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Cold Creek Conservation Area lived up to its name today: COLD! And yet, down in the bog, in its own micro-ecosystem, the creek burbles along and defies the freezing air temperature. The water never freezes here, as it is groundwater, newly discharged. The water here is always cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, than the ponds and streams in the surrounding higher ground. It also takes some interesting forms, as seen in the top photo, where oxidized iron has turned the water, in a connecting pool, a ruddy-brown colour. In the second photo, thawing snow-melt forms icy columns above the open creek which runs ice-free. The bottom photo shows the tracks of small animals that have come to drink. Birds will drink here also, a welcome alternative to getting water by swallowing snow, too much of which can compromise their body temperature in harsh, frigid conditions. The Township of King opens the main gates to visitors on weekends at this time of year, which means a lot more area can be covered by driving to the centre of Cold Creek and heading out onto trails from there. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing is encouraged also. Today there was a welcoming smell of woodsmoke from the visitors centre. 'Google' Cold Creek Conservation Area or go to http://www.coldcreek.ca/ to check dates and special events in February. Please comment in you wish.
Photos by BarrytheBirder