Fran Cutler’s family has an attachment to the Wakefield area that goes back almost one hundred years. Like many of us, Fran considers Wakefield one of her “favourite villages in the whole world!”.
As a CBC employee for close to 30 years, her cottage on the Gatineau River in the Larrimac area and the surrounding Gatineau Hills always provided a respite from the demands of work.
“…It was always so relaxing and calming to get out on the trails to walk at a leisurely pace, not put too much effort into it … and getting together with friends because it wasn’t just the outdoor recreation and exercise, it was the social aspect that was so important.”
Now retired, she shares the trail experience with her fellow members of the Rideau Trail Club, embracing the opportunity to socialize with like minded people and the energizing effect the outings have for her. Sometimes their excursions have them travelling the trails around Wakefield. Fran has certainly witnessed the transformation that has taken place on the trails around the village….”the ones that have been developed from really old, very difficult to manage paths to very nicely groomed and maintained paths that the locals have worked so hard to create.” The improved accessibility and safety is very important to Fran as she navigates thru an increasingly more challenging vision impairment disability. As her sight deteriorates, it’s the bird songs that might that keep calling her into the forests.
“I love the cardinals because the male sings different songs at different times of the day and chickadees of course, sing a different song at different times of the year. And warblers are really beyond me! I can’t distinguish one from another but it’s a beautiful sound. And then there’s the wonderful what’s called the Canada bird – the white throated sparrow with a note that sounds like “…in Canada…”.
In Canada indeed. Listen to our full interview with Fran here: