Wilkinson Spring Flower Walk – May 14, 2016

Members assess the beaver dam along Pogue Rd. (credit: Dalila Seckar)

On a drizzly Saturday morning, eleven members met at the end of Pogue Road to walk around the Wilkinson property. We first walked north along the road allowance to visit the marsh and enjoy the beavers’ handiwork before walking the loop by the sugar shack.

Jack-in-the-pulpit growing with a clump of grass. (credit: Dalila Seckar)
Jack-in-the-pulpit growing with a clump of grass. (credit: Dalila Seckar)

We saw flowering plants including trilliums (red and white), marsh marigolds (Caltha palustris), blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides), toothwort (Cardamine diphylla), serviceberry (Ameliancher sp.), heartleaved foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia), and jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum). We also saw the leaves of partridgeberry (Mitchella repens), Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadensis), trout lily (Erythronium americanum), meadow rue (Thalictrum pubescens), and mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum).

Bear tracks in the mud at Wilkinson tract, May 14, 2016. (credit: Dalila Seckar)

In the mud of the forest, there were bear tracks.
We heard spring peepers and leopard frogs. We also saw or heard the following birds: redwing blackbird, rose-breasted grosbeak, common yellowthroat, black-and-white warbler, northern waterthrush, wood thrush, veery, tree swallow, and barn swallow.

This walk took place in conjunction with For the Love of Wood, an annual event held at the Hilton Heritage Hall (old Brighton Township office at 50 Chatten Rd.).

Work Party at Braham tract – Apr 23, 2016

Members pose after a morning working at the Braham tract (Apr 2016).

A small group of dedicated volunteers went to Murial’s Marsh on April 23rd. We cleared leaning branches on the trail to the viewing platform to allow equipment to access the platform (as we are replacing it this year). We also chemically controlled more invasive buckthorn along the edge of the pond. Another group of volunteers worked on the trail through the woods, clearing off branches and raking the leaves so that the trail will be easier to find.

The weather was cool in the morning but the bright sun warmed us as we worked we enjoyed our visit to the property. Many animals were seen at the marsh while we worked including Canada geese, tree swallows (that were using the bird boxes), an american toad, and a snapping turtle. The early spring flower bloodroot was also noticed growing near the edge of the meadow. We were also impressed with the beaver dam that has been built on the stream and is raising the water level of the marsh. It will cause some of the cattails to die and create more openings in the marsh for waterfowl.
It is a great time of year to visit the marsh – we recommend a visit!

Invasive Plant Session – Feb 18, 2016

Along with the Northumberland Land Trust, Lone Pine Marsh Sanctuary hosted an event at the Cobourg Community Centre on February 18 on the Identification and Management of Invasive Plant Species in Northumberland County.
The event was very well attended and we learned a lot from the speakers, Ken Towle and Bill Newall.
Ken gave us background on how invasive species arrive and their invasive qualities. The stages of invasion include Introduction, Naturalization, Facilitation, Spread, Interaction, and Stabilization. Invasive species that are abundant in Northumberland county are dog-strangling vine (Cynanchum sp.), garlic mustard (Alliara petiolata), buckthorn (Rhamnus sp.), Phragmites australis, Elaeagnus umbellata, scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris). Spotted Knapweed, Japanese knotweed, water soldier, giant hogweed, Himilayan balsam, and Norway maple are also found in our region. Bill Newell discussed chemical controls for invasive plants and his experience with controlling invasive plants in the region.

Bill Newall speaks about Invasive Species Control (Feb 18, 2016). (credit: Dalila Seckar)

For more information, visit the Ontario Invasive Plant Council (in particular, there are a number of publications available) and the Ontario Invasive Species Centre.

If you have comments or suggestions about this or future events, please let us know your thoughts!

Walk in Cora’s Woods – Jan 23, 2016

Thirteen members and friends enjoyed a bright winter day walking through the Munn tract, located just west of Codrington. The hike was followed by a casual get-together over lunch at the Codrington Community Centre.

Hikers in winter at Munn Tract, Jan 23, 2016. (credit: Dalila Seckar)

Winter is a naturally quiet time in the outdoors but the recent snow layer revealed lots of mammal activity with tracks of White-tailed Deer, Red Fox, Coyote, Eastern Gray Squirrel, and White-footed/Deer Mouse. A Raccoon that had been found the day before was still sleeping in exactly the same spot, probably not having ever left its cozy tree cavity.
Bird activity was fairly quiet but the runaway favourite being the Pileated Woodpecker that flew past us, then returned and landed above our heads in response to a Barred Owl imitation. Another fun sighting was a Red-tailed Hawk along the roadside being dive-bombed by mobbing crows. Other species seen included Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch and Hairy Woodpecker.
The forest always looks simple in winter, when the leaves are off and the ground covered in snow. But this quiet, leafless period is also a wonderful time to see forest structure, species diversity, and all the native trees regenerating under the pine plantation canopy. These plantations that the Munn family established so many years ago are doing their job as a nursery for a much more diverse, biologically important forest that will emerge over the next few decades.
This property is an invaluable tribute to the Munn family’s foresight, and we are deeply indebted to them for their generous donation to Lone Pine.

Planted pines in the forest at Munn Tract, Jan 23, 2016. (credit: Dalila Seckar)

Fall Walk at Wilkinson Tract, Oct 10, 2015

Five members and friends gathered at the Wilkinson Tract for a fall walk on Saturday, October 10 – probably the most gorgeous day so far this fall. The morning was lovely and crisp, the sky nearly cloudless, and the fall colours were in full display.
First we walked down the length of Pogue Rd., and even though it was fall, a few Red-winged Blackbirds were still singing from the marsh and several Ruffed Grouse were drumming. We had great looks at a Pileated Woodpecker (first of five seen or heard), as well as a small flock of Rusty Blackbirds – a boreal forest breeder passing through here on migration. We explored the eastern forest noting the different types of trees here including the uncommon Blue Beech. Then with much enthusiasm we traversed the marsh on the overgrown causeway and walked through the western forest.
Highlights from the west side included seeing the last few living Butternuts on the property – an officially Endangered species that is being wiped out by an introduced blight. On a brighter note the mature hemlock/maple peninsula was stunning in fall colour and was also great for fungi, ground pine (a club moss relative), and Christmas Fern and Polypody – the two evergreen ferns on this tract.
On our way back to the parking area, as the temperature began to warm up, we saw several small parties of migrating Turkey Vultures plus a Northern Harrier and two Red-tailed Hawks.
Thank you to all for coming out to enjoy one of the properties that, through a generous donation by Pat and George Wilkinson, Lone Pine is committed to protecting.