Photos by Barry Wallace
Red-belted polydore (Fomitopsis pinicola)
This multi-coloured decay fungus is near the entrance of the Groombridge tract of donated conservation easements on the east side of King's 10th Concession, halfway between the 18th and 19th Sideroads. The Groombridge families have also allowed the Oak Ridges Trail to cross this property. The Red-belted polydore is one of the most common decomposers of conifer trees in northern temperate forests. The Groombridge tract is mostly deciduous trees, notably mature maples. The Oak Ridges Trail is very picturesque and quiet in this part of King, and circles around two medium-sized ponds near the start, and crosses several small watercourses, using wooden foot bridges.
Maples are everywhere here and innumerable maple seedlings are as common on the forest floor as all the spring flowers, such as Dog-toothed Violets and Trilliums. In the photo above a mature maple tree has two young saplings growing at an angle from between its huge roots.
The large ponds in the Groombridge tract are man-made, with a readily observed dam, beside the trail, controlling the flow of a small forest stream. There are several small streams in the woods, all of which eventually flow toward Schomberg and merge into the Schomberg River and flow as one through the village.
As mentioned above, this is quiet part of King and once in the woods and on the trail, one hears little more than the rustle of leaves, the chirps of birds and the calls of frogs. Otherwise, solitude abides here.
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