The Best Kept Secrets

One of the best kept secrets, at least in terms of wilderness areas with very few visitors is Condie Nature Refuge, located west of Regina, Saskatchewan. The history of the area is somewhat convoluted, frequented and perhaps settled by the indigenous people of the Cree, Assiniboine, and Saulteaux tribes on the southern plains of Saskatchewan. In the past, there has been evidence of teepee rings and primitive tools discovered in the area. In fact, at one time there was a small museum situated there representing the history, including the flora and fauna unique to that area. Unfortunately, the museum building was torn down and most of the artifacts were most likely donated to the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina.

I have been visiting Condie Nature Refuge for over three decades and I never seem to grow weary of the place. Perhaps it is because the shoreline landscape is constantly changing through erosion. The little lake is indeed expanding its borders, the small animals like beavers, otters, porcupines, skunks, weasels, and gophers getting smaller in number with each passing year. Nevertheless, the area is still frequented by white tail and mule deer and is an oasis for birds of all shapes and sizes.

On this particular day I set out with a friend for a short walk along the northern shoreline of the lake to record the sights and sounds on a Panasonic mirrorless camera I had just picked up locally for a small sum of two hundred dollars. An exceptional deal given that the camera body and lens retailed, not so long ago, for over a thousand dollars.

I had no plan or script as to what I would be capturing digitally. I was just “winging it” and making eclectic choices to record whatever interested me along the way. Granted, having a plan and a script when shooting video is always a good idea as this leads to more productive post production and ultimately a much better story. But this day was going to be different in so many ways. A time to reminisce with an old friend and to enjoy our natural surroundings like we were intended to.

Condie Nature Refuge. © 2017 Bruce Kraus. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

A few days later I sat down to edit the video I had accumulated. At first, I had no idea as to how I was going to put together a bunch of eclectic shots into some sort of coherent storyline. An almost impossible task until I realized why I frequent the refuge in the first place. Ultimately, I visit the area because it is so calm and peaceful. Almost a direct opposite of what life is like living in the city with so many people, constant traffic, noise, and even pollution.

With that in mind, I put together a HD movie that a person, such as yourself, can just toss up on the big screen and sit back and relax to soothing music and calming video. Sometimes we get so busy in life that we cannot differentiate the individual trees from the forest. From my perspective, one needs to see and experience both the forest (the big picture) and the trees (the details).

At the very least, that’s my story and I am sticking to it. Happy Canada Day! Cheers!

The Sun is Scheduled to Come Out Tomorrow by Chris Zabriskie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.