When was the last time you were so moved by a place and an experience in nature that you took the time to write about it? When Catherine Jimenea, Ontario reptile and amphibian atlas assistant, signed-up for four days of turtling in Lost Bay Nature Reserve, her experience far surpassed her expectations. So much so, that she wrote this ode to the reserve.
Dear Lost Bay,
It was turtles galore during my entire stay with you. On my first morning, I watched as my colleagues John and Megan snorkelled for stinkpots. In the night, we all went out with lights and caught more stinkpots.
On day two, there were no turtles in our carefully-laid traps, but you were only teasing us. When Megan and I peered under some nearby lily pads, we spotted three stinkpots and were able to catch and process two of them.
The forecast for day three was rainy, so we planned to do very little turtling, but you had gifts for us anyway. We found two snapping turtles (one of which weighed a hefty 41 pounds) and a Midland painted turtle in our traps. The painted turtle was the first turtle I processed on my own.
In the late afternoon, you gave us a bit of sunshine, which we took as a sign to do more turtling. In a generous mood, you brought us twelve stinkpots and a painted turtle in one hour, which we admired, processed and released.
On my fourth and final morning, you brought us a snapping and painted turtle. In the afternoon, you gave me my greatest thrill yet! While canoeing with volunteers Tom and Dave, I caught a stinkpot and two northern map turtles.
In the four days I spent with you, I experienced something that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Time and again you displayed your great diversity and beauty. Thank you Lost Bay!
Until we meet again,
Readers – Have you had a similar experience with nature? If so, please share your experiences and reflections with us.
Catherine joined Ontario Nature in the spring of 2012, and is currently employed as the Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas assistant. She enjoys all aspects of her work including processing data in the office, conducting field work in nature reserves, and sharing her love of nature with others.