Saturday, 30 June 2007

Petrie Island

This morning’s walk was under bright, sunny skies with a light breeze and 16C (60f).

Gordon decided we needed to get out today and he had been wanting to go to Petrie Island which is the northern extension of Trimm Road in Orleans, a suburb of Ottawa so off we went late this morning. Petrie Island is a very pretty place with its own wetlands and lots of walking trails. We walked the Bill Holland Trail down to the end of River Loop. There were lots of wildflowers and this cute little woodpecker. I think he was this year’s crop as he didn’t seem to be afraid and just sat pecking his tree while we took photos.

The Petrie Islands group on the Ottawa River was formed by sand deposited at the close of the last ice age, about 12,000 years ago. The 2 km by 500 m area, from the foot of Champlain St. to Trim Rd in Orleans, has a total shoreline length, including all channels and bays, of about 12 km. Much of the area has been publicly owned since 1983, purchased to preserve the natural habitat of the western portion of the islands. Sand dredging at the eastern end was phased out in 2003, and the ten-hectare sand fill and natural beach is now in use for public recreation.

The Petrie Islands have been used since ancient times, and native Americans fished and hunted the area for thousands of years. In modern times, they have long been a popular fishing spot year round and many boaters, canoeists and kayakers explore the foreshore and backwaters. Naturalists or hikers come to see the varied flora or to get a glimpse of one of more than 130 species of birds identified in the area.

Here are some photos that I took along the trail:

We reached a high today of only 21C(70F) and on our way home from our little outing we had some rain showers but other than that the day was pretty nice - no humidity!

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