Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Tour Of An Abandoned RR Track on The West Side of the Vermilon River. A Post to Sky Watch.

The Vermilon River  to the NW, and no, we're not going that way. That's a 1000 mile hike .You up to it,I'm not.

The Vermilon never totally freezes, as it's ultimately a tributary of the Great Lakes.


This is the abandoned RR right of way. Hugin, the Raven will guide us.


He'll watch as we make our way, and protect us.

We'll be watched the whole way.

We have Red squirrels here, no gray or black.


They're residents, and very well adapted to a coniferous forest.


The Black-capped Chickadee is well adapted physically and socially to this forest.

His social hierarchy is vocal and he will tell other birds that chum around with him where the food is.


Northern RedPolls ,a female in this case, is an interloper from the tundra forest north of here.

She's a beauty isn't she?

This is our errant male. See the red bib.


A concerned person maintains about 10 feeding stations deep in the forest.


This is one of them. Standing in this area, about 50 feet wide, is like playing St. Francis standing in the middle of huge flocks of birds flying around your head.


This is the rapids and the end of the trip.


Looks cold.
The round trip was about 4 miles. I like this trip in the winter because the trail is good and usually a snowmobile has been through compacting the snow. Rails, ties and gravel have removed meaning the trail is smooth. I didn't show you the wetlands at the sides of the trail as the Vermilon is an old meandering river. Where the ice meets water there is that wonderful gurgling sound. You probably noticed the copper colour of the water. That is the result of the mineral deposits in the rock.Yes, we could have stopped to pan for gold, but it's cold, and we are unlikely to get rich anyway. The rapids are of course not the end of the river, but only the end of the trail as the cross bridge was removed years ago.

 This is just one of my hikes. They are virtually unlimited and when I asked you if you were good for a 1000 miles that's how far we could go in any direction.

Remember, this is not a state or provincial park area, it is a wilderness and the animals and birds are all wild. The upside is that you'll hardly see anybody for miles and miles. By the way those RedPoll flocks had about 100 birds in them, never mind the chickadees or other groups that were there. Of course Boom was with me on this trip and carried some equipment in his saddlebags, but I did not take any other lens or the tripod ,so the scenery shots were all taken with the 150-500mm lens, moving  me back to compensate. I like to take Boom with me at this time of year, because soon the bears will be moving around and Boom can smell a cranky bruin at quite a distance.

I hope you enjoyed the hike. I've another one lined up to Mystic Lake which is in another direction.

A Post to Sky Watch Friday @ http://skyley.blogspot.com/

46 comments:

  1. Looks like a hugely fun adventure!

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  2. What a wonderful trip! Beautiful sceneries and great finds on the way.

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  3. That was a great hike. I enjoyed it very much. You are so lucky to have all of that wilderness to explore. Plus, you have a great companion to accompany you.

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  4. Fun tour - thanks!
    It's such a beautiful area and I especially love your little critters. :D

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  5. Now that's my kind of walk! Beautiful north country and its inhabitants. You are a great photographer; thanks for sharing.

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  6. A great hike Gary, and I love the Red squirrel.

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  7. What a great hike indeed and I love the "critters" and birds! Really delightful post and photos! Thanks for sharing them, Gary! Hope you both have a great weekend!

    Sylvia

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  8. Thanks for taking us along on this beautiful hike!
    I love squirrels. You captured this little guy wonderfully. As you did the male RedPoll eating.
    Enjoyed this post!

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  9. How nice to be in the real wilderness. That 150 to 500mmm lens sounds HEAVY! Thank goodness Boomer hauls his share.

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  10. Wonderful photos and beautiful scenery! I would love to see 100 redpolls. Gee, I would love to see one. Happy skywatching!

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  11. Thanks for sharing this, - a great experience to go along with you.

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  12. I wish you hadn't mentioned the bears. Now I'm going to worry about Boom.
    I noticed the colour of the water - thanks for explaining it.
    I love the red squirrels and the chickadees, and I don't think I've ever seen a Redpoll in BC or Alberta.
    Also read your previous post. The not at all honourable Harpie is just the guy to love a dictator's uniform, and to try to stop birds crossing the border. LOL
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  13. Great hike, Gary. I like the ones where you don't run into many other people and can enjoy the nature around you.

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  14. Hi - this is a really interesting set of picture - lots of different things to see.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog - I think the colour of the sky (which was pretty strange I have to say) happens when we get north winds - when that happens the winds come straight out of central Oz and bring all sorts of red dust with them - then the sky gets a bit crazy! Hot north winds can be no fun at all!

    Cheers Stewart M - Australia.

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  15. Delightful photos and nature study, won't be long now and spring will be bursting out everywhere. Thanks for sharing with SWF.

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  16. we have red squirels, but their tails don´t look quite like the ones you show. This chikadee really has a large black spot below the beak. All o ours has smaller.

    We finally had 2 days of a bit thawing :)

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  17. Great stuff. Wonderful shots of the birds and squirrel.

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  18. An adventure it was Diamond.

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  19. Hi nonizamboni and it is great country.

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  20. Hi Bob and I know red squirrels are a favourite of yours.

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  21. Hi Sylvia and have a good weekend yourself.

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  22. Hi Carletta and no people to disturb you either!!

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  23. Hi EGW. The lens is not that heavy!!

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  24. Thanks eileeninmd. It's quite a sight!!!

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  25. Hi H&C. We seniors are an active group aren't we?

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  26. Hi Kay. Don't worry about Boom and Bears, he's one tough hombre and has met them before.

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  27. I only saw one other person and she looks after those feeding stations, Sallie

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  28. Hi Stewart and thanks for the visit.

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  29. Hi PM.Thanks for the visit. What is a Cape Bretoner doing down under?

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  30. Hi NF. These guys feed on spruce cones, but those feeders were loaded with sunflower seeds and these guys were having a ball!!

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  31. What wonderful shots! A hike it real wilderness! Lovely... Can't wait to get out into the woods again.

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  32. Hi ladyfi. A real hike it was and the last one for a couple of days as we're having a storm now!!

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  33. That is indeed a wild nature. I like the vivid red color of the male bird. I first thought he had a terrible fight and got injured:) LOL
    Have a wonderful weekend, Gary.
    Yoshi

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  34. That it is Yoshi. It's almost impossible to describe or visualize the size of these flocks of RedPolls.

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  35. Great story, great pictures. What a superb place to be.

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  36. Thanks Andrew and it was a fun trip!!

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  37. Hey I really enjoyed this post! Sounds like a perfect hike with great birds and scenery... Hope Boomer keeps you safe out there in the wild!

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  38. Aaaah, here you are. I have seen your banner on many comment posts before and just saw this when checking out your lovely SkyWatch Friday series. You have very nice entries. Have a great weekend~ Mary

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