Kinghurst Nature Reserve is one of those special places in Grey County that is worth visiting again and again. It is especially glorious in the spring when the early flowers come out in bloom before the trees fully leaf out.
Once again, Saugeen Nature held our spring wildflower walk in mid-May. Fourteen club members and visitors came out to enjoy wandering through the various habitats, looking to see what was in bloom. The large-flowered white Trilliums were putting on a good show, but we also saw the deli- cate purple-blue flowers of Blue Cohosh, the lovely yellow flowers of Large-flowered Bellwort, and as a special treat – the little white pantaloon shaped flowers of Dutchman’s Breeches.
Club members were intrigued by the dark maroon flowers of Wild Ginger which lay upon the ground and smell like carrion to attract the ants that pollinate them. Ants are also responsible for carrying the seeds of trilliums around and spreading the plant far and wide. It is obvious that ants have been very busy at Kinghurst. The woodland floor is covered with trilliums, both the white and the red variety – also known as Wake Robin. A couple of the green-cream coloured red trilliums were spotted. These are a rare variant of the red species that are quite distinct in colour from the White Trilliums.
The display of trilliums will persist into early June, to be followed by many other varieties of flowers until the harder frosts cause the leaves to start turning and Kinghurst reveals another aspect of its glory.
Kinghurst Nature Reserve is owned by Ontario Nature and managed by Saugeen Nature. Those who are looking for a tranquil place to stroll and relax with the sights and sounds of nature will find it a place worth visiting. The older growth forest that is the central feature of the reserve is rare now in Grey and Bruce and well worth a visit for the treasures it holds.