On the banks of the Bow

Marching towards spring? Perhaps, but there’s no rush. Still time to find some winter.

DSCF4448We went looking for winter last weekend, out on the banks of the Bow. We found a chill wind blowing. Deep snow, and no sign of any fellow humans out and about. Previously made snowshoe tracks were well buried under a fresh blanket of snow. To be fair, there were fresh snowshoe tracks – those of a snowshoe hare. A deer or two had evidently passed through shortly before we did, so we weren’t entirely alone.

DSCN7434Winter had a pretty good grip on the landscape. Thin patches of filmy ice drifted down river. We stood still and silent, hoping to catch sight of the little dipper we often encounter along this particular stretch. A sudden splash alerted us to the presence of something larger, and a minute later we spotted a beaver swimming in front of the far bank.

Not impressed

Unimpressed with us, back view only, it hunched over and chewed on a branch in the shallows opposite. We waited for a few moments more, hoping it would turn and permit us a photograph. No, nothing doing. We began to sidle away, a slow exit stage left, when the beaver hopped up, flipped, and dove into the water. Up it popped, and off it swam, upstream. What a wonderful sight! We plodded on, cold on the outside, but warmed on the inside after the brief encounter.

DSCF4434Two Steller’s jays appeared, emerging from a heavily branched pine, chattering and scolding us as we passed by. Our winged escort for quite a way, flitting from tree to tree, and branch to branch, they were sometimes hard to spot, but little puffs of snow and a flash of blue revealed them each time they took off. Eventually we left their territory, but they were a welcome sight for a while.

A jay could make a nest in this…

We half expected the jays to reappear when we stopped to eat our lunch, knowing them to be cheeky and opportune enough to dive for a crumb or two. Didn’t happen, and that was ok. Safely out of jay territory, we perched on a log in the shelter of trees, no wind, and in sight and sound of the river. Out of the wind, our break was pleasant enough.

Lunch stop

We’d found winter, and it was in fine form. A burbling river, light snow falling, signs of life all around, and the sun beginning to emerge through breaks in the grey, this was as good a late winter March morning one could have wished for.

DSCF4453Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!


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I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

23 thoughts on “On the banks of the Bow”

    1. I always enjoy the warmth in many of your posts – and I’m happy enough to share some of our cold (cold, but in a beautiful way, out in the mountains!)
      Thanks, and I hope your weekend went well!


  1. “X” marks the spot. I think it is a good experience to see the beaver and very impressed with the stellar jay sightings. Also I agree with you about not rushing into spring. Better to be in the moment.


    1. It was a pleasant spot to be taking our time! Looks like we’re in for another chinook, and milder temperatures for a couple of weeks…
      Hope your weekend is going well!


  2. Winter’s still got a solid grip on the Bow River landscape, and you’ve got a solid grip on the camera. Beautiful pictures that capture the serenity of the mountain forest and its modest lives of spruce and pine, of beaver, Steller’s jay and (possibly submerged) dipper. Thanks for another enjoyable post!


    1. As you always manage to document so well over at Rivertop Rambles, searching for and finding serenity in wilder places keeps everything in perspective!
      Thanks, Walt, and I hope your weekend is going well!


    1. Very happy you can enjoy our cold as a quick visit! I love it here, but have to admit to (sometimes!) being wistful about the Southern California temperatures this time of year…
      Thanks, and I hope your weekend is going well!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful winter hike, pc — thanks to you and Mrs. PC for allowing us to join you and the beaver and the Steller’s jays. I am always studying beaver dams and the trees they take down, looking for this wonderful mammal, and still have never seen one. So I was awed by your photo and experience here. Although I am not often in fresh snow, one of my favorite things is to scurry around looking at the fresh animal tracks, so I liked hearing about the hare and other tracks, too. Terrific post, my friend~~


    1. We were surprised and thrilled to see the beaver! It’s always amazing to see signs of animal life, and especially so when the temperatures are low. All the little sights warm us up!
      Thanks, Jet, and I hope you’re having a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reading this with a light sunburn (yes I did use sunscreen..apparently not enough….) it looks cold! I know that your cold is probably more like my cold in Sweden, and nothing like the humid cold that we sometimes have here in the winter. You are a great storyteller!


    1. Thanks, Maria!
      Haha, oh yes, it’s a dry cold up here! I like it – if you dress right, it’s not a problem.
      Sounds like you are well into spring, with sunshine and your garden underway – enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

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