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Spring asserting itself – Lambton Woods

What a lovely day for a nature walk. My cousin Wanda and I met up with Miles Hearn and our group at the James Gardens parking lot for a walk along the Humber River and in Lambton Woods.

As we crossed the bridge over the creek, I recalled bicycling here as a kid, stashing my bike in the bushes and spending hours looking for crayfish under the rocks.

As spring progresses, a week makes a huge difference. Today we found many more plants coming to life than last week at Humber Bay. The blooms on most of the silver maples were already spent, with these trees going into key production. There was one of these trees still in full bloom.

silver maple blooms

Coltsfoot was blooming. Later in the season we identify this plant by its distinctive leaves, but early on, the blooms begin before the leaves develop. Here’s Miles getting down to business photographing some coltsfoot blooms.

Bloodroot is another early bloomer…

Cattails were up…

As was Dame’s Rocket…

Lambton Woods hosts a great deal of skunk cabbage. You can see it growing almost anywhere there is water in the woods.

It’s also a great spot for trout lilies. They’re up but still very small….

We saw Winter Creeper, a variety of euonymus.

Virginia Waterleaf was up too. We’ll see this plant through most of the good weather.

This time of year, before the trees leaf out, one way to identify them is by their buds. Here is Manitoba Maple. This so-called “weed tree” often grows at strange angles.

Some of the trees can easily be identified by their bark, and bit by bit I’m learning to do this. One of these is Hop Hornbeam, sometimes called Ironwood. The bark appears to be made up of many rectangles, and it tends to peel off easily.

Hawthorns are also easy to identify early in season.

Also distinctive is the Large Tooth Aspen…

There were quite a few birds around today, mostly the usual suspects. This spot has quite a few Downy Woodpeckers. They Downys are easy to identiy by their small size. We also heard a Red-belly Woodpecker several times but only caught a glimpse of one and heard a Hairy Woodpecker and flickers as well.

Downy Woodpecker
Male Red-winged blackbird
Song Sparrow

A Baltimore Oriole nest from last year

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