Journal archives for June 2022

June 01, 2022

Mud Butte Alberta

I was recently working near Monitor Alberta. On the road there was a single blue sign pointing to an area called "Mud Butte". These signs are typical for tourist attractions but I had no idea what to expect. Upon arrival, there was an incredible but relatively small badland section. There's very little information about this site and there was only one iNaturalist observation at the time that made in 2021. This isn't a long post but I thought I would try and entice others to check it out by sharing some of my observations and a drone video of the site I found on YouTube (another visitor that was intrigued by the random sign it appears).

Drone video showing the landscape:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yB9K8vGb44

There was quite a variety of flowering plants that quilted the edges of the canyon. Wax-leaf Beardtongue (Penstemon nitidus) stole the show and were a brilliant blue that contrasted the dark and windy skies. The valley hosted lots of Plains Pricklypear (opuntia polycantha), some sitting on top of small hoodoos while others cascaded into sinkholes and eroded soils. I should say that there are no formal pathways and that it's a bit of a scramble every direction. Use caution when walking ANYWHERE as you never know what could happen in terrain like this.
Lamp
https://inaturalist.ca/observations/119027715
Lamp
https://inaturalist.ca/observations/119449732

Besides the geology and flowers, my personal highlight was finding a Rock Wren. I had seen one some time ago (~3 years or so), but never heard it sing or was able to capture a photo. As soon as I walked into the valley I heard it calling and knew exactly what it was. It finally showed itself and I captured a few photos...but of course a small stick blocked half of it. I'm not sure I can consider this to be a nemesis bird because of so few experiences but it's not too far off from taking the title.
Lamp
https://inaturalist.ca/observations/119449385

Anyways, I highly recommend checking this place out if you are in the area! Only about 25km from the Saskatchewan border, you can literally see SK from the top! Also, Keep your eyes peeled for thunderstorms rolling over the plains and clear nights filled with stars.

Instagram Reel I made showing a portion of the landscape:

Posted on June 01, 2022 22:09 by wowokayyes wowokayyes | 33 observations | 1 comment | Leave a comment

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