Weather: summery (cooler than average than our last 4 summers, with a bit more water...providing a better than average natural bounty).
Arnprior has some great nature sites within the town. Two of these are the Macnamara Trail and Gillies Grove. The latter is a National Historic Site, and a Nature Conservancy-owned conservation area.
I have visited these places, and several lakes in the Gatineau Hills in the Pontiac region of Quebec (a short drive from Arnprior). Some highlights:
Below is Self-heal, Prunella vulgaris, a common mint family flower of our local woods. This plant, as its name implies, has been used historically to treat wounds, and for sore throats. The whole plant is edible and is, allegedly, a tasty addition to salads, stews and is also used to make an infusion ( I refuse to use the term "herbal tea", as tea is a specific group of Asian herbs).
We often see the plant below along trails in colder woods. It's large rose flowers are very attractive, and it is indeed a member of the large rose family. It is Purple-flowering Raspberry Rubus odoratus. The plant is a large (3-6 feet high and broader than that) shrub. The flowers are 2-3 inches across, and very fragrant. This native thornless plant is an excellent addition to a garden. The large hairy raspberries are edible, but are an "acquired taste". I leave them for the birds.
Lac Bernard is a typical southern Canadian Shield lake, surrounded by cottages. Therefore the lake doesn't have the ecological purity of more remote lakes. This doesn't seem to bother the Whirlygig Beetles, millions of which were patrolling the surface of the entire lake.
More to come soon. Jan and I are off tomorrow to the Maritimes for 10 days. I expect some interesting marine mammal and waterfowl sightings!