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As the Registrar who handles school groups and weekend rentals, summertime means a less frantic workday as bookings slow down and the site turns into a vibrant summer camp. Instead of days spent with my right ear perpetually stuck to the phone and my nose pressed against my computer screen I have a little bit of time to think of  big picture projects, prepare for the upcoming year and literally take a look around me.  One of my favourite summer activities is a lunch time walk down Birchview Road and Camp Line Road to see what nature has going on.

I recently picked up a book from Executive Director, Jacob Rodenburg’s  nature library shelves and it has reconfirmed how much fun it is to learn about the natural world all around me. The book is Drew Monkman’s Nature’s Year in the Kawarthas: A Guide to the Unfolding Seasons.   Organized by month, it is part reference and part insider’s guide to everything interesting on the ground, in the sky and in the water – a who’s who of what’s coming, what’s going, interspersed with fascinating tidbits on why it is all so.   It’s illustrated with simple but beautiful pencil drawings by Kimberly Caldwell.  As I began the chapter on July, I was struck by Mr. Monkman’s words “the intimations of autumn are already beginning to make themselves known”.   It’s no wonder then, that so many of us get that melancholy feeling when it is barely mid-summer, that sinking feeling that it is over before it’s barely begun.

Today is August 1st and I would like to say goodbye to July by showing you some photos I took of  those colourful, fresh-faced wild plants that adorned the ditches and accompanied my daydreams.  I will remember them fondly as hints of gold and brown creep into the landscape.   Stop laughing you joyful campers! Can’t you feel that Fall in the air?   Sigh, never mind, I’m going to read chapter 8 of  Drew Monkman’s book and before long I’ll be in love with all things August.

(*Jacob Rodenburg and Drew Monkman are currently collaborating on a book full of fun outdoor activities you can do with your children in each season.  We’ll let you know when it’s on bookstore shelves. )


Blue Weed

Viper’s Bugloss

choke cherry

Choke Cherry?

Creeping Nettle

Creeping Nettle



Flowering Raspberry

Purple – flowering Raspberry

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne’s Lace

St. John's Wort

St. John’s Wort