The snow had still been holding off this year, which is very unusual for Manitoba, so I decided to head back to Riding Mountain National Park. The days are so short now though, that I booked a room at the Elkhorn Resort. Six hours of driving (3 there and 3 back in a day) pretty much limits the exploring time to nothing otherwise. Sunrise and sunsets were on my list to see and photograph, as well as whatever critters and landscapes I could find.
On the drive there, I saw a couple of huge flocks of Canada Geese in the distance and then a few on a frozen pond by the side of the road. I also saw lots of trees covered in hoarfrost, which looked very pretty. Most of the small ponds were frozen with some patches of snow in many places. You can click on a picture and scroll through larger images.
My plan was to head for Moon Lake, stopping off at the Wishing Well and Spruces along the way and that is what I did – without seeing a single critter, but taking a few pictures along the way anyway (mostly ice on the lake). Then I headed back to check into my room, which was right beside the one I had last time with my view of the stables.
I ate the leftovers I brought with me and then headed back out to see what I could find. I hadn’t gone far (in the freezing drizzle that had started) when I found a deer. Of course, I stopped to take pictures, but he wasn’t very cooperative. He moved every time I pressed the shutter – but I’ll show you the best of what I did manage. Add the drizzle to his movement, and I hope you can understand that these pictures aren’t great.
After I left him, I turned into the Wishing Well road and immediately noticed a bump in the water that I didn’t remember before, so I went to investigate. It was a little Muskrat hanging onto a stick in the water. It took awhile to figure out what he was doing. He would hang on the stick and then swim away and disappear under the water, returning a minute later to climb back on the stick. I finally realized he was grabbing something to eat from under the water and bringing it up to eat on the stick. One time he didn’t come back to the stick, but I found him again – on some ice closer to the shore around the corner.
Again – pictures aren’t great, but you can see him anyway.
By then it was starting to get a little darker and it was time to head for the Spruces to see if I could get a sunset picture. I knew the chances weren’t good, since it was very cloudy, but the drizzle had finally stopped and I figured it was worth heading there. The roads in the park were being sanded and driving was fine.
As expected, I didn’t actually get to see the sun – but I could see the clouds that it was hiding behind and they made a couple of interesting photos.
After making my way to my room, I realized that all that time in the car meant that my FitBit hadn’t been looked after properly, so I went down to the fitness centre and walked a couple of miles on the treadmill there.