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Manitoba from the Air
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Epinette Creek and Sand Dunes East of Shilo

In the western half of this panchromatic photo are two dune complexes 1 2; the northern one is completely stabilized, but the southern one is less so. The latter shows areas of very light-toned bare sand 3, but it is mostly grass-covered (light grey) 4 with an area of dark-toned coniferous trees, probably white spruce (Picea glauca), to the west 5. The northern complex is mainly grass-covered 6 with patches of deciduous trees, probably aspen (Populus tremuloides) 7, and isolated white spruce (Picea glauca) 8 identified by their dark tone and triangular shadow shape. Dune ridges bound the dune complexes 9, 10, 11. The central of the three shows an interesting variation in vegetation cover: the south side, with a dry microclimate, is bare or grass covered 12; the north, wetter side, is grass or tree-covered 13. A similar arrangement is seen on the northern ridge 11. Other indefinite stabilized dune ridges occur in the northwest 14.

East of the dunes Epinette Creek 15 occupies a dark-toned area 16—the path of a former distributary of the Assiniboine River across its delta. The creek flows southeastward to join the Assiniboine River off the photo. The trees in this area are mainly tamarack (Larix laricina) that can exist in wet conditions, but east of the creek 17 are stands of light-toned trees, probably deciduous trees that have changed colour on this fall photo.

In the northeast is a small patch of agricultural land 18. The CN line crosses the area in the north 19, and a light-toned path 20 can be seen in the east. This is probably used only by military vehicles as the area lies within the Shilo range and training area. A circular depressed area 21 east of the northern dune complex defies easy explanation. Less clearly defined circular features occur further south 22.

Figure 3.97

Epinette Creek and Sand Dunes East of Shilo