(Editors note: Thank you to Kelly Hall for this guest blog...
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I can hardly believe that the end of 2014 is fast approaching!
Kelly Hall posing with a "gem" of the foothills - Alberta's endangered Limber Pine (
) as designated under Alberta's Wildlife Act
Two Thousand and Fourteen has been an amazing year for The Timber Ridge Conservation Site. A year of many firsts and certainly a great deal of hope for the future. It all started on January 1 with a beautiful winter wedding, pictures on the cabin steps with the snow covered ridge as the background. The deepest, longest, coldest winter in many years had us more than ready for spring vegetation!
Our free flowing thermal springs have continued to amaze us. For the first time in our history we have seen flow increase in the fall, specifically after the eighteen inches of heavy wet snow on September 8 and then again November 2. The trout in the pond are pink, tasty, and happy in the beautiful, cold, clear water! Our many visitors can attest to that, especially the ones that had to use a net to bring in their catch.
Some of the natural changes are becoming more apparent. The old growth aspens are coming down and new meadows are alive with diversity. We've seen more Parry Oat Grass , more grouse and the newly protected wetland has responded well! The wildlife sightings on the property continue to grow, including a first for us this year - Elk not far from the cabin deck.
Timber Ridge has acquired many new friends this past year - we've now collected hair on Bear Rub Trees, began the process of collecting any and all bugs, Botanists have identified even more species, students have planted Limber Pine seedlings and we continue to collect some amazing pictures thanks to the pin hole and trail cameras. A pair of chipmunks have now called the cabin deck home and the competition at the bird feeders is increasing and really quite entertaining.
Glen Hall, standing on a blast mat (recycled tires) which surround his motion-sensored, solar powered, off-stream watering system - a Beneficial Management Practice helped put in place by the OWC's Watershed Legacy Program
Timber Ridge is living proof that it does take a collaborative effort to manage our watershed. Our best day yet was Celebrating Collaboration on September 18, 2014. We have to say thank you to all of our partners for years of knowledge, assistance, financial support and for joining us on the tour! A special thank you goes to Leta Pezderic (OWC) and Brad Taylor (ACA) for all their help planning for the day. We were so pleased to be part of the OWC's film project and believe the message within is so very important.
Timber Ridge is a treasure that we will continue to learn about and want to share with others. The cabin continues to be a wonderful venue for inspiring conversation, renewing friendships and gathering allies as we strive to leave our legacy. We've now checked off an item on our "bucket list" - bringing our partners together at that special place. September 18 would have been my Mom's birthday - she was our first partner!
Landowner, Timber Ridge Conservation Site