Monday, October 20, 2014

A Walk in the Woods

I'm a volunteer Land Steward for the Bruce Trail Conservancy, which means that I go and wander through a property the Conservancy owns 2 or 3 times a year to be sure that everything is ok, and build up our knowledge of the plants and wildlife there.  I 'steward' the Harshman and Jordan Springs properties, so last week I went to do my annual fall inspection.

This is just one stretch of the Bruce Trail through the property (marked by the white blazes).  This property also has some pine plantations and old fields, but the part I love (and where the trail goes) is the deciduous forest.

Stepping into the forest beyond the White Pine plantation (in the background), it was like entering a golden world, bright yellow Sugar Maple leaves on all sides.  This giant old maple log fell about 3 years ago, right across the trail.

The trail here is simply one of the nicest places to go for a walk in the woods that I know of.  Walking through the woods last week I thought to myself 'Why isn't everyone who lives around here out for a walk?'.  It's the single nicest week of the year in the woods.

This part of the woods was used for maple syrup production many years ago, but you wouldn't even recognize this old woods road unless you knew what you were looking for.

At one point the trail goes almost under a youngish Beech tree, and I knelt down to get a picture looking upwards.  A magical canopy.

Heading on through the woods you come to a very small stand of huge 'old growth' Sugar Maples.  Here billions of maple seedlings border the trail, and you can see the base of some big old trees in the distance.

This is my favourite, a Sugar Maple with two giant arms reaching out to embrace whoever cares to pass by.

I've explored woodlots all over southern Ontario - I wrote a book on Woodlot Management.  And I have never seen taller old Sugar Maples than these ones.  Lots of big open crown maples along fencerows have much fatter trunks - but only 4-6 feet high before they branch.  This one rises nearly 60 feet perfectly straight before the first branch.  Truly one of the giants of the forest.

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22 comments:

  1. What an incredible GOLD world!!! Superb captures!! Thank you so much for sharing so much beauty!! These really took my breath away!! Hope you have a great week!

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  2. Great pictures, but the one with the yellow and red leaves is my favorite. What a great thing to do, monitoring the woods.

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  3. Glorious colours you've captured and share here - thank you. Every job (whether paid or voluntary) has its bonuses and you surely have hit the jackpot here!

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  4. What a brilliantly beautiful series!

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  5. Magnificent trees! Love the beech leaves with the light coming through.

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  6. What a magical golden forest. The old growth is magnificent!

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  7. It's such a pretty area! Gorgeous shots.

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  8. gorgeous place for a walk. love the trees.

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  9. Absolutely beautiful! Sugar maples are a special tree -- and ours are bare of leaves now.

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  10. Great photographs! Your favourite tree was a favourite for me as well. I always feel the life energy in trees and so I loved your idea of the tree's arms reaching out to embrace you and other passers by. I, too, wonder that more people wouldn't be walking in such a stunning place. Perhaps, some are afraid to walk alone. A woman was murdered in Vancouver five years ago while jogging in the woods on a trail I had often walked myself. Her killer was never found. I definitely remember that when I think about walking alone on wooded or deserted trails. Perhaps, you could start a little walking club for people to come together, at least at this time of year. Great blog. I'm hoping I'll be back for another visit soon. Here's the link to that news story: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/brutal-pacific-spirit-park-homicide-unsolved-4-years-later-1.1304555

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  11. It's amazing that more people don't go out and enjoy the show. The same happens over here - Go to some of the best walking country in the UK and you'll find most of the people in the towns and villages looking round the gift shops!

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  12. Amazing autumn colours, a forest of gold! Great photos!

    //Scaniatjejen
    http://www.scaniatjejen.se

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  13. Truly beautiful! I have no idea why most people don't walk in the woods this time of year. They have no idea what they a missing.

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  14. Wonderful! Maybe sometime I'll get to come wander the Bruce Trail and you can be my guide!

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  15. Wow. That is a beautiful woods. I love the tall maple with it's arms outstretched. Did you know that Donna's Photo Challenge next month is trees? That would be a great one to submit. Beautiful photos!

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    1. I sure did, and I don't know how I'll ever limit myself to just a few tree photos!

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  16. Wow ! Autumn moved in without any doubt ! In Belgium our trees are still rather green !

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  17. Wonderful photos- at what mile marker in the BT guide are those properties located?

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    1. This walk is from km 72.8 to about 73.8 on Map 26 of Edition 27 of the Bruce Trail Guide.

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  18. Wow, beautiful yellows. Looks like a lovely place to take a walk.. Awesome photos.

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