When Alf A. Hole started his Wild Goose Sanctuary in Rennie, he didn’t know that 70 years later the sanctuary would still exist. Now the place is quiet and pleasant for a Saturday in the wild.

Guest at the tableGuest at the table

In the beginning we went for a bite, with some unexpected but welcome visitors. This little chipmunk was happy with a peanut. I always keep peanuts in my camera bag for this kind of opportunity. You peanut, me picture, everybody happy.

This is valid for all countries in the world. In French they say “Nul n’est censé ignorer la loi”. Fine, but sometimes it is difficult to understand, for lawyers, bookkeepers and even judges. A better way of stating this title would be “Nobody is supposed to be ignorant about the law”, meaning you must know about it. Ignorance is not an excuse.

View from the rotunda, straight up View from the rotunda, straight up

Ok, that’s heavy stuff, I can understand that this statement could fire up many a discussion. No problem there, that’s good for the long and cold winter evenings :-)

The subject on this blog is more about appearances.

Yeah, I know what you are thinking: Henk has gone on a fancy tour… Possible, but there is no other word than anachronism for something that does not belong in the time period where things are supposed to happen. Imagine Roman gladiators with wristwatches.

Fort Garry, MB, Canada, 2010 Fort Garry, MB, Canada, 2010

Or imagine yourself, with your nice and shiny DSLR in a fort in the 19th century. You’d feel slightly out of place. Ok, perhaps not you, but me, yes…

The Spirit Sands in Manitoba have been a place were the aboriginals would go only if really necessary. And then only for a short time. On a normal summer day the temperature can rise here to around +40C, making the sand a nice roasting +55C.

Sand in all its beauty Sand in all its beauty

This is what you expect from a desert. And this is what you get in the Sprucewoods Provincial Park’s Spirit Sands. This is not a picture on the beach, I can assure you. Not that we don’t have any beaches, but this was definitely not one.

Have you ever been to a place where you are told to take water with you? Nowadays, if you fly, you cannot even take more than a sip with you (at least not more than 100ml). When you think of Canada and more of Manitoba specifically, you don’t think there are places where you need water and cannot get it. There is a place in a park (!) where this is the case.

Water unfit for immediate consumption Water unfit for immediate consumption

The only available water at the entrance of the park is this… Not recommended for immediate consumption. Welcome to the Spirit Sands in Sprucewoods Provincial Park, Manitoba. The only place that would qualify for the name of desert in Canada.