Friday, July 29, 2016

Algonquin Park Again

The second part of my weekend in Central Ontario was spent in Algonquin Park. After spending the last five summers here, it was certainly nice to be back and see some of my favourite people and places.

One of those favourite places is the unassuming Pewee Lake, at the parking lot for the Highland Backpacking Trail. The water level in this shallow lake fluctuates, resulting in a pretty interesting mix of plants along the shore. Water Lobelia (Lobelia dortmanna) is common.

Several species of Bladderworts are present, including the tiny but beautiful Reversed Bladderwort (Utricularia resupinata). The whole flower is under 1 cm long.

Like U. resupinata, the sedge Carex michauxiana is characteristic of areas with fluctuating water levels.

Carex cryptolepis is one of the more common species here.

Moving on from Pewee Lake, we encountered a few Green Commas. I see lots of commas, but getting identifiable looks at them can be a challenge, so these somewhat cooperative individuals were nice to see.

I couldn't help checking on a population of Club-spur Orchid (Platanthera clavellata); they were as nice as ever!

This hairy-looking sedge is Carex houghtoniana, which was growing abundantly on the side of a sandy trail.

For those of you less interested in sedges and other tiny plants, here's an interesting beaver observation. Beavers spread an oily substance from their cloaca over their bodies to aid in waterproofing. I've seen a lot of beavers but never before this rather hilarious behaviour. (There's no sound in this video.)

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