This section of the Grand River Trail snakes along the river and borders the Deer Ridge Golf course. The banks are graced by old twisted willows and tall craggy white oaks. Shortly after taking this sunset picture, I was surprised by two white-tailed deer as they made their way along the edge of the 17th fairway behind me. I wasn't able to get a photograph of the elegant duo, so I just enjoyed watching them proceed to a wooded area on the other side.
During a hike on the Grand River Trail near the Hidden Valley area of Kitchener I noticed something odd at the Grand River weir. Something was trapped in the white water that kicked up as a result of the increased flow going over the structure. Recent warm temperatures have caused more melt water to feed the river. A closer look revealed the object as a child's red ball. It instantly reminded me of the kind of spongy orb I used playing dodge ball in public school. Ah yes I can recall the feeling of getting hit square in the face with one of those suckers thrown by some zealous Grade 4 hurler.
I watched for a while, enchanted as the little ball danced and tumbled in the rollicking surf like it was trying the impossible quest of swimming up the waterfall.
Gulls gather near an open section of the Grand River, upstream from the Parkhill Dam in Cambridge. The sight of gulls has always brought me to sunny beaches, if only in my mind, and the receding ice on the river has me thinking spring.
David Bebee and I took a look at the river by Grey Silo Golf Course today after a long couple of days at work. It was a perfect winter day. I was hunting for pictures and David was along for the hike. Lucky for me. He pointed out a few trees wearing their best winter jewelry, and from those I picked this branch wearing a bracelet of clear ice. The two branches reminded me of something out of Lord of the Rings or The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and on a day that was a little less sunny, they might look a little creepy.
This Grand River Trail marker sign is a testament to the power of nature as it lays twisted and entrapped after being steam rolled by last week's break up of ice on the Grand. It was something to see the size of some of these chunks that were pushed up on the riverbanks, leaving broken trees and signs in their wake. This section of the trail, which enables hikers to pass under the Freeport bridge, was completely jammed with ice the size of small cars.
I hiked a section of the Grand River Trail just off Township Road 60 in Centre Wellington. There is an old iron bridge used by motor vehicles and snowmobiles alike this time of year. It is a really striking view of the Grand from the middle of this bridge. Upriver, the banks are hugged by rows of white cedar. Some of which seem inclined to lean out over the water as if to have a better look. The opposite view offers a variety of trees including what must be a century oak tree, its crown towering above the rest of the forest. I took this picture of a willowy cedar covered with a fine coat of fresh snow at the river's edge just past that bridge.
I went looking for a turkey vulture I had seen soaring over a stretch of the Grand in Cambridge yesterday. I had a look over a steep bank that provides a great view of the river below. At that moment I saw a flash of wings and a bald eagle sitting at the top of a tree about 20 feet away took flight. I didn't even manage to take one frame with my camera, but after a closer look at the perch it had been sitting on I noticed another of the wintering raptors. It was a real treat to be that close. I had seen many eagles before but never from such a close vantage point. I took this picture as the eagle left its perch.
This is a picture that was misplaced and never posted from the same day of a different eagle. I recently found it and decided it deserved to be posted anyway.
The river was running pretty high at Wellington Road 21 near Eighth Line. It was a great day for a walk down the road, which was good, because there was a lot of ice covering it. If I tried to drive down the hill that nudges the river, my balding tires would probably keep me there until spring.