Some photos from recent hikes in the Eastern Ontario area …
Mud Lake is one of the most ecologically important natural habitats in the urban part of Canada’s Capital Region. It is identified as a Provincially Significant Wetland and an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest by the government of Ontario and is classified a Protected Area management Category IV (habitat and species management area).
This 60-hectare natural environment is a complex of wetlands along the Ottawa River, the majority of which is made up of deciduous swamp forest. The driest part, to the west, contains a mature forest stand which is made up predominantly of white, red and burr oak, as well as white pine.
Mud Lake is a habitat for a wide diversity of animal species. Located within the Lac Deschênes area and in a major migratory corridor, it specifically serves as an important environment for bird conservation and is recognized as one of the most popular urban sites for birdwatching in Canada. 269 species of birds have been recorded, as well as numerous species of amphibians, reptiles and fish that are not commonly found either regionally or nationally. It also hosts diverse plant life, with 44 rare and 15 uncommon plant species as well as several fauna species-at-risk.
Several species of invasive non-native plants threaten the biodiversity of the Mud Lake habitat. Eleven of these species have been recorded, covering about 29 percent of the total area of this natural habitat.
On Sunday, August 14, 2016, my friend Elizabeth and I went for a drive through the Renfrew county countryside – she was prospecting for interesting minerals, and I wanted to take pictures. Our first stop was at the Renfrew town suspension bridge, so that we could poke among the river rocks. Because of the recent drought, we were able to walk on the large boulders in the middle of the river, and I was able to get these photos from a location, which is typically covered by water.
From Renfrew, we drove to the large rock cut just east of the bridge in Burnstown. While Elizabeth looked for minerals in the rock face, I snapped these photos of the Madawaska River.
It was one of those cool, dull and overcast days, but the day wasn’t without colour …
I discovered this wee beastie making its way across some concrete and gravel, and couldn’t resist taking its photo.
I later discovered that it is the caterpillar for the Spurge Hawkmoth. This moth was introduced into North America from Europe because it liked to eat spurge. Now spurge is a noxious weed that was introduced into North America from Europe.
You think we would learn to stop trying to do Mother Nature’s job?
As soon as spring comes, I want to be out and about, with and without my camera. When I have my camera with me I tend to take a lot of photos. But during spring, summer and fall, since I want to be out, I don’t spend a lot of time processing the photos I take. Every once in a while, I do find some quiet time and I catch up and publish the photos that I like.
So, enjoy …