Hull Woods (Fish Creek Provincial Park)

Entering the forest.
  • Washrooms: beside parking lot  
  • Paved and Gravel Path
  • Parking: Lot on Site (first left off the park road)
A Drowned Forest Comes Back to Life! 

Today I walked through the Hull Woods in the northeast corner of Fish Creek Provincial Park.  Turning right from the parking lot, I followed a newly refinished gravel path weaving between small meadows and old trees with wide trunks and generous canopies.  Unfortunately, the nearby river drowned this area in the 2013 floods, and left as many horizontal trees as vertical ones.  Long, dead trunks lay wedged in amongst the living forest, roots thrusting indecently in the air, and the ground below now looks like a dry river bed, covered with stones and gravel smoothly by the moving water.  It was as solemn as a graveyard.

The dead mingle with the living.

But life always returns.  Grasses and young trees have started to poke through this rocky overlay, the rotting trunks were covered with moss and lichen, and there were birds everywhere!  Pelicans above the river, a hawk, and so many songbirds that I had neither seen nor heard before.  Definitely full of life!

Determined ducks battling the river's current.

The path eventually brought me close to the river, where I watched even more birds.  Pelicans flying along the river valley, and a team of ducks struggling against the current, half-swimming and half-flapping, and eventually launching out of the water entirely to fly the rest of the way.  I even saw a flock of seagulls fishing in the shallow rapids close to the shore.  They darted in and out of the water, and one even came out with a fish!  Like many others, I've always dismissed the gull as a dirty annoyance, but seeing them at work in the river today was impressive.  In fact, it led me to some research, and I invite you to check out this post written by a very enthusiastic seagull enthusiast:  7 Habits Highly Effective Seagulls

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