View the full Trans-Canadian Summer series
Tagging along behind a biologist can be great fun. Despite the looonnnggg drive required to get to Prince Albert National Park, the trip was worth it. There were lots of highlights of my visit which did not fit into the Chasing Bison series. So, I've lumped them here, and assure you patient readers that this is the last you'll hear of PANP...for a while. After all, it's harvest time back here in Quebec, and food, friends, and other adventures will surely require our attention.
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The corner of the park I visited, where Jerod works, is chock-full of aspens which cast a fairy-light on everything within the forest. Abuzz with dragonflies, it is a place where the vegetation is cloaked each morning in dew and ethereal spider webs. The earth literally hops out from under your feet - frogs scattering like splashes of mud with each footstep you take. The muffled huffing of bison, the rare wolf howl, the frequent shouting of loons, and the prehistoric yodeling of sandhill cranes convinced me that I had arrived in a world apart.
If all goes well, I'll spend next summer out here, working alongside Jerod in the mud and mosquitos - and the ripe wild blueberries, thimbleberries, strawberries and raspberries. I, too, will chase bison among the stinging nettles and the thunderstorms - in meadows thick with grass, deer and elk. Some days, it may not seem so magical. But, if it is anything like this visit, this aspen forest and its inhabitants will feel fairly enchanted on mornings like those pictured below. Click on any image to view a larger version.