Ode to the Southern Ontario Carolinian Forest
Charles David, Contributor
This is the forest Carolinian, not quite primeval
Deciduous legions marching North from Lake Erie
Along waterways plied by Oneida,
Aamjiwnaang, Chippewas of the Thames and Algonquin
In streamlined canoes of Birch and White Cedar
propelled by paddles of firm Ash and Cherry
Startling trout and pickerel in dark waters below.
A heavenly orchestra sings overhead
Sung by Blue Jay and Goldfinch, and blackbird winged red
Compositions of owls by the Blue Heron they’re led
As the Downy woodpecker keeps time with his head
Under mighty umbrellas of Walnut they pass
Magnificent Oak, long-suffering Ash
Of Beech, Tulip, and soft Sassafras.
Strong hickory, chestnut, and maple
Became barn beams, beds and bassinets as time passed.
On the pine needled carpet of soft forest lawn
Scamper, rabbits and groundhogs and beautiful fawn
Squirrels of black, brown, and grey
to the wily coyote often fall prey
While the scent of wildflowers takes your breath away
Carolinian forests grow smaller each year
As farmland and cities draw continually near.
But the earth will survive, of that have no fear
If the upright creatures learn to hold nature dear.
Visit Carolinian forests in Southern Ontario, between Lakes Erie, Huron and Ontario. Among them Wheatley and Rondeau Provincial Parks, Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary, Ausable river valley, Pinery Park and Port Franks. See caroliniancanada.ca.