Sunday, February 7, 2016

Kimberley Forest Vegetation

After looking through my slides to find pictures of the forest types and other vegetation in Kimberley Forest, I am frankly appalled at my own failure to get out there and get more and better pictures!  I'm supposed to have an interest in natural history, and I have lots of pictures of plants from elsewhere, but virtually none from here.  That's the biggest thing I've realized from doing this series of posts so far, so next summer I know what I need to do!  In the meantime, here's a very brief and simple description of the vegetation of the Kimberley Forest area using the pictures I do have available.

The left 2/3 of this picture shows the forest on the slopes of Kimberley Forest, not that bright green forest on the bottom of the valley, or the green hayfields, but the more distant forest running up the slopes.  This is all a large extended area of Sugar Maple Forest, the lighter green patches on the lower slopes areas of more recent natural regeneration.

The Sugar Maple Forest varies in age, but it's certainly never been cleared and regrown, though there's lots of that going on around the edges.  There are some White Ash, Cherry, and other species, but it's mostly Sugar Maple.

Up above the slopes behind that forest is a large wetland area, through which Lower Wodehouse Creek flows, some scattered evergreens on the higher patches.

In part of this area are quite a few huge old White Pine stumps, which certainly make me wonder what this forest was like before the area was cleared for farming.

The other part of the flat upper land is reforested, much of it with White Spruce as you can see here.

There a high ridge of the Banks Moraine right along the top of the slope, which was reforested with European Larch.  It grows fast and will soon be ready for thinning.

The flat land at the bottom of the slope is mostly wet floodplain, though higher areas were once hayfields.  Here the floodplain is dense with Marsh Marigolds in mid-May.

These are probably my best two pictures of vegetation in the entire forest!  Gotta get out there on some nice bright spring days next year.

There's lots of wildlife too, though the main evidence is their tracks in the snow.  But I did run into this Porcupine one time, sitting right on the Bruce Trail eating an apple.

He wasn't about to move either!  He must have known that I wasn't a threat, and stayed there while I shuffled past.  If my dog had been with me on the other hand .....!

This is the only easily available map I've found, and to be honest it's not very good and hard to make out - but it does give you some idea of the trails that exist (coloured lines), and the other two properties owned by the Conservation Authority (where the sinkholes are) and the Bruce Trail Conservancy (where the main spring is).  The brown/grey band across the centre is the Sugar Maple Forest on the slopes, and all the darker green patches are reforested areas.  Open light brown areas are old fields, gradually coming up in young trees.  Another thing I need to do is get a better map for this purpose!


I took a break from my walking an hour a day earlier this week, when we had four days of temperatures rising and falling, rain at times, and ice when it froze overnight.  Sometimes the walking was downright unsafe.  But I did average an hour/day for January, and since Thurs. I'm over an hour/day again.  I'm really going to need to use my willpower to keep this up!  But we're supposed to get 4 days of light snowfall now, so hopefully I can get back to some skiing later in the week.


  1. The photos have whetted my appetite for more of this area later in the year.

  2. Hello, lovely shots of the forest and vegetation. The porcupine is a cool sighting. Great photos. Happy Monday, have a great new week ahead!

  3. These are pretty wonderful to me! I enjoyed the pictures of Porky and the marsh marigolds especially. :-)

  4. Great shot of the porcupine, and of the forest and valley, of course. Isn't nature wonderful?

  5. That porcupine is quite a critter. How nice of him or her to stay in place for you to photograph!

    The stump of the old white pine looks rather ghostly.

  6. Cool to see the picture of the porcupine!!
    So pretty seeing all the yellow flowers.
    Good for you with getting your walking in. : ) Sometimes it is just too icy and cold to get out there!!

  7. Am very glad that I found your blog Mr Gnome - it looks to be an upscale of where we live :)

  8. He didn't even offer to share his lunch?! ha
    We saw one also back in the summer on the McNamara trail and same thing: paid us no mind at all. Waddled right across the trail right in front of us and up a tree. Just passing through folks. :)
    The sugar maple bush brings back memories of trail rides of the past. There's nothing like riding through the forest.

  9. Looks like you were very close to that porcupine! I admire your resolve to walk an hour every day. That's not easy to do in winter!

  10. Porcupines seem to be pretty fearless, probably because their only real predators are fishers and bobcats. Other predators get a face full of quills and tend to leave porkys alone. The Kimberly forest looks like nice country to explore, lots of variety.

  11. Great shot of the porcupine, a species I seldom see photographed.

  12. Fabulous photos of the cute porcupine!