Painted Turtles & Other Critters!

What an incredible Easter Weekend! Sunny, warm – and Mother Nature was bursting at the seams! I spent Good Friday morning strolling the French Basin Trail in Annapolis Royal – just me and the critters spending a sunny, still morning in the great out-of-doors. Lots of geese and buffleheads, and then a real treat as a painted turtle decided to pose for me instead of slipping quietly into the water and disappearing… well enough of the “chat” and on to the pictures.

In the coming weeks and months it will be fun to see young goslings, duckings and other wee critters emerge to begin their lives!

For more photos, check out my Garden Shutterbug site.

Walkfest Launches New Trail

Annapolis Royal, Annapolis River, Nova Scotia_3333

Annapolis Royal, Annapolis River_3448

On Friday, June 12 at 11 am the town of Annapolis Royal will launch a new trail.  This trail skirts the shore of the Annapolis River as it swings around the corner to the tidal power plant gates on the river.  It’s a great short trail! You’re right on the water and you have super views of the river and the tidal power gates.

Check out the Tidal Power Plant gates:

Tidal power gates on Annapolis River in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia_3459

(Pictures taken in early May)

Walk Annapolis Royal Weekend

Walk the town:  the second weekend in June (12-14) is being planned as a walking extravaganza in Annapolis Royal.  Walks – short walks, long walks, along the shore, around town and over the mountain are all part of this walk fest.  There will be instruction in nordic walking and geocaching opportunities too.  Check out this schedule for a complete list of events.

French Basin Trail

(GPS Coordinates N 44 44.661  W 065 30.851)

I took a nice long Sunday morning walk along the French Basin Trail, which winds around the Annapolis Marsh. The marsh is home to many feathered friends, and many other critters as well. Happily, I had my camera and was able to capture some of nature’s moments…

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

Nesting swallows

Nesting swallows

Buffleheads

Buffleheads

Muskrat

Muskrat

Painted Turtles

Painted Turtles

A Bald Eagle being chased off...

A Bald Eagle being chased off...

Soon there will be all sorts of young’uns swimming along behind, making the walk even more interesting!

French Basin Trail

The French Basin Trail in Annapolis Royal is an excellent location for anyone interested in a gentle hike or seeing waterfowl.  The Trail is located on Highway 1 (or Prince Albert Road) in Annapolis Royal.  This is an excellent location to have a quick interaction with nature in the middle of the Town.  There are a variety of species from muskrats and white tailed deer to warblers, ducks and swallows which live in this habitat.  Despite the presence of nature, this is not a trail for someone looking for a rugged wilderness experience. This is a gentle trail made from well groomed crushed rock.  As the land is mostly flat, we were easily able to push a baby stroller the entire length of the trail.

As it is still early April, many of the usual migratory species have not yet returned to the nesting ponds which are encircled by the trail. I was thrilled to both see and hear some Red-winged Blackbirds.  Along with the sound of the Spring Peeper frogs, the call of the Red-winged Blackbird is one of the clear signs that Spring is coming.  I was also happy to see three Great Blue Herons as these were the first I have seen in 2009.   I was also happy to see a pair of Northern Shovellers, some Ringneck Ducks and a couple of breeding pairs of Canada Geese in the middle of the pond.  For the most part, the ponds were filled with Buffleheads which tend to over-winter in this area.   To get a good view of the birds a pair of binoculars or a telescope is usually needed. The birds seem to naturally move toward the middle of the pond when humans are near.  These are wild birds not their tame urban park counterparts.

View of the nesting ponds at the French Basin Trail.

View of the nesting ponds at the French Basin Trail.

Muskrat swimming beside the trail.

Muskrat swimming beside the trail.

Tree at the edge of the trail.

Tree at the edge of the trail.

Elephant grass.

Elephant grass.

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