Saturday, December 5, 2015

Lifers come at the most unexpected times sometimes!

Back at the beginning of October (I know...going back two months now! Still playing the catch-up game), Mike and I decided to go on a quick walk to the Trestle Bridge located just south of Omemee, Ontario.  I've seen multiple friends now who have taken photos on this bridge and the view just looked absolutely stunning.  We figured that fall colours would be in full, or at least partial, swing by this time of year and we really needed to get out of the house.

We set off on the Kawartha Trans Canada Trail in search for this bridge, birds, and beautiful fall colours.  Our first site was a bundle of Ruby-crowned Kinglets bouncing around all the bushes.  I finally managed to snap a photo of the quick little buggers, while Mike failed at convincing Chickadees to land on his hand.

Mike trying to feed some Chickadees
Ruby-crowned Kinglet

We then continued down the trail and were utterly thrilled by the amazing colours along the path.  It was so nice to see so many other people also out and about on the walking trail.  

We eventually made it out to the Trestle Bridge.  This is an old railway bridge that has since been converted to a walking bridge.  It maintains all of it's original steel work and overlooks a valley full of trees and nearby drumlins. It obviously wasn't at its peak colour yet, but it was still just wonderful!

We made the hike out with a small camping stove and some home made beef barley soup, so we sat on the side of the bridge and cooked up some supper.  It was so relaxing and such a nice break from being cooped up at home and school working

Once we were finished eating we begun to walk back to our car.  Just as we got off the Trestle Bridge we noticed what looked like a pile of dog "dung".  After a few years of herping (looking for and watching reptiles and amphibians), we knew that this was either indeed dog poop or, more excitingly, a snake!  We approached our unknown object, and found an adorable Red-bellied Snake!

I basically screamed in excitement; it has been a few years now that I have been trying to find one of these little guys!  We took a few quick photos and then moved the little guy off the path.  I had always known that they were one of the smaller snake species here in Ontario, but was surprised at HOW small, small was!   The photo below is an example of just how small it was!

On the same topic of herps, week or two later, Mike and I were at Presqu'ile.  Having just finished an (unsuccessful) hunt, we decided to do a bit of bird watching and wandered to Owen's Point Beach area to see if any shorebirds were still around.  We didn't spot any shorebirds, however we did see the biggest, and most grumpy toad that we had ever seen try to get over a piece of fencing.  So naturally, we helped it get up and over the fence, but not before we took a few "grumpy" photos with it.

Why so grumpy?

Grumpy American Toad

Hope everyone has had an amazing fall and looking forward to a seemingly warm winter!  I promise to post a few more updates soon!