Friday, October 31, 2014


All photos Headwaters Trail, Hamilton, ON. October 26, 2014.

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I arrived in Hamilton mid-way through my southern Ontario tour. And I was already sick of all the clothes in my bag, my bag, and carrying my bag.

But Giuliana Casimirri, the Urban Forest Coordinator for the Hamilton Naturalists' Club, collected me from the train, fed me eggs-on-toast, and then promptly took me for a walk.

Which is nearly all my bases covered.

We walked for two and a half hours on the Headwaters Trail. And I encountered all kinds of new-to-me, both shrub and tree, invasive and native. Sassafras, pictured here, was my favourite, mostly because it has three kinds of leaves: single-lobed, "the mitten," and tri-lobed.

I was particularly struck by the garlic mustard, an escaped culinary herb, which apparently "hinders other plants by interfering with the growth of fungi that bring nutrients to the roots of the plants."
And it and Common Buckthorn, whose berries speed up the metabolism of birds as a way to make sure that more of them get eaten/excreted, were everywhere.

On top of that, last year's ice storm had taken down a bunch of trees here as it had in Waterloo. So: downed tree branches & tree trunks everywhere.

But none of that mattered. It was an enchanging couple of hours. We puttered under the trees, got muddy near the stream, picked up acorns for an education program Giuliana runs. And, because of all the deadwood, there were so many mushrooms. I took pictures until the batteries in my camera died.

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