Starting from the Skevington residence in Constance Bay, 15 daring members of the Macnamara Club set out on the trails of the Torbolton Forest. This unique vestige of glacier, marine and river action includes several plant and animal communities.
The most unusual one is the Pine-Oak Savannah, which is reminiscent of the savannahs of the southeast Atlantic coast. This is a fire dependent community, and is mostly overgrown, though several small tracts remain.
Still, the sand soils grow very weak Jack Pines on the nutrient poor soils. Much Sweet Fern ( a very alluring scent), which isn’t a fern, can be found (also common in the White Lake Fen, our next excursion). The trail edges tend to have more of the more unusual species, and the one irritating usual one: Poison Ivy, Constance Bay’s signature plant. We were fortunate to see this Spring’s first Pink Lady’s Slippers, a lovely large orchid:
With the mix of Red and Jack Pines, one would expect to hear a Pine Warbler. One appeared, sang it’s sweet trill not far from a Chipping Sparrow, giving us a great opportunity to compare the two songs.
And here is a photo of the troupe oohhing and ahhhhing at the Pine Warbler:
A little later we were entertained by the musical lush notes of some special Great Lakes region forest birds, like the Veery and the Hermit Thrush. Thanks Jeff for the most informative and entertaining hike.
Photos courtesy of Ian Somerville.