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The Spicer Trail
Spicer Trail.jpg

I have always loved woodland flowers, especially our provincial flower, the trillium. Each spring Dave and I like to go for rides looking for patches of white in the emerging greenery in our local forests. When our children were younger and we both had better health, our family of six would go camping and hiking. We hiked the Grandfather Mountains of North Carolina, the Alleghany Mountains of Pennsylvania, the Gatineau Hills at Wakefield, just a half hour north of Ottawa and Hull, Quebec, as well as Reserve Falls in Ontario. My favourite location of all is John E. Pearce Park and the lands surrounding Backus Page House Museum in Dutton Dunwich.

I painted this to honour our friend Lorne Spicer, a veteran of WWII and a naturalist of note here in Elgin County. Lorne along with Arthur McCormick, Ted Suckley, Gord Longhurst, Neva and Ian Carmichael, Frank Latanzzio, Jamie Littlejohn, the St. Thomas Field Naturalists and others went around the county finding excellent examples of our native trees. With the assistance and skill of Catherine Spratley they produced self-guiding maps for each area of Elgin County. The Spicer Trail sign is located across from John E. Pearce Provincial Park between Backus Page and historic St. Peters Church. There are several other trails in close proximity – The Canada Trail and the newly opened wetlands Mary Storey Trail. This new trail loops around some wetland ponds and even has a viewing tower. All trails are clearly marked. Parking is at Backus Page or on the roadside.

Please note: depending on time of year and weather some portions of the area may be damp to very wet. Dress accordingly. Take nothing but pictures leave nothing but foot prints. Lorne’s son Tom and wife Janet, enjoy hiking and bird watching. I asked them to comment on what may be found along Spicer Trail.

Tom wrote:

“Here are some of the things we saw on Spicer trail on our walk in early September.

Trees:  Basswood, sugar maple, black locust, Walnut, yellow birch, American beech tree, ash, black cherry, black maple and Juniper.

Plants:  Perriwinkle, ferns, touch-me-nots, goldenrod, mushroom, toadstools, Virginia creeper.

Birds and animals:  Chickadees, blue jays, downy, hairy and red-bellied woodpeckers, (we sometimes see pileated woodpeckers and yellow bellied sapsuckers, but not on this walk) white-tailed deer, squirrels, catbird, yellow-rump warblers, house wrens, cardinals, chipmunk, blue birds, crows, monarch butterflies.

The trails are marked with signs.  There is a beautiful stream that has a small bridge to cross.  There are small hills and valleys, stumps and old logs and beautiful green mosses, as well as several different types of fungi.”

Original acrylic on canvas Sold – some limited edition prints are available.