SERINDIPITY IN SASKATCHEWAN
PRAIRIE COLOR WITH PRONGHORN
Some years ago, while we were still on the road full time, we spent several springs camping in a little city park in Val Marie, Saskatchewan. The first time we went there it was to meet up with friends of ours and we arrived after a very eventful trip from Nevada. “Eventful” is not a good word when it applies to traveling in a motor coach. We had encountered blizzards and fierce high-plains wind, our brakes had failed on an 8-percent grade, and a tree had dropped a large branch through our coach roof, these being just a few of our adventures on that trip. In truth, we expected that we would not have much to work on in such a flat, tree-less and barren landscape as the prairies and grasslands. We had always enjoyed our time with our friends, though, and thought we’d just spend a day or two with them and try to catch our breath and re-group for travel. We finally, very reluctantly, pulled out of Val Marie about SEVEN weeks and HUNDREDS of rolls of slide film later! We were up before light and returned after dark, spending every single day with a seemingly endless variety of subjects: Red Fox Vixens with their young in dens, Black-tailed Prairie Dog towns, Coyotes, Badgers in burrows, Pronghorns dropping their young; dozens of new (to us) birds, hawks with nestlings, Golden Eagles, a variety of garter and rattlesnakes as they left their hibernacula and spread across the road and fields, ducks and frogs in little swampy ponds, salt flats with brine shrimp that drew clouds of migrating shorebirds; plants, wildflowers and fascinating, colorful lichen that had taken hundreds of years to develop, deep red sunsets, massive cloud formations, and quiet, quiet, quiet . . . and more (see the Prairies, Plains and Grasslands Gallery). All that and some of the very friendliest people we ever met on our travels! Canada’s National Grasslands Park is a wonder and a treasure!