Investigating elk killed by wolves as part of a snowshoe learning adventure
What if we learned to read nature in a new way that is fun? What if this activity has the benefit of dropping your cholesterol levels. is exciting for the whole darn family, or group of friends that you have decided to get away with for a few days. Try snowshoeing – better still, try snowshoeing with a guide for a morning.
Imagine this – you head out in the early morning, looking for wildlife – and the list begins with Black-billed magpies, common ravens, then a zinger! A Northern Hawk Owl which dives down and captures a mouse. Followed by discovery of elk or moose hairs from a kill by wolves, more ravens, blue jays, gray jays, black-capped chickadees, a white-breasted nuthatch and then some amazing behaviours of feeding bison. And, perhaps, if you are lucky, you might find evidence of an elk recently killed by wolves. This is what happened yesterday in and around Riding Mountain National Park. We have a saying – Come quickly to slow down! Snowshoeing provides a ticket to slowing down and enjoying the stories in the snow.
Debbie McKeown, an adventure travel writer is here, at the invitation of Travel Manitoba, to write a story about experiences by snowshoe in the Riding Mountain area with Earth Rhythms, a learning adventure company. Hosted by Earth Rhythms and Elkhorn Resort and Riding Mountain National Park, they are combining a stay at the Elkhorn Resort & Solstice Spa with some of our special outdoor learning experiences. They have dined on local foods, organically grown, and culturally presented by the Prairie Seasons Bakery, a new bakery and café in Onanole (high on our recommendation list as a great breakfast, lunch, or supper location). You leave feeling that you have nourished your body with really good quality food.
Debbie and her husband-photographer Jack have been snowshoeing at night under an almost full moon with us, photographing wildlife,and then heading off-trail on a guided snowshoe trek into mixed aspen woodlands to a hide-away lake tracking various mammals along the way. Riding Mountain National Park staffers Angela Spooner (Public Safety & Resource Conservation Specialist) and Patrick McDermott (Park Interpreter) have provided insights about park ecology, bison, wolves, and other national park winter facilities like the Yurt and outdoor ice skating pathway within the park. Debbie is writing a feature story for Snowshoeing Magazine. We are delighted that she is here!