|The reflection of evergreens in the Elbow River.|
This forest thrives in the Elbow River valley, mostly White Spruce with the odd deciduous tree popping up here and there. The paved and dirt pathways weave throughout the 93 hectares of this Special Protection Natural Environment Park, established just recently in 2000.
|A mysterious collection of miniature bird houses.|
The Elbow River also winds between the trees, and often widens to shallow back waters in which children, dogs, and the occasional adventuresome adult splash around and try their hand at skipping stones. The water is crystal clear, and the rocks and plants on the river bed glow as if they are just a couple inches below the surface. But while you could easily walk across the water in most place, you'll still spot a few deep pockets which darken from turquoise to almost a navy blue.
|The bridge of stones.|
The city is still working on restoring the path system in this park, and I found a variety of bridges crossing the river. One was a no-nonsense culvert that the city is hoping will handle any future large-scale flooding. Practical, but less than charming. The second bridge had more character, with its wood and iron single span arching over the water.
|Patterned ripples flowing between|
the steps of the stone bridge.
But my favourite of all was a series of large flat rocks placed so they were just jutting above the surface. Much less practical, but so much more fun! The current was shaped into geometric ripples as it flowed between the stones, and the river burbled and sparkled as it slid past.