When my three youngest children were small we would often go on nature walks. One of our favourite places to go was Grohman Narrows, a small provincial park just ten minutes down the road from where we lived. We would amble along, looking for turtles, dragon and damselflies, wild ginger, interesting rocks, ant hills, and anything else that caught our attention. Sometimes when we returned home I would have them sketch something they had seen in their Nature Notebooks, but more often than not the walk itself was enough.
Grohman Narrows borders the Kootenay River, and just before the park entrance the highway goes by a tall pole, and on that pole was an osprey's nest. Right around this time every spring we would all guess what date we thought the ospreys would return to their nest. My children are all adults now, but they still talk about making their osprey guesses. It's nice to know this seemingly small thing has remained one of their fond childhood memories.
I was reminded of our nature walks when Rebekah was visiting. On her last day here we went to the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve, a place I have written about before. The last time I was there was on my birthday in February, long before the leaves were out, and well before the herons were nesting. What a contrast this visit was to the previous one.
There were new inhabitants at the pond.
The leaves were making an appearance on the trees along the Vedder River.
The warmer weather meant there were more people on the trail, and not all of them were walkers.
We continued on the path until it left the river and took us up on a dike. The river was to our right, and to the left was open farmland with the mountains in the distance.
Do you see the trees just beyond where the path curves? That's where the heron nests are located. Here's a closer view.
It was hard to get a good picture of a heron. Those nests are quite high up in the trees.
Just beyond the heron nesting area we spotted this pair of eagles. Did you know that eagles mate for life? I wonder how many years this pair have been together.
I hope you've enjoyed today's nature walk, and I would love to hear about any traditions you've done in your family to encourage a love of nature.