Yesterday we took advantage of the warmer weather and the fact that we only had one child in the daycare to get out and about and explore the area. We were up early anyway since Lisa wanted to hit a couple yard sales to pick up some toys for the daycare. I have to say she is a fantastic bargain shopper and I was especially impressed that we were able to fit everything she picked up into the van, along with 4 kids and 2 adults.
Once we got everything back to the house, we were soon off to the rec. centre where we took in the Fort McMurray trade show. The place was absolutely packed. We arrived about an hour after the event kicked off and we found ourselves in overflow parking. The place was packed, maneuvering a double stroller through the narrow openings between displays was an irritant at times, the kids were rambunctious and even I was a little cranky but it was still a productive time. We entered a number of draws, picked up information on various events and saw a bathroom tub to die for.
After leaving the trade show, we headed up the highway for an afternoon drive. Lisa and I had heard about a lookout point where you could see bison. We had trouble finding it the first time as the signage was poor but this time we had a rough of idea of where to look. We came across a place we thought was the lookout point but which turned out to be one of those nice little gems you discover by accident.
The Crane Lake Reclamation Area was created by Suncor in cooperation with Ducks Unlimited and has been slowly added to over time.
Crane Lake itself was a quiet little place full of birds and frogs, cat tails and pussy willows....and on this particular day we had the spot all to ourselves.
The bird blind was a nice find and I plan to bring my binoculars along next time we head up there. Still, we were able to identify mallards, ruddy ducks, buffleheads and American coots.
Looking up, we spotted an unexpected perihelion over our heads.
I took the kids down along the shoreline in hopes of spotting something in amongst the reeds but no dice. Tamara had spotted a giant bird feeder off in the distance and I think I was pointing out a couple of other feeders to the kids here in this picture. While we would have loved to have walked the path around the lake, the ground didn't look that friendly for pushing a double stroller so after a few more minutes we headed back to the van with plans for a return visit.
A short distance from the Syncrude plant we found the bison lookout we had been searching for. They were way off in the distance on this particular day but the kids were quite fascinated since I don't think they had ever seen bison before.