Baxter Conservation Area and the Mill Pond
My travels today took me to two of the wildlife conservation areas managed by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) At the Baxter Conservation Area, my surprise find was a pair of intertwined garter snakes and at the Mill Pond it was a Bee Fly.
After photographing the garter snakes, I headed over to another section of the conservation area and managed to find a few hawthorns. Boy, are they ever sharp! The thorn of the Hawthorn Bush can be quite painful when it jabs you in the leg as you try to move through the woods. Even more painful though is the jab in the back as you move backwards trying to frame a particular photographic moment.
The folks at the Baxter Conservation Area use solar energy panels for their power source.
Beavers were hard at work in the Mill Pod Conservation Area near Big Rideau Lake.
At the Baxter Conservation Area, I had a bit of trouble getting past the hawthorns but ran into a slightly different problem when the trails I was following led me into the centre of a sugar bush where collector lines were taking the flowing maple syrup to a central collection point. In the traditional maple syrup harvest process each tree was tapped and the maple syrup would drip slowly into a bucket and each bucket then would be collected for further processing at the “sugar shack” or “cabane à sucre”. Where topography permits, this traditional method has given way to a more modern, less labour-intensive method of tapping several sugar maples and letting gravity flow all of the raw syrup/sap down to a central pick-up site for transport to the “sugar shack”.