The most optimistic souls wore shorts, and the more pessimistic – or perhaps realistic – wore long pants and rubber boots.
For the first half of the event, Ontario Nature staffers, Stephanie Muckle and Smera Sukumar, led of the group of attendees down a winding trail to a bridge that gave way to a scenic view of a vast pond.
While the weather was suboptimal for pollinators, we did get the chance to see a few species while our guides outlined the many threats that pollinators face.
You could say the dessert was served before the lunch as we were then treated to a presentation by Scales Nature Park.
Everyone got the chance to handle corn snakes, rat snakes and a wood turtle. One particular child who was very hesitant was soon holding a corn snake with a huge smile on his face.
It didn’t take him long to hold the much bigger rat snake.
Seeing so many people holding these gentle snakes brought me a smile of my own.
Although our resilient group was ready to brave the storm after lunch to find salamanders, the second half of our event had to be cancelled due to a tornado warning in the area. (You have to draw the line somewhere.) Somehow the rain and winds brought everyone a bit closer to each other and to nature.
As people were leaving and straggler kids jumped in the rain puddles, I was heartened to know that the event had been a great success.