Canadian Geographic Magazine just had an article on Seven Iconic Canadian Trees, and that reminded me of the Comfort Maple photos I took in 2014.
The Comfort Maple Conservation Area isn’t a place you can find accidentally- Even knowing approximately where I was going, I missed the turnoff. It is located in the town of Pelham, Ontario, well off the major highways. Being in the same area of Ontario as Niagara Falls and Toronto, it probably won’t be high on a tourist’s list of places to see.
The Comfort Maple itself is possibly the oldest Sugar Maple tree in Canada, over 500 years old. It is named after the Comfort family, although it seems as if it would be named to refer to the shade under its massive branches. The history of the tree is displayed on a sign beneath the tree.
It is the only attraction in a small well maintained park, surrounded by farmland. The park itself is only a fraction of a hectare in size, with only a bench, some picnic tables, and a garbage can for amenities. I’ve only been there once, during summer, but the tree is supposed to be spectacular with the colour change in Autumn. The tree looks like this to the naked eye:
I used a 760 nanometre infrared lens filter for the near infrared picture. When taking Near Infrared photos, I usually default to 760nm- it is deeper in the infrared range of the camera than the naked eye can see, so it seems like a different world. However, the wavelength is close enough to the visible spectrum that the camera’s filter can still pick up a trace of colour. Here’s the photo:
In short, if you are in Southern Ontario looking for a quiet picnic spot, the Comfort Maple is an ideal location for a side trip.