May 17, 2003

BRUCE TRAIL - off of Dunby Road

Meeting report & photos by Skeet Sutherland


Today's hike meet started off with four people, although it turned out that two of the people at the Bruce Trail entrance on Dunby Road at 10:00 AM were training for a marathon and simply having a rest at that very spot. They had been running for 15 hours (or something) and were about to run the remaining 20km of their 100km adventure.  Anyways, after seeing them off, the two of us enjoyed a fantastic day in the Hockley Valley Wildlife Reserve.  With the loose theme of Spring Tree Identification we explored like children in a candy store.  It was great for this particular day that previously in the week a mix of sunny and rainy weather helped the green world flourish.  There was something new coming up everywhere.  The forest floor in the hardwoods was a beautiful multicolour carpet.  The black flies were horrendous as well.

We tried a little experimentation with Wild Leeks, using them as repellent.  We smushed a whole leek, bulb and all and rubbed it all over.  It seemed to work pretty good for a while, but wore off.  Mud also worked well, but it dries out quick with the warm breeze.


The tree that kept us trying was this one, do YOU know what it is? 

We finally got it, after calling it American Beech among others.  A hint is that it establishes early succession forest types, in dry sites.



Everything seemed to breaking there buds and reaching for the sun. There are so many to pick from
and as usual we observed the whole land, not simply trees. 

This little cottontail seems to have lost its tail.



We ate lunch on top of a small hill hoping to escape the Black flies, utilizing the breeze.  It didn't work but it was cool because there was a pretty old patch of Red Osier Dogwood that appeared as though it was pruned evenly like an English Hedge.  Its contour being that the "maximum" distance of the deer to reach in winter months.

At a multi use trail system convergence area, a Raccoon kill site was scattered about in the cedars.  Possibly from last year, it showed evidence of age due to weathering.  The pieces have been pulled together for the picture.



All in all we had an amazing time, even the bugs.  Witnessing the new growth, streak the landscape filled us with pure inspiration.

Till next time, Skeet Sutherland


[The mystery tree is an ash, probably a white ash]


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