Monday, May 30, 2016

Rouge River Paddle

Last weekend was a long weekend here in Ontario, and my husband and I took advantage of the beautiful weather and took our canoe up the Rouge River in Pickering. We were quite surprised at how nice it was!

The trees are still sorting themselves out and some were still not in full leaf, but they created a springtime gentleness to the landscape.

Along the way was saw this old chimney made from field stones. I imagine at one time someone had a small cabin or cottage on the shore here. There are massive modern homes overlooking parts of the river, but for the most part the area is just left wild.

I was concerned that there would be a lot of garbage along the water and shores, but it was surprisingly clean! The water itself was very murky, and there was no way I was going to step into it to get into the canoe. I distrust that murk ... leeches creep me out. We paddled along for about an hour up the river and when we encountered very shallow water and small rapids (and no visible portage around them), we turned around and had an easy paddle down river (downhill all the way back).

There were lots of birds flitting through the trees, and we saw an abundance of Orioles, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and small shore birds.

Male Oriole

Female Oriole


Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Spotted Sandpiper

The tiny sandpipers were my favourites. I'm not familiar with a lot of water birds, and I looked these up when I got home. These tiny birds are classified as the "Peeps" of sandpipers. They were so sweet, about the size of a sparrow with long beaks and legs. So delicate and dainty as they stepped quickly and lightly through the shallow water on the shore to pick out treats from the water. They weren't shy at all and we were able to get very close to them.

Least Sandpiper

The Rouge River empties into Lake Ontario, so we paddled right out to the lake and then stopped to stretch our legs on the beach. As you can see, there are nuclear silos in the distance. I live sandwiched between two nuclear power plants ... a comforting thought :[

Lake Ontario with Pickering Nuclear Power Station in distance.

Have a great day!



  1. Hello, looks like a lovely day to be out on your canoe. The scenery and all the birds are beautiful. I love the Orioles. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week ahead!

  2. Hi Wendy. I enjoyed your photos of your canoe trip on the holiday weekend. It looks very pretty there and so nice to see the variety of birds. I hope you have a lovely week ahead. Pam

  3. What a great way to spend the day. We haven't taken our boat out yet. We use it so seldomly that we usually start by paddling in circles. We have leeches in our lagoon and I would NEVER put a body part in the water.

  4. How lovely Wendy, beautiful photo's as always, have a great week. :) xx

  5. What a lovely day out and such beautiful birds x

  6. The water looked smooth for your peaceful ride and you managed to see quite a few birds. Whenever I see sandpipers they remind me of Florida.

  7. Sounds and looks like it was a lovely, relaxing time. Wonderful to see so many birds. Hopefully those reactor stations are being maintained properly and will keep doing the job of producing electricity and nothing else. Take care and have a good week.

  8. Thanks for taking us along on your canoe ride, Wendy. You captured some beautiful photos. Enjoy the last couple of days of May!

  9. You always take beautiful photos....
    Love those "peeps" in Florida...not shy at all!
    Enjoy the rest of your week...Cheers!
    Linda :o)

  10. What contrasts there are where you live Wendy. The photos you took along the river are so peaceful and serene. There was a male Baltimore Oriole in our yard the other day, but I had never seen a female before. Great pictures! The little sandpipers are my favorite too. We can see Toronto across the lake if we drive up to Fort Niagara, but I didn't know about the nuclear plants.

  11. What a beautiful day, Wendy!! I would not stepped into the murk either. The water may have been murky but all the green and the birds are so pretty!! I have only seen adult Sandpipers here, never noticed the tiny ones. Even though you are sandwiched between two nuclear power plants, You live in a very beautiful area. At least that's somewhat comforting :)


  12. What a perfect way to spend the day, Wendy. My parents had a canoe while we were growing up, we just never had a decent river nearby :-)

  13. Your trips always make me long to be on the water! I'm going to have to rent a kayak one day soon and see if I'm still able to use one :)

  14. What a lovely trip! I really enjoyed virtually paddling along with you. I wonder if birds find you less of a threat when you are floating silently in a canoe, rather than being at full height and making the noises we do when walking. What a great way to see and photograph them!


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