Natasha and I took a drive out to Sarsaparilla Trail, just off Hunt Club and Moodie, in an effort to explore more of the hiking paths around our own neighbourhood. The trail itself was pretty tiny (less than a kilometer of pathways) but it felt surprisingly isolated – as soon as we were around the first bend from the parking area the sound of street traffic disappeared and an abundance of wildlife appeared out of the brush to greet us.
The highlight of the short hike is a dock that juts out into a beaver pond – the whole area is really gorgeous and there’s lots of birds and turtles and fish that aren’t shy. (I think the animals are well fed by the visitors) Bring along some bug spray – at least in the evening there’s a good number of mosquitos lurking in the bushes. (But surprisingly few by the water!)
That section of the greenbelt is practically a zoo. On our way back to the car, after spotting more chipmunks, squirrels, finches, jays, ducks, and a hare, we heard heavy scratching noises in a tree and saw rustling leaves. This guy – a porcupine the size of a dog, came sliding down the tree trunk and wandered along the trail behind us. I know the pictures won’t win any awards, but I had to work quick to get him in frame – next time I’ll bring my zoom lens and try to get some proper portraits of all the locals.