Summer at Blachford is a rushed time of growth and renewal in the northern landscape. Spruce, pine and tamarack are changing daily, hurrying to take advantage of the short summer’s long days. Spruce and pine get a head start, with their green needles ready to absorb any rays of spring sun. Buds appear and over a week or two become fresh new growth. Aspen and birch sprout fresh leaves and then shed seeds. All our trees are generating oxygen, giving all creatures a wonderful feeling of good health.
Spruce and pine cones attract birds. They open the cones to forage for seeds, and then scatter seeds on the forest floor to regenerate the woodland. Willow, alder and blueberry shrubs produce berries that attract birds as well. Crowberry, bearberry and mountain cranberry join juniper, Labrador tea and wild roses in the forest. Each week of summer brings a new display of alpine and boreal plants. Mosses and lichens underfoot help to conserve moisture. Small bogs and marshes hidden among rock outcrops filter ground water and provide breeding areas for migrating birds and waterfowl.
Both migratory and resident birds nest here. Summer bird species include spruce grouse, ptarmigan, ravens, woodpeckers, eagles (both bald and golden) Canada jays, loons, mallards, gulls and terns, swallows, warblers, sparrows and chickadees. A nature walk on one of our trails, or a quiet paddle in a kayak or canoe will offer opportunities to spot these shy creatures.
Moose, black bears, beavers, snowshoe hare, lynx, red foxes, squirrels, lemmings and voles roam the forest nearby. Our visitors often spot moose, and perhaps beaver or muskrat in and around our lakes.
Mosquitoes and Blackflies
On windless days in early summer mosquitoes and blackflies can be bothersome without suitable protection. We recommend mosquito repellant (known locally as bug dope) with a healthy concentration of DEET, to keep them at bay. A hat, and long sleeved shirt also help. Light colours are best. Bug jackets with screened head coverings are also effective, and like bug dope, can be purchased in Yellowknife. By mid to late summer the bugs tend to disappear, though they can be irritating around a pond or marshy area.