Some highlights from a spring weekend spent on the trails in South Ottawa: a rainy walk at Richmond Conservation Area, and a sunny jaunt at Beryl Gaffney Park. Two local spots that we love to explore, through every season, to see what we can see.
I recently visited my newly-found, favourite birch grove again. I must have looked like a doofus, swaying back and forth, leaning a little this way, then that way, until I got into *just* the right awkward pose to create exactly what I was hoping for: a wall of birch, with no sky or ground showing, just glowing white trunks lined up in a row.
This makes me happy, which is weird, but that’s the way it goes.
Let’s be like this family of river otters – let’s get outside, and embrace winter in all it’s glory – a walk in the snow, some playtime on the ice, and maybe even some sliding down hills (on skis, sleds, or even your rear end). ‘Cause there’s no point in staying inside for months complaining about the cold, when there’s so much fun to be had!
Seen on the Rideau River January 2013, a family of 4 river otters, loving life.
I know, I know, I can’t complain about the cold (like in the prairies), or the storms (like in Europe), or even the bugs (like in summertime), but this gray, overcast, rainy weather is slowly turning the snow to slush, and quickly turning my brain to mush. I am not embracing the winter here in Ontario as much as I did in Alberta – there’s something about crisp, cold air, and dry fluffy snow, all covered in bright blue skies, that is invigorating. This weather is definitely not inspiring me to take pictures, no sirree. So I’m digging through my images to find one suiting to the day. A few hours romping through a museum, hiding from the weather sounds like a good way to spend a day, don’tcha think?
This is The Spirit of Haida Gwaii, a plaster sculpture by Bill Reid, in the main hall of the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa.
A sunny Friday, a day off school for the kids, and an air of spontaneity – who’s up for a day trip to Amherst Island?! The kids were gung-ho (there’s a ferry involved), my husband was all keen (there are migrating birds involved) and I had a new lens to play with – et on y va! Amherst Island is just west of Kingston, in Lake Ontario. A short trip in the car, and we arrive just in time to make the ferry – only a 20 min jaunt across the water.
There’s not much to the Island, which is what makes it so special. Some gravel roads, cows and sheep, an old cemetery (with dates from the 1800s), lovely views across the lake, and Owl Woods. We tried our darndest to find some owls, searching up and down the trunks of the cedars, but it’s the wrong season – we’ll have to try again over the winter. (Maybe next time we won’t have to bushwhack through the willows on our way out.) But the island didn’t disappoint with regards to avian diversity. Highlights included northern harriers circling overhead, a merlin perched above us, a mixed flock of warblers in the cemetery that included a northern parula, great blue herons hunting out in the fields (for grasshoppers?) and huge flocks of starlings hanging with the sheep. The starlings didn’t do their crazy dance in the sky (that’s on my bucket list to see), but they were entertaining nonetheless.
All in all, a great day out. We ended up in Kingston for dinner, and managed to do some stargazing out the window on the way home. Soul-satifying, it was.