Notes from the Field – Winter 2021

In Animal Tracks, Featured, Nature Reserves, Trails, Winter by couchiching

Left: the wing prints of an owl and the blood of its prey (photo:  Aiesha Aggarwal)  Right: A moose rested here (photo:  Mel Tuck)

Animal sightings can be very rare on a cold February afternoon, but wildlife leave a story behind in the snow.  

Visits to Sweetwater Nature Reserve this winter have revealed  coyote, fox and deer tracks, and also this spot in the snow where an owl dove headfirst after a rodent, leaving behind an artistic impression of its wings and blood to suggest the hunt was successful.  

Near the old barn in a sunny corner,  Mel and Al Tuck saw this impression of a Moose’s body in the snow. 

Reading bird tracks in the snow can be more tricky, but the Audubon society has created this resource to help.   


Left:  Aiesha on a recent visit to AHS to collect waypoints and tracks for the new trail map coming soon (photo:  Dorthea)  Right:  The AHS trailhead (photo:  Mel Tuck).

Stay tuned Alexander Hope-Smith walkers:  We’ve got a new trail map coming this winter.  

Have you seen the beautiful Nature Reserve map Aiesha Aggarwal created for this year’s Annual Report ?  How about the new (geotagged) trail map for TC Agnew

For years, neighbours have been doing a great job of creating trail locator maps, and we plan to keep the existing system  – just give it some colour and polish.  For those who care, the map will be geotagged, meaning you can use it in your favourite map app such as Avenza.   

Thanks to the Orillia Community Development Corporation and the Pathways to Employment Program.  


Left: Jane Brasher checking out the trails at Grant’s Woods (photo: Kathy Hunt). Right: Marilyn Clark captures a vibrant sky at Thomas C. Agnew during her snowshoe visit.

When visiting the Nature Reserves, you may run into our volunteer Trail Ambassadors!

This is a new job as part of the Ambassador Program. With the increase in trail use on many of the Reserves, these volunteers are keeping an eye out to make sure the trails are being respected, picking up garbage, engaging trail users and more!

We are currently recruiting for Trail Ambassadors. If you are interested, please visit the Ambassador Page


Click here to read the fall Notes from the Field