The grasslands hills in Lac du Bois Grasslands Protected Area start with the lower grasslands-sagebrush slopes at the south end, but as we climb to the north, we enter the middle grasslands where we can hike through the open hills. By the mid-late part of March, wildflowers emerge to greet us as we rove through the open meadows. Sagebrush buttercups are the first to provide colour.
There is little sagebrush in the middle grasslands. Some green tussocks and low-growing clumps of perennials emerge through the brown grasses. A few ducks dabble in the ponds sheltered in bowl-shaped terrain.
Long Lake lies in the lowest basin in the middle grasslands. It is 1.6 km long. There was still some ice on the lake in mid-March, but waterfowl occupied the open water sections of the lake. There is a chain of ponds at either end of the Long Lake drainage. Three are visible from this viewpoint looking north.
Best of all, the middle grasslands have restricted motorized access so we can hike away from the road to appreciate the dry grasslands environment with only the sounds of the soughing wind and the meadowlarks along our route.