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Signs of Spring

I’ve been fortunate enough to have gone on three trips to our provincial parks already this spring.  My husband was gifted an Ontario Parks annual day visit pass and we’ve been really putting it to good use!

Our first trip was to the Pinery in early April.  It was wonderful seeing all the activity and life starting to make it’s way out of the ground.  There was lots of life to see from fish, to tadpoles, snakes, and even a beaver which has taken up residence in the back of the park.  The day was beautiful and with so much to see we can’t wait to go back and discover more!

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From left to right: Garter snake, northern pike, american toad, tadpole, and a beaver’s busy work.

Our next trip was to one of our favourite biking parks – Rondeau.  We were sans bikes that day but headed down on the Southpoint Trail to get a good walk in and it didn’t disappoint.  Besides taking in all the swampy moss areas along the path I couldn’t believe how well preserved some of last falls leaves were on the ground.  I found almost every example of the tree leaves used in my Carolinian Collection.

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Rondeau Provincial Park – Southpoint Trail shore line.  Even the uprooted trees had buds starting to come up.

The trail end near Lake Erie has become eroded and so it took a bit of weaving to get back on track.  We found deer and raccoon tracks on the sandy beach.  The trees were quite the sight, growing sideways out of the sand.  It’s amazing how things adapt to survive.

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MacGregor Provincial Park camping – fire started, tent up, yummy burger to eat!

Our last trip was actually an over night camping trip to MacGregor Provincial Park.  It was a first time for both of us and we were happily surprised by how quiet and secluded we were.  The camp sites are unique and built up around a large swamp/bog like ecosystem which is unlike any we have in Southern Ontario that I’ve seen.  While cooking dinner on the fire we got lucky and a porcupine happened to enter the camp site next to ours.  It’s the closest I’ve gotten to one outside of captivity and he seemed happy to go about his business as the evening was setting in.

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From left to right: Wild strawberries at our campsite, the half moon in the sky as sun sets on the trees, a very hungry porcupine, young sapling, the bog like swamp surrounding our campsite.

During the night the winds became quite high and it ended up snowing/raining through the night and morning.  We had hoped to check out some trails and see more of the park but the weather just wasn’t going to let us.  Cold and sleep deprived we packed up the tent as quick as we could and headed into Port Elgin for a delicious hot breakfast before heading home.  I know we are both looking forward to coming back again to check out more of what the park has to offer – once the weather gets a little warmer ;).

So it’s been a pretty busy spring heading out and enjoying all that nature has for us!  What have you been up to this last month?

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