Little Fish Lake

Last weekend was a busy one, and quite productive, as it turned out.  I have two new paintings for the Plein Air Page.  I visited the Royal Tyrrell Museum, saw my sister perform in the Canadian Badlands Passion Play, and met some relatives there whom I hadn’t seen in quite a long time.  I used my itty-bitty Primus stove for the first time, and it works exceedingly well.

I remembered to take easel shots.

Little Fish easel

hoodoos on location

Little Fish Lake Provincial Park is well over 20 kilometres north of Rosedale, which is east of Drumheller.  It’s down a long gravel road, starting at the first exit after Hoo Doos Provincial Recreation Area, which was where the second photo was taken.  Because of its remoteness, it’s a great spot for some peace and quiet, though not absolute solitude.

You might be surprised to hear that a campground so far out on the prairies has trees, but there are quite a few around there.  What’s missing is undergrowth, so while there is shade, there isn’t much privacy—but that’s okay, because you’ll probably have plenty of space between you and your neighbor.

The sites are grass, rather than gravel, each with a firepit (wood is not available).  The outhouses aren’t bad.  I’ve read comments online saying that the lake smells unpleasant: I didn’t notice that at all, but swimming is not allowed here (and the marshy shoreline is not really suitable anyway).

Like other prairie lakes, Little Fish Lake draws large numbers of birds.  It’s an important nesting site for the endangered Piping Plover.  While none of those were in evidence while I was there, I did see dozens of pelicans; more than I’d ever seen in one place.  There were also numerous swallows, at least three hawks (I want to say red-tailed, but I’ve been wrong about that too many times), a brilliant Baltimore Oriole, and a Yellow Warbler.  On the way back to Drumheller on Sunday I had to stop to avoid hitting a Marbled Godwit in the road.

Part of me thinks I should say I wished I’d brought my binoculars, but I saw plenty without them.


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