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We have events for you to go outside and play this fall!

Hericium americanum, one of the beautiful and fascinating tooth fungi found in Grant's Woods last year.

Do you remember your mom telling you to ‘go outside and play?’ Or that you needed some fresh air for a good sleep? Then, after you un–willingly moseyed outside, she had a hard time getting you to come inside for bed! Those were good times, and I am here to tell you those good times can still be had. Never underestimate the captivating draw of nature. Once you get out there you will want to stay outside and play, and we are coming up on the best time of year to enjoy it!

“I encourage you to visit Grant’s Woods as part of your 2017 Culture Days itinerary. It is a wonderful opportunity to take in the fresh air, and some charming, thought provoking art,”

I know, I know, it can be shocking at first, maybe even a little upsetting, but when the leaves begin to change colour there is magic in the air. A great way to start enjoying your autumn is with Orillia Culture Days on September 30th.  Culture Days happen every year and are a great chance to get out and enjoy life in our community. I encourage you to visit Grant’s Woods as part of your 2017 Culture Days itinerary. It is a wonderful opportunity to take in the fresh air, and some charming, thought provoking art created in partnership with the Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH) and thanks to an Ontario 150 Grant.  We are featuring seven pieces of art, by talented local artists. And don’t worry about getting lost; we have a specially designed map available to help you find the art trail. The works are temporary so get outside and enjoy, them against the backdrop of budding fall colour, before they’re gone!    

This year it seems summer is slipping away into beautiful brown and orange tones before we ever had the chance to enjoy it. Lucky for us autumn brings one of nature’s greatest shows and we in the Couchiching region have a front row seat. Tourists come from all over the world to see the colours change, a marvel that we risk taking for granted. This is why The Couchiching Conservancy has a Passport to Nature event on October 13th looking at leaves. The event is full (of fall enthusiasts), but don’t let that stop you from getting out on your own. Choose a destination, take some pictures, have an adventure and set a fantastic tone for fall.

From the big sweeping show to the tiniest details autumn gives us wonder in abundance! One thing that can be tiny, but is certainly abundant in local forests is fungus. What is it that makes fungi so magical? Is it the amazing diversity of colour and form that they can create? Is it the soft gills on their undersides, their velvety tops, or they way they seem to cling to fallen logs and defy gravity? There is so much that is fascinating about these organisms! That is why on the first of October The Couchiching Conservancy Passport to Nature is hosting a (full) Hike to Find Fungi. Fifteen enthusiastic participants will go on a hunt for identification. There is no denying it is great fun to be out with people who share an interest, and an educated leader, but this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a hunt on your own anytime. Recently our stewardship manager (and his adorable grandson) went out and found 57 species of fungi at Grant’s Woods in just over an hour! So grab an identification guide from a local store, or our fantastic library and create your own adventure!

Leaves, and fungus, art in forests, this all leads to one thing, beautiful photographs of a wonderful time spent outdoors. If you are interested in nature, or photography, or nature-photography we have another event coming up for you; the confessions of a crazed photographer, Ethan Meleg. Ethan will be presenting on what it takes to be a nature photographer, with some funny stories along the way!  If you are looking for inspiration look no further, there are still spaces available so join us on November 18th at Lakehead University for this great presentation. It is a free event, so if you would like to register please visit our website or call the office.

 “If you are interested in nature, or photography, or nature-photography we have an event coming up for you; the confessions of a crazed photographer,”

I know not everyone agrees, but I think we are headed into the most wonderful photogenic time of year. If you have been wanting to get out into nature this summer and haven’t it isn’t too late. With all these events going on and more there is no reason to stay inside. Put on a cozy sweater, grab your camera and go outside to play!

For more events in the area check out our events calendar! 

Courtney Baker is the Administrative Assistant at The Couchiching Conservancy, a non-profit land trust dedicated to protecting nature for future generations.