by Peter Waycik
A lovely autumn day greeted the participants of this ramble to the property of Tessa Clarke near Kingston Mills. The group explored a few trails on the property, led, of course, by Tessa Clarke herself. From Ester’s Rock–named after Colonel By’s wife–we could see Langmuir spirals on Colonel By lake, and the amazing fall colours all around. We encountered some amazing living things including a centuries-old maple that made for an interesting ramble. According to Tessa, “Originally the property was part of a large farm. Then lots were sold off and the ‘Kingston Mills Trailer Park’ was on the property in as far as I know in the 1960’s and 70’s. The present home was built in late 1980’s. Since we moved there in 1994 we have tried to have as little impact as possible on the natural flora and fauna of the area. However there is an endless battle with invasive species, each year seems to bring in a new variety for me try and eradicate, or at least control.” The following lists highlight what we saw.
Fungi: Bird’s Nest, Coral, Gem-studded Puffball, Turkey Tail, and Luminescent Panellus (Panellus stipticus). (List by Tessa Clarke)
Flowering Plants: Yarrow, Chicory, Queen Anne’s Lace, Sow Thistle, Butter and Eggs, Cinquefoil sp., Raspberry sp., Mullein, Indian Tobacco, Aster sp., Goldenrod sp., Evening Primrose, and what Anne Robertson determined to be Ground-cherry species (Physalis sp.) without getting a photo to examine. (List by Anne Robertson)
Birds: 50 Brant in a flock flew overhead flying south, 15 Canada Geese, 12 Mallards, 12 Ring-billed Gulls, 15 Double-crested Cormorants, 1 Great Blue Heron, 2 Turkey Vultures, 2 Bald Eagles, 1 Red-tailed Hawk, 1 very co-operative Barred Owl, 1 Downy Woodpecker, 1 Eastern Phoebe, 4 Blue Jays, 2 American Crows, 20 Black-capped Chickadees, 5 White-breasted Nuthatches, 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet, 8 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 3 European Starlings, 8 Cedar Waxwings, and 3 Yellow-rumped Warblers (21 species in total). (List by Janis Grant)