A few months into the pandemic, when I was searching for outdoor activities to share with my grandchildren, a friend told me about Mud Lake. My (now) four-and-a-half-year-old grandson and I have since become regular visitors to this nature lover’s paradise in the middle of Ottawa. With so much to do and see there, our pandemic adventures never disappoint.
We are both nature lovers, preferring to spend as much time as possible in the great outdoors on “adventures” as he calls them. The picture of the geese approaching us like a parade was taken on our very first visit to Mud Lake. It felt much like a welcoming committee!
The next visit we discovered the Ottawa river side.
On the stinking hot days we spent our time on the shady river side. It was absolutely beautiful there with a cool breeze off the Ottawa river. On the cooler days we would wander the trails that circle around Mud Lake. This is a bit of a misnomer, a swampy, more of a large pond than a lake. We found lots of critters of all kinds.
My grandson categorizes the sides by what we saw where. The crayfish were in the pools of water (much like tide pools) created by low water levels. These were a result of the extreme drought we had been experiencing. The baby milk snake was discovered on that side too. We spotted an Eastern screech owl in a tree along the road dividing the river side from the pond side. We just happened to park in front of his roost one day. The family of wild turkeys followed us around the trails at Mud Lake a few times.
More recently we have received lots of rain. The water levels are much higher now and the water much faster. Grandma has to continually warn him not to get too close to the water’s edge. The rocks he loved to hop on and examine (flip over) are totally submerged now. You can identify these pics by the changing colour in the leaves on the trees.
These pictures are just a few of my favourites from our pandemic adventures. Rrom both sides:
Now that junior kindergarten is this grandson’s top priority, our visits are limited to after school hours before the sun goes down. The weather is changing too but there is still lots to see around Mud Lake in the fall and winter.