The Dow Wetlands Nature Reserve is located south of Sarnia, close to Corunna, Ontario. The 35 acre site features ponds, hiking trails, a pavilion, a memorial forest and a variety of wildlife and plant life.
Along the trails we spotted a variety of nesting structures for birds, bats and even a hibernaculum for snakes.
High Bush Cranberry can be found throughout the wetland which is a fantastic source of Vitaming C for rabbits, deer and birds. These berries will remain on the tree even through the winter, providing an excellent food source for a variety of wildlife found in the area.
On one of the many ponds we spotted these Canada Geese and other waterfowl. Off in the distance you can see a bird box which may have been used by a swallow.
It was mid March and the ponds were thawed but we were still surprised to spot this frog so early in the season.
Dried milkweed seeds still clung to their open pods, even after the winter months.
The wetlands are open to the public, for free, year round but they do ask that you respect the ecosystem by following the above rules. The paths are very easy to follow and are wheelchair accessible, for the most part.
At the western most end of the wetlands is a windmill pump which recirculates the water from the upper ponds to the lower ponds so that the low lying ponds do not become dry during the summer. I thought the hand painted logo on the windmill was very nice, so I took a closer shot of it.
Remnants of summer life could be found in the form of abandoned nests throughout the area. In spring birds will migrate back into the wetland and build new homes will protect their offspring.
One of the five ponds surrounded by cattails. Often in the summer we will see Great Blue Heron fishing from the edges, muskrats disappearing into their dens and hawks soaring overhead.
More High Bush Cranberries, cattails and some Wild Teasel. This pond is located near the Memorial Forest.
There are several bridges that cross the shallow streams that connect the ponds. Some of the bases are wood by a large majority of them are metal. Many dogs will not walk on the metal ones, so be prepared to take a different route or to carry them across.
Don’t let the winter temperatures keep you indoors. Most of your favorite walking or hiking spots are just as enjoyable in each season.