Tag Archives: Whitemud Creek

A Return to Whitemud Ravine with Stella

Whitemud Ravine. It was actually sunnier than the clouds would suggest.

It’s hard to believe I haven’t walked in Whitemud Ravine since the winter. I’m not even sure I walked there in the winter! I probably did. I can account for February and March (Scottsdale and then the injury) and April/early May (COVID-19 shutdown) but since mid-May, I’ve really had no excuse. In fact, my walking in the last month or so has really sucked. We’ve had lots of rain, and I’ve been busy at work (including working some weekends) but if walking is not a priority, it’s not going to happen. And it hasn’t been a priority, for some reason. When I have walked it’s been over to Tom’s or with Tom, in and around Glenora. Great walks, but not the woods.

Stella refuses to pose

It’s so clear that I feel most at home, most like myself, walking in the ravines and the river valley. There’s just something about the woods. I felt immediately better once Stella and I walked down into that ravine via Westbrook. It was also wonderful to be with her, and to be surrounded by green. Sharon and Vic are away on holidays to BC, so even though Kate walks her, she doesn’t take her into the woods. Stella loves it. Whenever I come over, she noses the door of my car. She knows.

Stella stops to smell the whatever

Whitemud Ravine is incredibly lush right now. We’ve had so much rain, everything is moist, overgrown and ridiculously green. This is also my first unpaved trail walk since the injury. Crazy that I haven’t done this yet, but I was worried about tripping on a tree root and hyper-extending my leg again. It was totally fine. I didn’t feel any strain. Stella goes up hills very slowly now, but that’s OK.

Hello slough!
Slough too!

One thing that was different was the little construction project about half way through is now completed. Last year, they took out the rickety boardwalk bridge and the very rickety wooden stairs. Somehow, in a feat of wizardry, they put in a bridge that doesn’t seem to have an incline, but still ends up at the top of the hill, next to the little lookout that is always full of seed for birds, squirrels and chipmunks.

New bridge!

Stella and I made it to Rainbow Valley Road and back. It took a little more than an hour, but surprisingly, it only adds up to 7,600 steps. The good thing is that it’s up and down, so a good, occasionally strenuous walk. Stella really, really wanted to go into the creek, but it’s too high and fast right now. Maybe in a couple of weeks. I sprayed her with the hose when we got back.

Next best thing to jumping in the creek…

The walk was really rejuvenating. I’m having a hard time taking care of myself these days. Lots of anxiety, stress, poor sleeping. The ironic thing is that if I was walking more, I probably wouldn’t be experiencing those things, or at least not to the same degree. Not only does walking decrease stress and anxiety, it can also prevent it. At least in my experience. The world is kind of a dumpster fire at the moment, so the least I can I do is take myself for a daily walk. It worked for 20+ years. No reason why it couldn’t work again.

Creek is high

70 minutes, about 20C

Is that…the sun?

God knows I love a rainy day. If I am not at work, it’s like free time. I don’t feel pressured to do anything but read. And drink coffee. And listen to the lovely sound of raindrops on kittens, or something like that. But this is getting ridiculous. We’ve had so much rain from mid-June to now, mushrooms have become the official plant of Edmonton, and I swear some of them are becoming sentient.

According to local weatherologist Josh Classen this is only the second rainiest period (June 1-July 7) in the recent past at 138 mm of rain, and we’ve had more rain since he made that graphic. However, enough complaining. Yesterday evening (Wednesday), the clouds broke after an exceedingly gloomy day, and the sun and blue sky were like a spa day and jail break rolled into one. It was beautiful.

I drove over to Sharon’s for dinner, and a walk with Stella. We walked along the powerline and then into Whitemud Ravine. The creek, as expected, was very high and fast which made Stella even more nervous about crossing the wooden bridge, but she made it and we had a great time. She looked particularly lovely nosing about in the clover.

The good thing about the rain is the lushness of the foliage, and a reprieve from the always looming drought, but today it’s once again overcast and cool. Looking forward to my day off on Friday which is supposed to be sunny and warm. O Great Mushroom Lord of the Sky, let it be.

Whitemud Creek

Wednesday (19C) 7:20 – 8:15 pm    

Really, I’ve Walked

Stella eyeing Nuthatch

Oh Facebook, robbing this blog of content. Must be the instant gratification of FB. I never know who is reading this blog, if anyone. No matter, it’s kind of a personal journal anyway, with pretty pictures. As always, I want to spread the word of how magnificent the green spaces of our city are, but the blog also serves as a record of my existence, of my adventures small and large, of the dogs in my life, and of the passage of time. That’s enough. But readers are good too.

So here is my walk from Sunday, June 2 with Stella, in a hot and sunny Whitemud Ravine.

I think it was about 22C

Easter Monday in Whitemud

Stella surveys her territory

On the whole, this April has been very nice, with the exception of this weekend. It snowed Saturday and Sunday, worse in Calgary than here, but still, enough to whiten the ground and temporarily displace thoughts of spring. I was dog-sitting while Kate was in Calgary (driving in harrowing white-out road conditions) and Sharon and Vic were (and still are) in Scottsdale.

Stella of course loved the snow, but it was very cold and very windy, so in the afternoon we only walked for about 45 minutes, with two smaller walks Friday night and Saturday morning.

This post isn’t about the weekend, however, but Easter Monday, April 22 when my car was at the dealer getting its summer gear on and Stella and I had two hours to romp in Whitemud Ravine.

It was a beautiful walk! The ravine is snow/ice free and trails were open and wonderfully soft underfoot. Stella seemed very happy to have so much to smell, and she had her first dip of the year in the creek (along with two annoyed geese). The area  where she had her swim, by the rickety boardwalk, has been cleared of trees and bushes. Apparently, both the boardwalk and the stairs will be replaced. I hope they do it in a timely fashion. Many trails in our river valley and ravines are in need of maintenance or repair, but so often, the areas are just blocked off.

The geese were NOT happy

During our walk, I was able to get a few chickadees to eat out of my hand, always so cheering. Unfortunately, it’s been so dry there were no frogs in the bog, parts of which was either frozen or dry. The rest of the walk was uneventful, although that final part through Westbrook I think was a bit hard on Stella. She seemed disappointed that none of the cars at the trail head were mine. The walk through the neighbourhood added an extra half hour, for a total of about two hours.

It was about 21C, I believe. We had one day in April that was 23C!

Stella on Saturday

 

Stick Day!

Went for a walk in Whitemud Ravine with Stella and Sharon on Sunday. There is still snow in spots, but the path down the power line is clear, and the creek is running very high and very fast. Stella found a series of giant sticks and amused herself (and us) trying to haul them away.

 

It was overcast, but warm. Saturday was beautiful with a bright blue sky (like today, Monday) but I was mostly running errands so I didn’t go for a walk.

A gushing Whitemud Creek

I’ve been walking most work days home, and that will pick up now that the hockey season is almost over (thank god). One more home game, and then we are freeeee! I wish the Oilers were in the playoffs, but the regular season is such a time commitment already, so I’m not sad about gaining some more time in my life. More time, that is, to frolic in the woods after work and on the weekends.

8C (yesterday).