Skerwink Trail, NewfoundlandPosted: October 27, 2013 Filed under: Mineral World, Newfoundland, Plant Life, Uncategorized, Water | Tags: beauty, Canada, cliffs, hiking, nature, Newfoundland, ocean, Skerwink, Skerwink Trail, Trail 4 Comments
Another very beautiful and dramatic trail in Newfoundland is the Skerwink Trail. Skerwink is a local name for a Shearwater, a type of bird that lives in open sea–a pelagic seabird. The 5.3 km trail is near the town of Trinity. We hiked the trail in August, often near the edge of cliffs overlooking the ocean. We took our time walking, stopping to photograph the land and sea, and to catch our breath as we climbed ever higher.
The trail is maintained wonderfully well with many stairs to help you in the ascent. I was exhausted at the end of the trail, but did not regret taking it.
Northern Pitcher PlantPosted: July 11, 2013 Filed under: Ontario, Plant Life, Uncategorized | Tags: Bruce Peninsula National Park, Canada, dorcas bay, Dorcas Bay Fen, fen, flowers, insect eating plants, insects, Lake Huron, leaves, nature, northern pitcher plant, Ontario, pitcher plant, plants, Singing Sands, wildflowers Leave a comment
When I was on the Bruce Peninsula in June, we went to Singing Sands, part of Bruce Peninsula National Park. The Sands are on the Lake Huron side of the peninsula with an expanse of beach and waters that remain very shallow far out. Bordering the Sands are a woodland and fen where I took a short walk on a raised boardwalk and photographed some of the plants growing there.
The National Park signs say that a fen is a wetland with some drainage, often a stream. The Dorcas Bay Fen has much calcium in it, but is low in nitrogen. This makes it a good habitat for plants that get their nitrogen from insects. The pitcher plant is one of those. Insects that are attracted to their flowers may fall into their pitcher shaped leaves or they may be attracted to the coloured lips of the leaves. There, among downward pointing hairs, they are trapped, fall into collected water and drown. Their nutrients are then absorbed by the plant, both by enzymes it secretes and by bacteria breaking down the animal. Adventures of life and death at all levels in nature!
The Northern Pitcher Plant’s Latin name is Sarracenia purpurea. Its sci-fi looking flowers are around 2″ wide and the pitcher leaves can be 4 – 12″ long. The plant ranges in height from 8 – 24″. (Thanks again for these details to my copy of the Audubon Wildflower Field Guide.)
While in CharlottesvillePosted: May 2, 2013 Filed under: Animal Life, Plant Life, Uncategorized | Tags: birds, Charlottesville, dogwood tree, dwarf iris, garden, nature, redbud tree, spring, Stream, trees, Virginia, woods Leave a comment
Last week when I was in Virginia, I stopped in Charlottesville. Off the main roads, we walked in a wooded area accompanied by the melodies of song birds. The trees and plants had put forth spring yellow-green foliage. This was wonderful to see after travelling south from Toronto where only the first buds had begun to show. Not that those hadn’t been welcome too, just that spring was at a more abundant stage in Virginia.
In the woods, I came upon wild violets and pale lavender dwarf irises arising through last autumn’s leaves. A small stream flowed nearby and the temperature was in the upper 70s.
To and from the woods, we walked across landscaped ground. Redbud trees were in bloom with tulips and azaleas in a garden plus another pale green flower I have not identified. The dogwood in flower is from a nearby location.
To and From VirginiaPosted: April 30, 2013 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: clouds, cloudscapes, flights, nature, sky, Virginia Leave a comment
Last week I travelled to central Virginia where redbuds and dogwoods were in bloom. I’ll post some of my recollections and images soon. Meanwhile, here’s some of the cloudscapes I saw on the flights I took.
The Limits of LanguagePosted: August 3, 2012 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: natural world, nature Leave a comment
I’ve started this blog to make our links to nature more conscious. We arise from nature, after all. However, many of us feel severed from nature as we increasingly live in cities and are focused on electronic devices. We often don’t see a place for ourselves in the world that we more readily see as natural—the world of trees, plants, other animals, mountain ranges, prairies, deserts, oceans….
The English language doesn’t help with this. Perhaps there are languages in the world that do better at noting or suggesting our bond with nature. In English, we separate the human and the natural as we assign different words to each. I believe we need new words for what it’s imperative that we consider. Perhaps something like humanature would be a start. I don’t mean to suggest that a few new words would magically reunite us with who we are, but they might be pointers that help us.