Today I had to travel from Pembroke to Brockville, a 3 hour trip along two lane highways, that wind through quaint little towns like Pakenham, Almonte, Carleton Place, Franktown, Smith Falls, and my personal favourite, Newbliss.
It was a beautiful drive, cloudy, a little cool, but perfect for taking a few pictures enroute, while stopping to enjoy the scenery of eastern Ontario. I thought I’d use the opportunity to do a little birding along the way, which is always a good thing! What I didn’t anticipate was how fully engaged my senses would be today. Every single one of them sparking as I stopped, looked, listened, smelled, tasted and touched Spring rolling out across the land. As I drove into Pakenham, the first thing I saw was this gorgeous wall of hanging baskets. It was at this point that I threw the schedule out the window (figuratively speaking) and decided that this would be my own personal rural ramble.
Beside the baskets was one of the most beautiful apple trees I’ve seen in a long time. Standing under its boughs I closed my eyes and just breathed.These are the moments I savour, and then remember in the dead of winter.
Pakenham’s Five Span Bridge is a local landmark, a beautiful, lasting tribute to the building skills of the masons who forged it long ago. It’s a favourite picnic spot and today it was filled with dipping and diving swallows enjoying a shore lunch. This Common Grackle sat quietly for several minutes, perhaps as mesmerized by the running water as I was.
The village of Franktown proudly proclaims itself as The Lilac Capital of Canada, and as I was already in ramble mode, I decided that it was finally time (after 30 years of driving past this sign) to stop and find out why. A short little turn to the east off the road, and I suddenly discovered Lilac Lane -and no option but to get out and take a stroll. The dirt road wound through a grove of lilacs of all shape, colour, and size. The scent lingered in the still air, surrounding me in a soft veil of sweetness.
The sounds were beautiful as well, with brilliant Yellow Warblers flitting from branch to branch, engaged in a dance for the ages.
The colours of spring demand attention, creating vibrant landscapes of green and gold, beckoning to birds in flight, luring them to land and build a new home here.
A trip that normally takes about 2 1/2 hours, stretched well beyond into an afternoon of idyllic appreciation for Nature truly bursting with beauty on this lovely day.
And once I arrived in Brockville, the brilliant blues of the Saint Lawrence created entirely different versions of bounty, beauty and bliss.
This was a day for smiling…and apparently, this Mallard agreed.