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Published: September 29th 2019
The damp days of this summer gently nurtured the wild flowers in the the mountains. Bold colours peeked from mossy woodlands. Multifarious mushrooms soaked up the rich juices of the earth. A few small animals ventured near to us to have their photos taken.
On August 2 we chugged up the wide path to a serene Elbow Lake encircled by dark green trees and richer green fields. Beyond the lake the path towards Rae Glacier wandered through bushes bursting with new leaves and long blades of grass that framed the tiny blooms on every side.
August 16 brought us onto the damp forest path to Black Prince Lake, a lake that has virtually disappeared since the floods of 2013. Most of the morning we rejoiced at the wide varieties of mushrooms just at the sides of the path - none of us were expert enough to try nibbling one. Suddenly the forest broke open to reveal the lake bed devoid of water. Actually, as we walked across the strange moist green mud and black rocks of the lake bed, a remanent puddle and trickling stream were testimony to the drastic change in geology of the surroundings.
last Friday of August we followed a few of the many Sandy McNabb Trails. Our first encounter was with cows that grazed on the lush grass amongst the trees. They stared steadily at us but made no moves. We stared back and scrambled along the muddy paths churned up by their hooves. The mushrooms loved these conditions. Towards the end we passed above "Death Valley" where one winter all the grazing cows were caught by a deadly snowstorm.
With September came fall. The path led towards Elk Lake, although our group of hikers was satisfied with the beautiful walk about half-way. An early siting of larches turned yellow seemed like a splash of paint they were so far up another mountain. Once again the plenitude of mushrooms fascinated us. Canada Jays flitted across our path all day - curious or teasing?
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