I had a chance to accompany of group from the Owen Sound Field Naturalists on a walk into Marshall Woods on Saturday, and really enjoyed it. Marshall Woods is listed among a few patches of 'old growth' forest in this part of Ontario, and although I'd heard of it, I'd never been to see it.
It was a beautiful sunny fall day, and the leaves in the woods had turned to yellow and orange. The sunlight was filtering through the clear morning air, making for one of those great fall walks.
We followed parts of both the Bruce Trail and a snowmobile trail, and at least some of the walk was a long a wide open woodland road that was easy to walk. This part couldn't have been better.
Just one of many tall straight 'old growth' trees, this one a huge old Sugar Maple towering into the canopy. You rarely see trees this large any more; they are long gone as sawlogs.
A small part of the woods was a dark hemlock grove, and we were told you could go further to find more big old hemlock, which sometimes like to grow along the slopes of the Niagara Escarpment around here.
And there were some small patches of younger growth, here a stand of maple, casting some interesting shadows in the morning light.
The walk was made memorable by the light filtering through the leaves, ranging from orange through yellow, to still green, or just starting to turn, all marked by the striking dark trunks of the tall trees.
Even the leaves on the ground at the side of the road where we met were intriguing. Really enjoyed this expedition to a place I've been wanting to go, but had never seen before.