Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bohn Lake

Bohn Lake was a spot I had been hoping to get out to since we arrived back in the fall. (It's the closest decent ice-fishing lake and I hope we get a chance to do some ice fishing before too much longer.) I had made a couple aborted attempts to get out to it back in the fall with the kids but we ended up getting distracted by either nature or strange looking machinery. While we have had quite a bit of snow over the past few weeks and the sky was overcast today, the mild temperature continued so that was good enough for me.

Part of the reason I haven't explored the surrounding trails as much as I'd like to (apart from work and family obligations) is that up until very recently I lacked a decent map. Fortune smiled on me, however, and I did manage to get a rough map into my possession, though it did languish on top of the fridge for a spell. Yesterday afternoon, I grabbed the camera and my ipod and headed out. Originally, I had hoped to bring Tamara along with me but decided that the deep snow might be a bit much for her. As it turned out, I was right. Even my long legs were challenged in a few spots and I had to stop a few times to catch my breath.

Rather than start from the trails beside our property here, I elected instead to cut through a shorter trail behind the house to the air strip. From there, I walked down the empty runway to a marked trail that, according to my map, led straight out to the lake. Once I got back into the woods, I could see the lake perhaps a kilometer away down the trail. At this point I turned my ipod off to enjoy the sounds of nature. Here then, are a few pictures from my afternoon. With luck, I'll have a fishing rod and ice axe in my hands during my next visit.

Bohn Lake is shaped something like an inverted tear drop, measuring 4-5km east to west and 8km north to south, lying a mere 40km west of the Alberta/Saskatchewan border. I'm not really sure that it would make for much of a swimming lake but the views were nice. Unfortunately, the overcast skies and my photography skills just don't do it justice.

A shot of the Janvier airstrip. For the first time in my life I was able to walk right down the middle of the runway with no fear of taxiing planes or airport police...not that I make it a habit to take casual strolls down runways.

A couple of shots of the trail beyond the end of the airstrip on the way to the lake.

Wandering down Moose trail. Most of the main trails are named after different animals. I didn't see any moose but a few other creatures made their presence known.

I stopped and watched for several minutes as a small group of black-capped chickadees flitted around a tall stand of birch trees. A couple brave ones landed pretty close to check out the interloper but I wasn't able to get any close-ups with the camera before they darted off. I really regretted not having my field glasses with me.

Bohn Lake at last. The overcast sky made it look much more dreary through the camera lens. Other than a few skidoo tracks out on the lake which were probably a day or two old, I had the place to myself.

Two views to the east.

Looking northward.

View to the southern end of the lake.

On my return I startled a grouse of some sort out of the bush. A whir of flapping wings and a bit of snow dislodged from some branches caught my attention. The foliage was too thick for me to make a positive id but it was perhaps 20 feet away when it lifted off. I was only able to make out a brown-coloured shape through the a tangle of brush. A few minutes later I again heard something a few feet back from the trail but didn't see anything. I stepped off the trail and walked a few feet into the bush to try for a better view. There was only silence and then the sounds of a scolding squirrel perched on a branch a dozen feet over my head.

He was a pretty brave fellow defending his territory. He showed no sign of intimidation and scurried back and forth along a few branches clicking and squeaking. At one point I swear the thing was actually letting out some sort of strange growl at me.

1 comment:

Kelly Fausak said...

Beautiful, I have always wanted to go. I'm not going to hesitate anymore.