For all you mamas out there, I hope you’ve had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend. My request is always scones, jam, and tea for my mama breakfast. And this year I bought myself the present of new Wellies to muck around in the garden with. I can already see the look on some of your faces, particularly you stylin’ trendy folk. Yes, these are likely the kind of rubber boots to wear with the fashionable legging and long top look, of which neither are my look. I’m just not a legging kind of gal. As a friend once explained it best, for us, it feels rather like being an all grown-up Peter Pan. Don’t get me wrong, I love the look on so many other people, but that statement just sums it up for me. I feel flight coming on in a pair of those.
Now, having said that, I realized after purchasing the very British boots for the Brit in me, that my favourite jeans don’t fit inside the boots, and it defeats the purpose to wear them over the boot (I mean, come on, you need to see my British flag flying smack in the middle of the top of the boot!) So….I broke down and bought a pair of leggings JUST for the garden. I will wait until all the trees fill out more and also until I find a long enough top to make me feel comfortable walking about outdoors like this before I venture outside in my flight pants and new Mother’s Day Wellies.
My other big request for Mother’s Day weekend was to go birding at Rondeau Provincial Park on Lake Erie. I only recently heard of the place through a friend who annually camps there during migration season in the spring. Since the trees are not yet in full bloom, it was a perfect weekend to spot some of the thousands of song birds that yearly migrate through this area. The highlight are the many varied types of Warblers. Unfortunately I only had my daughter’s i-pod to work with thus the reason for NO beautiful photos of the fast flitting birds. We did encounter oodles of professional photographers with lenses the length of the boardwalk, so I’m sure they captured some amazing shots that maybe you’ll encounter in the next issue of any birding magazine.
I didn’t, however, leave you completely high and dry, as I came across a red trillium on our hike, which is rather a rarity. I was thrilled that even our little i-pod captured it nice enough to share with y’all. And, of course, Ontario’s provincial flower, the white trillium littered the forest floor in it’s beauty also. The mayapples were quite the competitor alongside the trilliums but not yet flowering.
We tried our best to use the binoculars as we were taught: looking at your subject first and then bringing the binoculars up to one’s eyes. It is certainly an acquired skill, and usually by the time one gets the hang of it, the subject disappears. We did spot quite a number of yellow warblers, and black and white warblers (of which there are probably a million different names for as you can see from just some of the list of those recorded in the nature centre). I won’t even try to make a stab at their names since there are so many similar types in the bird book and they all moved so quickly on us that we’d only be guessing. But hey, did y’all know there was a Tennessee Warbler? New to me.
We also saw a good many of the cowbirds which didn’t thrill me so much since I not only don’t find them attractive, they’re also nest robbers, booting out other eggs to put theirs in. They lay the eggs but don’t care for their young, preferring other birds to do the grunt work for them.
We spent the latter part of the day picnicking on the beach (pretty much alone). Littlest was our brave soul who decided not only to dip her feet in but also to change into her bathing suit and get right in that frigid lake water! I can only imagine how painfully cold it must have been seeing as our winter was a long, cold one that hasn’t been too long in leaving us!! The rest of us were content napping, playing frisbee, researching the latest story idea, and reading snippets from the many books I’ve got on the go right now. A lovely day all round.
Inside the nature centre, we were welcomed by smiling staff and a Foxsnake (the name given to two species of rat snakes) wrapped neatly like a scarf around the jolly attendant’s neck (bet you thought that was me, right?) How nice. I was educated that this particular snake, common to the area, was by no means a dangerous one, though often meets with a terrible fate since it gets confused as the venomous Massasauga rattler.
The 2+ hour drive home was full of contentment and beauty, appreciating a farmer’s endeavours to feed a nation. We felt the heat of the workers picking stones off vast spans of fields, and seeing the lonely farmer, a speck in the distance turing over the ground. Those wind turbines are everywhere on farms in southern Ontario. Hubby loves them and thinks them very futuristic looking, and while I am a tad sorry at the changed landscape for them, I marvelled enough at their bigness and work they do, enough so to take quite a few pics along the drive home.
To sustain you along your own road trip and birding hikes this season, make sure you check out Canadian Living’s Designer Trail Mix below for some neat combinations to snack on throughout your journey. Happy Monday Make to y’all!
Designer Trail Mix (Canadian Living Magazine, June 2012 issue)