Wednesday, November 16, 2011

McArthur Island Park ~ Autumn ~ Kamloops, BC

The frost was definitely on the pumpkin this morning but with that came the crisp autumn air and bright sunshine in a beautiful blue sky!  What a perfect morning for a walk and photos, can't leave home without my camera.  So we headed down to McArthur Island Park, a great place to do some walking and enjoy Mother Nature's autumn treasures.
The Great Blue Heron stands quietly at the waters' edge
On this fall morning, there is not much activity in the park like there is in the summer months, but there are plenty of our feathered friends there on our visit today. We saw some ducks down by the boat launch with one lonely great blue heron sharing the water.

A lone runner on McArthur Island path
There is a 3.1km paved walkway around the perimeter of the park and we followed that with many stops and diversions.  We passed a lone runner and several walkers who find this a great place for their morning exercise routine. Summertime there are a lot more walkers and lots of roller bladers enjoying the park walkway, too.
The gulls on the Thompson River
The gulls congregate along the edges of the sandy beach, barely visible here.  The morning sun casts some great shadows and shapes on the hillside on the south side of the Thompson River.  The clear blue sky and hills are reflected in the water, which doesn't appear to be moving too quickly until we watched a duck floating in the middle of the river at a pretty fast pace.

The last of the  cottonwood leaves
The last of the leaves are still hanging onto a few of the cottonwoods and brighten up from the sunshine on this gorgeous morning. This view is across the Thompson River to the sandbar that isn't visible in the early springtime when the river is high. This location offers beaches when the river is at its' summer levels but not as much as it shows now.

Canada Geese on the soccer field at McArthur Island Park
There was a time that Canada Geese were expected to fly south for the winter but it seems that in recent years, some have decided that Kamloops is far enough south and many of them stay here for the winter.  There is no one using any of the soccer fields at this time of year so I guess the geese feel they can.  I do believe some of them will decide to leave once winter gets in full swing... or will they?

McArthur Island Park pathway
The path is visible from the parking areas for most of the perimeter of the park but there is a portion that is behind the McArthur Island golf course and today we are out on a nature walk away from the bustle of the city.  The park has much to offer including the Gregson Butterfly Garden and a xeriscape garden at other locations in the park.  More info on them by clicking on their names.

Squirrel stands to get a better view
The squirrels are busy collecting their winter food supply and seem to think that we may have something for them.  They may find treats from the many people who do use the park whether it is for golf, soccer, football or baseball, there are thousands of people who frequent this beautiful park every year.
Squirrel hoping for some treats
These little guys are quite brave and one came within an arms length from me while I was taking some pictures, he didn't appear to fear me being so close. This photo was taken at the seating area near the footbridge over the Slough where there is usually much going on for us and the little critters in the area.

McArthur Park has much to offer with the Sports and Events Centre for year round use and the McArthur Island Youth Centre for youth activities and is home for the Boys and Girls Club of Kamloops. The Kamloops Skatepark is a great place for the kids and their skateboards which sees lots of activity during the summer months. The Norbrock Stadium and the Lawn Bowling are quiet at this time of year but offer lots during the summer months, too. We are very fortunate to have such a great center for all to use and enjoy... and so are the Canada Geese.