Conservation, Chickadees & Chipmunks

Saskatoon to Regina

It was an earlyish morning for us to get some walking and wildlife exploring before heading to Regina. Our first stop was Cranberry Flats conservation area where there was a dad pulling his two little boys on an old school cushioned sled and a cute puppy that was going berserk in the deep snow (think it was a German Shepherd). We had a lovely snowy walk around the prairies and beautiful views over the river with snow coming up to our knees! We then headed to Beaver Creek conservation area where we had to wait an hour as it didn’t open until 12pm. We had an early lunch to pass time and fortunately the staff turned up early so we didn’t have to wait quite as long. The lady inside the visitors centre was lovely and was happy to see some fresh faces to the area and told us we had timed our visit well as the place had been closed to the previous few days due to weather conditions!

We were able to spend some time walking along various trails, feeding birds along the way – in particular the Black Chickadees and got some free bird food to give them. They were amazing little birds which ate straight out of your hand. We saw a fair few beaver dams but sadly no beavers. There were some massive American robins/thrushes and a teeny weeny Chipmunk stealing bird food from their tables! Oh and a hare. White bellied and grey backed – the lady in the visitors centre told us it would turn completely white for the winter and added it to her log book of recent wildlife sightings. We also saw lots of fox, deer and geese footprints in the snow and learnt about beaver’s dams, lodges and good banks and how they build their fans so that the water rises but doesn’t freeze all the way down so they can still access all their little buildings underwater. We had a lovely chat with the couple about our trip in Canada and work permits etc. The guy was originally from NYC but has lived in Canada for 50yrs now and the lady had moved from Vancouver to be away from the busy, expensive city lifestyle. They wished us a safe journey and for us to find a ski season jobs and we were on our way again.

The drive to Regina was past vaster farmlands and rolling hills dusted with snow. Saskatoon was a lovely place but found that some of the main roads had a very strong smell of what could only be described as weed – it was pretty gross! Our couchsurfing host had kindly left us a key as he was out for dinner and had said that we were welcome to use anything in the house – despite the fact that he had never even met us! We were greeted by his friendly 3 yr old golden retriever Sam who was really cute. We decided we’d get take out and went to grab a pizza from Tifon’s pizza place downtown. When our host David got back from thanksgiving dinner we spent the evening chatting about politics (both American and UK), self sustainability, employment, travelling etc, he was a really interesting guy and had traveled all over the world.

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