Photos by Barry Wallace
Between the 7th & 8th Concessions
Twice in the past several days I have included photos from the Love Mountain Nature Reserve on the north side of the Oak Ridges MoraineTrail, between the 6th and 7th Concessions of King Township. In this blog, I have moved over to the ORTA trail between the 7th and 8th Concessions of King. This section of the trail, along the King Ridge, is more of a challenge for old legs like mine, with its continuous change of elevations and some trail sections that are rather steep. I started on the 7th Concession, south of Pottageville, and managed 4 kilometres today, in and back out. The Happy Valley Forest here is just as grand as it is on Love Mountain, east of the 8th and slightly south. Huge maples and beech prevail, but Red Oak of similar heights are spotted regularly, especially when one is stepping on newly dropped acorns.
On this part of the Oak Ridges Trail, one or two streams are spotted trickling in a northerly direction, headed for the Pottageville Swamp. Most of the water from the moraine's King Ridge stays underground until it appears a little further down the north slope of the moraine. There are a couple of spots however that do require footbridges to get across the small streams.
At about the halfway mark between the 7th and 8th, in a depression in the forest floor between surrounding upland slopes, is a marsh which has as many tall ferns as it has tall cattails. The autumn colours of this wet spot were a lovely contrast to the the still mostly dark green forest, and a surprising feature of this hardwood upland forest.
Ash trees in the Happy Valley Forest are as susceptible to the Emerald Ash Borer as well as Ash anywhere else. In the photo at left, is an Ash tree that has been treated to hopefully withstand the insect onslaught.
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