Storyteller Scroll: A Spring Sunday in the South March Highlands

  • Published on Jun 09 2011 |
  • This article is tagged as: storyteller

After walking through the South March Highlands, I came to realise that this fragile urban wilderness really lives up to its reputation as one of the richest sites of biological diversity in the Greater Ottawa area. Located on the north east edge of Kanata, the Highlands are a complex combination of old growth forests and abundant wetland habitats laced with streams, ponds and beaver dams. It is also the only site in Ottawa to display exposed Canadian Shield rock.

Despite the consistent showers we saw (and heard) a multitude of bird species from Canadian Geese, finches and nuthatches, to a very intimate encounter with freshly hatched ruffed grouse chicks that were only just leaving the nest and a very watchful, cautions mother grouse. We also spotted red squirrels and as a new resident to Canada I was extremely excited to see my first
porcupine. An abundance of diverse fungi, lichens, mosses and stunningly beautiful native wild flowers also captured our attention. My fellow hikers turned sombre as a section of the new Terry Fox Extension became visible, running parallel to our well worn path. The need to save this highland sanctuary from further development became increasingly evident.

I would like to thank all of the keen enthusiasts who showed up despite the rain to make the walk a success and a special thank you to Deanna Wright, CPAWS-OV Volunteer and South March Highlands advocate, who organised and led the hike. The South March Highlands truly are a “wild island” that I may never have discovered, if not for the passionate individuals, like Deanna, who are working to protect this area.