Dominated by deciduous trees, the forest floor is diverse due to the absence of pines: it is free from the high acidity associated with fir trees which is so limiting to many flowering plants. As well as being open to the warming sunlight every Spring before the canopy fills in with the new season leaves, this balanced loam also benefits from waterborne nutrients brought in by the Spring flooding.
Trees such as Red & European Oak, Ash, Elm, Ironwood, Yellow Birch, Silver Maple, and Yew, as well as flowering plants like Biennial Foxgloves, Trout Lilies, Harebells, Bluebells, Dog Roses, delicate Wood Anemones, Irises and Purple & Blue Violets are present among the Oak Ferns and Fiddleheads. Parasitic Indian Pipes can also be seen if lucky or persistent.
For culinary foragers there is also a wide-ranging array of Fungi to be found as well as Wild Raspberries, Gooseberries, River Grape, Chives, Blackcurrants, Wild Strawberries and Haws & Hips of various form also Sumac and Juniper for the spice rack….but you have to be quick to get there ahead of all the birds & rodents.
In the lake there is also a field of Wild Rice off the West shore which is harvested straight in to the canoe.
A flowering timeline for those wanting to spot…
– early May: Trout Lilies, Bluebells.
– late May: Cherry, Violets, Aquilegia, Columbine, Elderberry, Hawthorn, Trillium, Gentian.
– early June: Aquilegia, Columbine, Chives (through July) , Wood Anemone, Gentian, Violets.
– late June: Foxgloves (through July), Irises, Solomon Seal, Dog Roses.
– July – Basswood (Linden, Lime)