Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Crevice Springs Trail

We walked the Crevice Springs Side Trail the other day, and had an interesting time exploring the crevices, while avoiding stepping in the mud where the trail crossed the little streams from the springs.  The crevices are wide breaks in the Amabel Dolostone that forms the caprock of the Niagara Escarpment, usually large enough to climb down in; the Bruce Trail goes through crevices quite often.

I find the crevice habitat fascinating.  Not getting much sun, they tend to be cooler than otherwise, and have rock walls covered in moss and ferns.  This crevice is about 20 feet deep and 6 feet wide.

The trail went right through this crevice, and you get a good look at how Eastern White Cedar can grow directly out of the limestone bedrock.  Among this species are the oldest trees ever found in eastern North America because they can be very slow growing.

Below the cliffs is the talus slope, with enormous limestone boulders, sometimes featuring rock walls of deep green moss.   This one is decorated with a line of Maidenhair Spleenwort Ferns among others.

Near the top of that rock wall was a small group of Miterwort or Bishop's Caps.  They seem to like the moss and the rock beneath it.

Here's another rock wall featuring numerous plants of the Maidenhair Spleenwort, very typical of this habitat.

And there was plenty of Northern Holly Fern.  This one illustrates well why it's called 'holly'.  The lower cascade of leaves are last year's leaves, which have stayed bright green beneath the snow.  In a lighter green are this year's new fronds just uncurling.

We didn't venture down into this crevice, which has a slick patch of ice still at the bottom, showing as a little bit of white among the leaves.

We didn't venture in here either, a crevice that has collapsed in such a way as to create a small cave.  But judging by the flagging tape marking it I suspect some people have crawled down inside.

Most of the bedrock forming the crevices is the thick blocky Amabel Dolomite, but this section of the exposed cliff is the thin-layered Manitoulin Formation, a different form of dolomite.

And these are just some bright green maple leaves I liked, catching the light against the darker cedars.

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  1. Pretty spot, I love the lush greenery and the ferns.. Maybe a critter has made a home in the cave.. Great post, enjoy your week!

  2. The greens are so lush. What a fabulous adventure!

  3. Excellent shots!

    The presence of crevices on the Escarpment always fascinated me.

  4. Oh I love forestry plants....things that only grow in boggy little places....
    Must have been a fascinating walk...
    Our cottage is in Niagara...
    Linda :o)

  5. I really like the views you showed us. Those crevices are so interesting...Amazing how nature forms such amazing places!

  6. Your blog is a mine of information on local attractions. I have never seen this side trail but will have to make it this summer. It looks like a very special place.

  7. Beautiful... Love seeing those deep crevices.. There was even much evidence of Spring --even down in those areas... Terrific place!!!!!

    I am always amazed how trees can grow through the rocks like they do...

  8. Great photography of a very significant area in our province. I will be walking parts of the Bruce Trail over the next two weekends.

  9. Very beautiful and so interesting!

  10. That was some walk through the crevices. How very interesting. Is that the roots of the tree over the crevice in picture number 2? Amazing!!
    Your pictures are beautiful.