CARlYLE - Dion Cochrane is a locally born and raised Carlyle woman who has been employed by Carlyle Home Hardware for many years, first with her family and then with Katie and Nancy Matthewson.
She is a devout lover of Mother Nature and faithfully each week posts a nature-related subject on her personal Facebook page using the hashtag FencepostFridays.
An early spring morning for a hiking excursion went to the countryside located approximately eight kilometres northwest of Carlyle. It was dreary and rainy that day but within minutes we spotted a mother moose with her year-old calf less than 100 metres away. The scenery was breathtaking, and the higher elevation enabled us to see the Town of Carlyle as clear as a bell.
After trudging on several trails, the spring crocuses were popping out of the ground. The paths were easy and soft to walk on.
Cochrane’s father and mother, Boyd and Betty Cochrane, were also nature lovers and travelled all over the countryside. Dion has followed in her parent’s footsteps.
“I have always appreciated the beauty and awe of Mother Nature,” said Cochrane. “It is so peaceful, and the countryside is simply beautiful. The crocuses are starting to bloom and shortly there will be a sea of purple in the fields along with a raft of pussy willows. Lady slippers and prairie lilies will bloom later in June and July.
“I have seen a lot of wildlife over the years including moose, elk, deer, and beavers. Geese, ducks, and other birds are plentiful. I saw some turkey vultures the other day.”
Although only a few minutes from Carlyle, the terrain is hilly, and the elevation is much higher than town. There was a surprising amount of vegetation and a lot of wetlands and water. Based on a map of the RM of Moose Mountain, the hike was in the extreme northwest corner of the municipality. Many quarter sections of land there are owned by the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, its Habitat Trust Branch, and the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
New provincial trespassing guidelines came into effect Jan. 1 so permission is required to enter.
Talking to Boyd Cochrane about the excursion that day brought back some fond memories.
“You and Dion were on the trail known as the Fish Lake Road, which heads north and follows the west shore of Hewitt Lake. Until 1931, that was the only way you could get to Fish Lake, or what is now known as Kenosee Lake. In the late ’20s and early ‘30s, my grandfather helped build the road that is now known as Highway … 9.”
Dion loves nature and regularly treks to various locales in southeastern Saskatchewan, including Kenosee, White Bear and the Cannington Lakes. “Repeatedly walking the woods and fields provides me with an inner peace. It is so uplifting and relaxing. The scenery is amazing, and you just never know what you’ll find.”
Cochrane started Fencepost Fridays on Facebook three years ago.
“I had seen #fencepostfriday being used on social media. I thought I could combine my pictures that I take when I’m out doing my walks or driving out and about, as a Fencepost Friday gig. I encourage others to share a fencepost picture when commenting on my post.
“And there are a lot that faithfully post. The pictures are mostly from the Prairies but there have also been pictures from other countries and provinces including Mexico, the U.S.A. and Australia. It can be a bit silly. But then again, I figure we all need a bit of silly sometimes.”
Spring is right around the corner and Cochrane urges you to put on your hiking boots, leave your troubles behind, and come on out and enjoy the scenery. In addition, everyone is welcome to visit her weekly Fencepost Fridays Facebook posts.
She noted the months of May and June really bring out the ticks, so dress accordingly.