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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.

 

Exploring Fall Mushrooms in Ottawa Valley

Recent rains have awakened the dormant mycelium in many species of fungi. The diversity of mushrooms is so high, that it is easy to make mistakes in their identification. Our next guided hike is organized in the Ottawa area for those who just start to pick up mushrooms and for those who already have some experience of mushroom hunting. We’ll learn how to identify various groups of mushrooms and collect only those of them, which are absolutely safe. We also learn some important lessons regarding areas, where collecting mushrooms is allowed. Participants of our guided hike will know also how to cook some of the most common edible mushrooms. The weather forecast for this weekend is good again for mushroom growing.

Место проведения и предмет экскурсии:

В этот раз мы организуем экскурсию для любителей грибов, которые не боятся плохой погоды. Встреча на парковке под номером 7 в лесу Ларос в 9:30 утра: https://www.google.com/maps/place/larose+forest+p7+biking/@45.3731873,-75.2405821,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xee0504ba42ab97de!8m2!3d45.3731873!4d-75.2405821

Продолжительность экскурсии 4-5 часов, мы обследуем несколько мест поблизости от этой парковки и вокруг в этом огромном лесу. Будем надеяться, что природа будет благосклонна и дождь днем не будет идти. Будем надеяться на удачу, несомненно, что грибы мы найдем, вопрос – какие и сколько… Экскурсия по грибы – это всегда не только сбор, но и исследование природной среды и наблюдения за явлениями в жизни дикой природы.

Одежда и обувь:

Следите за прогнозом погоды и одевайтесь комфортно, чтобы вам не было бы холодно или жарко. Приготовьте свои камеры для съемки изумительных осенних ландшафтов и причудливых видов грибов. Не забывайте воду и бутерброды.

Eagle Nest Lookout in Fall Colors and Mushroom Excursion

Eagle’s Nest Lookout is one of the most famous places around the Ottawa area with a beautiful view of lakes and forest.  First, we plan to visit the Eagles Nest lookout that to admire saturated fall colors and the beauty of this place. After that, we’ll explore the Calabogie areas suitable for mushroom collection. This year mushrooms just started to grow after a long dry season. Rains in the last weeks facilitate the harvesting season for various representatives of this mysterious kingdom.

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.

Mushroom Identification Tour (in English)

This hike is for people who want to know more about identification and foraging mushrooms. At the end of September, we’ll organize the guided tour to the west of Ottawa in the place, where mushroom foraging is allowed. The exact place will be defined in few days, depending on the evaluation of mushroom availability in the place. The guided hike will take place on September 26 at 9:00 am. Please, watch our announcement regarding the exact place of the gathering. The number of participants will be limited to 15 people: the optimal size of the group to provide explanation and help in identification.

Place and subject of the excursion:

This is an excursion for those wishing to learn how to identify and collect late mushrooms. This year, the summer raining was late. So, many mushrooms just start to appear. The tasks of this excursion include the search and identification of various kinds of and the ability to distinguish edible mushrooms from inedible ones by their characteristic features. We also learn about places where mushroom collecting is allowed and the general rules of behavior in the forest that do not disturb the natural integrity. The days at this time of year are already pretty chilly, and nature is full of autumn colors, so don’t forget your cameras for shooting mushrooms and landscapes. We will arrange this excursion west of Ottawa. The exact meeting point will be posted later in two days, after checking that the mushrooms have already appeared. Follow our announcements. The excursion program includes an acquaintance with the kingdom of fungi: determination of the main groups of mushrooms by their main characteristics – sac fungi, puffballs (hedgehogs), tooth fungi, coral fungi, jelly fungi, bracket fungi,  boletus species, and gill mushrooms. At this time, there is already a chance to find representatives of almost every group of these fungi. In addition, we will get aware of the main types of edible, inedible, and poisonous mushrooms that are found in the Ottawa area and around. Mushroom picking is allowed in the place where we meet, so prepare your own baskets. We ask the participants of the trip to arrange transport, as the parking space near the forest is limited, and it would be better if we arrive in 4-5 cars. Carpooling is possible for those who wish.

We’ll meet at the Parking E3 of the Marlborough Forest. It is located on Roger Stevens Drive:

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1FHFK_enCA936CA939&tbs=lf:1,lf_ui:1&tbm=lcl&sxsrf=AOaemvIiStguTWSdm4GcA__DH2c2JiaqLg:1632350492256&q=marlborough+forest+parking&rflfq=1&num=10&ved=2ahUKEwik8_S505PzAhUTGVkFHRvfAsgQtgN6BAgJEAc#rlfi=hd:;si:3422931496272292894;mv:[[45.0995068,-75.8047807],[45.0639079,-75.8566484]]

Dress:

According to the weather, but it is usually humid in the forest at this time in the morning, so sturdy waterproof shoes and tight jeans will be appropriate for the hike. Choose clothes for the weather, 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.

Mushroom identification guided tour (in Russian)

This hike is for people who want to know more about identification and foraging mushrooms. At the end of September, we’ll organize the hike to the east of Ottawa in the place, where mushroom foraging is allowed. The exact place will be defined later, depending on the evaluation of mushroom availability in the place. The guided hike will take place on September 25 at 9:00 am. Please, watch our announcement regarding the exact place of the gathering. The number of participants will be limited to 15 people: the optimal size of the group to provide explanation and help in identification.

Место проведения и предмет экскурсии:

Это экскурсия для желающих научиться определять и собирать поздние грибы. В это время уже начинают появляться опята, поэтому в задачи этой экскурсии входит поиск и определение опят и умение отличать съедобные грибы от несъедобных по характерным признакам. Дни в это время года уже довольно прохладны, а природа полна осенних красок, так что не забывайте свои камеры для съемки грибов и ландшафтов. Мы организуем эту экскурсию на восток от Оттавы, но в пределах района Оттавы, обозначенного городом. Точное место встречи будет помещено позднее – перед самой экскурсией, после проверки, что грибы уже появились. Следите за нашими объявлениями. В программу экскурсии входит знакомство с царством грибов: определение основных групп грибов по их основным признакам – грибы сумчатые, коралловые, “дрожалковые” (jelly fungi), дождевики и их родственники, трутовики, ежовики, трубчатые и пластинчатые грибы. В это время уже есть шанс найти представителей практически каждой группы этих грибов. Кроме того, мы познакомимся с основными видами съедобных, несъедобных и ядовитых грибов, которые встречаются в районе Оттавы.  В месте, где мы соберемся, сбор грибов разрешен, так что приготовьте свои корзиночки. Просьба к участникам поездки договариваться о транспорте, так как место на парковке у леса ограничено, и лучше будет, если мы приедем на 4-5 автомобилях. Возможен карпулинг для желающих.

Место встречи в субботу Larose Forest – P1 (Parking 1):

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Larose+Forest+P1/@45.3762445,-75.2421996,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x19b68528561f6a4a!8m2!3d45.3762445!4d-75.2421996

Форма одежды:

По погоде, но обычно в это время с утра в лесу влажно, так что прочная непромокаемая обувь и плотные джинсы будут уместны для похода. В это время комарики еще ощутимы, не забывайте спрей от насекомых, а также солнцезащитный крем. Выбирайте одежду по погоде, чтобы вам удобно было ходить. Небольшой перекус в конце маршрута не помешает. Берите с собой бутерброды и воду

Camping at Dumoine River in September

September is an amazing time in the area of the Dumoine River. Bright fall colors decorate the environment and highlight the beauty of running waters, rapids, and waterfalls. This really wild and pristine area is attractive for travelers with adventurous minds. Immersed in the wilderness, we gather around the campfire at the end of the day to share stories and impressions.

We will start our visit by hiking along an education trail running along Grande Chute – a stunning series of waterfalls, rapids, canyons, and coves that extends for over 500 meters – you will have plenty of opportunities to take in the scenery from a series of look-out spots.

The trail then proceeds along through old pine and mixed forests before coming out to Robinson Lake. While the Grande Chute trail represents a hike of about 3 km (each way from our campsite), several other sections of the trail are available, including one taking us to the historic Red Pine Rapids where we will borrow a portage trail that has been in constant use for over 5000 years! We’ll also have a chance to see beavers and moose from the wooden platform, established for nature observation at the Stevens Swamp.

The middle of September is an amazing time to enjoy the saturated fall colors and beauty of the Dumoine River, preparing for the long silent winter season. This is also a good time for mushroom exploring and foraging. We found around 200 species of fungi in the area in previous years! And the most abundant mushroom harvesting was in September!

Please, be advised that this is a real wilderness area. There is no cell signal, no electricity, no running water (no showers), and that we will be using an outhouse.

Место проведения и занятия во время поездки:

Мы устроим наш лагерь в лесу на реке Дюмуэн недалеко от Grande Chute, у кордона. Здесь раскинулась большая поляна, окруженная лесом, полным удивительных грибов в это время. На поляне достаточно места для 7-8 палаток. В центре поляны – место для костра, окруженное внушительными камнями – здесь можно готовить барбекю, что-то печь и собираться вечером для беседы. Все удобства – на улице, но они поддерживаются в чистоте и порядке. В самом домике – и на обширной веранде расположено несколько столов, где можно собираться во время завтрака, обеда и ужина. Также здесь есть плита для готовки. Таким образом, бытовые проблемы на месте решены.

Неподалеку от места кэмпинга расположен выход на берег реки Дюмуэн с каноэ и у нас будет возможность изучить окрестности реки не только с берега, но и с воды. Мы совершим водные экскурсии в несколько мест с заездом на острова и к порожистой части реки с видами на небольшие водопады и быстрины в районе, который называется “водопад у Красных сосен”. Кроме этого, мы организуем несколько пеших экскурсии вдоль реки Дюмуэн, на небольшое болото с бобрами, куда частенько приходят попить воду лоси. Мы исследуем места, где в это время может быть обильный урожай грибов и постараемся собрать корзиночки съедобных грибов для готовки или сушки.

В лесу в это время можно увидеть еще многие пролетные виды птиц тайги и северных лесов, а также местные “лесных курочек” или воротничковых рябчиков, которые часто любят прогуливаться вдоль тропинок и по дороге. В лесу вокруг кэмпинга обитают также многие хищники, здесь довольно обычны койоты и волки. Мы исследуем их присутствие по следам на дорожках, а также в один из вечеров пойдем к озеру Робертсон, чтобы проверить присутствие этих видов, проиграв их голоса на планшете. В это время они обычно уже откликаются на зов.

Что входит в стоимость?

Мы берем на себя расходы по регистрации всех участников и оплаты въезда на территорию ZEC Dumoine, как и пребывания на кэмпсайте для всех участников. Кэмпсайт и домик, арендуемый моим коллегой, также будут в нашем распоряжении. Мы организуем походы по тропам, сбор грибов и поездки на каноэ, а также утренние выходы для обзора ландшафтов и видов, места для наблюдения и съемки. Также мы обеспечиваем питание. Пожалуйста, сообщите заранее, если Вы вегетарианец или веган, а также, если у Вас есть аллергия на какие-то продукты. Рацион на время пребывания в лагере будет обсужден в чате. Помимо этого, у нас есть дополнительные палатки и спальные мешки.

Что брать с собой?

Мы организуем небольшой лагерь. Вам понадобятся палатки, спальные мешки и матрасики, а также все остальное, что может пригодиться для комфортной походной жизни. Кроме того, желательно при себе иметь свои кружки и ложки. Остальная посуда в домике имеется. Одежда должна быть удобной для походов, не забывайте теплую одежду – в это время может быть уже очень прохладно и утром, и вечером. Обувь – легкая и надежная для ходьбы по тропинкам, в это время лучше иметь при себе уже пару надежных туристических ботинок. Не забывайте спрей от насекомых. Палочки для ходьбы также не помешают. Желательно иметь при себе фонарики для вечерних и ночных прогулок.