I spent a beautiful (albeit windy) Saturday morning leading my Nature Photography class from Mohawk College through a small part of the Dundas Valley in hopes of shooting some close-ups of spring wildflowers and other nature photos. I think we all came away with some good photos, but I must admit to being rather disappointed with the day. While there were quite a few Jack-in-the-Pulpits, there was an almost complete lack of anything else.
To me, this is discouraging in such a typically bountiful area as the Dundas Valley. While there were many patches of mayapples, we saw only one clump of trilliums. While one could argue the flowers were finished early, there weren’t even any tell-tale clumps of leaves of trillium plants. Even dog-toothed violets (trout lilies) were in short supply (no flowers, of course, as they are long gone, but very few scatterings of leaves). Instead, vast areas of the forest were covered by mats of either forget-me-not or garlic mustard. From a photographic stand point, these worked quite well, but as a naturalist, I am rather concerned that these aliens have choked out native species of this area.
Even ferns were in short supply. There were very few in the forested area and no Christmas ferns at all; just a few around the mossy boulders.
Oh well… I’ve posted four photos below. As it turns out, my wife Laurie had a wonderful morning birding in the Valley, having seen wood ducks, orioles, eastern bluebirds, a rose-breasted grosbeak and a myriad of warblers, including a number of palm warblers.