Happy weekend fellow flora appreciators,
Moving to Peterborough was a big decision. I had never been here before and knew nobody here, naturally I was nervous and approached the decision with a mixture of optimism and caution. The weeks leading up to coming here I researched the city and surrounding areas. One place that caught my eye immediately that I mentally flagged as "I want to go to there" was Petroglyphs Provincial Park.
It took me nearly three years of living here, but I finally made it to the park!
Petroglyphs Provincial Park is about 45 minutes from Peterborough (depending on where you're coming from), just north of the shores of Stoney Lake. And it's a beautiful drive as you enter the Canadian shield. It is also quite close to Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park, yet another on my list of parks to visit, as well as a number of other parks and conservation areas. Once you reach Petroglyphs Provincial Park, you turn off the main road onto a gravel road through the woods that must go for a good few kilometres before you reach the visitor's centre. There you are able to walk through a display and watch a short documentary called "The Teaching Rocks" (both of which I recommend doing). The petroglyphs, which are the largest concentration in Canada, are in a second building meant to minimize erosion of the site. No photography is allowed there, it is a sacred place. I am not a religious person, perhaps somewhat spiritual, but I definitely love stories people use to try to understand and make sense of their world. I tried to etch the experience, my thoughts and feelings as I stood over the rocks, in my mind to hold onto it for as long as I can. The carvings are believed to have been made by Algonquin people between 900 and 1100. They depict people, animals and culture and are known as Kinomagewapkong, or the learning rocks, as the elders would use them to teach select younger individuals. The rocks are not all that is sacred, the entire site is. The crevasses in the rocks were said to lead to the spirit world. The geology and glacial history of this place have created unique features, carving the rocks and the landscape as a whole on a larger scale. As for the flora, despite being relatively near to Peterborough, the surficial geology, forest age, tree types, among other factors, are different enough from Peterborough so that the composition of wildflowers differs. That is not to say that those plants that are found within the park are entirely unique to it, some may be though, rather that those plants are found in greater abundances. I have posted my finds to the members' Facebook group and will add them here later (as I type this I am not on my home computer). For the next time I visit, I also scoped out two further stops just down the road from the park that I intend on making: Quarry Bay Beach and Eel's Creek.
Oh, and those nerves about Peterborough are long gone.
Update: photos added.