We had a delightful 400 mile drive today in perfect weather. The countryside in Manitoba is like Kansas – mostly flat. There are a few hills, but it’s mostly a pancake. It’s pretty and green, but Yosemite it is not.
Breaking up the monotony were many roadside ponds. For a long stretch there were also ditches with rushes growing in them and lots of Red-winged Blackbirds.
But mostly it was like this. When we arrived in Moose Jaw we found the clock had changed again – to Mountain Time, believe it or not.
I had received an email from sister Janet, telling me that there was a Burrowing Owl Interpretive Center so we started there.
The Admin building is on the left, a gazebo in the middle, and the open-air cages on the right. The Center is well done, and emphasizes healthy prairie habitat partnerships with the farmers and ranchers. Burrowing Owls are good at killing mice and grasshoppers, but not so good with poisoned mice and grasshoppers. I guess this is a story most Auduboners are familiar with. Continued good luck to the Center promoting these partnerships.
Most of the owls are injured and unable to be wild (this one, for instance), and they are fed remotely so as not to habituate to the keepers. A couple are habituated on purpose to use for Show and Tell trips out to schools.
We then wound our way through Moose Jaw to the Wakamow Heights B&B.
This house began as the home of Wellington White who made a fortune making the bricks with which to build Moose Jaw. (He also had a home in Long Beach, CA, and his children ended up living there. Stuart? Any relation?) The current owners are the second to make it a B&B and it is a work in some progress. Our room is great – the Penthouse Suite. It’s a moderately warm day and the breeze is keeping us cool.
After last night’s dinner semi-failure, I perused Tripadvisor with a sharp eye and discovered that most places in Moose Jaw are either ‘family’ or ‘bar’ or all you can eat Chinese buffets. Not promising. After having had lunch at a Dairy Queen we figured our calorie quota was almost full anyway, so we are eating cheese and crackers and apricots tonight.
(Photo credit to Alice for the flat country pictures taken at 120 kph)