The Winter Quiet of Mer Bleue, Ottawa, Ontario
Wednesday was one of those heavily overcast, foggy, misty kind of days with the temperature hovering around the freezing point. I was on the east side of Ottawa on other business and, since I had decided to bring my camera along with me, I used photography as my good excuse to take a walk in the area of the Mer Bleue Bog. (location) The only sound I heard for about an hour was the sound of a few planes heading to the airport and even those sounds were nicely muted.
It seems that, this winter, almost everywhere that I go, there is a porcupine hanging onto an overhead branch. This outing at Mer Bleue was no exception! A large porcupine was high in the tree over the main trail and happily trimming the branches.
On this portion of the trail, a person could have done nicely with a pair of skates. I was hoping to photograph the Chipping Sparrows that were cleaning up some seed from this portion of the trail but, after sitting on the embankment and feeding Chickadees, it became obvious that the Chipping Sparrows weren’t going to come back to the opening until a certain human had got up and left, so I gathered myself up and headed out along a snowshoe trail that headed off into the woods and then broke out into the open marshland again.
I didn’t have snowshoes with me, but the recent combination of freezing and thawing and freezing again made for a solid base to walk on and snowshoes weren’t required. Step off the trail though and you immediately sank into a foot or two of soft snow
I walked quite a distance along the snowshoe trails and just enjoyed having the whole world all to myself for awhile. Eventually, I decided that it might be useful to head back to the parking lot but along the way I decided that it wouldn’t hurt to take a nice walk around the standard Mer Bleue boardwalk loop. It is interesting to see the bog in the winter with the Labrador Tea with its evergreen leaves looking a bit less green and the Tamaracks sticking out as needleless sentinels.
Mer Bleue in the winter is different than Mer Bleue in the Spring, Summer or Fall and I try each year to get there at least once or twice. Today, the weather was mild and no wind was blowing so being out in the open was very pleasant. After a nice walk around the loop to finish off my visit, it was back to the parking lot and back to civilization. The porcupine was still high up in its overhead perch.