13.7 C
Kawartha Lakes
Thursday, March 23, 2023
No menu items!
HomeNewsSUNDAY DRIVE- The Pinery Photo Essay

SUNDAY DRIVE- The Pinery Photo Essay

This Photo Essay of the Pinery Sommerville Tract is done in partnership with Maryboro Lodge, The Fenelon Falls Museum.

KAWARTHA LAKES-During the nineteenth century rush to harvest the old-growth white pine, loggers only had muscle power to work with, so they cut selectively, and had little choice but to leave behind fantastic amounts of slash. Once it had a summer to dry, it made great kindling, and fueled enormous conflagrations. The largest local fire, in 1913, tore through 175,840 acres, making it a notable disaster on the national stage, and prompting an official investigation. Locally, it was so smoky that boats could hardly see to cross Sturgeon Lake. 

In the aftermath of these fires, the government took an interest in reseeding the cutover (or burntover) lands and rough farmland in the region, initially primarily to maintain a valuable natural resource, pine trees. In 1929 the former farm of Robert Maconachie became part of the Victoria County Forest. The reforestation created a regular array of pines. Since then, many parts of the pinery have naturalized to become a much more diverse ecosystem. Yet the distinctive appearance of having the old pine plantation towering over a mixed forest remains.

The Somerville Tract, also known as the Pinery, offers an ATV or snowmobile trail, plus many less formal trails through the forest. If unmarked, ungroomed, winding bush trails are your thing, the Somerville Tract is a great place for winter recreation. There are a lot of little treasures to discover along the way. Why not take some time to enjoy the beauty of the Pinery.

The Beaver Meadow
Among the trees in the understory are beeches, which are not as common today as they once were in the Kawarthas. Their leaves turn a brilliant coppery colour in the autumn, and often remain on young trees over the winter making a trip through the Somerville Tract a little more vibrant.
A striking circular burl on a sapling
One of the really interesting things in the Somerville Tract is the diversity of fungi. This rotten old elm was just covered with interesting specimens, that had swirly snow cones perched on top.
Birch bark can exhibit the most interesting patterns.
The combination of bark, fungi and snow made this tree trunk a colourful specimen.
Another tree nearby had brilliant fungi, that look rather like bells…

This story is part of our partnership with Maryboro Lodge The Fenelon Falls Museum. For more wonderful and interesting local history click here: https://maryboro.ca

The museum has been hit hard by COVID related closures. If you would like to make a donation to help them you can etranser donations to [email protected]

Or mail a cheque to :
Maryboro Lodge Museum
Box 179
50 Oak Street
Fenelon Falls, ON
K0M 1N0


Don't forget to sign up for our morning newsletter.

Catch up on all the local news while enjoying your coffee.

Most Popular

Kawartha 411