Last evening, before my pond walk with Max, I headed west and south to the Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area. We will be taking our grade threes on a field trip to the location and in order to be fully prepared, a session is required for all instructors. I attended with friends and colleagues, Jenn and Emily. Lots of laughs and beautiful sunshine were shared. Having a brand new camera meant that my head was sometimes out of range once we were outdoors. But certainly I learned a lot about the conservation area from Maureen, the presenting educator, while we were inside. (I have to say that the three yellow finches at the feeder located right outside the classroom were a little bit of a distraction.) From their website, this.
“Sandy Cross is the son of A.E. Cross (one of the Calgary Stampede’s “Big Four”) and Helen Rothney Macleod. Sandy started purchasing land south of Calgary in 1945 for what would become Rothney Farm and eventually the Cross Conservation Area. In 1987, Sandy and his wife Ann donated nearly 2,000 acres of their land to the Province of Alberta. At the time, it was the largest private land donation in Canadian history and was operated by the Nature Conservancy of Canada.”
The land is spectacular and the approach that is taken in regards the sustaining the ecosystems is, by my standard, fabulous. What a beautiful start to Thursday evening!
From the Conservation Area, I swung home and picked up Max. The sun was beginning to set and the birds seemed to be very active at Frank’s Flats. I played a little with my camera and while they certainly aren’t perfectly focused, I will never forget my encounter with the male Black-crowned Night Heron and his mate. Beautiful call…huge wing span…and a circle on the blue sky before alighting onto the brush below. I also had a visit with the osprey…trying to capture the front of the male, but shooting into sunshine.