Tag Archives: hike

Weekend Highlights

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.

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Get Outside!

We just got back from a walk in the woods at Baxter Conservation Area, which has some great trails in the forests along the Rideau River. What an incredible day! It’s gorgeous out there – if you’re experiencing a hit of spring weather like we are in the Ottawa Valley, oh my goodness get outside and enjoy the sun, the melting snow, the porcupines in the trees and the purple finches singing.

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Watercolour tableau

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Forest shadows on the snow make a watercolour tableau.

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A Reprieve 1

Winter backed off a bit today, with a slight rise in the temperature to just below zero, and a light dusting of snow bringing traction to the icy trails. A walk in the woods at Jack Pine Trail proved exactly the reprieve we needed from the doldrums of January. And nature had much to offer us – we found a goshawk being mobbed by a dozen blue jays, a cozy bed of a white-tailed deer, and many hungry chickadees to eat out of our hands. It was the perfect winter day out there – and now we’re home, with rosy cheeks, slippers on, and hot chocolate in hand. I couldn’t have asked for a better Saturday morning.

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Mighty Beech

I’m still attempting to learn my Eastern tree species.¬† Let me tell ya, there are just a few more out here than I’m used to in the Alberta boreal forest. There I think I had, um, 7 species to ID. Here, there are dozens (at least).

But the smooth bark, straight trunk, and majestic crown of this showstopper isn’t one I’m likely to forget, especially during a fine display of fall colours.

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Thanks

This thanksgiving weekend we spent a lot of time out in the woods  Рthe weather screamed at us to enjoy it, so we listened, willingly.

A hike in our favourite haunt – Jack Pine Trail – was just what we needed. Surrounded by sunshine, colourful leaves, and spirited children, I can’t help but love this season. Of course, turkey with all the fixings, and (homemade!) pumpkin pie doesn’t hurt, either.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and took the time to stop and be grateful for the simple things – for me, I’m starting with Fall.

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Green Frog

A friendly encounter with a green frog on King Mountain trail in Gatineau Park.

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New lens!

I got a new lens for my birthday! I tested it out on a hike to Gatineau Park to check out the ‘Fall Rhapsody’. I think our visit last week was a bit before the peak of the colours, so hopefully I make it there again this fall, lens in hand, to drink in the insanity of the autumn splendour that exists out here.

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P.S. based on the perspective, any guesses what the lens might be?

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Indian Pipe

All that rain: cloudy skies, muddy trails, and Indian pipes appearing like pale ghosts haunting the forest floor.

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A medley of (NY) mushrooms

I decided to leave behind my favourite lens on a hike in the Adirondacks, and only packed my 20-35 mm. While it took me a while to warm up to the new perspective, it was a bit of an empowering experience, to let the lens dictate the subject and composition. This meant that I was on my belly a lot, photographing the multitude of mushrooms that were gracing the forest floor after the rains the area had experienced. I can’t identify them – I’m an ornithologist, not a mycologist – but I can definitely admire them! (Make sure to click through to see the full set.)

The hike began at the High Peaks Information Center, and was up to Marcy Dam, a total distance of 7.5 km return. I was super proud of our kids for accomplishing almost the whole hike on their own two feet – not too shabby for 4 and 6 year olds! We are slowly but surely upping their endurance, one hike at a time. One day they will be waiting for their parents to keep up with them…!

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