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  • Sydney Daniels

silly sally likes fall, but not autumn

Even though it is late December, the weather outside is not giving winter yet, therefore it's not too late to share some fall photos! Check out my photos while visiting Cobourg, Guelph, and my favourite conservation area back home.

Love birds

Cobourg used to be a place I visited with my family or friends as a kid to spend the day at the beach and check out all the gigantic sand castles. Today, it's a place for me to visit my partner during his work term. I have been feeling some ocean withdrawal since coming home from the East Coast, so it was nice to be by the water again, even if it was only Lake Ontario.

Walking through the marina we were welcomed by several types of waterfowl, including some mallards, Canadian geese, and swans. This pair of swans were side by side every time I glanced over at them. Their feathers looked so soft and pillowy floating around in the water.

Finding cormorants here was a fun surprise. The first time I had ever seen these birds were in New Brunswick, which in my mind translated to "these birds only live on the coast". Wrong. They were all over the harbour of the marina. I was also lucky enough to find a new species out here: a pipit was hopping along the rocks we were birding from. This little guy was very good at hiding and super fast, so I had limited photo opportunities with this bird.

Round two at the arboretum

Since I was working just outside of Guelph and fall was in full swing, I had to make another stop at the Guelph Arboretum. You will never catch me passing up the chance to see fall's gorgeous colours on display.

The sumacs at this time of the year were stunning. Something about the bright, firetruck-red leaves with their cartoonish branches gave me the impression that they belong in Whoville as if they were drawn by Dr. Seuss. We found a few creatures walking along the paths of the arboretum, including a few woodpeckers and a cute little danger noodle: a garter snake.

Lynde Shores never fails me

This fall was the season of waterfowl. I've said it once and I'll say it again, Lynde Shores never disappoints with its birds. When you first step into the conservation area, you are swarmed by a few dozen mallards chilling in the water or walking along the paths picking up forgotten bird seed. Watching the ducks is always fun, especially when you pick up on the differences in their feathers and colours.

On the other side of the bridge, there were yet again, more mallards. With the ducks, however, was a gorgeous Great Blue Heron wading around the water. This guy looked so majestic as it posed for me, phenomenal side profile.

After leaving the water and wandering into the forested part of Lynde Shores, we saw plenty of songbirds. If you're feeling the seasonal sads this winter or just need to get outside for a short walk, I highly recommend setting aside an hour or two to just watch the birds land on your hands at this place.

It's giving camp

Fall was a new work term for me, which brought me to Rockwood this season. I was working at an outdoor education camp just north of Guelph. As challenging as the job was at times, I was so lucky to live in the forest for four months, in the fall especially. The camp was home to gorgeous cedar and pine forests, as well as plenty of critters scattered around the campgrounds.

Night shifts meant one of two things: one, I got to have marshmallows and sing camp songs at night, and two, I got the day off. During my days off, if I wasn't up all night, I loved walking around camp to explore on my own. Exploring camp with kids was also fun, but it was nice to have some peace and quiet and wander at my own pace.

My camera and I managed to capture a lot of the unique features the camp had to offer, including the grotto, the dinosaur tree, and the spooky forest. I was also inspired by some of the campers and flipped some rocks and found these adorable salamanders hiding away in the cold, damp soil.

*bonus points to whoever understands the title

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