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Early this morning we took a guided canoe tour of the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area.

Just myself, Ruth, a French-Canadian couple from New Brunswick and two young wildlife area employees.

It was cool and the air fresh, perfect conditions for gently gliding across the lily covered water.
All around us grew clumps of cat-tail reeds, a bountiful resource for all the wildlife in the area, as food, cover and nesting material. Our guide even had us eat some – a slightly more flavorful lettuce it struck me. The reeds do not root in the nutrient rich waters, so little free-floating islands drift around the water changing the shape of the lake after each strong wind.

However, even in this paradise there is trouble. English irises have begun to colonize the wetland, a beautiful flower to be sure, but of zero value to the resident wildlife and very difficult to dislodge once established.

The boat trip made for a very pleasant start to the day, listening to the birds and French conversation of the couple sitting behind us, watching a heron take off, and paddling gently through the placid water. Just as we were leaving, some rain showers fell. We had timed it perfectly.