Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Gillies Grove

I heard about Gillies Grove quite a long time ago, but we finally made a special effort to visit this old growth stand of trees in Arnprior one evening.

Being old growth, the trees were quite tall although not necessarily all that wide in diameter. I could barely get them all in the frame even with a wide angle lens and pointing upward.

To give some sense of scale, Sue is in the distance in this photo. I was using a wide angle lens, so she wasn't as far away as it seems in the photo (yes, cameras do lie), but I think the photo serves to give you an idea of the height. These are very tall trees for Ontario and seemed more like British Columbia tall to me.

Photos were a little tough in the contrasting light and took some work in post processing to make half decent, but I suppose I like this next shot as well as any. I think it's the foreground element of the fallen trunk that adds interest and dimension. But, of course, you also lose the sense of scale.

There were a number of side trails, but it was extremely hot and muggy in the still forest and very buggy, so we stuck to the main trail and didn't linger overly long.

No longer in the grove but still near it, we later espied this cottage with an amazing bush.

I think I'd like to return to Gillies Grove in the cooler and less buggy autumn, but although we were very glad to visit on this evening, we were also glad to leave. At least we now know where it is and how to access it.

But before I go, some more information from the town's website: http://arnprior.ca/live/maps/gillies-trail/ .
The Grove was originally used as a picnic ground by the Gillies and McLachlin families. The land came into David A. Gillies possession as the McLachlin family lost much of its land following the company’s bankruptcy. Following his death in 1967 and that of his wife Jessie, in 1980, it came into the possession of the Oblates. The Nature Conservancy of Canada purchased the Gillies Grove in 2001, with significant support of local fundraising from the Oblates to preserve this old-growth forest.
Uniquely situated within the town limits of Arnprior, Gillies Grove is a rare remnant of the magnificent forest that once covered this region. Gillies Grove is recognized as one of the last old-growth forests in the province.
The size and the age of many of the trees is extraordinary. Trees in the forest include Sugar Maple, Yellow Birch, American Beech, Eastern Hemlock and Basswood. Most impressive is the stand of the towering ancient White Pines. Birds that inhabit the Grove include Scarlet Tangers, Pileated Woodpeckers, Red Shouldered Hawks, Barred Owls, Cooper’s Hawks and Eastern Screech Owls.
Vegetation in the Grove include Hepaticas, Spring Beauties, Violets, Red and White Trilliums, White Baneberry and Indian Pipe—not to mention Poison Ivy.


Tabor said...

Great photos. I like the way the sunlight is a background contrast. Makes me want to visit.

Debbie said...

wow!! looks like a lovely spot...it was difficult to find susan, but helpful!! great perspective and the bush in the last image is gorgeous!!!

Marie Smith said...

Gorgeous, AC. Just imagine its autumn splendor, though is is incredible now.

Blogoratti said...

Great information indeed and what a stunning place to visit. Nice photos!

Shammickite said...

This looks like a lovely place to walk, in spite of the bugs. It will be spectacular to go back when the leaves have started to change, and the bugs have disappeared. Love those big old trees and the way the light streams through the branches.

Mara said...

I once looked up at the swaying trees (while cycling home) and became quite sick to my stomach because of all the movement. And those trees were max 70 years, but most likely about 20 years old!

Mage said...

Wonderful images....thank you for sharing them. Sharing the story of the land too.

Jenn Jilks said...

Many trees were cut down when the colonial settlers moved in. Then there were the fires!