Although it’s been fairly cold here in the capital, winter’s so bloody long that you might as well pull on your mukluks and throw on your parka and get outside anyway. Otherwise you’re facing some pretty severe cabin fever…RUDRUM anyone? I mean, what’s a little frostbite amongst friends? It’s a little war wound you brag about and compare severity. I’d rather that than starting to talk to the wall…especially since the wall doesn’t answer. I know. Don’t ask…just know that I know.
On Tuesday it was beautifully sunny so I grabbed my skates and headed off to the Rideau Canal Skateway. Now, if you’re not familiar with this world renowned skating rink, it is the largest in the world and a UNESCO heritage site. It is 7.8km long and a beautiful place for some winter outdoor exercise and enjoyment. The skateway is actually part of the man-made Rideau Canal Waterway which extends 202 km from Ottawa to Kingston. You can boat the entire length through a system of locks in the summer.
I don’t skate as often as I would like. It’s some effort to drive in from the burbs and get down to the canal, but when I do, it’s always a pleasure…once my shins have warmed up. Oh! The pain when I started! I decided to skate against the wind first and went toward downtown from Dow’s Lake for about 2.5 km. By the time I turned around, my nose was frozen but I was sweating under my coat. Luckily my shins had loosened up and the return skate, with the wind at my back, was wonderful! It also wasn’t busy so I had lots of room to toddle along.
I stopped to take a photo of the Bank Street Bridge. I love this bridge and the beautiful church you can see to the left of it. Whenever I drive along the canal I always want to stop to take a picture but there’s no way to pull off to the side where I would need to. I took advantage of being on the ice to capture it and also the beautiful, clear day.
Today a friend invited me to go for a walk at Hog’s Back. I grabbed my bag of peanuts for feeding the birds and headed off. Now, if you’ve read this blog off and on over the years, you will have seen several of my posts on feeding the chickadees. It’s always a treat to have the wee things land on your hand and then flutter off with their food. Today, I couldn’t have my hand exposed for too long but I did manage to feed a few. The real treat today was spotting a Pileated Woodpecker. We heard him hammering away before we actually saw him. He was just magnificent. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my good camera with me and had to use my cell phone to try to capture him. The phone camera isn’t so good at long distant zooms but you can clearly see his red crest and black body in amongst the branches.
My friend and I walked for a good hour and a half through the snow-covered pathways. She enjoys being oot and aboot as much as I do and it was a perfect morning for it. Now it has started to snow and I’m happy to be comfy inside. I guess you need a little of both to truly enjoy the winter.
Until next time…look for balance and enjoy being oot and aboot! 🙂 (and, by the way, Canadians don’t really say “oot and aboot”…I’ve never heard anyone, anyway…but we enjoy laughing aboot it)