a peek inside the fishbowl

02 Mar, 2017

Andrea’s Tuesdays: Lime Kiln Trail

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life|Ottawa

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.

Photo walk at Lime Kiln Trail

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…

Photo walk at Lime Kiln Trail

Photo walk at Lime Kiln Trail

Photo walk at Lime Kiln Trail

Bird on my head

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.)

Photo walk at Lime Kiln Trail

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.

5 Responses to "Andrea’s Tuesdays: Lime Kiln Trail"

1 | joy

March 3rd, 2017 at 1:58 pm


this is great! I feel too chicken to go by myself into the woods though – is that weird ?

2 | andrea tomkins

March 3rd, 2017 at 2:31 pm


Not at all! I picked a trail that was familiar. There is no way of getting lost on this one! Also, it’s always good to let someone know where you’re going beforehand!

3 | Judy

March 6th, 2017 at 3:00 pm


Have you thought of visiting the smaller museums or seeing if you could go to question period on Tuesdays? My favourite activity for me last year was a special exhibit at the War Museum

4 | andrea tomkins

March 6th, 2017 at 4:35 pm


Museums are definitely on my list! Question Period could also be interesting… hmm….

5 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive Andrea's Tuesdays: sticking my toe in the water (literally) - a peek inside the fishbowl

March 14th, 2017 at 3:13 pm


[…] To review: every other Tuesday is my day off and I’m determined to use this time to recharge my batteries. No work, no meetings, minimal errands. If you recall, on my previous day off I went on a lovely photo walk in the woods. […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (24) and Sarah (22). During the day I work as a writer at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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