This time of year brings a renewal – of our senses, our landscapes and our species. It is the time of year that brings out a yearning to get out in nature, to explore the wild places in our region that our members, volunteers and supporters help to protect.
Every walk, outing, hike or trip we take outside holds an element of the unknown. What wildlife will we see? How many different kinds of fungi can we count? What kind of birds will we see in the skies?
The possibilities of bird, wildlife and plant sightings are endless, particularly in the region that The Couchiching Conservancy works to protect. In the Kawartha Lakes region, it’s likely that you could see a Wilson’s Snipe sitting perfectly still on top of a fence post or an Eastern Bluebird feeding its chicks in one of the boxes along Wylie Rd. In Simcoe County, you could happen upon moose tracks at the Thomas C. Agnew Nature Reserve or get an up close look at colourful mushroom at Elliott Woods.[wc_row][wc_column size=”one-half” position=”first”]
“Every walk, outing, hike or trip we take outside holds an element of the unknown. What wildlife will we see?”[/wc_column][wc_column size=”one-half” position=”last”]
Today, I am reminded of a walk I went for a walk at Grant’s Woods last spring. I was enjoying the fresh smells of spring, the breeze through the trees, and warmer weather. As I followed the trails, I heard a ‘tap, tap’ noise in the distance. Scanning the trees in front of me, I watched for movement. A flash of red caught my eye. Moving and hopping along a fallen tree was a Pileated Woodpecker. Periodically using its beak to drill into the decaying coniferous tree, I stopped to watch its movement. [/wc_column][/wc_row]
It was a short sighting, but the way that the sunshine was streaming through the trees and catching the colours of the woodpecker, it still stands out in my memory. It is experiences like this that give me a ‘zing’ of excitement. Of course, not every outing includes an exhilarating sighting. Sometimes it’s the views of the trees, the calm that wraps around you in a forest and sound of your feet on the earth that make it memorable.
The thought that next time might be the time I look up into a tree, and see a Barred Owl looking down at me, keeps me looking, keeps me getting outdoors. Maybe I’ll see an otter pop its head out of its home at the Carthew Bay Nature Reserve, and we lock eyes for a few moments before it carries on with its day. Maybe I’ll see a Bald Eagle dive into Lake Couchiching and catch a fish, and fly right over my head with its lunch in its talons. Or maybe my imagination is getting away from me with that last one.
I hope that these possibilities have gotten you excited to get outdoors this spring. If you have a great story, sighting or take a nice picture at one of the properties, we’d love for you to share it! Contact the office or tag us on one of our social media accounts. Happy spring folks.
[wc_button type=”primary” url=”http://www.couchichingconserv.ca/protecting-nature/maps/” title=”Visit Site” target=”self” position=”float”]To find some great places to enjoy this spring, please visit our properties page! [/wc_button]
Tanya Clark is the Development Coordinator for The Couchiching Conservancy, a non-profit land trust dedicated to protecting nature for future generations.