Such railroad corridors are largely unexplored, since they frequently have 'No Trespassing' signs at the typical access points. When the railroads are in operation, if you are not paying attention trains can sneak up on you in a hurry! (Don't ask...... :-).
|Typical scene along one section of this rail corridor|
In such wide open sections as shown in the image above, there is always the hope that some prairie vegetation may be found, maybe even a patch of prairie. Such was the case in 2012.
Most obvious prairie vegetation becomes more visible from mid-summer to late summer. I'm hoping that my future visits to this corridor in the next few weeks will enable me to find more prairie species along here. Historically areas not far from this corridor had some of the largest extent and best quality tallgrass prairie in Ontario!
Some of the prairie associates that I have found so far, include:
|Climbing Prairie Rose|
Some sections of this corridor are adjacent to bits of woodland, and there the diversity of flora changes.
Some species occurring there are likely remnants of the forest habitat that was there prior to the railroad being constructed.
Along the sides of the corridor are wet areas, prime habitat for plants such as this Southern Blue Flag (Iris virginica).
|Southern Blue Flag|