Bruce Trail -- km 39.0 to 42.8

When I was a little over half way to the starting point Saturday morning I realized I didn't have my hiking boots with me. Going on a hike and no boots? Decided not to turn back and just use the little runners I had on. Fortunately most of the trail was smooth not rocky. I did miss my boots on the few rocky bits though. Started by doing the Walking Fern Sidetrail from km 39. It goes down for almost 1 km then you turn around. I saw a heron take flight but the pictures are way to blurry. I like the mosses and lichen on this rock. The other picture is the walking fern. Apparently it will send out shots and sprout another plant so it looks like its walking.
Then back to following the main trail. At this point I started watching the clock. The $10 quilt class started at noon and I figured I needed 15 minutes to get over to the store so I had a little more than 90 minutes before I needed to be leaving. From what I've been reading the Terra Cotta Forest Conservation Area marks the outer edge of the Cheltenham Badlands. Ever once in a while, there's a glimpse of the red earth. At one point I saw some woodpeckers tapping against the slope. The trail goes past some ponds. Found fish, snails and a turtle in this pond.
I'd hoped to get up to km 42.8 in the morning but had to turn around as I was at the 50 minute marked. I'd figured I needed to be heading back around 45 minutes. On the way back, this bird was singing in one of the trees. There's a small pond/lake near where I'd left the car. I saw two bird houses like one on the far side of the water. Off to the class -- made it with time to spare. It was a show and tell and we have lots of stitching to do before the class at the end of September. Since it was a nice day, decided I'd go do some more of the trail afterward. I parked at the Terra Cotta Conservation Center this time and got a little side tracked following their trail back to the Bruce Trail. The trail I was on when by a small lake that was full of very large bullfrogs and very large tadpoles.
When I did get back onto the Bruce Trail, this little fellow hopped across the path. I thought he was a little far away from the water but from what I saw at the conservation web site, I wonder if he's a Spring Peeper. They spend most of their time in the woods not the water! When I got up to km 42.8 I decided it was getting a little late to continue the original path so I went back down to the conservation area along the road and wandered around the wetlands trail. There's a pond there surrounded by cattails. A boardwalk takes you across the middle of it. In the centre, it opens into lots of waterlilys.
Then back to the small lake where I saw the bullfrogs to walk along the other side of the lake. Found this fellow and more tadpoles. Some of these tadpoles had begun to sprout very tiny legs.

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