My friend Nigel and I went out for a hike at Lynde Shores today. The trails at Lynde Shores are full of wildlife, most likely because they have several feeders on one of their popular trails. The Chickadee trail is only 500m long. On most winter days, you can find wild turkeys, chickadees, nuthatches, squirrels and more on this trail.
Under the walking bridge by the parking lot, ducks and geese were congregating in the river below. I got lucky when this goose decided to wash his feathers and put on quite the display doing so.
Starting on the Chickadee Trail, we spotted this Mourning Dove sitting on one of the trail fences.
The feeders are quite popular, and you won’t just see birds here. This squirrel was taking advantage of the free food. Do you think he looks a little worried that we’ve discovered him inside the feeder?
We stopped a little further down the trail and decided to take out the seed Nigel brought with him to feed the chickadees. Little did we know that this Red-breasted Nuthatch preferred to be feed by hand. When we put the seed on a nearby bench, to be able to free our hands to photograph, he scolded us from a branch above us. It wasn’t until we put the seed in our hand that he stopped scolding us and came down to eat. Someone’s a little spoiled.
We continued hiking, eventually coming to LeVay’s Lane trail, which looped us back towards the parking lot. On LeVay’s trail, we found this cute red squirrel, who couldn’t decide if we were friends or foes. After overcoming some of its fear, it came a little closer, and we were able to get a few photos.
The creek is split in two until it reaches the high school. One arm of it flows from behind my house while the other flows from the train tracks about 1/2 a kilometre away. As you know I walk the section behind my house a lot but sometimes I venture to the other arm of the creek for a slightly longer walk. On the walk over to this second arm, someone has planted some gorgeous irises in their front yard.
Walking down the creek path to the high school and over to the other arm I noticed this tree/bush covered in these starburst-shaped things. I believe these are the remnants of the flowers after the petals have fallen. Or maybe they are seed pods that have opened. I can’t seem to find anything to tell me what they are.
Whatever they are, they are interesting enough to photograph, and sometimes that’s all that matters. As I explored a little further down the path I came across this snail slowly making his way up a very large leaf.
Snail on Leaf
Snails are so darn weird. Their eyeballs are at the end of what would be antennae on an insect. So odd and so very cool.
I’ve mentioned a catwalk that enters the creek area from my street but there’s another catwalk around the corner, That catwalk takes you to the opposite side of the creek. It’s the one I used to get into trouble over when I took it coming home from elementary school. I wonder why it was such a big deal?
That catwalk was not so overgrown when I walked it back in the day. They used to cut down all the new growth leaving it wide open. I’m glad they decided to let it go back to a more natural habitat. I mean where else would I see something like this so close to home:
Or even this lovely swallowtail?
Okay so, I would probably see the swallowtails as they usually come to my garden every summer but who’s to say if they would without all those Dame’s Rockets it seems to love feeding on so close by. It is a lot more fun to explore this overgrown creek and would have been so much better when we played hide and seek back in school.
I felt that it was time for a little change to the routine to keep the creative juices flowing so, today I brought my birding lens with me on my walk. My goal is to capture some of the birds that are feeding and nesting in the creek behind the house.
As I walked down the path I noticed this little squirrel taking a break on a branch. He seems quite comfortable there. My presence didn’t seem to disturb him in the least so I snapped a couple photos and moved on eager to find those elusive birds.
The first bird I spotted was this Blue Jay. He seemed interested enough in me, so much so that he stuck around on this branch for quite some time. Needless to say I have more than enough shots of him. But the surprise of the day was this American Pipit.
Although I didn’t know it at the time that I was photographing him, this little bird was only migrating through our area. Talk about a lucky capture. That’s the second bird I’ve found here that I’ve never seen before and that seems to be passing through. Although secretly I hope that the grosbeaks stay the summer. Bringing my long lens with me today gave me a fun break from that macro lens I’ve been using all spring.
We are officially halfway through May today. Where has the time gone? It’s been 2 months since we’ve gone into some form of lockdown. Mother Nature, however, continues along her regular timeline, pandemic or not. On my creek path the apple blossoms are starting to fade. There are still quite a lot of them but they’re time is almost done.
Dying Apple Blossom
However, as one flower moves on a new one comes in. I found what I think is Ground Ivy. I hope that’s what they’re called. My plant app assures me that I’m correct, Whatever they are tiny and cute and purple.
I seem to be seeing more wildlife now. Today I’ve come across another rabbit. This one is a little smaller than the previous one but just as curious about what I’m doing. At least curious enough to not hop off too far as I take his/her photo.
I always love when I spot something other than the regular flowers that I tend to come across on my neighbourhood walks. I forget sometimes that there is wildlife all around us. When I come across an animal It’s a very good reminder to me that we share our space with other creatures and that we must respect them.
I was out by the train tracks by the creek taking photos of the Siberian squills when I heard a rustling behind me. When I turned around I saw… a bunny!
This rather large bunny looked at me, chewed some grass for a minute or so, and then it hopped a few feet into the bush.
Big Fluffy Bunny
From the bush, it just sat there looking over its shoulder at me. He’s probably waiting for me to leave. After taking a few more photographs, I decided to move on and leave the bunny to his foraging.
At home, our Lilacbush is in full bloom. Do you notice something familiar about this photo? Could it be that the flower is purple? I found out from my friend Nigel that bees are attracted to the colour purple. I also found out in my research of bees that purple and blue flowers produce the highest amount of nectar, which explains this whole purple flower explosion we have in the spring.