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 Forum Index > H.W.F. Goes Wild in the Schools > School Classrooms
 2013/14 Gordon Terrace Elementary School
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By: SMW (offline) on Sunday, February 09 2014 @ 03:25 PM EST  
SMW

Recent sightings at Elizabeth Lake after school or on weekends
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One of two Virginia rails spotted at outflow to Elizabeth Lake.
It is extremely unusual to find them this far north in winter.
They are ill-equipped to cope with the extreme weather we've been experiencing recently.
Notice the ice build-up on the beak and body.
There was no sign of either bird three days after I first saw them.
I wonder if they survived the bitter cold?
Click on image to download
A muskrat push-up.
An air vent provides oxygen and access to any food cache once lake freezes over.
This particular push-up has lots of tracks, both human and animal, like the coyote who hopes to catch the muskrat unawares!
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This squirrel was a pleasant surprise on a cold, crisp, sunny afternoon.
Is this a sign that spring is around the corner?


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By: SMW (offline) on Friday, March 14 2014 @ 11:51 PM EDT  
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Our first trip to Elizabeth Lake in six weeks
Turned out to be eventful,
When we spotted not one, but two bald eagles.
However, one took off
Before we could get closer to the lakeshore.
Click on image to download
We found evidence that beavers have been here at some time.
Click on image to download
We also saw Canada geese and mallard ducks enjoying open water,
Several blue jays,
Muskrat lodges,
Elk and deer scat,
A wasp's nest,
And several birds' nests.


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By: SMW (offline) on Saturday, April 12 2014 @ 11:45 AM EDT  
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Our first trip to Elizabeth Lake in a month
And what a change!
Water, water, everywhere.
The wetland does a good job
Of slowing down water,
Filtering it,
And acting like a sponge.
However, there is a problem with drainage
At the outflow,
So two pumps are working full-time
To try to manage the water levels
On both sides of Wattsville Street.
Some low-lying paths near the wetland
Are under water,
Much to the delight of waterfowl
Like Canada geese and mallard ducks.

Click on image to download
It was windy, overcast and cool
When we first started our walk.
But there are signs of spring,
Buttercups by the path
And a prairie crocus sitting further back
Well camouflaged among the dead grass and fallen branches.

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It looked like we might not see any turtles,
Then the sun broke through the clouds.
It started with one on a log,
Then number two sunning itself by the cattails.
Three and four swam underwater
Surfacing by the cattails.
Most of us were excited
And looking carefully for more.
As we walked further along the shoreline
Another was spotted sitting far out on a log.
Our last turtle was proudly showing off
The brightly-coloured underside of its shell
As it rested on a clump of cattails.

We had lots to write about when we got back to school.


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By: SMW (offline) on Friday, April 18 2014 @ 06:43 PM EDT  
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Our day began with a bus ride to Idlewild Park,
The site of Cranbrook's reservoir till the 1970s.
As we followed Joseph Creek downstream
We spotted this magnificent bald eagle
With a 17 foot wingspan,
Made from scrap metal.
Click on image to download
As we walked along Rotary Way to Kinsmen Park,
We heard a sound like a machine gun firing,
And there was a pileated woodpecker
High on a pole.
Click on image to download
When we got to the St. Eugene Mission Resort,
We walked across the bridge over Joseph Creek
Before it flows into the St. Mary River.
We saw lots of animals including
A bald eagle,
Mallard ducks,
Canada geese,
And this wild rabbit.
Being so close to Easter,
We wondered whether it could be
The Easter Bunny?


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By: SMW (offline) on Friday, April 18 2014 @ 06:54 PM EDT  
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Imagine our surprise to discover a sign
Warning us about a badger's den.
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After that we kept a close look out for any holes.
Then we spotted an animal by an opening,
But it was only a Columbia ground squirrel.
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Just before we got back on the bus,
We were lucky to see not one but two herons
Fly across the river to roosts on the other bank.


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By: SMW (offline) on Friday, April 18 2014 @ 06:58 PM EDT  
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Our pictures of our favourite part of the trip.


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By: SMW (offline) on Friday, April 18 2014 @ 07:22 PM EDT  
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After school our Outdoor Club went on its first spring outing
To the St. Eugene Mission Resort Golf Course
To look for signs of nature
Before the course opens on Friday.
There was great excitement when two herons were spotted
High on poplar trees near the St. Mary River.
Click on image to download
During our walk we found various plants
Including buttercups, prairie crocuses,
And wild onions.
We learned that another plant
Called Death Camas can be confused with the wild onion.
But unlike the wild onion plant,
It does not smell of onion,
And should be avoided at all costs.
It is really important to use all our senses
Whenever we are trying to identify plants.
Click on image to download
At the end of our walk we stopped to look at an osprey nest.
We were surprised to learn that there was a Canada goose inside,
And what looked like an egg on the outside of the nest.
That's what makes trips with the Outdoor Club so much fun!!


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By: SMW (offline) on Saturday, April 26 2014 @ 10:56 AM EDT  
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The Outdoor Club climbed to the top of Eager Hill which has a commanding view of the Rocky Mountain Trench even on an overcast day!
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Here we are against a backdrop of the Rockies!
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Waterpark Trail twists, turns and drops back down to the parking lot!


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