Sunday, May 3, 2009

Signs of spring

I took these pictures of mayflowers (above and right) on a woodlot on the Lahave River near Bakers Settlement. Mayflowers like to grow in harsh environments and are not too picky about how rich the sites are. The mayflowers I have seen lately are in clearcuts, along roadsides ... basically in the open. They smell so nice and are a sure sign of spring.

Another excellent sign of spring ... and why one should be careful when walking through the woods.

Above, a wood turtle enjoys spring sunshine on a deadhead, which is what we call a dead log sticking up out the water. Later on that afternoon there were a pair of them. I couldn't get a picture of the pair because they dipped into the water as we approached them. This photo was taken during an overnight camping trip in the Cloud Lake Wilderness Area, shown below.

The picture above was taken from a small island in the stillwater where we set up camp. It overlooks a spot where a fair size brook flows into the stillwater and where the trout like to hang out to fill up their bellies. Our fishing trip was quite successful and very enjoyable. Good for the mind and soul. We caught 4 trout in this part of stillwater but only kept 2 to have for lunch since it was the first of the season. The biggest one we caught was 15 inches and was female, so we let her go. We are quite conservative with the trout. We usually let them go in hopes they will have young so there will always be trout to fish.

Trout fishing is tonnes of fun but finding good trout fishing nowadays takes a lot of work in order to get to isolated areas. Many fishing areas of the province have become accessible by OHVs, and runoff resulting from intensive harvesting and improper watercourse crossings has caused siltation of many brooks I see. It's also sad to see that not everyone is conservative with their catch, and there are folks out there that release small mouth bass and other fish that threaten the trout populations. (Bass eat trout eggs.)

There's my partner, Sandy Hyde, with one of the big trout we released.

This was our camp site. It was a nice little spot. Don't worry, we ensured that our camp fire was good and out. Sandy and I both have lots of experience with fire fighting and understanding fire behavior.

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