Thursday, May 5, 2011

Spring Nature Walk: May 4, 2011

So spring has finally sprung here in Barrie.  Although it officially arrived March 20th, it really hasn't felt like it until now.  With my camera in tow, I managed to get out yesterday for a nature walk to see what the warmer spring weather has awakened in the woods.  With a little patience and a keen eye for the little things, I was quite pleased with some of the small wonders I discovered along the way.

My first stop was at Lover's Creek, just off of Country Lane.  I am new to this path, and need to do some more exploring.  It looks like it is a nice spot, especially for birds and birders, but navigating your way through it so far has been a bit challenging due to a lack of a good path.  Perhaps there is a better place to access this area, but I haven't found it yet.  Here there are plenty of geese, ducks and red winged black birds.  I managed a few shots of some Canadian Geese before receiving a call from my son at school.  Apparently I had given my eldest the wrong hot dog!  His had mustard on it, and apparently wiping the mustard off the weiner was not an option.  Just as well... my tea had worked its way through me quicker than expected.   So home I went to make a quick sandwich, use the facilities, and then head off to another wooded path.

Canada Geese at Lover's Creek, Barrie, Ontario

My next, and favourite destination is the Wilkin's Walk nature path found just off Crimson Ridge.  It's a well groomed path through the woods that leads down to Kempenfelt Bay.  A few frog ponds can be found in this area, as well as a wonderful little creek that empties into the bay. 

The frog pond just off of Crimson Ridge was jumping with activity on this day.  As I walked around the small pond,  frogs plipped and plopped back into the water at the sound of my approach.  One frog, however, did not flinch and retreat.  Instead, he sat there motionless as I snapped off a few shots with my telephoto lens.  Thanks Mr. Frog! 

A green frog at the Wilkin's Walk frog pond

The red-winged black birds were also very aware of my presence, and one bird in particular made himself known to me ~ warning me to stay away.  Protecting their nests, both the males and females erupted into squawks if I came too close.  I managed a shot of the male red wing who was standing his ground.  I have yet to see one of the nests... but they are usually very well hidden among the reeds in the pond. 

Red Winged Black Bird

After walking around the pond a couple of times, I always make time to get some shots of the blooming pussy willow tree.  I was pleased to see that all sorts of bees and wasps were already out enjoying this tree as well.  Well ~ mostly pleased, as I am rather terrified of these creatures.  But I have found that the more I try and shoot them, the less frightened I have become.  I do find it a bit more daunting shooting macros of stinging instects with my Rebel, as I have to use the viewfinder to frame my subject, instead of my LCD.  I could switch my camera to a live view mode, so that the LCD is engaged, but with my poor eyesight, combined with the glare from the sun on the LCD, it would really be a waste of time and batteries.  Eitherway, with the occasional panic attack of not knowing where the bee went combined with a few too-close-to-my-ear fly bys, I did manage a few sting free (touch wood) shots of pollen covered bees foraging for their lunch. 

Click on the pictures to get a larger view!

Upside down dinner

Too busy to notice me.....

After circling the frog pond a couple of times, I was ready to move on to the woods.  A short path takes you to Chicken Beach, where all sorts of different folks go to walk, relax, play with their kids, swim, and feed the ducks.  Oh... and take pictures.  

During my walk up through the woods, I noticed that the trilliums are almost ready to blossom.  Perhaps only a few more days for that!  Near the top of the path, close to where there is a little park for this kiddies, I found some flowers worth taking some shots of. . . . . .  

A daisy of some kind??  Do you know what it is?


 I am not entirely sure what these flowers are. I know more about insects than I do flowers. If you happen to know what these are, please let me know!

For some finishing shots, I'll leave with some macos of the pussy willows, minus the insects.  Click on the photos to make them bigger! 

  Now it's time to go find some nature of your own!  Get out there and enjoy some nature!

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