Saturday, October 10, 2009

Innisfail Wildlife Park

After reading a lot about the Discovery Wildlife Park in Innisfail, we thought we would pay it a visit. It is quite basic, but the main attraction is the bears they have, which they train for use in films and adverts.

Jan had her photo taken with Betty, who was in Doctor Doolittle 2, plus a number of advertisments. Maybe Betty had had enough for the day. What do you reckon?!

Here's the website...


Friday, October 9, 2009

Pikas Galore

When we went to Medicine Lake in Jasper we were lucky enough to see lots of Pikas running around the rocks, making their homes from grass that they pick and then leave to dry out in the sun, before using it as bedding for winter.

Although tiny, Pikas are related to the Rabbit family and were once described to us as like "a tennis balls with ears!" To see so many and to get decent shots of them (they move very quickly!) was truly a rare treat!

Sweet aren't they?!


Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Wonderful Rockies

We still feel blessed that we have such wonderful scenery and wildlife so close by. While Janet's parents were visiting we thought we would show them Jasper in the sunshine (the last time they were here, it was April and our trip to Jasper featured an initial drive to Edmonton in blizzard conditions.)

Day 1: On our journey to we stopped at Lake Louise to eat our lunch overlooking the lake in the sunshine. Here are some of the flowers outside of the hotel.

And of course the very famous view of Lake Louise.This little bird, we believe to be a Clarks Nutcracker, helped us out with our lunch.Our next stop was Bow Lake to take in another breathtaking view. There were lots of wildflowers around too.
Our next stop was Peyto Lake, a little hazy from the forest fires in BC, but stunning all the same. Peyto Lake is alive with Chimpunks, this one was complete with totally stuffed cheeks. Just as we were coming into Jasper, we were greeted by a family of Mountain Goats. Baby Mountain Goat
After we had arrived in Jasper, we had time to relax and get a bite to eat. Then we drove to one of our favourite spots, Patricia Lake - stunning. Day 2: We decided to take advantage of the warm sunny day and take a trip up Whistlers Mountain. The cable car took us to an elevation of 7,496 ft or 2,284 metres. Views weren't great, due to the forest fires again, but it was still pretty spectacular. We then took a ride out to Athabasca Falls. After dinner, we took a drive to Beauvert Lake at the Golf Course, with the clearest water we have ever seen. Elk on the Golf Course... Day 3: On a trip to Medicine Lake, we saw lots of Pikas, which entertained us for quite some time (we will post this separately as there were quite a few photos taken!).

Long ago, Medicine Lake was believed to be inhabited by spirits. This is because the water level fluctuates wildly, sometimes disappearing altogether due to a combination of an underground drainage system and the spring run off. This is one of the largest "sinking" lakes in the Western Hemishphere. Medicine Lake Big Horn Sheep by Medicine Lake (there is less water at this end of the lake). Big Horn Sheep in Jasper Field of Bighorn Sheep in JasperPyramid Lake
Day 4: We decided to go on a boat tour on Maligne Lake. Maligne Lake is the largest natural lake in the Rockies (22km / 14 miles long). Picture taken from Spirit Island, the "turn around" point for the boat tour. Back in Jasper, we came across some Elk The moon on our last night... Day 5: was pretty much taken up by the drive home, but we did manage a quick stop off at the Columbia Icefields...

Will it ever get tired and mundane visiting the Rockies? We seriously doubt it.