Late April on the Macnamara Trail

“While the forest canopy is starting to awaken, it has not yet blocked the sunlight from reaching the forest floor where spring ephemerals such as bloodroot bask in its warmth,” notes Michael Runtz, after walking the trail in late April.

“Leatherleaf, a shrub well-named for its rubbery trunk and branches, has already finished enlivening the hardwood forest with its delightful yellow blooms,” he adds. “However, beneath it the striking blooms of Bloodroot, whose leaves are as beautiful as its flowers, still adorn the forest floor. Accompanying it are the unassuming flowers of Wild Ginger, which hide under the cover of last year’s fallen leaves.”
Some of the familiar sounds of spring have also arrived on the trail. “The air now reverberates with the thunder of Ruffed Grouse wings, while male Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers squeal and drum out their territorial claims,” he mentions.
“We are privileged to be able to enjoy the wonders of Nature, which continues to be ravaged by others of our kind.”

MFNC note:

You’ll see lots of Pussy willows near stop #7. 

On a related note, Hummingbirds Canada has a suggestion they shared on Facebook how cattail fibres and the like collected in the spring can be used to benefit hummingbirds. 

“Hummingbirds build their nests using soft, fluffy plant fibres from dandelions, poplar and willow catkins, milkweed fluff, and cattails. They choose whatever grows in the area where they are breeding.

These native and natural fibres are much better for hummingbirds than anything you can buy in a store and they are free. In early spring when the cattails are starting to come apart, I collect a couple to put in the yard. If you break the stems near the base, they can be pushed into the soil for free-standing access. Or you can put the fluff into a mesh cage and hang it in the yard. “

Trail maintenance is never ending!

We’ve now got a mountain of woodchips for distribution on the trail.

At the time of writing, there is a large tree down alongside the trail near stop #10. In view of the lockdown and since the tree is only slightly encroaching on the boardwalk but not blocking the path, our trail co-ordinators will wait until we can safely start working on the Goodwin Bay boardwalk and the Lookout Tower boardwalk. However, it may be trimmed by the time you read this! Photo: Betty Michalowski