Monday, September 18, 2017

Three special walks ...

The dogs and I go for a walk every day; some walks are close to home and pretty routine while others are more in the "adventure" category.

I love walking in new places.

Wednesday found me walking at Mount Uniacke Estate with chum, Janet.  Mount Uniacke is only about 20 minutes from my house and yet I've never been there before.

The country house built between 1813 and 1815 by Attorney-General Richard John Uniacke  is one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in Canada.  While it is possible to tour the house, Janet and I opted to check out a couple of the seven trails on the over 2,200 acres estate.

After reviewing the trail map we decided to take the Barrens Trail then connect with the Wetlands Trail and come back via the Post Road Trail.  It didn't take us long to wish we'd read the trail reviews before setting out.  

Sections of the first two trails were laced with boulders and roots and where they were less bouldery and rooty they were wet; very, very wet.

Perhaps we should have been more suspicious of anything named "Wetland".

Happily Wetland Trail connected us with the Post Road Trail which was delightfully wide, clear and grass-covered.

After three hours of slogging, sliding and strolling we finally made it back to the house vowing to come back again in Fall and walk the easier trails.


For a couple of weeks I had been hoping to visit the Bay of Fundy shore near Walton.  Thursday the tides and weather provided the perfect conditions for me to finally have a walk there.

It was a warm beautiful day.  The dogs and I hiked along the shore.

The folds in the rock are stunning.

We stopped for lunch.  Nothing like a picnic while staring out across the magnificent Bay of Fundy.

Wendy was eager to go for a paddle in the Bay so we set off to find the water.  

The problem was the water was far, far away.  There WAS muck but still no where near enough water for Wendy to swim in.

So we kept on walking.  These rocks, covered in seaweed serve to remind me that in a few hours the place where we're walking will be under many feet of water.

These rocks are covered in Barnacles which close up their "mouths" so they can survive for several hours out of the water .  

It became obvious that we were not going to be able to reach the very elusive water.

We sought out ridges of pebbles that enabled us to walk out as far as possible and headed back along a similar ridge.

It was a wonderful magical day.  


Saturday my friend Mickie and I met up at Hemlock Ravine Park.

Hemlock Ravine is a lovely park in a residential area.  Many of the trails are designated ON leash but one big loop is OFF leash.  

We sought out that loop and then proceeded to set the record for the world's slowest, pokeyest walk.

There were so many neat things to see.  Mickie was tickled when I showed her that Red Backed Salamanders can be found under rotted logs.  Our final tally of found Salamanders was SIX.  Our goal was ten so we need to go out again next weekend to continue the search.

Mickie took this marvellous shot.

Our walk consisted of walking and stopping and walking and stopping.  We spotted this amazing pattern of Lichen (?) growing on this dead tree.

Mickie took this lovely shot of Wendy and Sooki.

Friends and dogs and places to explore -- Oh my!
At the risk of repeating myself; "Who's a lucky girl?".

Sunday, September 10, 2017

West Ironbound Island

As part of the Kingsburg Conservancy's "Land as Legacy" event, free trips to West Ironbound Island were offered this weekend.  Because my chum Kelly is a member of the group she signed us up.

The trip involved a 35 minute boat trip and then upon arriving at the island we transferred to a smaller boat to take us to the beach.

We were then given two and a half hours to explore the island using a map which showed clearly marked trails.

Sometimes it was hard to tell if we were on a hiking path or following one of the many Sheep trails criss-crossing the island.   Below Kelly stalks a couple of semi-wild Sheep.  Once they spooked and took off, we were surprised to see another eight Sheep appear from out of sight down the slope ahead to the right.  There was no grass down there to eat so we suspect that they had been licking salt off the rocks.

Clumps of wool decorate many of the trees on the island.


Never having been to the island before we randomly headed up toward the ocean-end.

 It was a good decision.

In the distance we could see three people staring at something in the water.  When we reached them, they still were.

We learned they weren't just mesmerized by the rising waves in the changing tide.

There was something else ... SEALS frolicking in the foam !
We sat for a while listening to the roaring waves (you clicked the link and heard the waves right ?), spotting Seals and marvelling at the view.
Then upon checking the time we realized we needed to hustle to make it back in time to catch the boat. 

Can you spot the trail in this picture ?  Neither could we.  So it was amazing that we successfully found our way back; with ten minutes to spare.

We can't wait to go back ... to check out the other half of the island.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Two different post titles.

I thought I might title this post "What's in the poop bag?".

But I also wanted to title it "The slowest walk ever".   

I thought either title would grab the reader and arouse their curiosity.

Did it work ?

Today I took the dogs to the Powder Mill Lake Trails just off Rocky Lake Road.  We took the right hand trail; the narrowest and shortest of the trails.  It ends at another trail and then I thought we'd loop back to where we started.

We trotted along for about five minutes until I spotted Blackberries.

Blackberries !

The trouble was I wasn't the only one who spotted the berries.

So, we'd walk ten feet and then Sooki or I would spot a loaded bush and start in on it.  She just picked and ate while I picked and put a poop bag to a new and far less stinky use. 

On the next trail we stumbled across some other berries.  OK.  Don't be alarmed but I'm not sure what kind of berries they were but Sooki and I ate loads and aren't yet doubled over in pain so I'm guessing they were safe to eat.  This is what they looked like.

Sooki quickly discovered that they were delish and pushed her way into the bush and started munching away.  

Wendy's tactic is a bit different.   

Wendy stands there.  She looks meaningfully at the bush and then at me.  The bush.  Then me.   "Take the berries from the bush and put them in mouth you silly human !" she brilliantly conveys to be with her pointed looks.    And that's what I do.  I can be trained.

Then guess what we found ?   Blueberries !   

And I was just reaching down to pick some of the biggest, juiciest Blueberries when  ...

Well I think you now understand why I had a very slow walk and a very full poop bag, but rest assured, I'm not complaining.

It was delicious.