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Thread: Elk Island National Park

  1. #21
    A few more pictures of the bison. The park has 2 separate herds, both containing 500 to 600 animals each. Something I didn't know before going there, as I thought there was only 1 kind of bison. The park itself is cut in half by the Trans Canada highway with both the north and south parts of the park surrounded by a fence. The north part of the park, which is more developed with a 27 km parkway, a golf course, camp ground, and recreation area contains the woodland bison. These are the kind we saw the most of and came the closest to. They are darker in colour and larger than the plains bison, who live in the south part of the park. The south park of the park is only accessible on foot but has several hiking paths. I didn't get a chance to go in that part but we were able to see several large groups of plains bisons grazing near the fence as we drove on the highway coming into the park. Because there are no predators in the park (the fences keep out the black bears and cougars common in the area), the herds often outgrow the park's capacity and are routinely relocated to other areas in Western Canada to help replenish other herds. We even saw an exhibit about a small herd from the park that was taken to Siberia in 2006 and has successfully allowed the reintroduction of wild bison there for the first time in 5000 years, which I thought was pretty cool. The park's elk are also relocated to different places in North America where the populations have fallen.

    Probably more than anybody wanted to know about the park's bison lol. But I was quite taken by them. It's kind of hard to get an idea of how big they are from the pictures. But the one of my partner's hand in one of the hoof prints from the beach gives you a good idea. A hazard I never expected to encounter while rolling around the park was buffalo patties. They were huge and abundant around the beach and picnic area and I had to be careful. As you can see from the shot of the playground lol. I really didn't want buffalo poo all over my tires. Thankfully (and rather strangely, I thought), they didn't smell and the bison were for the most part considerate enough to go on the grass and not the paved paths. We watched the park staff came by and good naturedly scoop the piles up. Apparently in the summer they have to do it several times a day in the area around the lake that is popular with both tourists and the bison. The grass was still bright green there and yellow and dead elsewhere. I am guessing the bison are great fertilizers
    Last edited by orangejello; 10-18-2008 at 08:28 PM.

  2. #22
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    I clicked on the pictures, before reading the text, and when I saw the hand shot, I though you had taken one of your nephews along! I would have never thought their hooves to be so big! (And, as it follows the animal)

    Cool pictures!
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

  3. #23
    I wanted to post some more but it looks like now the pictures are attached links instead of embedded in the message?

    Maybe an updating bug?

    lol sjean yes that is a full grown man's hand beside the hoof print. I don't think I would like to be on the receiving end of a kick from a bison The signs said to keep at least 100 metres (300 yards) away from them and to make noise so they knew you were there. It also said that while rare, they do on occasion charge if they feel threatened. A picture of somebody fleeing a charging bison was posted all over the park. Seeing that was enough to keep me well back of the recommended distance lol.

    However some of the bison were curious and while we didn't see any approach people directly, they would themselves come closer than the 100 metres and just stand there and watch what you were doing. Or just start grazing and ignore you. The funniest thing we saw was this tiny chiuaua that was going ballistic and trying to break free from his owner and go on the attack when a bison walked by. The bison stopped and just watched the him calmly. I was imagining the bison laughing to himself thinking "just try it little dog."
    Last edited by orangejello; 10-18-2008 at 10:42 PM.

  4. #24
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    .................
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

  5. #25
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    A while back they always were like that, if you attached more than one picture, it made a list instead. It doesn;t for links. I post my pictures to photobucket a lot, it takes care of the resizing issues as well, then I link to them.

    So NOW, everyone else, for your viewing pleasure, here are Orange JEllo's pictures.\

    (Linking to YOUR posts .....)











    Last edited by sjean423; 10-18-2008 at 10:47 PM.
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

  6. #26
    thanks sjean! That was very nice of you

  7. #27
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    It seemed to be working ok for you tho when you were posting the "testing" pics?
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by sjean423 View Post
    It seemed to be working ok for you tho when you were posting the "testing" pics?
    It worked fine with one picture but not when I tried with two.

    But happily I managed to wrangle somebody into uploading everything to photo bucket for me as per your suggestion. And wow I should have thought about that earlier because it makes life (resizing) so much easier. Thanks again.

    A few shots of the accessible paths I was on. The wide paved path went along the shore of the lake for just over 3 km. The distance from the water varied, from a few feet away to going right into the trees. This was great because it allowed me to see a wide variety of different of both grassland and forest landscape. And animals. On this path we saw coyotes, deer, rabbits, geese, and beavers (the path also passed by a number of small ponds with beaver dams). There was also a paved causeway path over to one of the small islands on the lake but unfortunately we discovered it on our way back to the van and were running out time and light and I was afraid it was going to rain--which thankfully it didn't.

    The other path I was on was a wooden boardwalk that went right over top of the water and then wound back to the shore. It had a number of exhibits to look at as you went along also connected to the picnic/playground/washroom/parking lot/bison hang out area that also accessible. The only place I couldn't go in the main recreation area was right on the beach, although a sign said an accessible beach chair was available at the warden's office. We could see some other paths that I would have been able to go on, but time limited me to these two. But I was very happy with what I was able to see. It was much more than I expected. The small cafe at the golf course (the only commercial development in the park) was also fully accessible. I am not sure why that surprised me but it did.

    I think it would be nice if more places could have paths like this to allow everybody to get out and enjoy the outdoors. I can remember though being in one national park last summer that had a wonderful boardwalk winding through a rain forest. I was going along enjoying myself and then all of a sudden I ran into a set of stairs that could have easily been replaced by a fairly simple ramp. And it made me so upset because I had to turn around.

    I wanted to fix the exposure on the bottom two pictures because it was really beautiful with the all the reeds and swamp grass. But it's been a long day. I have a few more I want to post tomorrow.









    Last edited by orangejello; 10-19-2008 at 12:54 AM.

  9. #29
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    I would so love that boardwalk. My hikes mostly involve strong company!

    Photobucket usually works pretty well. But I was going nuts with it last night, kept losing what I was loading, then broke the links I made here by moving the Licorice set into a folder to post on the reeve site. LOL

    Plus the ads are soooooo annoying. So it depends on my mood. And how many pictures.

    I use webshots too sometimes. Or something like that. There is a lot of family and people stuff there as well, so I started using photobucket when I was linking something public. SOmetimes I mess up the link, and leave a door open to all my albums, and I didn;t want to do that on a public site.
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by sjean423 View Post
    I would so love that boardwalk. My hikes mostly involve strong company!

    Photobucket usually works pretty well. But I was going nuts with it last night, kept losing what I was loading, then broke the links I made here by moving the Licorice set into a folder to post on the reeve site. LOL

    Plus the ads are soooooo annoying. So it depends on my mood. And how many pictures.

    I use webshots too sometimes. Or something like that. There is a lot of family and people stuff there as well, so I started using photobucket when I was linking something public. SOmetimes I mess up the link, and leave a door open to all my albums, and I didn;t want to do that on a public site.
    I agree you would have loved the boardwalk. The pictures I have don't really show how far over the water it went. I have to admit I felt a little scared at first because the thought of going out over open water like that freaked me out. If I had been walking I wouldn't have given it a second thought. But I guess I started getting visions of 300 plus pounds combined of me and chair crashing through the wood and sinking to the bottom of the lake. Pleasant thoughts to have in such a beautiful place I did overcome my fear though and went along the whole boardwalk.

    Now that you mention it I did try to post a link to a photo bucket gallery of park pictures on another site I post on. Then I realized my link gave open access to a bunch of family pictures we also uploaded. So I removed the link. Still need to figure out photo bucket.

    I finally got the set of non-cell phone pictures which turned out better than the others. Here is a beaver I saw from the paved path. Didn't see him for long as apparently he was busy and on his way somewhere else. He was starting to swim away from his house when we saw him.

    Edit: Okay not sure why my resizing keeps going wonky and everything is coming out too big or too small. Doesn't matter I guess.
    Last edited by orangejello; 10-19-2008 at 11:49 PM.

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