Here it is mid-February already, some of us, in spite of the mild winter, have been hibernating. Time to come and post some reports!
The February 7th Ramble took place along the Rideau Trail, starting at Jackson's Mill. About 9 people carpooled to a gathering area and headed out along the old railway bed which is now part of the Rideau Trail. Most of the Trail that has been exposed to sunshine was good walking with no snow, but some areas that had been packed down were covered with ice, due to the snow/thaw/freeze/rain/thaw conditions that have prevailed since the beginning of January, so there was some fancy footwork and detouring performed by the Ramblers. Anne Robertson led the walk, and pointed out various features of nature along the way, like the differences between male and female sumac, parts of aspen leaves, etc. Some cocoons were spotted in bushes along the trail. The group headed off on a side loop of the trail and went up in the woods. Deer tracks and hair were found, rabbit tracks, and some cedar/apple rust on cedars. Chickadees sang to us in a couple locations. The clouds parted a couple of times, giving us a brief bit of sunshine, making it feel more like a spring day than being in what is normally one of the coldest months of winter.