With the snow crunching under our snowshoes, we headed to our Ministik conservation lands yesterday to make some of our fences on the property a bit friendlier for wildlife. We attached about 40 homemade fence reflectors, made from a piece of vinyl siding and some reflective tape, to a fence on our northern boundary that passes over a large wetland.
We didn’t feel like going swimming there last summer, so instead we hiked 7 kilometres in our snowshoes to the frozen wetland, so we could walk on it without getting wet. The fence reflectors make the fence more visible to birds as they come in for a landing or swim in the calm waters, creating a safer habitat.
We do a lot of work on our conservation lands to make the best fences we can. We remove barbed wires that are too high for animals to jump over, or too low for the young to crawl under, and we completely remove some fences that are no longer necessary. In fact, we removed 9.5 kilometres of barbed wire last year with volunteers, and we'll be doing more again this summer to make our fences friendly and our properties safe for wildlife.
The sun came out from behind the clouds as we finished placing the reflectors on the fence wires yesterday afternoon, and as we walked back alongside deer, moose and snowshoe hare footprints, we could hear coyotes howling at us from not too far away. I’d like to think they were cheering us on.