I’m taking charge of my Tuesdays, well, at least, every other Tuesday. Every other Tuesday is my day off and I have decided to fight the urge to stay at home in my yoga pants and watch Netflix all day (and let’s be real, doing chores) and use this time to do something that will recharge my creative batteries. I think this will be good for me and my mental health.
On my first Tuesday, I went to the National Gallery of Canada. This time, I opted for an outdoor adventure because the weather was nice. So I grabbed my camera bag, packed a lunch, and took off for Lime Kiln Trail.
I’ve written about Lime Kiln Trail here before. It’s a short, easy stroll in the Stony Swamp region of the NCC Greenbelt.
This particular trail is known for some ruins of an old lime kiln and for the friendly birds you will inevitably meet along the way. And when I say friendly, I mean FRIENDLY. And eager! Boy. They’ll go anywhere for a seed: an outstretched hand, the top of a hat, a tripod…
We’ve come to hike, ski, or feed the chickadees in this area many times as a family, but being alone in the woods is a completely different experience. I presumed it was going to be quiet – and that I would revel blissfully in that quiet – but it was anything BUT quiet.
As I crunched along the patch I listened to the forest around me. The noise of traffic quickly died away and was replaced by birdsong: the GR-owk of crows, the honk-honk of the nuthatch, and the dee-dee-dee warning call of the black-capped chickadees. All of this was punctuated by the chatter of squirrels and the tap-tapping of woodpeckers.
I settled in with my camera equipment and container of seeds. It didn’t take them too long to find me (as you can see from the photos.)
The chickadees are such funny little creatures, aren’t they? If you have ever watched them in action you know what I mean. If there’s seed on the scene, they push each other out of the way with an angry (and very cute) little cheep. (I HAVE NO IDEA HOW SOMETHING SO ADORABLE CAN GET SO FURIOUS.) They sort through seeds with vigour and cram their beaks as full as they can. They swoop down and change their mind just as they’re about to approach, executing a perfect U-turn and landing gracefully on a slim branch without clobbering themselves. And they are so brave. As I was packing up to leave, those avian comedians were still landing on my head, despite the lack of seed. Who do they think they are? The daredevil clowns of the Ottawa forest? Sheesh.
My visit was, in a word: tranquil and restorative (sorry, that’s two words, but there it is). I could feel my busy brain repairing itself as I stood there, enjoying the scene. Now I’m mulling over what to do for my next Tuesday outing. Any suggestions? As long as it’s not something that feels like a chore, I’m all ears.