Wildflower walk along the Bruce Trail

An early Mother’s Day visit to our Number One Dot and her partner O – on the first fine day this spring – took us in search of waterfalls on the Niagara Escarpment. The couple had newly moved to Hamilton, with over 100 waterfalls within its boundaries. This was news to Mr TG and I [Hmmm. On rereading, that should be “Mr TG and me.”], and we were curious to check it out.

With the sun shining and the air mild last Sunday, everyone in Hamilton – and beyond – had the same idea.

Eventually we found a place to tether our wheels and set off along an offshoot of the Bruce Trail to see what we could see.

The biggest thrill, for me, wasn’t the waterfalls. It was a forest floor blanketed with native wildflowers.

You now know someone who gets animated at the sight of skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus).

Most evident swimming amongst the leaf litter were the single leaves of young trout lilies (Erythronium americanum) – with the fishy speckles that inspired its common name. Here and there, the golden recurved tepals and petals splashed the forest floor with sunshine.

I love the way this trout lily, sheltered by a rock outcrop in the middle of the trail, caught the sun.
It takes many, many years for a trout lily to develop this many leaves and flowers. Never, ever dig them up from the wild.

My companions outpaced me by far as I oohed and ahhed over the native plants in bloom. I could never hike the Bruce Trail without stopping every five minutes to look at plants.

Dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)
Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum) with their single flower buds.
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

[Be right back to finish the post! I’m back.] It was a wonderful day out. Besides the many distractions wildflowers, our path took us to the small but charming Canterbury Falls, and a quick swerve on our route home placed us at the end of the short trail to Tiffany Falls.

Tiffany Falls – much higher than it seems here – was worth the brief detour.

After a reviving shot of caffeine at the Dot’s new house, we headed home where a few other delights were waiting.

My own Erythronium ‘Pagoda’ – a tough hybrid of two native North American species – had opened.
My double bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex ‘Flore Pleno’) was a bouquet of white. Here it is, ready for its closeup.
And here’s the ever-widening patch, which now needs division.
This patch of white trillium (Trillium grandflora) needs a new location. It’s being crowded by more vigorous plants. Add to to-do list.
Always a shy delight, the red trillium (Trillium erectum) is putting out a second shoot. Will probably site it in the same new spot as its cousin. Another TTD.

Altogether, a satisfying day – and another reason to visit Hamilton.

6 comments

  1. Firsto of all I love your posts. You mentioned moving your trillium. Can you tell me when would be the best time to do this. Before or after flowering.

    1. Thanks, Carol! I’m going to wait to move it when it’s in a dormant state (after flowering and when the foliage dies back). Besides being best for the health of the plant, it might take me that long to figure out where to transplant it!

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