Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Beauty near home!

I am designing a brochure for the Cornwall Outdoor Recreation Area, an under-appreciated little gem in my area. Unfortunately, too many scum-sucking knobules use it as a place to dump their garbage. Here's a nice story about the annual clean-up at CORA.

I drove over there this morning to take photos for the brochure. It was my first visit and I was very impressed!

There used to be an Ontario Hydro quarry on the site back in the 1950s. Now the quarry is stocked with trainbow and speckled trout and is a nice place to go fishing! What a lovely, peaceful little body of water.

The CORA is home to many creatures, like Brown bats and Northern Leopard frogs, and this very cool dragonfly:

Look! It has hearts down its back.


...some idiot's underpants were floating in the water. Next time I go, I'll take a trash bag and rubber gloves.

A road to somewhere pretty!


Feel free to identify these blue berries (though not blueberries) for me.

Bulrushes and trees.

Well hello!

A Monarch butterfly caterpillar on some swamp milkweed. Monarch caterpillars adore various types of milkweed. If you're not from these parts, you might not know that our Monarchs migrate to Mexico to overwinter, which is NOT a short journey. Amazing creatures!

Underpants aside, the water is quite clear and clean.

Mr. Caterpillar, yet again.



I like this photo. Remnants of the quarry structures, the water, and my hands in shadow.

I look forward to going back! I think some autumn photos would be beautiful.

There are various hiking trails at the site. plus streams and wetlands and woodlands. You can fish,watch birds, hike, bike, kayak or canoe (no motorized boats and no ATVs on marked trails, although ATVs are allowed elsewhere in the CORA). In winter, there's cross-country skiing! It would be nice to see more people enjoying the site and fewer people dumping their crap there.


The Cornwall Outdoor Recreation Area is just off Cornwall Centre Road, at the northwest corner of Power Dam Drive in Cornwall, Ontario. It was a little difficult to find the entrance; look for the sign for AB Cartage and head up towards their site. Go past it and a little further down the road, you'll see the entrance to C.O.R.A.


  1. Peggi Calder5:30 pm

    Your dragonfly is a Calico Pennant - a male according to the heart-shaped spots (the females have yellow spots).
    The shrub is probably Red Osier Dogwood.
    Nice area - I've heard of it, but never visited. And great photos - your pamphlet should be awesome.

  2. Thanks so much for the identification of plants and creatures, Peggi. You're doing the workshop on native plants on Sept 11th, aren't you? Gordon and I are coming! (Clearly I have much to learn. :) )

  3. You know - you really make me want to pack up and move... can I come live with you? I'll take care of the chickens! :)

  4. You're right... that is a lovely spot. Beautiful pictures. Hope you do make it back to take some Fall photos. I like the photo with your hands too. I didn't know dragonflies had hearts on their backs. They used to scare me when I was a kid with the loud sound they make. I didn't like getting dive bombed.

  5. I keep waffling on the dogwood.

    It has opposite leaves, which rules out Alternate-leaved Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia).

    Bunchberry (C. canadensis) is a short little plant with leaves in whorls.

    Roughleaf Dogwood (C. drummondii) is Carolinian and wouldn't be found in your neck of the woods. Similarly Flowering Dogwood (C. florida).

    Roundleaf Dogwood (C. rugosa) has whitish berries and your picture clearly has blue ones. Similarly, we can rule out Gray Dogwood (C. racemosa).

    Which leaves two dogwoods found in southeastern Ontario: Red Osier (C. stolonifera) and Silky Dogwood (C. amomum). The berries of Red Osier are "usually white or blue-tinged" whereas those of Silky Dogwood are blue or bluish-white. Point to Silky.

    The leaves of Red Osier are lanceolate-ovate whereas the leaves of Silky Dogwood are lanceolate-elliptic. Don't those leaves look thin and drooping to you? I can't be sure. No point.

    Both shrubs have branchlets that are reddish to purple, so again, no point. I don't suppose you cut into one of them to reveal the pith colour?

    I could be sure of the identification with the pith, the roots or the petioles (or lack thereof). But from what I can see in the picture, I can't be sure which of the two dogwoods it is.

  6. Wha a wonderful place. I am glad to see that it is a haven for feral underwear!

  7. gorgeous! i cant believe how clear that water is. you're right, autumn photos would be amazing =)

  8. Magnificent! What a beautiful country we live in. Sometimes, tucked in the city, I tend to forget about my many summers in the Laurentians and in Northern Ontario where natural beauty abounded and took my breath away. Thanks for the memories.

  9. Beautiful photos once again. Your brochure will be perfect. Your hand shadows look like cave art.

  10. Miz Wandering Cat, sure you can! I'll set up a nice spot for you by the chicken coop. :)

    Callie, I definitely want to go back in the fall. As for dragonflies, apparently my maternal grandmother was absolutely terrified of them, but I've always liked them. They are weird little creatures, though.

    HWB, I apologize for pithing you off and not bringing home pith.

    Jams, I like that, a feral underwear sanctuary!!

    PP, they stock the water each year with speckled and rainbow trout (which wouldn't occur in the pond naturally, but do well and make the fishermen happy!)

    Claude, I love this country. We have so many different and beautiful landscapes. There's even beauty in Toronto. :)

    Fran, cave art, that's it! That's what it was reminding me of.

  11. Such gorgeous shots of nature ... well, the underpants were rather rude, but anyway... thanks for sharing the prettier parts!

  12. BTW, I meant that whoever left their underwear was rude; not you for posting it!!


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!