A sunny Sunday and a gentle wind-down after yesterday’s mind-blowing hike to Yellow Aster Butte. We met up with Anne and Adib and their youngster and headed out to the dykes near the southern end of Pitt Lake. We’d walked there last December on an icy day so we were quite happy to head out there in warmer, sunnier conditions. We parked up and watched a few kayakers and canoers returning from Wigeon Creek, a hike we’ve yet to do.
Our little circuit took us along the northernmost dyke, with views up Pitt Lake to a slew of distant mountain peaks. An observation tower offered improved views over the flat terrain. The summit of Golden Ears, where Maria had stood two years previously, towered over us as we walked east along the dyke. To our right, the tall cottonwoods along the Nature Dyke were reflected perfectly in the calm polder. In fact, everything was reflected perfectly in the water. A heron waded in the shallows, surrounded by lily pads, darting for fish now and then.
It’s a long, long dyke… We eventually reached the end and turned south to follow the edge of the mountains. The sun was warm on our faces, and the wind was on our backs. Hard to believe it was mid-October. At the end of that dyke, we turned west onto the Nature Dyke and passed the second observation tower. Of course we had to climb up to see the view :-)
The last stretch of the walk was along a narrow track past brambles and cottonwoods. Only peek-a-boo views were to be had, but the flat calm polders treated us to great reflections of trees, reeds and mountains. A robin chirped as it flew overhead which caught my attention. I looked up and saw a northern harrier fly past, low over the dyke and out over the reed-beds in search of dinner. We met someone a few minutes later who was armed with a long telephoto lens, as keen as we were to spot harriers. We stopped and looked over the marsh to see if it would return, before continuing along the dyke back to the car, passing through a leafy tunnel along the way. We headed for home, and finished off a pleasant afternoon with pizza at the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co.
Distance: 6.5 km
Elevation gain: at most 20 m (climbing the observation towers)
Photos on Flickr