Click on thumbnails
to expand photos

Flash Menu
 
 
Spirit Sands
Spruce Woods Provincial Park contains one of very few areas of sand dunes in Canada, called the Carberry sandhills, or Spirit Sands. This region is not a true desert, but the remnant of a sandy delta of the Assiniboine River, from a time when it ran into glacial Lake Agassiz. The sandhills are home to many unique plants and animals; including some cacti and hognose snakes.

It had its beginning more than 15,000 years ago. The Assiniboine River, much larger than it is today, created an enormous delta as it brought glacial meltwaters into ancient Lake Agassiz. Of the original 6,500 square kilometres of delta sand, only four square kilometres remain open; the rest is now covered with a rich variety of plants and wildlife. Wind-patterned sand, cacti and high temperatures make it tempting to call Spirit Sands a desert. Yet the moisture received here is 300-500 millimetres per year-nearly twice the amount received in a true desert region. This abundant rainfall enables plants to colonize or cover the dunes, decreasing the open sand area.

At the Devils Punch Bowl, sand slips and slides down a bowl-shaped depression 45 metres deep and disappears into an ever-moving, eerie pool of blue-green water. Although this may sound bizarre, it is part of the landscape of the Spirit Sands. Underground streams have eroded and collapsed the hills beside the Assiniboine River to create an unusual site. For centuries people have come here to see something special. World-renowned nature writer Ernest Thompson Seton walked the sandhills wanting to learn more about nature. Now, visitors come to see this rare and unusual part of Manitoba's natural legacy.

Spirit Sands Spirit Sands Spirit Sands
Spirit Sands Spirit Sands Spirit Sands
Spirit Sands Spirit Sands Spirit Sands
Spirit Sands Spirit Sands Spirit Sands
Spirit Sands Spirit Sands Spirit Sands
Spirit Sands Spirit Sands Spirit Sands
Spirit Sands Spirit Sands Spirit Sands
Spirit Sands Spirit Sands Spirit Sands
Spirit Sands Spirit Sands Spirit Sands
Spirit Sands Spirit Sands Spirit Sands
Spirit Sands Spirit Sands Spirit Sands
Spirit Sands Spirit Sands Spirit Sands
Spirit Sands Spirit Sands Spirit Sands
Spirit Sands Spirit Sands Spirit Sands


Assiniboine River Valley

The Devil's Punch Bowl

Spirit Sands

Spirit Sands




 

Web site design and all graphics and photos © 2005 - 2013 Stan Milosevic