Saturday, July 27, 2019
It promised to be a very hot summer day and so we decided to take cover on a shady section of The Bruce Trail. The Crawford Forestry Tract is a secondary part of Crawford Lake Conservation Area and is just west of the park. The main Bruce Trail runs through both areas and so we parked on Twiss Road where there is space for several cars at the trail crossing and set out to walk through the forestry tract.
In part of the cedar forest we came across what appeared to be a red flower similar to a poppy. The cup in the middle was recessed quite deep but didn’t have normal flower parts inside but rather a centre the same as the outside.
The patterns of gills underneath reveal that it is in fact a type of mushroom. This is most likely some kind of scarlet waxy cap that has become deformed and sunken in the middle as it starts to decay. There is nothing in the mushroom book that looks like a poppy. The Crawford Forestry Tract is also known as Crawford Tract II provides habitat for 14 species which are at risk. There’s also 3 globally and 7 provincially rare habitat types in the park.
There are wetlands throughout the forestry tract and the water lilies are in bloom.
The Crawford Tract has some sections of trail that are typical of the escarpment where you are walking over limestone and dolomite boulders that have been broken apart by karst activity.
Coral Spring Mycena is one of the first gilled mushrooms to appear in the spring, however it will be found from May until September. It also goes by the name Orange Bonnet and because it is so small most people consider it to be inedible.
Slugs and snails are related to oysters and clams in that they are all molluscs. The front end has either two or four antenna. If there is only two they will each have an eye on it. If there are four the additional two will be used for sensory perceptions. This little yellow one is known as a garden slug.
When you reach Guelph Line you have an option to continue into the Crawford Lake Conservation Area. Once there you can explore the park, take a hike around the meromictic lake and visit the reconstructed longhouses. We decided instead to head back because that would have added considerable distance to the hike and it was already one of those hot days when it is prudent not to push it too far.
When you walk a trail in two directions you often see things on the return trip that you didn’t catch on the way in. It was starting to seem that mushrooms had appeared in the time between our two passes. A large patch of Burnt-orange Bolete mushrooms was appearing, several just breaking ground. These mushrooms are listed as edible but apparently have a bitter taste.
There’s never a shortage of things to see along the Bruce Trail and at this time of year the mushrooms are out in their short lived glory. For many of them you have only one day to see them at their best before they start to fade and rot.
Google Maps Link: Crawford Forestry Tract
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