May 26, 2002

BRUCE TRAIL - off of Dunby Road

Meeting report by Alexis & Nathan Burnett
Photos by Alexis Burnett & Walter Muma

The hike started out on a cloudy Sunday and we were worried that it might start to rain. A total of 9 people showed up for the hike. We left Dunby Road just after 10am. We walked through the meadow and along a section of the Bruce Trail that Margaret and Bill Vallis had donated to the Bruce Trail Club in 1998.

We noticed a very large "town" of garlic mustard and we stopped and talked about how this plant grows everywhere and takes over...killing off most other plants. It also spreads and grows very fast. It is a dangerously invasive alien.

For more info on garlic mustard see the Earth Caretaker website, Alien Plants section. 

After a brief investigation we continued along the trial, where we noticed some fox or perhaps coyote scat. Walter pointed out a field sparrow by its beautiful song and he also pointed out what he thought was a grasshopper sparrow. We noticed many species of birds on this day, including the eastern kingbird, red-winged blackbird, robin, chickadee, a few species of warblers, swallows, red-eyed vireo, grey catbird and the bobolink as well as many others. A very amazing sight was the pair of bluebirds that we sighted. 

We began to venture off trail for the remainder of the hike. We ran across patches of rough fruited cinquefoil. We also noticed along the side of a hill sheep sorrel. This is such a neat looking plant and you eat the leaves. They have a great sour taste. I always compare the taste to rhubarb. Many other species of plants were also identified. 

Sheep Sorrel
Photo by Alexis Burnett

Photo by Walter Muma

Around lunch time we all stopped and sat in the sun for quite a long time noting signs of animals presence and birds. We talked for sometime, discussing plants. The sun made an appearance for the rest of the day and it began to warm up. Alexis spotted a jack pine tree around our lunch spot. What a neat looking tree. A small garter snake came up the hill and passed right by us. After lunch we continued down the hill.

Jack Pine tree
Photo by Alexis Burnett

Photo by Walter Muma


Cherry trees
Photo by Alexis Burnett


Photo by Alexis Burnett

We then headed into a fairly dry marsh where I noticed cattails. Here we also noticed some cattail that had been chewed on, we figured possibly a muskrat or deer as muskrat love cattail root and deer tracks were found all around. We showed the group the white tubers that were edible as well as the young green shoots. We all tried some. 

Then we ventured further into the moist marsh. Here we found many more species of plants including: water mint (edible leaves), colts foot, watercress (edible leaves as well) and horsetail, as well as others. 

Photo by Walter Muma

Sparkling clear water creek
Photo by Walter Muma


Photo by Walter Muma

We decided now to retrace our steps. Along the way we noticed an egg - possibly a starling's. 

The day was getting quite warm and on the way back we noticed that the land was becoming alive with a lot more insects and animals now. We walked back to the cars and here our meeting came to an end.

This was a really great day mother Nature sent out the sun today and today summer was definitely in the air. Thank-you to everyone who came out hope to see you again in a couple of weeks.


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