A Hike in a 200 Acre Wood

This past Thursday, I went for a hike with a couple of friends - Arjuna and Matt - to a 200 acre wood I had found on a map. It seemed fairly promising, and it took only about 50 minutes to drive up the highway to get their from the house.

We took a wrong turn and I pulled off a country road opposite a fellow whose Triumph motorcycle had blown a tire. In exchange for a phone number of a local towing company, he gave us advice on the best way to get to the woods - we were only a road a way from it. A quick U-turn on the road and Arjuna and I were on our way.

Once we found the parking lot, I called Matt and told him about this amazing place, and asked if he'd join us. I think by the time I'd hung up, he already had his knapsack on his back and was out the door.


View Larger Map
Here is the location of the woods.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Arjuna posing by the entrance sign of the York Regional forest.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris). The name "campion" means "growing in fields". You can squeeze the flowers to trap air in the bladder or calyx, and then smash the bladder against your hand to create a loud pop as the bladder explodes.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris). Such fun.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Unidentified plant. (Anyone?)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Wild raspberry.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Arjuna sorting out his camera equipment. He carries over 600 lbs of camera equipment when he goes for a hike. He compresses it all into a couple of bags.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
The forest.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
The forest.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
The forest.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Arjuna shooting pictures with his 600 lbs of camera equipment.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
I left signs engraved in the path to direct Matt to our location as he was to meet up with us later, once he'd arrived. There is a network of paths, so whenever we took one fork or another, I'd leave a sign. It was fairly obvious. On the way back, I noticed that the soil had dried out, and the signs had been obliterated. If it weren't for all of our GPS devices, he might not have found us.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Heal-All (Prunella vulgaris). Its common name derives from wide use as a herbal remedy for throat ailments.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
A caterpillar in the woods.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Pine trees in the forest.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
More pine trees in the forest.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
I believe that these are Lodgepole pines, but I'd have to check.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
This is Eastern Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus).

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
This is Red Baneberry (Actaea rubra). The berries are poisonous. As few as 5 or 6 of them can make you seriously ill.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
These are Raspberries. The berries are tasty. They will not make you seriously ill no matter how many you eat.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
King Devil (Hieracium pratense).
"The name Hieracium is derived from the Greek 'hierax', meaning hawk; allegedly keen-sighted hawks of yore ate the sap of the brightly coloured plants to sharpen their eye-sight."
A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Old dead tree limbs (Deadus Treeus Limbus).

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Unidentified green berries (anyone?).

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Shadows.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Deer print - there were a few about, but the sandy soil wasn't holding evidence very well.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
A bird house in the middle of the woods. What the...?

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Big lightning-killed birch tree (or so I speculate) - the trunk appeared riven down the trunk.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
This birch tree's bark is covered in part with Stereum rugosum, also known as Bleeding Broadleaf Crust.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Big fluffy seed head (Biggus Fluffieus).

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Devil's paintbrush, or Orange hawkweed (Pilosella aurantiaca).

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Grim-the-collier is also the common name for "Pilosella aurantiaca" (sometimes under the genus "Hieracium").

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
"By literary & folk tale-spinning, Grim-the-Collier left Hell or Hades in the guise of a physician (one of the devil's favorite disguises) & discovered that mortal women were a lot more desirable than ever he imagined. He ended up abused & heartbroken for his interest, however, & returned to Hell thinking the mortal Earth is much more horrible than his own home.

In some folktales & literary treatments he's permitted a more successful romantic life, but whether doomed or successful at love, he's still a devil. As floriferous hawksweed is still a weed.

This association with the devil is carried over in such names as Devil's Paintbrush & King Devil (though King Devil is more often applied to the bright yellow Hieracium pretense).

It's devilishness probably arose from its capacity to invade freshly upturned soil & displace even native grasses, which for fields & meadows intended to grow fodder for cattle meant ruin to farmers. "
A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Little tiny grasshopper fellow.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Large split tree.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Wild blackberries that are still red and not ready to snack upon.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
A large tree had split at the base, and fallen down a slope.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Mullein shaft, second year.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Mullein shaft, second year - detail.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
This Yellowjacket wasp with was feeding on the nectar from Rudbeckia hirta - alternatively known as the following: Black-eyed Susan, Blackiehead, Brown Betty, Brown Daisy, Brown-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba), Gloriosa Daisy, Golden Jerusalem, Poorland Daisy, Yellow Daisy, or Yellow Ox-eye Daisy.

I am known by the name Mungo.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
That Silver Birch, covered with Stereum rugosum.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Black-eyed Susan - Rudbeckia hirta.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Overlooking the old field that will eventually be transformed into woods, because this region is protected from development.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Wild strawberries.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Milkweed flowers. Carl Linnaeus named the genus after Asclepius, the Greek god of healing, because of the many folk-medicinal uses for the milkweed plants.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Wild strawberries, hunkered down against some Field Horsetail (Equisetum arvense).

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Arjuna sat seriously in the tarp tent.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Arjuna remained serious in the tarp tent.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Even as I moved away, he sat seriously in the tarp tent.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Matt threw his knife to embed it in a downed tree trunk. The Gods of Camping rightfully punished him by hurling it back at his knee. Matt staunched the flow of knee blood with a knee blood staunching application of pressure and a knee blood staunching bandana. Matt was thoroughly embarassed. Now that I have published the account of his injury, he has nowhere to hide.

Full disclosure: I subsequently set my finger on fire (as in, there were literally flames coming off of my finger) and my heel on fire because the Gods of Camping punished me for trying to fill up my still-flaming Trangia stove with methanol with a deft pour. Deft, no. Daft, yes. I still have a bandage on the blistered burn of my finger.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Arjuna sat happily in the tarp tent. But in this photograph, he remains seriously serious.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Matt's bloody knee.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Scone mix with water, and fried in oil over the Trangia. I used a little bit of brown sugar to give the mix a nice flavour.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Ready for tea, and waiting for the kettle to boil.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
The central guy line of this tarp tent is supported by the two support beams which pitch forwards.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Close-up detail of how the two support beams are loosely bound together.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
The lighting was spectacular - the smoke picked up the sun.
(Photo by Matt)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
The fire left smoke in the air.
(Photo by Matt)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
The fire ended up as a pile of glowing ashes and embers.
(Photo by Matt)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
A Raspberry.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Mungo posing in the woods.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Mungo posing in the woods, sans hat, avec fill flash.

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
A shot of the woods - 200 acres is a large amount of woods...

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Eastern Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus)
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Eastern Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus)
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Weathered tree trunk - the area is returning to its natural conditions.
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Conifer bough.
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Gnarled tree trunk.
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
A path in the woods
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
More Field Horsetail.
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Gnarled tree trunk.
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Me smiling somewhat stiffly in my tarp tent set up.
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Me standing satisfied with the fact that it took about 4 minutes to set up my tarp with the fancy new configuration using an A-frame set of 2 boughs.
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Field Horsetail.
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Mungo making a meal.
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Matt and Mungo getting their Trangias lit.
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
My Trangia stove.
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Mixing scone dough.
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Getting the oil heated up so I can fry up the scone dough.
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
I tried frying up little scone fritters in the oil, but it didn't really work.
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
I made a make-shift spatula from some cedar wood - here I am thinning it out with my Mora.
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Matt set about busily shredding some birch bark to make a fire.
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
Using the non-stick lid of my Trangia kit was more successful - I was able to make a little pancake. I topped it off with brown sugar and we all had one to nibble on. Tasty.
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
I will plan better next time that I bring scone mix. Each new hike teaches me new lessons each time - i.e. I make mistakes each hike and learn from each one. I guess I could call it hiking and mistaking. Or mis-hiking.
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
The fire was nice, despite the fact that the temperature was warm. It is just a nice luxury to have a fire.
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
While the scone mix wasn't very successful, a cup of tea fixed that all up.
(Photo by Arjuna)

A Hike in a 200 Acre Forest
When I returned home, James was playing near his play tent.

Cheers,

Mungo

Are you subscribed to the Mungo Says Bah! RSS feed yet? If not - you know what to do...
You can also follow my tweets at @MungoBah

Most Popular Posts