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Camping near Dumoine River

Join us for a journey to the Ottawa Valley’s last wild river – the Dumoine! A land of mature and old-growth forests, countless lakes, streams and wetlands – home to moose, bear, wolves, and over 160 species of birds. We are organizing a trip for naturalists, photographers and nature lovers to capture the beauty of this place on Canada Day.

The early summer is an amazing time in the taiga, full of cares and worries about the growing offspring of numerous forest inhabitants, the unique colors of flowering plants, the noise of running waves of a full-flowing river, piercing colorful sunsets and sunrises…

In summer, the taiga comes alive. It is filled with the voices of birds returned from distant wintering places and is colored with the variegation of flowering plants. We invite people open to the beauty or just nature lovers to share with us the unique moments of immersion in the wild nature of this amazing place. Birds returned to their breeding sites and occupied their personal “households”. In this time, they are most visible and heard. We’ll learn how to recognize birds by call and sight. At this time, amphibians are also very vocal; their chorus is more prominent at the dusk – early morning, and evening. We’ll learn how to identify various species of frogs and hope to see some of them during our trips to forests and along the river.

Our trip will take place on the Canada Day from July 1 to July 4. We will stop close to the cabin on the Lac Pinniseault and at a colorful place on the banks of the Dumoine River – close to Robinson Lake. Our team of three people organizes leisure activities and hikes for participants on the territory. We will observe the birds and animals that live in the area, as well as get up early to catch the unique morning light over the river and lake.

We invite a group of 10-15 people for this trip. We can provide transportation for people to the territory, and we also provide guidance on hikes to observe wildlife. We will stay close to John’s cabin, providing you with hot fragrant coffee, and tea at any time. We also will serve a small breakfast for everyone and dinner at the end of the day. We also have a special camouflage tent that can accommodate 4 people to watch birds and other inhabitants of the taiga. We have several equipped places for observation of nature in the Dumoine area, where photographers can stay to observe wildlife and take photos. We have several canoes for observation of nature from the water. We provide basic food, but we advise everyone to take additional food, whatever you like.

You need to bring a tent and camping essentials, flashlights, safety vests for canoe trips, your cameras, and protection against mosquitoes and other insects. Please, watch for the weather forecast and prepare your rain jackets and boots accordingly.

The cost of the trip – $ 150 per full day per person includes – registration, place in the camp, escort, breakfast, and dinner, as well as lessons in nature observation, identifying birds and mammals by voices and footprints.  In addition, we will provide you with transportation to our field camp from Swisha, ​​where you can leave your car, to the base camp, and back. We’ll charge half the price for the day of arrival and the day of departure.

Travel to Dewberry Trail and around

It is expected to rain this Sunday. It is not clear when it will start, but if the morning will be clear we would like to invite nature lovers to visit several places in Ottawa Greenbelt. And first of them is the Dewberry Trail in the eastern corner of Ottawa. Due to the May storm, the trail is still closed for the mass visiting, however, we have been there last weekend and explored the area. The trail is mostly clear, with few trees on the side trails closing the road. We select the safe route in the area to explore wildlife inhabiting the Ottawa Greenbelt.

Place and Subject of the Excursion:

We plan to visit the different types of forest: coniferous, mixed, and deciduous and learn about its dwellers: birds, amphibians, mammals, and insects.  We plan also to explore the diversity of fungi that appear on the trunks of the trees and on the ground.

We’ll meet at 8:30 am at the Parking near Dewberry Trail. We’ll walk along the trail with many stops to observe plants, fungi, birds, and other animals. We’ll watch for the weather, and if it will allow we’ll visit several other places around this area.

Dress:

The forecast is for hot weather this weekend, so, we can expect many mosquitoes after several showers of rain this week. Be prepared to prevent mosquito bites. We suggest you take mosquito spray,  water, and a light snack.

Birds and plants in Purdon Conservation Area

Did you see the biggest colony of amazing Snowy Lady’s Slippers in Ontario? Do you know how pitcher plants catch insects? How many plants are adapted to survive in the bog? What kind of bird species inhabit such areas? During our excursion to Purdon Conservation Area on Saturday, we’ll try to answer all these questions.

Place and Subject of the Excursion:

We organize our next guided tour for people who are interested to know more about nature in Ottawa Valley. The end of June is a time when magnificent Showy Lady’s Slippers rain in the bog of Purdon Conservation Area, operated by the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority. This area attracts many nature lovers at this time.

We’ll meet at 9:00 am in the lower parking near the trail around the bog of Purdon Conservation Area.  We’ll have an opportunity to enjoy the soft morning light for flower photography. We’ll explore also the area around, walking in the forest and near the lake to explore the biodiversity of Lanark County.

Dress:

It is expected to be a hot day, so, prepare for the attacks of insects in the morning. We suggest you take mosquito spray,  water, and a light snack.

Sunset in Gatineau Park: Evening hike around P8 (Chem. du Lac Meech)

This event is organized for those who like adventures. This is a guided hike to Gatineau Park for evening nature observation.  We invite amateurs to explore the evening life of Gatineau Park in the area near Meech Lake. We’ll meet on Friday evening, April 15, at 6:00 pm on the P8 in the Park.  This guided hike will be in English and Russian.

Place and Subject of the Excursion:

We invite you to participate in a sunset adventure in Gatineau Park. We organize an evening hike to a small lake in Gatineau Park. The snow had just melted or still remained in some places in small clumps in shady places. But spring is rapidly approaching, and with it, migratory birds return to their breeding sites. In the evenings, silhouettes of flying Wilson’s snipes and American woodcocks can be seen above the lakes at the edges of the forest. They fill the neighborhood with their characteristic sounds. The typical winnowing flight of Wilson’s snipe resembles the sound of an airplane. The sound of American woodcock flight is also very distinctive. Amphibians wake up and we hope to listen to the chorus of the first Spring Peepers. Spring peepers are “heralds” of the spring season. These tiny amphibians came out from ponds and sing from the branches of trees, where males climbed up quite high. Salamanders come out of their hibernation places on the forest floor – they rush to reservoirs and vernal pools to lay eggs and give rise to offspring. In the evenings, beavers become active, they leave their huts to feed and find construction materials for the renovation of their lodges after a long winter season. Later, in the forest, you can hear the dialogue of barred owls or calls of eastern screech owls. This is the time when owls are still very active and you can not only see them but also hear them.

We’ll meet at Parking 8 (P 8) at 6:00 pm, which is very close to the Visitor Center of Gatineau Park in Chelsea. There is an opportunity for carpooling from Ottawa (2 places).

Dress:

It can be humid after rains in the last few days. It is recommended to have waterproof shoes and rainy jackets. Prepare a flashlight or headlamp for observations in dark.

Mackenzie King Estate and Waterfall in Gatineau Park:

We invite families with kids for a spring hike in Gatineau Park. We’ll meet on Sunday, April 10, near the Visitor Center of the Park at 10:00 am at the address 33 Chem Scott., Chelsea, Quebec, J9B 1R5. If the Museum in the Visitor Center is open, we’ll explore its exposition and learn how to identify animals by calls, signs, and footprints. If the Museum is still closed, we’ll walk around parking and explore the closest area looking for signs of spring, animal footprints, and listening to bird calls. After the Visitor Center, approximately at 10:30 – 10:45 am we’ll go to the P6 (Parking 6) near Mackenzie King Estate, kids will have a chance to explore the ruins and to know about the history of this place. And then, we’ll visit a waterfall at a distance of around 500-700 m from parking, stopping that to listen to birds and watch animal tracks. This guided hike will be in English and Russian.

Place and Subject of the Excursion:

Gatineau Park is an amazing place to explore at any age.  We select the simple trail this time, which should be interesting for kids and parents. If we’ll be lucky, we’ll have a chance to see some interesting birds, salamanders, and frogs near the trail. Chipmunks have already come out after hibernation and will watch us with curiosity, staying at a safe distance along the path. American red squirrels are also numerous in this part of the forest. We’ll talk about animals and plants inhabiting Gatineau Park. Kids will have a chance to play ecological games.

We’ll meet near the Visitor Center of Gatineau Park in Chelsea at 10:00 am on April 10 (Sunday). There is an opportunity for carpooling from Ottawa (2 places).

Dress:

It is expected that there will not be much rain on this day. However, after abundant rains in the last few days, it will be good to have waterproof shoes and rainy jackets. Prepare snacks for kids, do not forget some seeds to feed nuthatches and chickadees near the trail. Take your sandwiches and water with you.

 

 

Forest dwellers in your neighborhood

Do you know where to spot porcupines this wintertime? How many bird species stay around us in the cold weather? How to recognize animal footprints on snow? You can answer these questions during our guided nature tour to the Stony Swamp area on Sunday, December 19.

Place and Subject of the Excursion:

We organize our next seasonal guided tour for families with kids. We hope to spot during our hike many squirrels and many birds. We also hope to see many animal footprints near our path. We’ll learn how to identify species by call and sight. If we’ll be lucky we’ll see porcupines. We’ll have also the opportunity to feed chickadees and nuthatches often lending on the open arms with seeds.

We’ll meet at 9:30 am on Parking lot 8 along Moody Drive, Stony Swamp Area: Moodie Dr, Nepean, ON K2R 1H8. We plan to walk 3-4 km around – visiting a beaver pond and porcupine woods. If we’ll have enough time, we’ll move to Jack Pine Trail (Parking lot 9) to explore this path as well.

Dress:

Winter is just starting. The weather is still unpredictable. So, we suggest you be prepared for a frosty day. However, we’ll walk in the forest, therefore, we suggest wearing warm, but light enough jackets and shoes. Do not forget your gloves or mittens! You can take a snack for your walk, but remember that all active forest dwellers will follow us hoping to profit from a delicious treat. Food for birds, sunflower seeds, or other treats is welcomed.

Amherst Island in early December

The Amherst Island, located near Kingston, is well known as one of the perfect places for birdwatching. We organize our next guided hike to the Island for those who are interested to know more about birds and other wild, creatures inhabiting this area. We’ll take binoculars and scope for observation of waterfowls and other birds.

More information about birding on Amherst Island you can find here:

Place and Subject of the Excursion:

We plan to explore the roads of the Island as follows: Front Rd., South Shore Rd., the Island West End, and the Owl Woods. At this time of the year, we have an opportunity to see many waterfowls (geese and ducks), which stay for winter in unfrozen waters near the island.  We also explore the space around the roads that to spot first Snowy Owls arrived there for wintering. Other species – the Short-eared Owl – often stay on fence posts waiting for mice feeding in the fields. The area is also attractive for many birds of prey such as the Northern Harrier, Rough-Legged Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, and even Bald Eagle. Many small passerine birds stop for winter on the island, surveying roads and farms for food sources. One of the most interesting places to visit is Owl Woods where several owl species stay in the winter season: some of them as the Northern Saw-Whet Owl and Barred Owl usually stay solitary or in pairs in winter, others as the Long-eared Owl forms flocks gathering in the rusting places. The birders are allowed to visit Owl Woods, following the Code of Conduct, respecting the private property of stewards who owned this land and the “privacy” of wild creatures: no harm to the owls and their habitats is allowed. We stay at the island in the daytime from 11:30 to 5:00 pm that to see how night birds prepare for hunting, perching at the poles located around agricultural fields.

We’ll meet near the Ferry at Millhaven Ferry Dock (mainland side), 5604 Highway 33, Millhaven, ON at 11:15 am on Sunday, December 05. Carpooling from Ottawa to the island is welcomed. We plan to leave Amherst Island at 5:00 pm – after sunset.

Dress:

The weather forecast on Sunday is good with a light frost. Strong wind is not predicted this day that is good for bird observation. It is suggested to have warm jackets, gloves, or mittens. Waterproof shoes will be appropriate to walk to the woods. Take sandwiches and water/ tea or coffee with you. Do not forget your cameras and binoculars!

Snow Geese migration in Ottawa Valley

We renew our nature-guided tour schedule after a one-month vacation. The next trip is planned that to see snow geese and other waterfowls around Ottawa.

The current population of Snow Goose in Ontario is evaluated in more than 15 million birds. It increased significantly last decades due to improved farming technics. Snow geese nest far north, on lakes, rivers and other water-reservoirs in tundras. In the autumn seasons, all geese from tundras migrate to wintering sites in the southern United States or even to northern Mexico. However, during migrations, large flocks of geese stay to rest and feed on agricultural fields in Ontario. Usually, they appear near Ottawa in late October – November.  This Saturday we still have a chance to see snow geese around Ottawa in Prescott and Russel county.

Place and Subject of the Excursion:

At this time large flocks of snow geese stay on the agricultural fields and on wetlands for feeding and rest. According to recent observations, up to 5,000 – 7,000 geese can be found in some known stopover places. We plan to go to one of such places, which is called the Embrun Eastern Sewage Lagoons, one of the well-known “hot” birding places. We hope to see not only snow geese but other interesting bird species, including other geese species, birds of prey, ducks, gulls, and passerines.

We’ll meet in the middle of Milton Rd. at 9:00 am on Saturday, November 20. There is an opportunity for carpooling from west Ottawa (2 places). The duration of the guided hike is 4-5 hours until 1-2 pm.

Dress:

It is expected that there will not be rain or snow on Saturday. However, the maximum day temperature is predicted as +4C. Therefore, it is important to have warm jackets, gloves, or mittens. Waterproof shoes will be appropriate to walk around wetlands after abundant rains in the last week. Take your sandwiches and water with you.

Late fall fungi in Calabogie Area: guided tour

This is one of the last fall guided tours to explore fungi and mushrooms in Ottawa Valley. However, we’ll start our excursion with a visit to Eagle’s Nest Lookout, which is stunning in October days. Hope that we’ll be lucky with the weather on Sunday that to see the amazing fall landscapes from the rocks of the Lookout with a beautiful view of lakes and forest.  After that, we’ll explore several places in Calabogie areas to find the late fall mushrooms.

Place and Subject of the Excursion:

This place is interesting not only for its enchanting landscapes and beauty of wild nature but also because it represents one of the sacred places of the local indigenous people of Algonkin-Anishinabe. People from this tribe came to the mountain to increase spiritual strength, receive a sign from the heavens (from the spirit of eagles) and understand through meditation in which spiritual direction to move … The main path to the rock is small – only about 3 km. However, after the visit to Eagle Nest, we’ll have a chance to explore several places in the Calabogie area for mushroom collection. This year the mushroom harvest is just starting, so, we’ll explore the diversity of mushrooms in the Ottawa valley and learn how to identify them and how to collect mushrooms correctly, without damaging the natural environment.

We’ll meet at the Parking near Eagle Nest lookout at 9:30 am on October 3 (Sunday). There is an opportunity for carpooling from Ottawa (2 places).

Dress:

Watch on the weather forecast and choose closes according to the weather. Waterproof shoes and tight jeans will be appropriate for the hike, so that you can walk comfortably. A small snack at the end of the route will not hurt. Take your sandwiches and water with you.

Bright fall colors in Gatineau Park: guided tour

Autumn days fly very quickly. The last weeks continue to delight us with the brightness of colors and unique autumn landscapes. Maples are already crumbling. They are replaced by golden birches and aspens blazing with dark crimson. The guided tour is organized for those who like to explore the area of Gatineau Park and for those who want to admire the autumn trees in fall colors.

Location and the subject of excursion:

This Saturday, we will organize a hike for those who like the fall colors of Gatineau Park. We will meet at 9:30 am on Parking 13 in Gatineau Park near Meech Lake: google.com/maps/place/Wolf+Trail/@45.5433442,-75.9095088,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x1be81a7196f025f3!8m2!3d45.5433442!4d-75.909508

A parking ticket is 13CAD per day, therefore carpooling is welcoming.

We’ll walk to the escarpment along the trail and stop to look at various landscapes, plants, and fungi. The duration of the guided hike will be 4.5 – 5 hours.

Clothes and footwear:

Check the weather forecast and dress comfortably so you won’t be cold or hot. Prepare your cameras for stunning autumn landscapes and late fall fungi, which could be very interesting. Don’t forget water and sandwiches.