There is nothing quite as invigorating as doing a long strenuous hike and then getting up the very next day and… doing it again! After a delicious breakfast at our Lake Eugenia hideaway, the group set out for another intimate session with Bruce. After some confusion about the actual starting point (two groups of hikers went to two different starting spots), we finally figured it out and set out under a cerulean sky.
But actually, the topic of today’s post is: Things that grow on rocks! As we walked through the escarpment ecosystem, I was struck by how many plants have adapted to grow in cracks in rocks. As you will see, on today’s hike there were many rocks and many cracks in rocks, so what’s a plant to do? Sometimes I think that plants don’t get enough credit for the amazing things they figure out. For example:
Along the trail, there are often remnants of bygone eras. Here we found an old stone wall, obviously built by some long-ago hard-working farmer who was trying to scratch a living out of 2 inches of topsoil This wall, and others in the same area, went on for several kilometres. Back-breaking toil, indeed!
As we approached Metcalfe Rock, the geography became very crevice-y. Everywhere you looked, there was another crack, crevice, fissure, split…..
A few hikers went to explore the Metcalfe Crevice side trail. This crevice is exactly what you would want in a crevice: deep, dark, mossy and damp. It was also filled with ice and quite treacherous footing!
It was here that we encountered some impressive examples of Really Big Things That Grow On Rocks.
We enjoyed a beautiful hike through Mill Creek Valley:
I was excited to find a little colony of very healthy Hart’s Tongue ferns. I understand that these ferns are globally quite rare and so it was gratifying to find not one but many, growing right beside the trail.
And then, nearby, a less exotic but quite lovely fern growing on, you guessed it: a rock!
As the day wore on, we just kept discovering more beautiful places.
Like all good things, this hike eventually came to an end. A successful weekend of hiking, ladies! We covered 31 kilometres and gazed in wonder upon many beautiful sights.
Fear not, we will be reunited again with Bruce in May!