Oct 20, 2002

BRUCE TRAIL - off Dunby Road

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


Photo by Alexis Burnett

Today's Tracking Day started out at 10am on the Bruce Trail off Dunby Road. We started out down the trail only to find a cherry tree that had a large build up of sap on the side near the base of the tree. We figured that something that drilled into it, allowing the sap to overflow out of the large tree.


Photo by Walter Muma

Photo by Walter Muma

We also noticed that milkweed (left) is almost ready for harvesting for cordage, although not quite. 

As well, the mullein (right) is ready to be harvested which can be used for a hand-drill.


As we continued down the trail we noticed an animal lay which the group thought belonged to either a fox or a coyote. The trail leading from the lay seemed to be shared by rabbits and foxes, which told us that the habitat had a large population of rabbits and rodents. Next, we proceeded into a gully on the hill where we found a few clear coyote tracks.


Photo by Alexis Burnett

In the gully we found what we believed to be coyote scat, although it was composed entirely of apples, which made us undecided.


The group headed down to the marsh to find where a deer had jumped the stream and continued to go through the marsh, up and onto the bank. Here we also saw many rabbit trails, leading to and from the cedars. Near the edge of the bank a lot of coltsfoot and water mint was growing - it was really flourishing. 


Photo by Alexis Burnett

We continued on and found an awesome spot to stop for lunch.


Photo by Walter Muma

After lunch we crossed the river and began to loop back towards the trail. We encountered a small waterfall that was really flowing fast. 


Photo by Alexis Burnett

Continuing on we found some false and true tinder fungus hanging off of a large yellow birch tree in the forest. One of the group found a raccoon latrine site at the base of a tall maple. 

Also, we found small piles of scat (photo at left) which some group members thought to be from wild turkey, while others thought it was mammal scat. Everyone had different opinions of the mystery scat!

Later research by Julie suggested that it might be ruffed grouse scat.


Photo by Alexis Burnett

Further up the hill and deep in the open meadow someone found a possible cottontail or grouse bed. Fairly fresh, too. Deer rubs also marked the landscape in the meadow and were found mostly on young apple trees.


Photo by Alexis Burnett

Throughout the day we found multiple signs of porcupine, raccoon and rabbits. In a smaller marshland on the way back to the trailhead we found teasel, wild grapes, and all sorts of berries and fruits all used by many animals as they get ready for winter. Staghorn sumac berries were collected to make a type of cold tea, similar to iced tea. Grouse were heard and seen in the forest and sharp ears caught sound of a ruffed grouse beating. Red squirrels chatted away in the nearby trees, collecting seed from the cedars. Mushrooms were everywhere, but few were identified on this excursion. Back near the trailhead some members harvested mullein.

Insect exoskeleton.


Photo by Walter Muma


Today was a great day, and we would like to thank everyone who came out and we hope to see you all there on our next tracking day.

Enjoy the Autumn colours!


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