Mission Creek Park: Explore the Snow

I was going to blog about this last Sunday but forgot to get the images off my camera before heading out to blog.

Friends of ours invited us to an event that was being held at Mission Creek Park last Saturday.  This was the first time the RDCO ran the “Explore the Snow” event.  With this being the first time the event had ever been run, there was a much larger turnout then they were expecting.

When we first got there, we entered the ECO Centre and went downstairs to register.  There were multiple craft tables set up and the kids were given a booklet to check off what they discovered during our hike along the trail.  When went outside and up towards the trail, it became evident just how huge the crowd of families was.

Mission Creek Park

The first bit of wildlife we encountered was a flock of ducks.  After watching the ducks and finding a squirrel in the tree, we started climbing up the stairs to a large clearing of mostly untouched (by human footprints) snow.

Ducks

Because of the size of the crowd and the fact that there were mostly younger children, it took quite some time to get all the way up the stairs to where we were going to see what types of animal tracks we could find in the snow.  Of course, by the time we got there (and we were far from the last heading up), they person guiding us was almost done her talk which she thankfully moved to the back of the gaggle and repeated for the rest of us who were still making our way upwards.

We walked through the (somewhat) untouched snow in search of tracks left by wildlife.  There was a checklist in the booklet we received at the ECO station that listed off the types of wildlife and footprints we could find in the area.  We eventually met back up with the trail and the next set of stairs to go back down which were incredibly icy.  I am surprised that only a few people slipped on the way down.  Again, a large gaggle of people were left behind from the main group.

Sunny Kelowna

There were more activities after the trail hike but our son and his friend were more into hanging out and digging in a giant snow pit near our car.  We let them play for a while in the snow before having to drag them away.  We missed out on analyzing snowflakes and creating a snow shelter but the length and timing of the event was a bit much for our overtired child and we could see other families were also leaving at that point.

The next event they have coming up is Geocaching in Rose Valley that we are hoping to attend.

Mission Creek Park

We finally made it to the Kokanee Salmon Run at Mission Creek Park before most of the fish had started dying!  We have made it a few times over the past four years but usually not until most of the fish had already died off.  Yesterday was the first time we saw very few dead fish.

Kokanee Salmon Run

Kokanee Salmon Run at Mission Creek Park, Kelowna

We went for our usual walk around which starts at the Environmental Education Centre where we cross the bridge, head left, cross the next bridge back over the creek and come back down.  On our way up the creek, we came across a lot of squirrels running about on the wooden railings.  I thankfully snapped two photos of this squirrel before it decided to jump ship because there were people walking from the other side of it:

Jumping Squirrel

Jumping Squirrel ship from the railing.

We knew there were bears in the area as there normally are at this time of the year because of all the Kokanee Salmon in the creek.  This fact was emphasized by five giant piles of bear scat we passed during our walk.

Mission Creek

Mission Creek view from a bridge.

Every time I visit, I ask myself why I do not visit Mission Creek Park more often.  I was going on hour long walks there in the Spring.  Perhaps it is time that I start doing so on my Tuesday/Thursday mornings off.