A large arctic air mass has brought us clear sunny skies and very cold temperatures. This is perfect January weather in my estimation and the ideal conditions for winter walking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Yesterday was the last day of my Christmas break from work and I went for a walk in an urban gem in a nearby city.
Guelph, Ontario is home to the Ontario Agricultural College and is now part of the University of Guelph. It opened in 1874 and its programs have expanded greatly over the years. My uncle was a graduate of the college in the 1940's and subsequently worked as a food inspector for the government and also operated the Devins Orchard on the family farm.
On the grounds of the university is The Arboretum, a 165 hectare area with horticultural gardens, botanical collections and gene conservation programs set among old growth forests and meadow ecosystems. There are several kilometers of trail which wind through various gardens and naturalized areas. There is no admission charge to the enter the park and it is easily accessible within the city.
This is a good area for birding and for observing wildlife and wildflowers in season. The administrator for our local birding forum has posted very detailed observations here of birds seen in the vicinity of The Arboretum throughout the year.
A day like this makes up for a week of dull, grey and damp weather!