous partial crossings north, south, east, and west.

    2) If I answer that question solely from my spirit of adventure and seeing things really different from what I’m familiar – getting me out of my comfort zone to experience that – I would say India, Iraq, and China. Each of those countries offered me a view of life that, at times, was completely unfamiliar to me. On those trips, it was less about the beauty of the landscape – not to say it wasn’t there – and more about the lives of the people there. Each of those country’s cultures took the daily life that I recognized, and repackaged it in such a profound way that even the most basic activities could be re-experienced in an excitingly new and meaningful way.

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  5. Hey Tom (& Jen),
    You’re practically in my home-stompin’ grounds. Have fun in Alberta- it’s a grand place. Do yourself a favour and ask around for some home-made saskatoon pie! That’ll make the chill and homesick worth it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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