April showers bring May flowers.....
Spring flower blooms, both wild and garden varieties, appeared. Birds migrated north, new wildlife young arrived. The high water continued to flood many low lying areas.
Hepatica, Dutchman's Britches, Squirrel Corn, Red Trillium, White Trillium, Trout lily (closed and open), Spring Beauty, Blood Root, Marsh Marigold (in bud), Garlic Mustard, Yellow Mustard, Foamflower, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Mayapple
Later in the month I was fortunate to visit a cottage that had many moccasin flowers, as well as other flowers, in bloom. Moccasin flowers, a wild orchid, are comparatively rare but there was a relative abundance of them at this location. (The map turtles were a bonus.)
Moccasin flower, fringed polygala, star flower, rock harlequin, map turtles.
By the end of the month many of the white trilliums were finishing by slowly turning a mauve colour
It was Tulip Festival time
Looked like some fresh fungus was growing on an old rotten stump
While on a bike ride, a brown "stick" caught my eye. A morel mushroom! In fact 3 of them! Single spaced out over 30 yards. I hadn't seen any for more than 25 years.
Nearby were some skunk cabbage, or what I took for skunk cabbage. They are at their nicest when just breaking through the snow in very early spring. I had not seen any of those for some 20 years.
Dragonflies were hatching from their nymph stage, leaving the molds on stumps. Tent caterpillar webs became more abundant.
Migratory birds became common. (Although warblers defy my photography abilities 🙄)
Canada Geese, Phoebe, Spotted Sandpiper, male and female Red-winged Blackbird, (distant) Black-crowned Night Heron
Dozens of turtles, including one of the big snappers, (first picture) at Mud Lake were up and sunning themselves. Thirty-two turtles in the second picture.
At a smallish pond in another nature area a Blandings turtle was sunning itself.
Blandings are endangered, I see maybe one every few years if lucky.
Wildlife arrivals (or preparations made) in various locations
Boar, Bison, Caribou, Black Wolf, Canada Goose, House Wren, Osprey
New, velvet covered, antlers were growing quickly
There was a heavy waterflow over the weir at the Spencerville Mill
When down by the St Lawrence River we frequently stop by the Iroquois lock to check out the osprey nest and see if any ships are going through the lock. In the last few days of the month we hit it "lucky", we arrived to see the stern of one ship leaving the lock, with another set to enter. By the time the second ship locked through, a third was ready to enter.
First ship: NACC Quebec, a cement carrier heading for St Catherines. Built in 2011, Canadian flagged
Second ship: Elbeborg, a Netherlands flagged grain bulk carrier. Also built in 2011.
A two hour hike in Gatineau Park produced several eye catching moments.
The false solomon seal was in bloom everywhere, taking over from the dying trilliums.
Three deer moved off the trail as we approached. We have never seen deer in that area, but I suspect because of the restricted use of the Park the last few years, the deer have moved in around some of the trails.
The large tadpoles in one small lake/pond along the trail have caught our eyes before and did again this time.
A small 1" wood frog caught the eye as it hopped across the trail into last falls leaves.
We spent a morning at a Dressage Festival, something new for us.
(The more advanced riders performed the next two days.)