Cootes Paradise

American, Red, Squirrel

Cootes Paradise (possibly an egregious missing apostrophe there?) is a rather lovely wetland near Hamilton; it is looked after by the Royal Botanical Gardens, although it is a semi-wild landscape. In the not too distant past, the wetlands were badly damaged by pollution, excessive human use and also by the damage caused by the introduced carp from Lake Ontario.

Happily, in more recent years substantial rehabilitation work has been carried out with a view to trying to get Cootes Paradise into something more adjacent to its natural state and it is a great place to visit at almost any time of the year.

These pictures were taken in February 2012, so still in the grip of winter, although nothing like as fierce as the winter of 2013/14. Strictly-speaking one is not really supposed to feed the birds, as it’s a nature reserve, but people still do – one would feel a bit of a cad to not assist them through the cold weather a bit…