Although the weather has been abysmal for all of these walks, at least 10 people have come to them. This shows that people are really wanting to get out and learn about nature. Thanks to Muriel for her long time dedication to our spring enjoyment.
The lesson began in the Zehrs parking lot where we listened to the variety of sounds made by the Red-winged Blackbird. We didn’t want to play these calls where there were nesting pairs in the swamp since this disturbance could be upsetting to the birds .Once again the rain quit as we reached the Langman Sanctuary.
I was hoping that the Trumpeter Swan would be back tonight but no sign. The Mute Swans are nesting in the special pen. There were many questions about plants, mosses, and green slime on the water in the ditch. Gold Thread plants were everywhere along the trail. Sharp eyes found Pitcher-plants almost hidden by the thick grasses of last season, as were the Wintergreen plants.
Labrador Tea is a is a wonderful example of how plants survive the winter with tough leathery texture, in rolled margins and dense hair beneath the leaves, to preserve vital nutrients and water. As the Spring Peepers began to sing and the Kingfishers chased each other across the pond , a muskrat disappeared from sight. It began to to rain-snow again and we were back to the parking lot—- finishing the final spring walk.
What a very special place is a swamp! A learning centre at all times of year.
Text by Muriel Sinclair
Photographs by Howard Black