Billy calls the north shore of Lake Erie the Canadian riviera. The guide books says that the four hundred kilometres between Windsor and Fort Erie are the most southerly in the country, and this together with the moderating effect of the lake allows a much broader variety of tree species to flourish. The Carolinian forest zone is home to trees such as hickory, sassafras, tulipwood and beech, more familiar south of the border.
This particular section of the Carolinian forest is called Norfolk County. Along with the aforementioned trees, it’s also home to my family. It’s where I grew up and played, and I still visit there regularly, both in my dreams and in real life (whatever that is). I was out walking in the woods with my parents, a while back, and we happened across this quiet little beech grove. It was just the kind of place I used to love to dawdle in as a child, I so I set up my camera and left it rolling to capture the day.
Watching it back, I’m struck by how busy the scene is, considering the composition is almost a still life. Listen. The shrieking sounds are red tailed hawks, cruising for red squirrel. The scolding sounds are red squirrels telling them to get lost. There are blue jays and crows adding their raucous opinions to the mix, and lots more I can’t even begin to identify.
It’s almost impossible to escape traffic these days anywhere in southern Ontario, and Norfolk County is so flat that sound just rolls across it. That rumble in the background is the noise of cars and trucks speeding along highway 3, far away. As much as I’d love this to be the pristine place I remember, with nothing but the sounds of nature to bother the ears, the traffic is there. I hear it, my mics hear it, and you can hear it! I hope it won’t spoil your enjoyment of the rest of this little movie.
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