A Hooded Merganser in Hendrie Valley Sanctuary

Hooded Merganser, grindstone creek, hamilton, ontario

Bob and I drove out to Hamilton, Ontario, on a recent spring day, and opted to hike a trail system near the Royal Botanical Gardens rather than revisit Cootes Paradise, one of our favorite places to go birdwatching.  The Hendrie Valley Sanctuary encompasses a variety of habitats including marshlands, forested slopes, floodplain wetlands and four creeks.  It was there, as we walked along a section of Grindstone Creek, that we came upon this Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) paddling its way upstream. Read more

Wood Ducks at Grindstone Marsh in Hamilton

wood duck - grindstone marsh - hamilton

One spring, on the only clear day in a week of rainy weather, Bob and I seized the opportunity to go birdwatching.  A return trip was in order to the area of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton.  Not since the previous spring had we visited the protected areas in the Gardens’ vicinity, all of which make for great hiking and birdwatching.  It was in the Grindstone Marsh that Bob and I came upon two pairs of Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) idling in the backwaters of one of the marshes. Read more

Early spring wildflowers at Cootes Paradise in Burlington

Early spring wildflowers at Cootes Paradise in Burlington

round-lobed Hepatica, Cootes Paradise, Burlington

April showers bring May flowers, and true to that adage, the forests in Cootes Paradise in Hamilton, Ontario, were already liberally sprinkled with clumps of Round-lobed Hepatica (Anemone Americana).  We had been enjoying very warm temperatures in Southern Ontario, and in combination with the odd April shower, it has given rise to these early spring wildflowers. Read more

Skunk Cabbage Blooming in Cootes Paradise

Skunk Cabbage Blooming in Cootes Paradise

Skunk Cabbage plant, spathe bract, cootes paradise, hamilton, ontario

I have lived in Ontario my whole life, and despite trekking through the bush as a child, and doing endless hikes as an adult, this past spring was  the first time that I have ever come across a Skunk Cabbage plant at Cootes Paradise, in Hamilton, Ontario…lots of them, in fact. Read more