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Hiking with our nature survey volunteers

Yesterday, I experienced what I can only describe as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, joining a small group of ASCCA's dedicated volunteers on their weekly hike and nature survey. Bev Lane and Ing-Britt Renborg, along with Ursula Wiese, Peggy and Chris Mills and Mal and Linda Blasetti all impressed me with their knowledge of the land. We all started out from Belvedere House on what would be about a 7 km trip around the conservation area. We traveled along the trails some, where the volunteers pointed out native flowers, grasses and even invasive 'noxious' weeds such as pesky burdock and yellow toadflax (aka butter and eggs).

Before stopping for lunch, we headed carefully down the grown-over Pine Creek Trail, which has been closed some years for habitat restoration. There was some excitement when our group happened upon an elusive owl, though it was hiding a bit too well for me to see. Following lunch in a secluded clearing, the most enjoyable part of the hike for me was heading down an old rancher's path close to Paradise Trail, lined by thick aspen forest. I felt transfixed and transported to a separate magical world with its own time and space.

I will always treasure my day spent with ASCCA's volunteers and their infectious love and enthusiasm for nature, and our need to watch over and protect it. 

Anna Aldridge
​Communications & Volunteer Coordinator
Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area

area wildlife + plants

Western Tailed Blue
Everes amyntula

Habitat:  The butterfly can be found throughout Alberta and loves to live in poplar forests.

Description:  Males of the Western Tailed Blue are purplish blue on the inside of their wings while females are brown.  The undersides on both sexes’ wings are white.  On each hind wing protrudes a small tail and behind each tail is some yellowish spotting.


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