Weekends away on a whim are a delight. I have been wanting to get away for a few weeks now. While I had a solo trip to a cabin in the woods where I could disconnect (from obligations and stress) and reconnect (with myself and nature), this was not logistically possible. But, the opportunity to spend time in the Kawarthas last weekend was a superb consolation! It is a little funny to me that going to the Kawarthas is now a treat. When I was living in Peterborough it was a given, but now that I am a year removed and living in Kingston it is something I look forward to. And I look forward to it because I am familiar with this region and the possibilities it offers, but this doesn't mean I can't be surprised too!
I want to highlight one particular place in the Kawarthas - Eels Creek - about 45 to 60 minutes to the north of Peterborough. This patch of land is owned by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, it can be access from Northeys Bay Road, and is a short way down the road from Petroglyphs Provincial Park. I want to highlight it because, first it is a nice park, and second because it surprised me on my Kawarthas weekend expedition.
When I lived in Peterborough I visited Eels Creek countless times at all times of the year and made numerous observations of an array of plant and animal species there. In fact, it was one of the first places I visited in the Kawarthas while on a bus trip for a first year physical geography course. We stopped at the creek, a couple students put on waders and ambled into the middle of the creek so we could do a simple ball drop and time experiment to measure stream velocity. I wasn't looking at the flora or fauna that time, but I knew it would be a good place to do so and was excited to have the opportunity to visit again and explore. And I did revisit it a lot, but never in all my visits did I observe Indian paintbrush (Castilleja coccinea) until last weekend.
This is one of the reasons I recommend visiting the same park, and doing so often, because you will always be making new discoveries. And I think that this is one of the greatest joys of getting to know nature.
News, reflections, notes and other ramblings from the trail by PTBO Flora founder Rachel.