Great Canadian Parks / Ontario

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The Parks / Ontario / Fathom Five National Marine Park






The best known part of Fathom Five’s terrestrial area is Flowerpot Island, its geological history readily evident in its limestone cliffs, the caves carved high in the cliffs above the trail, and the ‘flowerpots’ - tapered columns at the water’s edge. Cobblestones rounded by wave action, mark where the beach of a small bay once cut deeply into the land. Cove Island is the largest island and, due to its closeness to the mainland, it has the greatest variety of wildlife including deer, bear and rattlesnakes. On the smaller, more remote Flowerpot Island, red squirrels and garter snakes are the most visible wildlife. Mature sugar maple is found only on Flowerpot Island; on Cove Island, white birch predominate; the only dominant deciduous site of aspen and white birch are found on Russel and Otter islands. Tamarack and several varieties of mosses thrive in abundance wherever moist lowlands occur. Where the cool damp soil creates a bog-like habitat, the blooming of plants, such as the 43 species of orchids, is an occasion of much interest. Orchids like the calypso, also called fairy slipper, and the Alaskan rein, maintain a symbiotic dependency on specific fungi, making them almost impossible to transplant. The islands are also home to the dwarf lake iris, Indian plantain, and 20 kinds of fern.

 

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