The story of the Grant family dates back about 100 years. For years, the Grant family acted as stewards for the forest. Through their ownership of the property, there was little impact on the forest and as a result some of the trees are over 200 years old.
There are four species of trilliums growing in our area; white trilliums, red trillium, which are both widespread, while the painted trillium and nodding trillium are both rare and uncommon.
White trilliums bloom in early spring in forested areas before the trees above them leaf out and block the sunlight. Spring forest flowers take advantage of the time between the thawing of the soil and the unfurling of tree leaves when the forest floor is warm enabling the flowers to grow very rapidly.
Although it is a member of the same family, the Gray Jay is nowhere near as raucous as the Blue Jay or Crow. They tend to be very friendly and tame, and will sit, with feathers all puffed up quietly in nearby trees soaking in the warmth of the winter afternoon sun, affording one some wonderful photographic opportunities. They will readily accept peanuts and other seeds from an open hand. Algonquin Park campers know this bird as a camp robber, snatching food off a table or even from a pot on an outdoor stove.
The waterways associated with the village of Washago have seen development pressure over the past several decades. However, a relatively large block of natural habitat is still intact in the area bounded by Riverdale Drive, between the Green River and Cooper’s Falls Road. This area includes a diversity of ecological communities typical of the southern Shield, as well as habitat for several species at risk.
Seven American States have claimed the Northern Cardinal as, State Bird! Many sports teams have been named after it, producing some creative logos; images of cardinals appear on just about anything that can be sold! The bird is a marketer’s dream!
Named after the scarlet vestments worn by Cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church, we live in the Northern Cardinal’s northerly range. Few of these beauties are found much north of here. I remember even in the Toronto area when they were very scarce, as they are primarily a Southern bird. Today, Cardinals are fairly common birds in Southern and South Central Ontario.
Every piece of land has a story. Sometimes it’s a tale of fortunes made and lost or historic efforts great and small.
For green spaces, sometimes it’s a story of overuse and recovery but often it is a celebration of dedicated individuals who cherish the natural values of the land. This is one of those stories.
The red-shouldered hawk was once common in southern Ontario, but suffered a decline several decades ago. Through conservation efforts this magnificent raptor has made a strong comeback.
Its recovery owes much thanks to famed author Margaret Atwood, who donated 87 acres of wetland and woodland near Bass Lake in Oro-Medonte Township to the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
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