Cypress Hills Past & Present

_dsc4271-tifsign8Photo By Wendy Nuttall

Cypress Hills Past & Present

The history of the Cypress Hills begins with ancient peoples and First Nation’s people. The hills provided shelter and food for the people, who through their song, dance and the creation of boulder monuments provided the hills with a spiritual thank you.

Effigies and Boulder Monuments were stones and rocks placed in sequence to guide travellers, and for ceremonial dance. These are the reasons that we know of there are probably others. Perhaps as a form of art or creative expression. Boulder Monuments are known to be in the forms of turtles, salamanders like the one near Mankota, Saskatchewan, or serpents that traverse along the ground for many metres.


Human forms, bison and birds there are many different ones. A similar boulder monument to the one in this picture, is in the book titled ‘Boulder Monuments of Saskatchewan’, By G. Ian Brace.


First Nations Women now teach basket weaving. Wes Eng the owner of The Resort at Cypress Hills stops by to chat and admire the craftsmanship of the baskets. Note: The lodgepole pine in the wooden frame of the teepee and the trees that surround the clearing, where the teepee and basket weavers are situated. The lodgepole pines were a flora species misidentification. They were originally identified as Cypress Trees by the first European’s to explore the area. Hence the name Cypress Hills.

Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is the first interprovincial park in Canada and it provides benefits to both Alberta and Saskatchewan. The provinces have a common goal of preserving this unique geographic area. The Cypress Hills were untouched by the Laurentide Glacier during the last Wisconsin glaciation. The hills are the highest point between the Rocky Mountains and the Torngat Mountains in Labrador. The one of the highest lookouts in the Cypress Park is “Head of the Mountain” at 1446 meters (4557 feet).


The view looking down the Battle Creek Valley towards Fort Walsh, from a lookout at the Historic Reesor Ranch. Notice the conglomerate outcropping on the far left. Conglomerate formations are abundant in Cypress Hills.

The park provides local, national and international visitors the opportunity to expose their senses to the smell of pines mingled with prairie sage. The alpine landscape provides an ecosystem for orchids, lodge pole pines and unusual species of vegetation which thrive at these higher elevations. The park provides lovers of the Cypress Hills a place to form new friendships, a shared sense of pride and to offer “I wish you were here” invitations to fellow Canadians and International visitors.


Saskatchewan and Alberta work together to promote tourism which provides a financial boost to both local and provincial economies. There is a coalition of ranchers and their associations in the two provinces to provide summer grazing for cattle on the grasslands inside of the Interprovincial Park, which provides an agricultural economic benefit. This economic arrangement helps to provide financial sustainability for ranch and farm families of the two provinces


Moose, cattle, horses, mule deer, elk, and whitetail deer co-habitat together in the Cypress Hills.

_dsc7553-tif8 Young Bull Moose Browses on Aspen and Hawthorne Bushes.


From the days of the buffalo hunts to the cattle roundups and equestrian trail rides of today, the horse has played an important role in the partnership between Cypress Hills, humans and animals.


There are many partnerships including fish and game clubs, summer and winter recreational activities, Dark Sky Preserve and art programs that preserve and sustain the park. The newest partnership is The Cypress Hills Destination Area (CHDA). The CHDA includes local towns and villages, B & B’s, local eateries, guest ranches and artists. People who want to promote the park and the surrounding areas as a vacation destination


At the Artists Cabin, during the summer ‘Art in the Park’ programs in the Centre Block, children and adults join together to photograph nature. What has captured the attention of these young photographers you wonder? This species at risk the Northern Leopard Frog is very photogenic.


In nearby Maple Creek also known as the Gateway to Cypress Hills, a CHDA member offers “goat yoga” which has proven to be a very popular destination for locals and visitors alike.

The Cypress Hills are ready to welcome anyone looking for “an oasis on the prairies”.


Reesor Lake, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, with summer skies in an alpine setting.

BY, Wendy Nuttall,

Writer & Photography



BY, Wendy Nuttall,

Writer & Photography


Home Sweet Home Where the Buffalo Roam


When I was a small child I lived in the long house on the right. At that time it was a cattle ranch raising Hereford and Shorthorn cross cattle. In 1975 the bison were added by my parents.

When the Log House was finished we moved to the Whitemud, as its called and my Grandparents moved into the new log house at the camp. It’s called the camp because my grandfather had a shack there. It was actually very nice and cozy. I would crawl out of the kid fence my parents had at the long house and go to Poppy’s shack. He always lifted me up on a stool to have lunch with him. He stayed in the cabin while he built the log house, barn and shop.

The Long House was moved down from the Ranger Station in the West Block of Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.

Later the long house became his leather and woodworking shop. He made my first bareback pad (for riding horses bareback it kept your pants dry and cleaner). He also made my first western saddle using the tree from my Grandmother’s old saddle. He made my headstall and a halter for me.

Home Sweet Home! By Wendy Nuttall

I then moved into this house on the Whitemud. Photo Credit Everett Baker.

The house I moved into was the Wood & Anderson house from the Ranch of Fort Walsh. When my Grandparents sold Fort Walsh to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as their remount station. The beginning of the Musical Ride as it’s roots at Fort Walsh.

My grandfather moved the house from the site of Fort Walsh.

This Wood and Anderson or the house in the Whitemud burned down in April 1984.

A new house was built on the same spot as the Whitemud House from Wood and Anderson Ranch.

The bison and cattle continue to roam the Cypress Hills.




Global Regina with 150 Years of Canada, Prairies & Icebergs, WDM Moose Jaw

Western Development Museum is a museum filled with all things that go! Transportation is Key. I was pleased to present my Prairies & Icebergs as part of the Museums 150 Years of Canada celebration.

How does SW Saskatchewan & Newfoundland & Labrador fit with transportation.

Both Presentations feature Time Travel; from dinosaur fossils to 10,000 year old Icebergs that was just the beginning.

Click the link below to go forward in time to Global News interview with Artist and Photographer Wendy Nuttall.

‘Prairies & Icebergs’

‘Prairies and Icebergs’ will be an informative and entertaining afternoon at the Moose Jaw Western Development Museum. I look forward to seeing you. Prairies and Icebergs, is a photography  show with narration is part of their Canada 150 Year Celebration at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada Wendy Nuttall Photography

Live Presentations, Pictures & Stories

South West Saskatchewan, Canada

My passion is photography. However after I have the picture I want to share it. Next comes this creative thinking spree on how to share the pictures.

I do the traditional, print the picture, install the picture as room décor, I make calendars; I wanted more. This led me to create Live Presentations. My live presentations are one of my favourite ways to share pictures. Why are live presentations a favourite? Because I meet you; my audience.

After a show or through emails, you tell me stories. You tell me about your memories; memories that my pictures brought to the surface of your mind for reviewing.

My elderly friend Mabel, came up to talk after one of my shows. My grain elevator pictures brought back to her memories, of being sixteen. Of driving a team of horses and a wagon load of grain from the family farm to the town elevator to be sold. She talked of how the horses had to back up with their feet very close to open grates. There were wooden blocks to elevate the wagon, so the grain would flow out of the wagon with a minimum degree of effort from people and horses.

My Uncle Don was very interested in the show, he remembers this area well. His family had a ranch down there, it is now part of Grasslands National Park. He shared stories of the people that he knew that are now gone and people who still live in the area.

After my S.W. Saskatchewan show, I heard from Dominique Liboiron who canoed from the Frenchman River in Saskatchewan to New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. A journey of 8 months and 3,300 miles of canoeing. He recognized a picture from my show that was part of his Saskatchewan journey to New Orleans.

Now that I have these live presentations as a way to share my pictures, I have noticed something great has been added; the way to share stories.

Photograph Courtesy of Royce Pettyjohn & SW Oldtimers Museum & Archive.

By Wendy Nuttall

Thank You Fellow Canadians!

December 24, 2016

I would like to take this Holiday Season to Thank, my fellow Canadians.

The people who live in the remote areas where the internet works…sometimes.

Those places where the huskies and the wolves howl as one.

Those areas where you can travel in and about weather permitting.

The towns and villages where everyone knows a stranger is here.

Those same towns where the children come forward with their eyes wide and ask “Where’re you from?” or they might say “WOW! I never seen a real Volkswagen Beetle before!” Sometimes they say “Hey lady your tire looks a bit low.” And it will be. Then they say follow me or if you just go over there they’ll fix you up.

It is an honour and a privilege to live in a country where people live and thrive in these areas. Areas governed by the rules of nature.

Foreign too many of us Canadians who live where the snowplow and the mail arrives daily or as needed.

I would like to take this Holiday Season to Thank, my fellow Canadians who live where technology rolls on. Those places where the code people and the programmers and software creators work to make our systems mesh together in one; for the most part seamless transaction. They strive to keep us world class.

I would like to Thank, my fellow Canadians who enter into politics with their hearts invested to do and create the best Canada they can for themselves, their families and the Canadian people. To keep us involved and compassionate about each other as Canadians. A Canada that encourages us to care and have empathy for the people of the World.

I would like to Thank, my fellow Canadians who get up each morning and go to work each day. You are the making of the prosperous, healthy, abundant and rich Canada that we all enjoy each day.

Thank You Fellow Canadians!

Author Wendy Nuttall

Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan, Canada

Grasslands National Park, I grew up in Saskatchewan and have lived here most of my life.  I did not know that Grasslands National Park included Badlands and Dinosaur fossils. What an amazing area to visit. If you would like to join me on tour we will revisit many of these lookouts and add some new ones. I offer my photography program ‘Take the Picture You Want to Hang on Your Wall’. All cameras, notebooks, tablets, phones or bring your eyes for viewing everyone is welcome.  Phone: 1 – 306 -330 – 9271

2016-2017 Winter Home

2016 12, 02

I am happily settled in my 2016-2017 winter home in the Cypress hills of Canada.

I return here in the winter to spend family time. I also make many cherished memories with my Grandson.


The cabin I am staying in was a gift from Joan and Gerald Johnson to The Friends Of Cypress Hills. The idea behind the gift was to create a place where artists could spend time working on their art projects. Art in this sense encompasses photography, writing, textiles, sculpture, painting, music and other creative projects.

Cypress Hills are a wonderful place to be a photographer. I step out of my door into a Natural Wonderland.

This winter my projects are:

  1. Tweaking my Newfoundland show for March presentations. I have learned to add video with my still pictures. This creates a nice mix for my viewers.
  2. NEW, Southern Saskatchewan Presentation for March. This show goes through Ice Ages, Dinosaurs, Ancient Peoples, and Wildlife to Modern Day.
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I’ll keep you posted as I get the schedule plan finished.


Saskatchewan, Why I would like to be the 2017 Saskatchewanderer


I currently promote the Cypress Hills area as I travel Canada. It is an easy area to promote with its agriculture, outdoor activities and Provincial & National Parks.

The surrounding area, towns and villages are a bonus, each with their own services, history and current events.

When I am asked about Saskatchewan; I usually refer to these two facts, in the style of an Elevator Speech. The Cypress Hills are the highest point between Labrador and the Rocky Mountains.

The Cypress Hills were a Nunutak, not covered with ice in the last ice age.

There are orchids from prehistoric times and my favourite cobble rocks rolled smooth by ancient rivers.

As Saskatchewanderer, I would like to research and present our province end to end and corner to corner; as many of its features as can be covered in one year.

Showcase our province as a place to start a business, to retire or move with a young family.

Present Saskatchewan in a way via social media, newspapers and video as the province with accommodation, facilities, events and places of interest for all ages and degrees of physical mobility.

During my year as Saskatchewanderer, I would like to experience more of Saskatchewan, with the purpose of creating excitement and interest, in our province for fellow Canadians and to attract International visitors.