It was a near crowd that attended VFFN’s most recent field trip on April 2nd! Led by Rika Ruebsaat, nineteen of us, plus the requisite dog, walked along a portion of the old VV&E (Vancouver, Victoria and Eastern) Railway bed, that lies south of the Similkameen River. We began our walk a few kilometers west of Hedley, headed east, and eventually arrived at a large grassy clearing that led to the river, where remnants of the railway bridge still remain. The skies cleared by the time we stopped for a snack break, so that we were able to sit alongside the water, bask in the rays and enjoy the spectacular scenery. We admired newly blooming wildflowers as we ambled, and observed a variety of birds, including Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Downy Woodpeckers, White-throated Swifts and 8 Hooded Mergansers. We took 2 ½ hours to walk 4+ kms, with Rika providing historical commentary along the way. We extended this delightful excursion with lunch at the Hitching Post, as we Vermilion Forks Field Naturalists are nothing if not sociable!