Tuesday, 15 October 2013


OK, so I actually wrote this before the weekend and I planned to add some pictures and  post it on actual Thanksgiving. But then the internet didn't work and I couldn't get anything to load right from my phone so yeah, this is a smidgen late. But then again, my homework always was too.

There are far too many things I am thankful for to ever dream about trying to list them all here. So to sum many of them up in one fell swoop (and to keep with the topic of this blog) - we are thankful for outside. The way it feels and smells (except maybe some wetlands for smell) and sunshine on your face and rain on your nose and leaves under your feet. All of it wrapped up in to one big ball of awesome.

We encourage you, even if you don't get to eat turkey and pie this weekend, to take a step back, observe and appreciate the amazing natural world that we are each a small cog in. And pie. Also appreciate pie.

Every year on Thanksgiving we take a family hike and we'd like to share a bit of that with you and what we saw, talked about and looked at (and if you were here I'd share pie. Maybe.)

"Fairy Tree"
The soil on the shield is so shallow that wind will just tip the trees
right over. Note the piece of rock entangled in the top roots. 

How to mark a trail on the rock

This entire area was logged over a hundred years ago,
so there are very few large trees.

Craterellus cornucopioides 
Black Trumpet Mushroom

Gaultheria procumbens

A small piece of Georgian Bay

Beans is in an Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)
During the logging days these were used as masts for the
British Navy because they grew so straight and tall.

Erethizon dorsatum
A large rodent that lives in trees, porcupines have antibiotics
in their skin in case they fall and get stuck with their own quills.

Juniperus communis
Common Juniper
Needle shaped leaves help conserve water compared to a flat leaf,
which helps them to survive the winter. Having zillions increases the
ability to photosynthesize. So it's not just for prickling.

Pause for tree climbing (Beans fell out, she was fine)

Even the aquatic vegetation is looking like fall.

Observation: Groundwater is COLD

Lithobates pipiens
Northern Leopard Frog
Listen to what they sound like here: 

Taking a closer look at Mr. Frog (and her leaf collection for the dinner table)

No walk with a biologist is complete without poop.
This poop belongs to a White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

Lucky Day! Two kinds of poop!
This one is a Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)

For me, the highlight of the day (other than pie) was seeing the porcupine just snuffling about on the rocks. Well, and I suppose spending a beautiful day outdoors with my family was alright too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. pie.


  1. Gorgeous fall pictures! Looks like it was an epic walk!

    1. Thanks! We were lucky to have such great weather for it.