• The Sound of Trees
    Nature

    The Sound of Trees

    I wish I had a recording of some of the trees I’ve heard squeaking in the forest. At first I was quite startled when I realized trees could make these unexpected noises. Leaves rustling in the wind I understood but the creaking and squeaking sounds didn’t make any sense. Until one day Dad and I were walking in the bush when he told me to stop and listen. The trees were talking. Very faintly I could hear the wind blow and then the slow sway of the tall poplar trees shifted slightly and then came the squeaking. Upon closer inspection I could see the sound was a result of branches…

  • Coyote Tracks
    Nature

    Animal Tracks

    As early as I can remember I’ve taken notice to tracks left behind by the forest animals. Most noticeable when left in fresh snow and alongside the forest trail in the mud. Dad was the best at figuring them out and we had a book on all the tracks from animals in Manitoba. We started out tracking rabbits, squirrels, mice and deer in the snow. Rabbits were easy to tell since sometimes they’d sit down and their little tails would make an imprint in the snow too. Once we followed the tracks of what looked like two animals running through the bush and when we reached the end of the…

  • Manitoba Showy Lady Slippers
    Nature

    Delicate Lady Slippers

    Of all the wild flowers in our forest the Lady Slipper is by far the most beautiful, rare and just plain magical. I would not know about these flowers if it weren’t for my Mom and the incredible Lady Slipper she had photographed in our forest when I was little. She loved the photo so much that she had it framed and it still hangs on the wall at home. Remember this was well before the digital camera and Photoshop! Her understanding of light and shooting clean was amazing! The first sign of the Lady Slipper was usually early summer and on our walk through the forest we’d check the…

  • Deer Stand
    Nature

    Deer Stands in the Forest

    Looking up at the tops of the trees I’d always look for nests or bee hives but sometimes the trees held other objects. I started to notice wooden platforms that were nailed to the tree trunks and wondered how on earth those got up there. During our walks we would come across two known deer stands that you could see from our forest trail. At first I had a completely different understanding about deer stands. I thought they were a fantastic hiding spot high up in the trees to quietly watch for deer and other animals. I’d imagine having my camera with me and waiting patiently for the creatures of…

  • Hiking Blue Lake, Ontario
    Nature

    Watch out for Wood Ticks

    Oh the lovely wood tick. Luckily they are not year round in Manitoba but when we near spring I can’t help but think of those dreaded ticks. A walk in the bush is not as simple as it sounds during this season. You must consider what you’re wearing and constantly be checking to make sure none have climbed up your clothing or worse into your hair! If you have not experienced wood tick season let’s just say it frightens a lot of children. Growing up my friends would freak out if they found one attached to their skin. They vowed never to venture out into the yard for fear of getting their blood sucked. I…

  • Squirrel Bridge - The Forest Fairy
    Nature

    Squirrel Bridge Trees

    Riding through the forest on the trike we would often encounter fallen trees usually after a storm. Dad would yell out “duck” and make sure we didn’t get bonked on the head from these low hanging branches. We encountered these trees so often that we came up with a name for them. Squirrel Bridge Trees. These trees were found snapped in half but never detached completely. They wouldn’t break but instead bend and create a seamless arched tree that sometimes crossed over our trail. Those were the ones I’d imagine the woodland creatures, especially squirrels, scurrying over to cross safely to the other side. I figured during the day the…

  • Walking through the Forest with Dad - The Forest Fairy
    Nature

    12 Things I Learned in the Forest

    I grew up where the prairie met the treeline. Our house was surrounded by a forest with a long lane and a lot of giant, beautiful trees. My favorite being the cotton tree in the backyard that rose the tallest out of all the trees in the forest. You could see it from town! My Dad cut a trail through the woods next to our property and was able to collect firewood along it for the winter months. We’d spend a lot of Sunday afternoons out in the bush loading up the little red trailer attached to the trike and haul it back to the house. While being out in…