I was reminded today of the A.A. Milne poem, At The Zoo. I couldn’t remember it all, but I did recall the part about biffalo-buffalo-bison. I saw several Wood Bison today on a hike with my eldest son and his wife in Elk Island National Park. The bison are huge, majestic, and too scary to get too close to.
Wood Bison are conserved at the park and their numbers have increased from about 200 in 1957 to about 2500 today. In 2008, 53 Wood Bison were transferred from Elk Island to Alaska where, after a period of time in quarantine, 100 were reintroduced to their native habitat in 2015.
Our walk on the Beaver Pond Trail took about an hour-and-a-half and was accompanied most of the way by the sound of frogs croaking. The sky was clear and the perfect backdrop to the newly-forming bright green leaf buds. We also saw a few Downy Woodpeckers and several different kinds of butterflies.
The trail has several ponds on both sides and there was lots of evidence of the presence of beavers. We saw their teeth marks in tree stumps and several large lodges. One lodge seemed to have become a home for a large family of geese. I hope they get along with their neighbours.
It was a lovely way to celebrate Mothers’ Day and we topped it off with lunch at the Elk Island Golf Course restaurant. Perfect.
The following video is just to give you a sense of the sounds we heard on our walk.