29 August 2011

Moose Jaw Minute #57: Lake Diefenbaker and The Nicolle Flats

Dave and I just wanted to go camping.  Really, really, really wanted to go camping.  Alas, the tent gods just didn't have that in store for us this weekend.  On Saturday, Dave and I drove out to Lake Diefenbaker to try and snag a walk-in site at the Douglas park.  As we drove up to the park window, a simple "no" was awaiting as we inquired about the sites.  Bummer!  We made the most of it by grabbing our dinner by the lake, listening to the water and enjoying the cool evening air.  Afterwards, we took a short drive up to Elbow to look around the Marina and see the soddy (a sodhouse) before heading back to Moose Jaw.

Dinner at Diefenbaker
Heavy rains over the lake...
Birdhouse at the marina

Elbow Marina
The soddy!
Decorated fire hydrant

The next day, we were still feeling like we needed an outdoor fix and Buffalo Pound appeared to be the answer.  Just a short drive outside of Moose Jaw lay the Nicolle Flats, an outdoor area named for the Nicolle family that resided there beginning in the late 1800s (the area is part of Buffalo Pound).  It is a beautiful spot where blue heron and deer come to feed off the marshy ground.  We came here in the dead of winter earlier this year for a hike and decided to revisit in order to experience it when the temperatures were a bit more pleasant!

We took a hike along the flats and saw the Nicolle homestead.  The remnants of the home and barn still stand, the large rocks created a gorgeous earthen puzzle to look at.  There are several bee colonies that have taken up residence in the homestead and you could hear them buzzing loudly while we surveyed the grounds.

The drive to the flats
Dragons DO fly!
The Nicolle Homstead
NOT the original homesteader!
Muddy trail walk
The Flats
Happy shadow trail walk

We continued along the trail accompanied by a ton of dragonflies and the occasional spider.  We saw a snake and even a little chipmunk that scrambled for cover as we drew near.  As we headed back up along the trail, Dave spotted a gorgeous blue heron soaring over the flats.  It was absolutely stunning to see...so much so, that  I just stood in awe and failed to snap a picture of it.

It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon...soaking in the sun and hiking along the trail.

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