Saturday Snapshot September 24: Cootes Paradise Marsh

So this is what a film buff and birder did at TIFF… she took a day off from films and headed out to Nature.

The Cootes Paradise Marsh Nature Sanctuary in Burlington’s Royal Botanical Gardens is about a 45-minute drive southwest of Toronto. Hiking the trails there was total relief from pounding the pavement between TIFF venues. I immersed in the silence of the Nature Sanctuary, with bird calls and sounds of crickets replacing the hustle and bustle of downtown traffic.

First off, there were many birds, but mostly Chickadees. The Bluejay I see often in Alberta, but not among maple leaves:



Indeed, the leaves are so different from what I’m used to seeing. Like these here. Never seen leaves wearing sunglasses before:

Leaves wearing sunglasses.jpg

Seldom see frogs on my path either. Nearly stepped on this little guy:

Frog on my path.jpg

Or a mushroom this fancy:


I just love how well planned these trails are, so considerate in their design:



See the upper left corner of the above picture… A colony of cormorants:


As I came close to the edge of the water, I felt like I’d gone inside a corn maze:



The observation tower at the end offered a panoramic view of the marsh, but not my camera though. So here they are in different frames:



It’s here that I had my first sighting of the Great Egret:


And a Mute Swan with her young, which were brownish but almost as large as the adult:


As I made my way back I walked through fields of goldenrods, that was quite a sight:




Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. CLICK HERE to see what others have posted.

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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

28 thoughts on “Saturday Snapshot September 24: Cootes Paradise Marsh”

  1. Once you start birdwatching there’s always somewhere new to go, something new to see- I hope you did see some different birds. I find it disappointing to travel hundreds or thousands of kilometres only to find birds you could see at home. I’m sure you’re enjoying TIFF too.


  2. Arti,

    I must confess that though I’m not a ‘bird person’ your photography never cease to amaze me! I do live in this part of the woods but never have I seen leaves with sunglasses nor spotted a mushroom wearing a Lacey skirt😉 BTW love your post on TIFF also.



    1. Yinling,

      It’s interesting to note sometimes the photos we’ve taken offer us unusual viewpoints than what we’d expect. Like, sunglasses on leaves, and you put it well, mushroom wearing a lace skirt or maybe a ballerina’s tutu. Thanks for stopping by the Pond!


  3. Your post prompted me to look more online into the RBGardens, and what a fantastic place it appears to be, worthy of a separate trip probably 🙂 And this time of year I can imagine the crispness and moisture in the air in the Cootes section. A lovely outing you seem to be having.


    1. Gretchen,

      And what I didn’t mentioned here was my delicious late lunch at their cafe, dainty open-faced sandwiches with Earl Grey tea. I’ll definitely go back to explore more. This time I only touched on a small section of the sanctuary. Haven’t even time to go to see the gardens yet!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a beautiful area to bird watch in. I love the boardwalks through the reeds and golden rod.

    Have you changed the design of your blog since I was last here? It’s looking lovely – very clean and fresh. Perfect for highlighting photos.


    1. Brona,

      Thanks! But no, I haven’t changed the header pic or the format of my blog, oh… for maybe 6-7 years now. You’re always welcome to stop by the Pond and rest a bit, hopefully find something you’d like to dwell on and stay a while longer. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful place, and so different from anything we have. it’s always charming to me to see trees around waterways. Here on the coastal prairie, flat and grassy predominates. We have our charms, but this place seems perfectly designed to take advantage of the natural features.

    For another comparison, I was out on the prairie today, and saw my very first goldenrod of the season: one single, blooming plant. I’m sure there is more around, but it’s still a good indication of how far behind you we are when it comes to fall. We’re all so eager — especially since a good front would keep the next hurricanes away.


    1. Linda,

      Yes, the vegetations and marshland are quite different from where I’m from too. That’s why all the first time sightings. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see a single Cardinal. Guess they’ve all flown southward.


    1. Barbara,

      Yes, I found those leaves very amusing! Always find new perspectives of seeing things when I’m in Nature, which makes it all worthwhile, even at the expense of missing a few films. 😉


  6. So beautiful! I’m glad you got out of the dark screening rooms and into the light to capture these beautiful photos. You had to be in seventh heaven! I’ve not seen that mushroom before! And all those birds — fabulous! (That goldenrod/birdhouse photo should be an 11×14 enlargement!)


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