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Western Wood Lily / Lilium philadelphicum | by annkelliott
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Western Wood Lily / Lilium philadelphicum

This was taken two days ago, when we were doing a bio-blitz on the 40-acre property belonging to the Cartwright family, west of Waiporous, Alberta. Such a warm, bright splash of colour.


Friends and I had such a great day the day before yesterday, 30 June 2018, travelling westward into the mountains for a bio-blitz on the land belonging to such a delightful family. I hardly know where to begin - and I won't do so until I have had (late) breakfast and a mug of coffee.


Each of the adult brothers and sisters live elsewhere, but share this precious land and return whenever they want some good old nature therapy and family time. After spending a few hours strolling through their forest and exploring their wetland, I can completely understand why they love returning to this precious spot. Not only are all these siblings such friendly, welcoming people, the family has also generously placed this huge area into a trust, to make sure that it is forever left the way it is. "Property acquired by parents 50 years ago (1968?). An easement was placed on the land preventing any family member from disposing of their 'share', thus disallowing the fragmentation of this biologically rich area." Information from Gus Yaki.


Coffee and baked goodies were waiting for us on arrival - what a treat! Later in the walk, more coffee and goodies were waiting at a spot just before a long, wooden boardwalk. When I say boardwalk, I mean it was just one plank wide, with water and bog on either side. I do not have good balance and I immediately regretted attempting this, ha. Every single, tiny, slow step was taken with great care, I can assure you, and I was amazed that I didn't fall in.


Two of the younger members of the family have made a documentary about conservation in Southern Alberta. Clear-cutting of the forest is a big concern - we saw evidence of this on our drive to the Cartwright's property. This is one of two short films to be shown by CPAWS on 4 July at Cardell Theatre in Calgary. They will be followed by a panel discussion with local experts and conservationists. Tickets have to be reserved.


"In Alberta, public lands in the foothills are being clearcut at a rate faster than they can recover with little opportunity for public input or understanding. Forests, Fins & Footprints is a community-funded documentation of clearcutting in the Ghost Valley — a watershed located just upstream of Calgary, on the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains.


Wondering how to make a difference, we asked for answers from environmentalists, biologists, geologists, and people who live and work on the land. How does clearcutting affect an area's water, landscape, and wildlife, as well as the people living in that watershed? How will clearcut forestry impact the future? And how can we as a society move forward more thoughtfully?” Taken from the link below.


It is always puzzling to me how our Naturalist leader meets so many people who live on ranches or acreages. It was a very different story two days ago, when we learned that he had offered a free bio-blitz (mind you, our bio-blitzes are always free!) at a Silent Auction : ) This family had won this "prize", and we couldn't have asked for a more appreciative group of family members to offer our help to. As always, the landowners 'win' by being given a very detailed list of every plant, etc. that is growing on their land. We also 'win' because we get to meet so many great people and see so many places that we would otherwise never get the chance to see.

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Taken on June 30, 2018