March 19, 2016: Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds

Welcome back, Limestone Ladies!  This is our fourth spring hiking season on the Bruce Trail.  And what a way to kick off the season!


Here we are on a crisp, cold (- 5 degrees C) morning, setting out from 4th Concession S

After being trail-less for the past few months, the Ladies were excited to be back in Bruce’s embrace.  Despite the cold, there were smiles all ’round.


“Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.” Wikipedia   I think we were channeling intense joy!

One thing we have learned over the years is that the trail offers unique gifts to hikers who venture out under adverse or challenging conditions.  A hike on a hot July day may be most people’s idea of ideal, but I dare to say that our most memorable moments have been the unexpected beauty and magic that is found in harsh environments.

The first surprise was the shimmering graphic patterns in the ice surfacing the puddles.  These are nature’s works of art: stunning and ephemeral:


This would be at home in a modern art museum. Who would think such beauty could be found in a trail puddle!


Nature’s cubism!


Fragile ice and a gleaming reflection!

We were actually lucky that these puddles were iced over, as it would otherwise have been a very muddy situation.

Another delight was the vivid colours emerging from under blankets of snow and dead leaves.  In fact, we discovered many brilliant gemstones along the trail:  First up – emeralds!


Who would not be enchanted by a carpet of plush emerald green?

Next: rubies!


Not sure what type of fungus this is, but its startling red colour was visible from far away. Rubies of the Bruce!

And then…. Diamonds!


We were intrigued by numerous clusters of glittering crystals which pushed up from under the dead leaves on the trail bed. They were sparkly and delightful. And crunchy to walk on!

Speaking of sparkly and delightful, we had one hiker who was so excited about the day’s outing that she dressed up in her finest, complete with fancy earrings:


It’s a fine occasion when one hikes the trail. Accessorize thoughtfully!


Happy, well-accessorized ladies taking advantage of the earliest hint of spring.

The trail always offers us a comfortable place for lunch.  When we first started to hike, we would have been cold when sitting down for lunch on such a frosty day, but I noticed that no one even mentioned the cold this time!  We have toughened up!


And a hot drink helps!


And a  hearty baby carrot for sustenance!


And some warm lunchtime camaraderie.

After lunch, we came upon one of the major gems of this hike: the lovely Bognor Marsh.  We began by walking across a creaking, rocking, floating boardwalk.   If you ever wondered what it would be like to be a drunken sailor, here was the opportunity to find out!  As we walked across, the boardwalk swayed and heaved and sent waves out across the water surface.  But the water was covered by a delicate sheath of ice, and our waves made the ice sheet rustle and chatter.  Accompanied by the cacophony of ice notes, we made our way into the marsh.


Balancing on the boardwalk


If you look closely, you can see the fragile ice on the water’s surface.


A stark yet beautiful place.

While in the marsh, we encountered a pair of sandhill cranes, who flew about and croaked their rusty bugling cry.   Something to get excited about!  There were also Canada geese – not so exciting.

Unfortunately, it was a short hike today, and the end came all too soon.  We were keen to continue hiking, but alas, it was not to be.  Off to the Best Western to get cleaned up and then out for dinner at the Curry House in Owen Sound!  Good news: more tomorrow!


Happiness is sharing a beautiful day with a beautiful friend!



About idreamoftobermory

Hiker, kayaker, canoeist, cross-country skier, cyclist, wanderer, adventurer.
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