2020-12-23 | Brown-Lowry Provincial Park (outer loop) | 1440 max | 1349 TH | 7.5km | 186m gain | w/ Shannon
Day after a big snowfall (yesterday was digging out and a snowshoe along the Sheep River) we decided somewhere close-ish for a snowshoe outing. Brown-Lowry PP is close and despite driving by multiple times I had never used the trails. Today is the day! We were the first car into a freshly plowed parking lot and first onto the trail – which meant sustained 60cm deep trail breaking. This made for a slowish pace but also lots of time for photos and enjoying all the beautiful snow covered trees, animal tracks etc. We proceeded directly along the west side of the park to the viewpoints with the hope that eventually someone going the opposite way on the perimeter loop would come head-on and we’d have some relief from the breaking. That didn’t happen for quite a while.
Hi-lite of the trip was our encounter with a Great Gray Owl. Part of her wing, which looked just like the bark of the tree she was in, caught my eye. Although lacking a longer lens I still got some great photos (some cropped) but she was very patient with our presence and I never felt we disturbed her hunting. I say her, because I don’t really know if it was a male or female, because she looked right at me and then proceeded to ignore my presence. Lol. At one point she left her perch and pounced into the snow about 12’ in front of me! I was so startled and it was so fast I only got one crappy blurry frame. I was scootching under a log at the time. I wonder if my movements flushed out any mice, I kind of hope so.
Continuing on from there we met the oncoming pair of snowshoers, and now assured of an easier time returning, we took a tea break in a sunny spot. A few meadows, but mostly forest, broke up the return trip. Hammering alerted us to a pair of woodpeckers and as best I can ID they were Three-Toed Woodpeckers. All in all a pretty fine day of snowshoeing at a “new” place.
© Clayton Ditzler