The magic forest

 The inhabited and groomed section of my sister’s acreage is lovely, with wide open spaces for the dogs to run, bright flowers and some super interesting mushrooms. But it is the forest that calls.

With such a large property (15 acres), wild forest takes up the majority.
Some paths run through it, both man-made and moose-made. Each time we’ve ventured in, I lose track of where we are and emerge in an unlikely spot. 

The birds are plentiful and varied in this magical spot. Chickadees are everywhere and are easy to see. Yellow warblers can be heard, but have been impossible to photograph. I’ve seen and heard flickers, grackles, waxwings, wrens, robins, gulls and hawks.

Moose are present, particularly in the winter, though none have been around during our stay. My sister spotted a coyote yesterday morning and was instantly concerned for the safety of the dogs, especially Coco. 

It is quiet here with only a few vehicles passing on the road during the day.

When the wind blows, you feel it, as it has so much room to dance, across the fields and through the trees. This is true country life, full of as much solitude as you can handle. It is the perfect spot for our mini retreat in advance of our home completion. 

My sister Corinne called me out to look at something yesterday afternoon. “You’ll want to see what I found,” she said. 

She lead me into the forest, through bushes and brambles, to a particular tree. She had caught a squirrel positioning mushrooms up in the elbows of this one particular tree. We presumed that it was drying them out in preparation for the winter. Incredible. 

We are about 30 minutes from the city of Grande Prairie to the northeast, close to Kleskun Hill, a popular local landmark. When I struggle to sleep at night, I sit on the sofa in the living room that faces east. With big tall windows, I have a spectacular view of the stars. Perfect. 


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