As Brian and I headed back to Swan Hills, we turned the corner and saw this fella chilling on the trail! The forest to either side of the trail, having been harvested in the last decade or so, had young trees growing tightly together, making it difficult for the moose to make his escape. We signaled our intent to continue on the path by revving the ATVs and moving slowly toward him. We gave him the time and space he needed to move down the trail and find a safe place to enter the woods. If we had just chased him, he would have become stressed and could decide to charge us. Moose are an underestimated hazard in the field. They are not carnivores, so it’s easy to think they will not be aggressive. In reality, they are one of the “biggest” wildlife hazards out there, both in size and temperament. Today was a good day for all three of us though.
We all especially enjoy working during the summer months when the berries are ripe and plentiful. Featured here is a dewberry, they are easy to recognize because the leaves and berries look similar to raspberries but they grow close to the forest floor and are not prickly. They taste similar to raspberries as well but are not as tart.
This isn’t your typical circular campfire. This is the type of fire we learned to make during our survival course through Three Ravens Bushcraft. It requires much less effort since you don’t have to cut the wood into smaller pieces.
This is a tool used to peel away unwanted matter from an object. It was often used to prepare animal hides and would have been attached to a handle made from either wood, bone or antler. There are different types of scrapers in Alberta including sidescrapers, endscrapers, and thumbnail scrapers. Scrapers are one of the most common types of formed tools we find in Alberta. Pictured here is an endscraper that we collected during the summer of 2017.
Here is an example of a unique artifact type – it is a large metal can that once contained blasting powder. We often find these cans associated with the old historic railways found throughout the province. This particular can has an inscription on the base which helps us to identify the contents of the can. In this case it also has the name of the producer. This information can help us to narrow down the age of the can.
Ryan is doing layout work to protect wetlands and streams during aerial herbicide application and he got this great shot of glacial fluting northeast of Calling Lake.
These parallel ridges were formed when the Laurentide ice sheet coming southwest from the Canadian Shield hit bedrock uplands at the east end of the Pelican Mountains. The base of the glacier formed a saw-tooth pattern that scoured these ridges and troughs for several kilometers.
Weather can change very quickly in the foothills. From one day to the next, and within the day itself.
The following photos were taken all on the next day.
The weather can also change a lot depending on your elevation. In order to get out of the valley we were in we had to drive up and down a mountain pass. There was a lot more snow at the higher elevation than where we were working. There was no snow on our drive in that morning.