An All-European Forest / Col Sam Smith Park: November 22, 2018


If a 15th-century First Nations person were to enter the small forest just east of the skating rink today at Col Sam Smith Park, they would be unfamiliar with the four dominant tree species which now comprise this area.

It would be clear that they are seeing an elm, a maple, a basswood and a spruce but each tree in the forest differs significantly from native tree species.

That is because they would be seeing Wych Elm, Norway Maple, European Linden and Norway Spruce. All of these species were planted by the early Europeans who settled in this area and all have become naturalized.

Wych Elm (Ulmus glabra)

Wych Elm (Ulmus glabra)

European Linden (Tila cordata)

European Linden (Tila cordata)

Norway Spruce (Picea abies)

Norway Spruce (Picea abies)

Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)

Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)

Here are some scenes in and near the forest on this -10, sunny morning. It was the coldest November 22 morning on record.

A former Baltimore Oriole nest:

Baltimore Oriole nest

I had company while taking the forest photos:

Mourning Dove

We were fortunate to see a small flock of elusive American Pipits along the shoreline:

American Pipit

American Pipit

Other birds that I was able to photograph:

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Mute Swan

Red-breasted Mergansers


Common Goldeneye (female)

American Robin

Species list: red-necked grebe, mute swan, Canada goose, mallard, American black duck, gadwall, bufflehead, greater scaup, long-tailed duck, red-breasted merganser, greater black-backed gull, ring-billed gull, mourning dove, black-capped chickadee, American robin, ruby-crowned kinglet, American pipit, house sparrow, northern cardinal, American goldfinch.  (20 species)
Miles Hearn
                                           NATURE POETRY
O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing.
  – Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)



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