Once again, Ryan Neily and I met last month for our annual hike. This year, to give our aging knees a break, we visited the Salt Marsh Trail for the first time. For an added level of challenge and to access the trail by public transit, we started with the Shearwater Flyer Trail and finished with the Heritage Trail. It was a perfect day both for hiking and photography: cool with cloud cover and a refreshing coastal breeze. The entire hike was over 25 km and took the better part of the day to complete. Good times, great conversations, and I look forward to visiting these beautiful trails again!
Couldn’t ID this bush.
The berries are spectacular!
A pond to the side of the trail.
Different angle for dramatic lighting effect.
Rail bridge converted to foot bridge.
Reviewing our progress.
From the start …
Map of the Salt Marsh trail ahead.
Off we go again!
First glimpse through the trees.
Appreciating the cloud cover today.
Never far from rocks in NS.
Rocks all laid out in stripes.
Lunch & selfie time.
Ryan attacking his salad.
A bit of causeway coast.
Plenty of eel grass.
We head for the bridge next.
Impressed by the power of the flow beneath.
Snapping more marsh shots.
Gulls, and if you squint, a copter.
Swift current along this channel.
Until it broadens out and slows down.
Heron! Sorry it’s so tiny.
Heron again, before I lost it.
Ducks at the head of the Atlantic View trail where we rested and then turned back.
Attempt at artsy.
Nodding ladies tresses on the way back.
Several of them.
Sky darkening, but we still have time.
A lonely wild rose.
The last gasp of late summer.
Back across the marshes.
A short breather on the Heritage Trail.
My friend Ross Mayhew and I enjoyed a perfect Autumn afternoon yesterday, full of colours on the Bluff Trail. Not all of these photos do justice to the splendour and intricate detail I had hoped to capture, but I hope you enjoy them all the same. Click the photo to start the slideshow.
On my way to hike, the Canada holly hints of things to come
Canada holly berries bright red and close to the branch (vs. dusky red false holly berries on long stems)
Unsure which fern this is. Ross says Christmas, but the leaf margins aren’t serrated, but smooth.
Sheltered by this mossy stump, a pretty mushroom
Moss found climbing up a rotted stump, peculiar in that it has flat, fern-like fronds
Ross and I spent a while examining this peculiar flat-fronded moss
The reds of the huckleberries and maples were striking
A tiny fern by a trickle of water across the path
A familiar view overlooking Cranberry Lake, now in its fall splendour
Brilliant Canada holly berries along the bog at our hike’s end
A friend and I regularly meet to chat over coffee and then usually finish up by walking the maintained trail in the Halifax Mainland Common Park, but today we decided to take a brief excursion onto the unmaintained trails criss-crossing the park. The last gasp of a faint summer and early signs of fall are evident everywhere.
Some mushrooms are dried and cracked in a mosaic pattern:
Ferns and other brush are browning amongst the various greens of late summer:
A few late blueberries still cling to isolated bushes here and there:
The riot of fall colours in this small clearing, dotted with cotton-grass, burst into view as we round a corner, set behind by a backdrop of nearby buildings:
The ferns here are vivid, like a slow burning fire that will take the rest of fall to burn out:
We appreciate one last splash of colour before we head back under the cover of woods to rejoin the maintained trail:
So many times we’ve travelled our usual route “on automatic”. I’m happy today we left the more travelled trail to share in these glimpses of the changing of seasons in a wilderness preserved for our enjoyment immediately at hand to a densely populated part of the city.
Here is a photo journal of our hike on the Bluff Wilderness Trail with my friend, Ryan Neily, as is our tradition at this time of year. Rather than hike all four loops, as we achieved last year, we chose to cover only the Pot Lake and Indian Hill loops. Like our meandering pace, our conversations were enjoyable and far ranging, with Nature doing her part, stimulating our minds and bodies and refreshing our spirits.
A few showers quickly dissipated into light mist on the first leg of the hike
Ryan, enjoying one of the many beautiful views
Cormorant or shag. Hard to say from this poor, zoomed cellphone shot.
Darkened pool amongst the rugged trees
Late summer colours
A riot of life shoots up in every crevice
Large boulders and trees, forming a non-concrete alley along the trail margin
Huckleberries still plentiful on the Indian Hill loop
Sustenance to keep us going
Not at all picked over, like the Pot Lake loop
We break here for lunch
Just about ready to embark on the last half
We are surprised by the productivity of these short, scrubby huckleberries
Barely rising from the reindeer moss, each huckleberry twig provides sweet, juicy handfuls
A small pond on the trip back
A break on the home stretch
“Common” juniper, which nevertheless is not so common out here
Immature green common juniper “berries” (actually cones)
Just came back from a wonderful time hiking with my daughter at the finale Hike the Greenbelt event at the Backlands/McIntosh Run! This photo slideshow is from my HP snapshot camera which unfortunately has dust in the lens. But I felt it was more important to get them up soon than to get them perfect, so please click the photo below to start the slideshow. I want to thank everyone who made this event a success, and not going to name specific names as I’m sure I’ll miss someone important. But thanks especially to Martin, the leader of our group.
Jack Pine in Jack Pine 😉
Part of the waterway
This is one of my regular walking routes, from home to Five Island Lake and back. It’s about 15 km. I usually walk too briskly to capture the many visual delights of this route. Today on the trip out, I stopped and took several photos to share with you.
The walk starts from our subdivision. It’s cool and clear when I leave.
Dew on leaves
Dew on leaves
Something’s attacking this alder. Maybe woolly aphids?