The Pleasure and Benefits of an Evening Stroll


Summer solstice has just passed us and with us the longest day of the year.  But July may be the best month for evening strolls, what with its warm weather and lovely golden twilight.

Evening strolls may feel like a by-gone pastime or a European tradition but they are a pleasurable way to extend the summer experience and get the most out of this lusted-after season.  How many hours do we spend in the cold of winter, wishing for this warm weather?  Let's get outside and take advantage of it!
passeggiata (päs-sād-ˈjä-tä): the Italian tradition of a gentle stroll in the evening (link)
Italians call it passeggiata, where as in Spain it's know as a paseo.  The French may not have a term for the activity but they do have a term for the person undertaking it: flâneur, defined as a “strolling urban observer”.  No matter what the term, it really is about the leisurely way this urban activity is undertaken and the spontaneous method in which it is done.


Our summer evenings may be the best time to enjoy the warm weather, as the harsh overhead sun has diminished to a more acceptable angled heat and the cooling evenings breezes can be found wafting in off of large bodies of water.  There are health benefits also to getting out after a meal.  Enjoying a stroll after dinner can help with digestion and improve blood sugar levels (New York Times, 2013).  and it can also boost your metabolism and help with sleep (Health Site, 2015).


Strolls with no specific destination can reveal new discoveries and boost enjoyment.  By relaxing and just going with the flow, this type of stroll can help you unwind from busy days and overly-scheduled calendars.

Let your path take you under some trees, through a park and if you can add in a walk by a fountain, stream or lake.  Don't forget about those beneficial negative ions!

And breathe in deeply when you are surrounded by green (or flowers!).  See how many of your five senses you can engage. (Why not stroll with one of those guilty pleasures - like a gelato or frozen ice treat!


What gets you off the couch at night and out for an evening stroll?

Do you have a favourite location or do you check out new spots each time?

How can you make an outdoor walk your new way to unwind after a long day?

Read more »

More Places to Get Up Close to Wildlife in Ottawa (Summer/Fall edition)


Here is a continuation of the "Where's the Wild?" series on Wild. Here.  It can be fun to know where to look and when so that your outdoor adventures can result in more sightings!  You never know what's out there and we'd love to here your tips also!


6. Fireflies

It's the time for fireflies everyone! Mid to late June is a great time to get out and see if you can spot them but one piece of advice... you may need bug spray because the mosquitoes will be out too!  Fireflies are actually beetles (not flies) and the temperature and moisture play a factor in when they can be spotted.  Wait until the days get warm and humid (hence this mid-June to July adventure) and expect to see more after some wet weather.  If it dries out, you are less likely to see any at night.  Get outside in a large uncut field just after sundown on an warm and humid night and see what you can find (patience is needed here as the longer you wait the more you will probably see).



7. Butterfly Count

This is a bit different, but I wanted to mention it as it is a really enjoyable day and it supports the scientific monitoring of our local ecology at the same time.  Each year the Ottawa Field Naturalists Club organizes this Butterfly Count in July outside the city (Manion Corners which is SW of Ottawa).  Contact the organizer as there may be an opportunity to organize a car ride.  This year is the Sixteenth Annual Count - Wow!  And the fee has been waived!

Just remember you'll be spending the day outside and it can be hot!



8. Hummingbirds around Jewelweed

Every since I was introduced to the native orange Jewelweed flower (also known as Touch Me Not) I have noticed that they are a great place to look out for Hummingbirds in the wild.  August is the time they are in full bloom and with some other earlier blooming flowers on the downturn by late summer, these gorgeous blooms become sought after! You'll find them in wetter areas - if you are in Ottawa look for them around Mud Lake (east side) in the Fletcher Garden ravine and at Petrie Island.


9. Chimney Swift Roost

This one is quite fun if you know of a large swift roost in your city.  Some organizations even hold Swift Roost Events, inviting the public to come to watch the sundown activity and provide information about this incredible bird.  Check with Bird Studies Canada to find out if there is a Swift Monitoring program in your city.  Watching hundreds of birds swooping down into a narrow chimney one right after the other is pretty cool and astounding.  In Ottawa, Nature Canada has been known to hold these types of events at Dominican College off Somerset.


10. Carleton University's Annual Biology Butterfly Show

Carleton's Biology Department's Annual Butterfly Show is held every October and it probably doesn't need any introduction!  The line-ups can be long so if you can get there during the day (rather than the weekend) you might be able to avoid the heavier crowds and get a bit more time with these colourful winged insects.  Many of these butterflies are short-lived which is why there is no need to release the fauna after the show closes.  There's a larger Butterfly Show in Montreal each winter!

**For many of these donations are encouraged!


As mentioned if you have any tips of best places to spot urban wildlife we'd love to know!  I've seen lots of posts at the Ottawa Field Naturalist's Facebook page about snake hibernaculums, otter dining spots, owl nesting locations and much more!  You should also consider checking out some of the built habitat for wildlife including birds and turtles and get inspired by some other sightings of urban wildlife especially those around sunset.  What are your favourite hidden corners and nature spots?

Where do you go to get tips and get inspired about places to see wildlife?

What's the best urban nature sighting you've enjoyed?


Here's a link to the rest of the blog posts in this series:

Getting Up Close To Wildlife Series 2017

PART ONEThree Places to Get Up Close To Wildlife in Ottawa

PART TWO - Places to Get Up Close To Wildlife in Ottawa (Spring/Summer edition)


Read more »

Where can you find that extra 5 minutes for nature?

Green View for Lowering Stress Vitamin N Get Outside
-- Look up for A View of Green! --

So you know nature is good for you and you wish you had the time but your life is just so incredibly busy and you just don't know how to fit it in.  Isn't nature something that you really only can immerse yourself in on the weekends?  How could you benefit from a short walk or getting out to sit in a park at lunch?  Is it really worth it, with all the other things that we have to do each and every day?

This spring I read a statistic that really didn't surprise me but it did give me pause:
"According to research by the Harvard School of Public Health, American adults spend less time outdoors than they do inside vehicles—less than 5 percent of their day." (Link)

I know that part of what is helping me get out more is choosing a slower lifestyle and working on simplifying my life as much as I can.  The less things I have to do, the more time I have for other things.  But I still do struggle at getting away from my desk during the day and motivating myself to get up off the couch in the evenings. That first step can be the hardest.

Urban Nature View Enjoy Five Minutes Outdoors
-- Park Bench With a Great View --

But there could be ways to add a bit of nature into our already busy life, if we can just pause for a few moments and take in what opportunities are available to us.  I truly am a believer that what we focus on expands.  And it can start with just one minute.
  • What about first thing in the morning?  Can you step outdoors and take a few deep breaths in your backyard?
  • Or how about when you are leaving your house?  Pause as you are going out - make time to water some potted plants or take in all the colours with your eyes or if you are with someone ask them what they like seeing.
  • Is there a way to fit in a few minutes when you are walking to work, or from your car to the building, or while you are doing errands?  Taking a longer way to walk, perhaps under a few trees or just looking up and really observing the sky and clouds.
  • What about at lunch time?  If you can't get out, can you at least find somewhere to sit by a window or at least turn off your screen and look outside?
  • What about on your drive home?  Do you drive by a park that you wish you could just stop at?  How about stopping - even if it's to sit in the parking lot for five minutes?
  • Could there be another route you could take in your car or even on your bike?  Something that is not too far out of your way along a tree-lined street or that winds along a river?
  • Or even walking from the bus-stop home - is there an opportunity to observe some birds, stop under a tree or just take in a vista by slowing down and or even stopping?
Spring Goslings Urban Wildlife River Sighting
-- Spring Goslings Seen From Riverbank --

When you are outside, ask yourself some questions to really understand what being outside means to you and why it feels good.  The more you tune into why it feels good, you can reconnect with this to help encourage yourself to get back out next time.

Don't try to fit in nature every day, right away.  See if you can schedule it once a week and then bump it up more regularly when it gets easier but try not to make it another thing on your to do list.   You might even be surprised at how many small pockets of nature connection you already do enjoy - just pay attention.  See if you can ease into it with spontaneity and a sense of fun.  If you forget to do it - be ok with it, let it slide, be the observer and or be curious - why didn't it happen?

If this is something that resonates with you - start by asking yourself - where can I find five minutes, or ten just to be out in nature?  Let yourself be the guide!

Forest Walk Large Trees End of Day Relaxation
-- Two Minutes from Parking Lot - Breathe in Deeply! --

And if a spontaneous, easy going change just doesn't work for you, here are a few ideas to give you a bit of extra motivation:

- Commit in advance by meeting up with a friend
- Take a challenge (like the 30 x 30 challenge)
- Do something outdoors that you normally do indoors


Good Luck in Wilding!  

Rideau River Biophilic City View of City Hall

Every Minute in Nature Counts!


Read more »

10 (plus) Favourite Wildflowers

Urban Meadows Wildflowers Wild. Here.

Oh wow, I've been wanting to do this for awhile but as Rosemary Moco says from Bird and Moon (great cartoons you HAVE to check them out!) my list of "favourites" just keeps expanding!!

I was great to be able to go out and share some of the lovely flora that is still around in the fall that I saw on my Autumn Walk last year.

Every time I go out it's like meeting old friends (am I crazy to say this out loud?) and it just brings such joy to encounter them on walks.  It's starting to get a bit easier to identify some of them out of bloom (Jewelweed, Goldenrod, Celadine, Evening Primrose) but some seem so hidden until it's "their" season (like Asters, Blue Vervain, Yarrow, Cardinal Flower and almost all blooming shrubs!).

I think it's also just fun to "recognize" plants after you've learned their identification.  "Hey!  I've seen you before!"  I find that went I go on nature walks with an expert, afterwards these plants seem to pop up and are more easily "seen" than before.  Hackberry was *everywhere* after I could distinguish it's lighter green leaves.  :  )

Happiness!

I'm wondering if this list should be ten favourites for each season... it could just go on and on and on... and I feel like I should let you know that there are quite a few "naturalized" plants that I am fond of (you have been forewarned!)

Spring Ephemeral Flower Urban Nature Ottawa

Spring Ephemerals (native) - These can all count as one plant, right??  Walking in the woods at this time is such a lovely outing as there are so many spring flowers such as Trillium, Trout Lilies, Bloodroot and others!

Wildflower Perennial Ontario Native Plant Wild. Here.

Canada Anemone (native) - What I love about this plant is it's long lasting white bloom and the unique seed that forms afterwards. (I definitely want to invite this one into my garden!)

Beautiful Urban Nature Setting Lowers Stress
- Photo by Viliam Glazduri (InstagramFlickr500 pxContributor to Wild. Here. -

Dame's Rocket - I know, I know, I know, it's invasive.  But I really have to say that I was smitten when we saw it at Macoun Marsh blooming en mass under the trees (it was like an experience out of Avatar!).  What do you think?  We were told that it provided shelter/cover for small rabbits - who can say no to that?

Urban Wildflower in Backyard

Annual Fleabane (native) - This flower looks like an aster (but blooms in the spring).  This is another that gets a bad rap sometimes (as it can spread in sunny areas) but I have added it to my shaded backyard.  Illinois Wildflower notes that fleabanes have an "important role in the functioning of the ecological system" as they are beneficial to many small insects.

Small Meadow Rue in Ottawa Wild. Here.

Meadow Rue (native) - Oh the happiness of finding this plant when I'm out in the woods. It's unique leaves stand out (especially in the fall when they turn red) but when not in bloom, it can be mistaken for Columbine.  (Its flowers are not as showy or colourful as the Columbine.) There is a tall version that can allow for a definite identification.

Pickerelweed Urban Nature Marsh Aquatic Plant
- Photo by Viliam Glazduri (InstagramFlickr500 pxContributor to Wild. Here. -

Pickerelweed (native) - The name makes me laugh and seeing it in streams and ponds thrills me to no bits as I know it provides much needed sustenance to so much wildlife.  I like hangout out with it at dusk to see who visits from herons to muskrat to ducks or beavers.

The Florescence of Blueflower Wild. Here. Meadowflowers

Viper's Bugloss (naturalized) - This one, I'm told, can be a bit of a bully in certain areas, but in my neck of the woods, I haven't seen this as of yet.  This plant had me learning new flower terminology ("inflorescence" + types of inflorescence -wikipedia-) as it had such a unique bloom that all sprouts from one stalk.  And I was happy to see some winged creatures on this wildflower (and it's known to attract bees).


Wildflower Ontario Common Mullein

Mullein (naturalized) - You can think of this plant as the wild version of Lamb's Quarters - soft enough to pet.  It grows a large stalk on which small yellow flowers grow (spike inflorescence - don't you like how I'm working this word in now?), but it's the basal (lower) leaves that offer this pleasure. The other benefit of this plant with its large basal leaves is as a shelter and shade for invertebrates and insects.  I found a toad under one in a friend's garden once!


Curly Dock (naturalized) - To me this seems as such an unloved plant as it has no showy flowers of which people can take note.  So I appreciate seeing it popping up in fields (it is sometimes taller than many other wildflowers) and enjoy its long wavy-edged leaves.  Songbirds and larger gamebirds enjoy the seeds.

Closeup of Wildflower Ottawa Canada

Queen Anne's Lace  (naturalized) - As I mentioned before, this one really surprised me, when I learned it wasn't native.  Especially as I've seen it on many Pollinator Garden lists as it is an attractive flower for butterflies.  I grew up with Queen Anne's Lace and enjoy it's delicate umbrella-like flower.  It's a signal of summer for me!

Naturalized Urban Meadow Grasses Wild Here

Foxtail grass (naturalized) - There are different species that all fall under the common name of Foxtail Grass as their inflorescence (seed head) all looks similar.  Another soft to pet wildflower that is bushy just like a fox tail.  I'd really like to see this one in my backyard garden also. (But if you do go seek this out on a dog walk - avoid the Wild Barley version (Hordeum jubatum) which can be very dangerous to animals - acting like a porcupine quill once it attaches to the animal.)

Wild. Here. Wildflowers Urban Nature

Blue-eyed Grass (native) - Last but not least (for now) is a very coy, shy flower that I am trying to entice into my garden.  I was just told by a friend that it is blooming right now outside the city.  What's not to be smitten by, with this winky-eyed delicate bloom?

July Blooms of Sweet Clover Amazing Summer Scent

Oh man... I forgot White Sweet Clover... (naturalized)... when it starts popping up in fields... the smell alone...such summer bliss....

And of course many more to come!





Read more »

Podcasts to listen to on a park bench

Listen to Urban Nature Podcasts Outdoors Wild. Here.

My friend and I were talking about the brilliance of podcasts and how they can liven up a walk to work or make a bus commute feel much shorter.  My partner and I listen to "books on tapes" - you know... that old version of podcasts :  )  on long road trips.  And it got me thinking, if there are podcast lovers out there - maybe it would be an easy thing to get your dose of nature by listening to your podcast outside?

Especially with these long warm evenings that our summer offers!
Bonus points if it is under a few trees (both the scenery and scent boost moods!
Extra bonus points if it near a water body (maybe a dock?
Especially if that water body is a waterfall (remember - negative ions?)!!
Relaxing in Nature your Vitamin N Wild. Here.


Obviously it can be any type of podcast - which ever ones are your favourite.  There is even a great list of Ottawa podcasts here collected by JP Davidson of Pop-Up Podcasting which includes the podcast "Small Machine Talks" create by a.m. kozak (from the Rout/e footpress & CSArt Poetry Event) and Amanda Earl.

But just in case you are are looking for same urban nature themed podcasts here are a few recommendations:

Urban Nature Podcasts to Listen to

Interviews & Discussions (one-offs):

99% Invisible's interview with Nathanael Johnson, author of "Unseen City"

Root Simple podcast talking to Lyanda Lynn Haupt about urban wildlife

WBEZ 91.5 Chicago Morning Shift's discussion with Seth Magle from the Urban Wildlife Institute

For the Wild's chat with Diana Beresford-Kroeger, author of "The Call of the Forest"

Or if you want to be inspired by some music and photos - listen to the "Urban Nature Motion Soundscape" music episode that inspired Nex Millen's Urban Nature photography exhibit (2012) and scroll through his shots at the same time!  (Nex Millen: Asheville/Philadelphia)


Top Four Nature Wildlife Podcasts

Specific Podcasts on Wildlife and Urban Nature:

Darwin's Dolls (U.K.) - 14 episodes so far (link to episodes)

Urban Wildlife podcast (link to episodes) Season Two is currently playing!

In Defense of Plants (link to episodes)  (Some that I have bookmarked: 80 - lichens, 78 - bees, 67 - moss, 55 - Ferns, 51 - cemetery prairies, 48 - coffee ecology, 36 - lawns, 14 - urban ecology and native plants)

Nature's Past - 55 episodes so far (link to episodes)
(Check out these episodes: Stanley Park (39) Wildlife (11) Hamilton Waterfront (4) Don River (1) and others!)

This is the Nature of Cities podcast (link to episodes) 2015 - 2016

The Wild Life - 28 episodes (link to episodes) 2015

Discover Wildlife (U.K.) (link to episodes) 2010 - 2014

So here's to the warmer weather, opportunities to be outdoors and the pleasure of a lazy late spring's evening out in your favourite park with your top podcast!

Get Outdoors Do What You Love

What's your favourite podcast?

Do you listen while going for a walk or take a podcast break on a park bench?


Read more »

Introducing... Wild. Here.'s first Collaboration


As mentioned before, we are excited to be working with Chris Turnbull of Rout/e Footpress - who plants poetry in wild spaces.  This month she is planting poetry in Ottawa as part of CSArt Ottawa's inaugural first season of art and this weekend the CSArt Ottawa supporters and members will check out a couple of the planted poems (in situ) and will enjoy a poetry reading at GCTC in Westboro.

So for now, here's just a little tease...

(we will release more after the vernisage this weekend!)










Take a look at some write-ups and features about Chris Turnbull and Rout/e Footpress:

Ottawa Poetry Blogspot

Electric Ruckus Wordpress

Chris Turnbull's Vimeo Account

Read more »

Crabapples: The Flowering Tree Everyone Loves to Hate (Not!)

Crabtree Orchard in Ottawa Wild Here

Is this true?  What do you think?  Perhaps it's only those who have to walk on fallen crabapples or those who have to clean up their yards in the fall.  It does seem that Crabapple trees can get a bad rap!  They are incredibly beautiful in the spring when they bloom but after that what gives?  I was at a meeting this winter discussing the benefits of certain plants and trees in the city and this one person wanted to get rid of all Crabapple trees because they didn't benefit humans.  Sure insects find the trees valuable due to all the pollen and nectar and wildlife eat some of the fruit BUT in this person's eyes, since we couldn't really eat crabapples ourselves and they just "made a mess of sidewalks" why should we be planting them?  What is the purpose of Crabapples in a city?

I looked up some information about Crabapple Trees and found these lovely nuggets:

  • The Crabapple (a member of the Rose (Rosaceae) plant family) is the ONLY apple native to North America.  The apple tree that provides such a harvest for us was brought over by settlers from Europe and it is originally from Asia.
  • Crabapples are tolerant of drought conditions (which is great for these unpredictable weather that we are experiencing more and more of these days) and are adaptable to many conditions offering shade, shelter, nutrients and oxygen to so many species including us.
  • These small apples offer nutrients to migrating birds that return in the spring (by lasting through the winter) and of course attract many pollinators also (over 90 insect species according to RSPB) including native bee species.

Detail of Crabapple Blossom - Pink Bloom Ottawa

Here's a list from Wild Birds Unlimited of birds that benefit from crabapple trees (from their fruit, flowers and sap):
American Robin, Blue Jay, Northern Bobwhite, Northern Cardinal, Cedar Waxwing, American Crow, Common Grackle, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern bluebird, Eastern Towhee, European Starling, Grosbeaks, Gray catbird, Hairy woodpecker, House Finch, Northern Mockingbird, Orioles, Purple Finch, Red-bellied woodpecker, Red-headed woodpecker, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, and Tufted Titmouse.
I would say as city dwellers, we get a lot of pleasure out of seeing and hearing birds in the city.  The ecological value to pollinators who in turn pollinate food crops that we can eat should be accounted for also.  And even many mammals enjoy crabapples including squirrels, chipmunks, porcupines, raccoons, skunks and others.  I've even seen rabbits munching on fallen serviceberries so possibly they could enjoy crabapples as well?  And personally I enjoy a city animated by wildlife so there's an indirect benefit for us if wildlife can find food in the city.  (I know also that there are many urban dwellers who may find it difficult to live with wildlife especially if they are making damage to their property - so there are always pros and cons.)  In the end I am on the "yea" side - or should I say "yay!".  How about you?

What's your favourite flowering tree?  

Is it the Crabapple or is it another lovely spring blossom?  

What is your vote - yea or nay for Crabapples?

Where is the best place in your city to find your favourite spring blooms?

Orchard by Lincoln Fields Ottawa Ontario Wild Here

Here in Ottawa, the blooming Crabapples can be enjoyed by the middle of the month of May as a lovely backdrop to the tulips in many areas of the city.  There are some in the orchard at Lincoln Fields - see if you can tell the difference between Cherry and Crabapples in bloom!  Also check out two small collections of Crabapples in the Dominion Arboretum - one just north of Building 72 (near Prince of Wales Drive) and the other along the Rideau Canal between the small island and the canal pathway (Link to Friends of the Farm Map).

And just in case my friend from the meeting last winter is reading - here are eight recipes for delicious treats and tasty desserts using native crabapples (not the ornamental ones - mind you!) so that they too can enjoy the bloom and harvest of these valuable city trees!
Crabapple and Port Jelly (SBS - Australian website)
Sweet Pickled Crabapples (Nip It In the Bud blog)
Crabapple Crisp (Conscious Movements)
Canned Crabapples two ways: Spiced + Honey Cinnamon (Common Sense Homesteading)
Crabapple Schnapps (Urban Huntress)
Crabapple Chutney (Weaver's Orchard)
Poached Crabapples in Chardonnay (via The Kitchn)
Dark Chocolate Crabapple Cake (Kim Sunée)

Here's the start of some help in identifying features that are distinct between the two fruit trees from the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival organization!  (They should know, right?!)


Read more »

rainy days and gratitude for nature, connections and more!

Mer Blue Bog Summer Photo by Viliam Glazduri
-- Mer Bleue Bog - Photo by Viliam Glazduri --

It's a quiet rainy day in early May.  Am enjoying seeing and hearing all the appreciation for rain and how it nourishes the earth.  Everything has its own time and we do well when we move with the ebbs and flows.  Many things have been going on in the background here at Wild. Here. HQ and I'm looking forward to a more steady rhythm for the blog posts this summer.  I appreciate you sticking with me, during some of these growing pains.

So much gratitude here. xo


GUEST BLOG POSTS

We've hooked up with Eva Barrows (writer extraordinaire in California) this year, contributing a guest blog post at each other's blogs.  It was so wonderful for her to reach out and suggest it and it's been a lovely collaboration that grew out of Britt Bravo's Juicy Blogging course (if you are a new blogger - I can't recommend it enough!)  Eva shared with us this amazing site in San Diego, the type of park that gets us excited (here at Wild. Here. headquarters) - one that has been transformed from a type of "brownfield" (per se) and that now offers not only this amazing green space but also a unique experience that can bring delight and joy to each visitor.  Outdoor sculptures are a wonderful addition to any green space and that the ones that Eva explored were kinetic just blew my mind.  I just loved her write-up and that she also shared with us the sound journey experience also.  (And those blue skies!  Can't say enough about those blue skies!)

So this month we were able to share with Eva our love for our own city by highlighting some of the not to be missed natural sites in Canada's capital.  Ones that really can give people a sense of the Canadian landscape and geological experience - from boreal bogs to the Canadian Shield to incredible waterfalls that have such rich historical significance.  You need to visit in person though to really experience it - although we must say that Viliam Glazduri's photos do an amazing job immersing you into the natural features.  Do check out our post on her site:

Scenic Nature Spots are a Must Do When Visiting Ottawa for the 150th Celebrations

And if you are going down to the San Diego area (or are from California) check out her blog for amazing reviews and write-ups of historic places, lovely urban green spots and other natural areas (including the beach!): Eva Barrows BlogBay Area Writer – Local Traveler – World Adventurer


52 WEEKS OF NEARBY NATURE

It's been five weeks since we launched our online initiative 52 Weeks of Nearby Nature and the support has been wonderful!  Thank you so much for sharing our initiative with others and being so kind about this new offering!  It's a labour of love and was a spontaneous decision and we are looking forward to exploring how it can help and how we can support others in their efforts to get outdoors.

Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions are incredibly welcome as we are continually open to inspiration to fine-tune, expand and/or make it into the most useful tool for others.  Currently we are only promoting it on instagram as twitter has such limited text capacity but we are exploring ways to get around that (considering the current resources we have!).

This will really be shaped by the Wild. Here. community and offered as a free resource.  We have been so inspired by the amazing photography online and the incredible #naturelover IG community.  If you haven't yet, join us with the tags: #52WksofNearbyNature #52WksNN and feel free to weave in and out and participate when you can and/or when you are called to do so.  This online initiative is here for you when you need it!


EARTH DAY LAUNCH

For Earth Day, Wild. Here. launched a list of local volunteer opportunities for those in Ottawa who may want to get out and volunteer to help out nature and/or wildlife.  (Ottawa Nature Volunteer List Here!)  While there are many not for profits who need office help, the opportunity to volunteer AND connect with nature is so valuable and enriching for both the volunteers and the organizations.  If you know of more please share and/or if you've made lists for your own cities, let me know and I'll retweet them!  I have included a few gardening opportunities when they are focused on wildlife-support - whether it's pollinator, birds or other creatures and beautification of the city.  Hopefully this list will grow!  (I've already realized some orgs that I've missed like Eco-Talent, the Duck Club and others - stay tuned!)

Thank you also to the organizations who shared this list including Green Living Ottawa, Ottawa Start, Kind Village and so many others!  We really hope that this will inspire people to volunteer more!  The commitment doesn't have to be BIG to make an impact - even a couple of hours a year is much better than none!

P.S. Mark Your calendars as the next big global events for nature and the environment are: International Biological Diversity Day on May 22nd and then World Environment Day in June (on the 5th)!


WILD. HERE. "The City" PAGE

We're also updated the City page with some of this history of the region and are working on a First Nation's post in terms of honouring those whose land we are living on and whose history we (settlers) need to educate ourselves more about (now complete!).  First Nation's have been the caretakers of these lands for over 8000 years.  This is what we should be celebrating this year and all years!  (Link to Ottawa "The City" page of Wild. Here.)  By the way - speaking about educating ourselves - did you know that Kairos is holding one of the largest Blanket Exercises on Parliament Hill in June?)

And the plan is to create a couple more lists for The City page including Nature - Wildlife events (or other local favourite events where you can enjoy the outdoors) + learning opportunities about nature and wildlife.  Stay Tuned!


LOCAL COLLABORATIONS

When my friend Chris Turnbull told me about her collaboration with CSArt last spring, I was thrilled first to find out about this new type of "membership" for art but also that her Rout/e initiative was being featured.  We had collaborated before when I was working at Petrie Island and planted some poetry there.  She suggested that I help identify some great sites for planting poetry in the city for this Rout/e project and I am very happy to have a small part in this great project!

We'll be going out to plant the poetry this weekend (and possibly even with some of the poets and the CSArt director heself so it's going to be a fun day - even IF it rains!)  So we'll be letting you in on this outdoor poetry nature project once it's planted and you are going to LOVE the poets work!  I got a sneak peak at the actual poems to be planted and they are just delicious.  So incredible!  And what an incredible delight for all who will stumble upon this creative initiative outdoors!  I just love everything about this!

(More reason to always be an outdoor urban explorer also - you never know what you will find!)

And in June Wild. Here. will be collaborating with Capital Vélo Fest and Sustainable Enterprise Alliance on an outdoor activity for the Loving Our Local summer campaign (weekend of June 9 - 11th)  So stay tuned for more on that soon!


And just one more housekeeping thing:

Check out our "Where's the Wild this Weekend?" event list to find out about nature events in your neighbourhood.  This will be updated as time permits and we'll let you know via Twitter when it's been updated!  Big upcoming events include Nature Canada's Bird Day at Brewer Park on May 13th and of course this weekend's Jane's Walks.  And also if you are a big appreciator of the green space out in the west end, we were notified by Nicole Amanda regarding the LRT construction out at Lincoln Fields and how it will impact the green space (and the crabtree/cherry tree orchard) there.  If you want to help them out - reach out via their Facebook page!



Thanks so much for being on this journey with us!!  

It means so much to be able to share our love of "nearby" nature and for myself (the writer aka Katherine) to be connecting with so many urban nature lovers!  Your support means so much!!  And if by writing and blogging and tweeting and sharing great images of nature just helps one more person get inspired to get outdoors and find their own way to connect with nature then we feel blessed to be of service to our community.  

Nature is right there, outside your doorstep!  

Happy wilding!

Read more »