Mud Lake – National Capital Region

This morning I met up at 7:00 am with some of the members of the Camera Club of Ottawa so that we could explore the Mud Lake area in the morning light and when there are fewer people around. The wild life was a wee bit scarce and apart from the constant territorial disagreements between the Canadian geese, there wasn’t a lot of action. I did manage to get a few photos that I thought were worth keeping.

After a while, I decided to break away from the group and head out on my own to explore the swampy areas of Mud Lake. I’m glad I did – although not a great photo, I managed to capture three woodland ducks (one female and two males) having a ménage à trois in the bushes.

Ménage à Trois

I resisted telling them to get a room. Not often you have a chance to see the wildlife in action.

Winter’s End & Spring’s Beginnings

Some photos from recent hikes in the Eastern Ontario area …

Mud Lake – National Capital Region

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.

Mud Lake & Deschênes Rapids, Ottawa

This past Friday a friend and I visited Mud Lake near the Deschênes Rapids. It was a perfect day for hiking – sunny and cool enough to keep the bugs away. My friend, being a patient person, put up with me stopping from time-to-time to take some photos of the abundant wildlife on and around this small lake.

While we were there, we decided to make a wee side trip to see what the Ottawa River was doing at the Deschênes Rapids. We were able to get close to the river bank, but because of the high water we were limited as to how much we could see. These are two photos of the river taken last Friday, May 22/2015 …

Not really all that exciting, unless of course you compare it to the following photos that I took around this same location on July 2012 when we were experiencing a bad drought …

All of the locations in the above photos were completely under water last Friday. The people walking in one of the above photos were actually walking across the Deschênes Rapids, and the rock where the two people are sitting was completely under fast-moving water in 2012. And the duck? Well over her head last Friday!

Tiraislin Fold

On Friday, May 9, I travelled with my friends Kathy and Vaughan to visit the farm of one of their friends. We had planned to spend a few hours there taking photos of some of the animals. Many hours later we were still there taking photos, touring the property and talking with the owner, Rosemary. What started off as a few hours in the country, turned into a delightful day on a farm. I was enthralled with the animals – Tibetan yaks, horses, dogs, cats, sheep, chickens and geese, as well as a goat, donkey and a llama.

But best of all was meeting Rosemary, a farmer and an artist, and most important, an absolutely wonderful and fascinating person. Check out these web pages to read more about the Tiraislin Farm and Rosemary …

Tiraislin Fold and Rosemary’s Art

And here are some of the photos I took that day, starting with the animals …

… and the farm and people …

And a brief stop at what appeared to be an abandoned maple sugar shack …

My sincere thanks to Kathy and Vaughan for sharing this day with me, and thanks to Rosemary for her hospitality.

Ducks, Ducks … and more Ducks

This week’s photos are brought to you by the letter “Q”, for “Quack” … oops, make that “Birds that Go Quack”.
(Weekly Photo – Week #17, April 23, 2014)

Most of these photos were taken in and around the Ottawa area where I live. We are inundated with Canadian geese from early spring to late fall, and if you look for them, instead you can find many varieties of beautiful ducks doing their thing.