Earth Day Euphoria

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A sunny, warm (12℃) day, frog song, a caterpillar, a couple of moths, a bumblebee, lots of flies, blooming Forsythia and Pussy willow, a picnic, a bike ride, a rumble in the marsh and water, water, everywhere – who could ask for anything more?!?

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How did you connect with nature today? Since posting last night, I’ve had numerous similar queries – what’s the big deal about spending time in nature? For me it is restorative and inspirational. Time in nature always boosts my creativity; my camera is constantly in my hands and I find something interesting or exciting to capture with my lens at every turn. It is so much more special than that, though.

Most of my time in nature happens at Presqu’ile. No matter what has been on my mind, or what conversation has been happening in the car, once we turn into the park, pass the gatehouse, and approach the pannes, our observation skills become instantly focussed on the amazing stimuli around us – sights, sounds and smells – and so the experience begins. Unplanned, (we’ve never discussed this) small talk ends and our focus changes. Each visit ultimately becomes something of a spiritual experience for me, engendering feelings of composure, serenity and peace.

For me the big deal is that spending time in nature boosts my happiness.

So, Earth Day 2017… All week long, our plan has been to have a picnic and a bike ride at Presqu’ile and happily the weather co-operated, albeit with a vigorous breeze off the lake. Freshly cleaned and overhauled, we loaded our bikes onto the rack and filled the back seat with assorted clothes, helmets, water, our picnic and my camera.

The Bike Ride

Exploring Presqu’ile by bike is always exhilarating. It’s a quick but silent way to get around the park; cyclists often come upon birds, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and foxes – playing/grazing near the roadside, clearly less frightened by bikes than by cars. Today was no different. We saw a caterpillar in the bike lane and a couple of moths. Also, this guy, playing hide-and-seek with my lens:

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Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.
[Coleridge]

On to the lagoon – I never, NEVER miss a chance to explore the lagoon where I’ve had some of my closest and most exciting contacts with water fowl. This is my fourth spring at Presqu’ile and never, in these past four years, have I ever seen the water so high in the lagoon at Calf Pasture Point and in Presqu’ile Bay. At two points, the spit separating the bay from the lagoon was completely submerged.

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The bay water was up over the top of the picnic table where I often have my lunch (usually on dry land), it was high enough that it was beneath the observation platform/hut, and well past the hunting sign stakes. Just last week I walked by those stakes – on the bay side – with plenty of room to spare.

In the parking area, the water was up over the curb stones and the sign by the drive down into the lagoon area was also in water.

Marsh Rumble!

Last park stop was the marsh. Best experience of the day – by far! The story unfolded like this: Mum is having a restful afternoon nap atop her nest, nicely warmed by the sun. It is quiet and no one is around except us and we are silent and still.

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Enter the interloper. Sneaking along the reed line, getting closer and closer to Mum – seemingly nonchalantly and innocently.

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Dad to the rescue! That’s when the rumble – and an almighty row – began. Dad quickly (and noisily) chased off the intruder.

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Then Mum wakes up and looks at Dad as if to say What’s all this fuss about? I’m sleeping here!

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Interloper dispatched, peace reigns. What’s the big deal about Nature? For reals???

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Spring is here!

Sure and favourite signs of spring are the pretty Forsythia and Pussy willow bushes. We saw both today. Forsythia always makes me think of my mum; she’d cut some for the house every year and try to get roots to sprout from her cuttings every year but with very limited success (read: none). On the Pussy willow today I saw my first bumblebee of the year, and he was a beaut!

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Tell me how you spent your Earth Day and about your interactions with nature. Hope you had as much fun today as we did!

‘Til next time, y’all…

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