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Scarlet Sumac Comes in Two Forms

In Flora, Uncategorized by couchiching

On the Carden Alvar, a different form of sumac takes over where the thin soils over limestone bedrock create more difficult growing conditions. Fragrant sumac, as its name suggests, releases a pleasant citrus-like aroma when its young leaves are crushed. This species turns red in the autumn as well, but a somewhat softer, rosier shade than its staghorn cousin.

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The Black-capped chickadee

In Birds, Uncategorized by couchiching

The Black-capped chickadee, the species found in our area, has been described variously as sociable, industrious, agile, inquisitive, gregarious, trusting and acrobatic, and while they are all true, none of these adjectives fully describe this little bundle of cheerfulness.

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Trilliums; symbolic woodland beauties

In Flora, Uncategorized by couchiching

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.

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Song sparrows welcome back spring

In Birds by couchiching

Song sparrows usually arrive back in our region while there is still snow on the ground. Two individuals arrived at our property on March 22 this year. If you are brave enough to sleep with your bedroom window open just a little, he will serenade you with his song as he cracks the early morning quiet, at first light.

A member of the very large family of Sparrows, often referred to by birders as “little brown jobs” or LBJ’s, Song Sparrows are one of the most widespread bird species having a number of sub species. They nest in most every region of Ontario.