A Refreshing DrinkPosted: August 3, 2013 Filed under: Animal Life, Ontario, Water | Tags: birds, Bruce Peninsula, Bruce Peninsula National Park, Cyprus Lake, cyprus lake trail, mallard, nature, Ontario 2 Comments
Here’s another bird, a more common mallard. Still, she was delightful to see earlier this summer on the Cyprus Lake Trail in Bruce Peninsula National Park. I see many mallards in the city and enjoyed seeing their countryside relative.
Fleabane on the Alvar at Singing SandsPosted: July 22, 2013 Filed under: Mineral World, Ontario, Plant Life | Tags: alvar, Bruce Peninsula National Park, erigeron philadelphicus, Fleabane, flowers, nature photography, Ontario, Philadelphia Fleabane, Singing Sands, wildflowers Leave a comment
While I was on the Bruce Peninsula, I saw many patches of lovely pink/white and yellow flowering Fleabane. The flowers are 1/2 – 1″ wide on a plant 6 – 36″ high. Fleabane is in the aster family. It got its name from the belief that the dried flower heads would get rid of fleas, according to the Audubon Field Guide to Wildflowers. This particular type is, I believe, Philadelphia Fleabane, Erigeron philadelphicus. A similar plant called Robin’s Plantain, Erigeron pulchellus seems to have fewer white/pink ray petals. If I’ve gotten this wrong, do let me know.
These shown above are at Singing Sands, on the alvar, the pitted rocks. I learned that alvars only exist in Estonia, Sweden and the Great Lakes Basin. Water from rain or melting snow collects in the rocks’ small depressions along with silt and sand. These provide growing places for plants that are able to live in harsh conditions.
Singing SandsPosted: July 15, 2013 Filed under: Ontario, Water | Tags: birds, Bruce Peninsula, Bruce Peninsula National Park, Canada, dorcas bay, Lake Huron, nature, Ontario, sand, Singing Sands Leave a comment
Last month, on the Bruce Peninsula, we went to Singing Sands twice. As I’ve mentioned, it’s part of Bruce Peninsula National Park, off of Dorcas Bay Road on the Lake Huron side of the Peninsula. I loved walking on the beach among the rocks and footprints of the birds, seeing the tenacious plants that grow there, the patterns of water on sand, hearing the gulls and terns. In past years, I’ve seen killdeer and sandpipers, but none this time. I wondered if there were fewer of them or whether I was there at the wrong time of day for them.
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.)
Wood LiliesPosted: July 5, 2013 Filed under: Ontario, Plant Life | Tags: Bruce Peninsula, Bruce Peninsula National Park, cyprus lake trail, flower, lily, nature, Ontario, orange, plants, wildflower, wood lily 1 Comment
When we were in Bruce Peninsula National Park, I noticed flashes of deep orange as we drove to the park office. Later, having hiked the Cyprus Lake Trail, we pulled over on the road and I got out and photographed these Wood Lilies. I have no memory of seeing them in earlier years, but I could have been distracted then. These were very beautiful flowers–with a crispness to their shape. I saw them twice going into the Park and also along the northern part of highway 6 as we travelled south from Tobermory.
My trusty Audubon Wildflower Guide tells me that their Latin name is Lilium philadelphicum. They also say the flowers are 2″ wide, but I remember them more like 3″ wide. They grow 1 to 3 feet high and bloom from June to August.
Large Yellow Lady’s SlippersPosted: July 3, 2013 Filed under: Ontario, Plant Life | Tags: audubon society field guide, Bruce Peninsula, Bruce Peninsula National Park, Canada, cyprus lake trail, flowers, Lady's Slippers, Large Yellow Lady's Slippers, nature, Ontario, orchids, plants, Tobermory, wildflowers Leave a comment
When we were on the Bruce Peninsula, the yellow lady’s slippers were in bloom. They were by the roadside, in laneways and in the National Park where they were a delight to see.
Their Latin name is Cypripedium calceolus. They’re members of the orchid family, one of a variety of orchids that the Peninsula is known for. The orchid grows to 8 to 28 inches tall with the yellow lip petal about 2 inches long. This is according to my National Audubon Society Field Guide to Wildflowers and to my own observation. Though I did not go out and about with a tape measure!
I’ve included a photo from a laneway near where we stayed and from The Cyprus Lake Trail in the National Park.
Cyprus Lake TrailPosted: July 1, 2013 Filed under: Animal Life, Mineral World, Ontario, Plant Life, Water | Tags: black and white photography, Bruce Peninsula, Bruce Peninsula National Park, Canada, Cyprus Lake, cyprus lake trail, hike, mallard, nature, Ontario, rock, water, woods Leave a comment
On our second day at Bruce Peninsula National Park, we hiked 5.2 km around Cyprus Lake. We went through woods by the water and I photographed many wild flowers that I’ll be posting soon. The walking was easy and the day cool, great for a hike.
Bruce Peninsula National ParkPosted: June 26, 2013 Filed under: Mineral World, Ontario | Tags: Bruce Peninsula, Bruce Peninsula National Park, Canada, cedar trees, cliffs, Georgian Bay, nature, Niagara Escarpment, photography, Rocks, The Grotto, unesco world biosphere, UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve 4 Comments
The Niagara Escarpment in Ontario, Canada is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. The Escarpment runs from Lake Ontario in the south over 700 kilometres to the most northerly part of the Bruce Peninsula. On the Bruce Peninsula, where we were last week, we went to the National Park that’s part of that reserve. We took a short walk up the Georgian Bay hiking trail on our first day. These photos are of the rock cliffs overlooking Georgian Bay with a view across Indian Head Cove of The Grotto, a very popular site with visitors. On the deeply engraved rocks are very old small cedar trees and other plants hardy enough to live in this environment of wind, rock and cold winters.
The water here looks tropical in its lovely pale turquoise near the shore, but it was only around 9 or 10 degrees Celsius when we were there.