May long weekend…out and about in nature…a common occurrence around the province.
We started the day exploring Rockway Conservation Area on our way to Short Hills. Great potential here for river, cascade and waterfall photos – but perhaps a month or so earlier as there was not a lot of water flowing through. Disappointingly, the water was not clear and it wasn’t sediment. Farm runoff is really destroying the water quality all across the Niagara Escarpment and it was most evident today.
Out next stop was Swayze Falls in Short Hills Provincial Park – barely a dribble there. How disappointing for May!! However, the bird life in this scrubby, mix of very immature forest and grasses was wonderful: scarlet tanagers, Orioles, indigo buntings as well as the more common cardinals, nuthatches, goldfinches, robins, etc.
There are some beautiful, winding roads – Sulphur Springs, Orchard Hill, Roland and Holland – in this area worth a side trip just for the visual experience. For us, any road that says “Closed Dec to March” is worth the drive.
We finished the day at DeCew Falls. The falls were well-watered, but it was strange as the water was so blue – uncharacteristic for any waterfalls along the Escarpment. We learned that DeCew Falls would actually be a dry waterfall were it not for water brought from Lake Erie. The Lake Erie water is stored in vast reservoirs like Moodie Lake -off limits to recreation – to supply St. Catherines with fresh water and the nearby hydro plant with a constant source. It seems many if the natural water courses in the area have been otherwise ruined as a result. Hmmmmm… can’t say I’m too pleased with the DeCew deception.