Adventure Never Hibernates*

King’s Mill Conservation Area

For so many of us, winter is a season of retreat, rest and rejuvenation. Hibernation. It’s as if frosty temperatures and snow give us permission to stay home, feather our nests and curl up before the fire with a blanket, a good book and a cuppa.

Suum cuique.  As for me, I love being outdoors at this time of year.  Without leaves on the trees and bushes, the world seems so much bigger, more wide open, expansive.  Beautiful.  Not to be missed.  


Thursday was bitingly cold and wuthering, with watery sunshine and a steely, blue-grey sky.  One of my 2020 goals is to thoroughly explore the Lower Trent Conservation properties in all four seasons.  The LTC’s watershed includes Conservation, Nature and Wildlife areas.  Thursday’s destination:  King’s Mill.


This conservation area is at Wellman’s Corners in Stirling-Rawdon Township, about ten minutes north-west of Stirling.  The property is on the bank of Squire’s Creek and consists of the grist mill building, some ruins, a dam/waterfall, and a large marsh.  

The building is in excellent condition, clearly having been very well-maintained.  It is, however, off-limits to the public because it is home to a colony of Large Browns which are protected and may neither be moved nor disturbed.  Still, it is a beautiful structure. If only I could sketch…


LTC is rehabilitating the wetlands surrounding the mill which, I imagine, host a wide diversity of habitats.  At this time of year there is not much wildlife; a single hawk was soaring over the marsh for a time.  There were several pairs of Cardinals flitting in and out of the cedars and tree branches.  I heard the geese but did not catch sight of them; they were probably nestled deep in the reeds, sheltering from the awful wind.  

This is a beautiful, well-managed property and I had a delightful time wandering, exploring, shooting and savouring my adventure.  I’m very much looking forward to visiting this site again once the snow and ice have melted.


Every day we have a choice to make. Will we choose fear or courage, curiosity or indifference, happiness or displeasure? Thursday was exquisite and I firmly believe that days like those happen because we choose the good.  Those days happen when, as we wake up and our feet hit the floor, we pick smiles over frowns, we crank up our favourite tunes and sing along, we surround ourselves with the people we love and at the end of those blissful days, we wonder why we don’t make all our days that good.


My instagram feed is chock-a-block with friends who have not let their intrepid spirits hibernate.  Pictures of rambles on their own woodland properties, of outings to Bruce’s Mill, The Brickworks, Lynde Shores, Crawford Lake and, of course, Presqu’ile.  Friends, sporting ear-to-ear grins, who’ve chosen adventure over inertia.  By sharing their happiness, they made me happy too!


Be kind to one another.**


’Til next time, y’all…  

*Parks Ontario
**Ellen DeGeneres


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