Hippie symbols and union meetings?


Perfect in its three petals, most commonly white, the trillium heralds in spring on our forest floors. It’s also our Provinces official symbol. I don’t mean as the official flower of the Province – it actually is the government symbol and appears on all things official.

Sort of neat in a peaceful, hippie type way don’t you think?



It may have changed a little in design over the years but as you can see, the flower remains – do you think someone got big bucks for these design changes?


We have seen carpets of trilliums on our Bruce Trail walks and never tire of exclaiming to each other about their fragile beauty. There are several different species here although I could only recognize three – the big, erect white ones, the smaller white types  and the rarer scarlet ones.


Patches of sweet woodruff also dot the forest floor and my hiking partner Cheryl and I look forward to a warmer spell which will release their delicate fragrance.


There are blooming lilacs dotted across the countryside, once part of homesteads that no longer stand, they have become naturalized and tough it out easily over our often brutal winters. Romy’s 2 year old friend Aria tried these out for taste and manages to wear them in her hair…hippie symbols seem everywhere this spring.


On an unrelated issue I saw this gathering on the pond out back and thought that it might be a union meeting of some kind. Maybe they were trying to work out a way to share the riches? Canada geese, mallard ducks, merganser diving ducks (I mentioned these here), a cormorant and a great blue heron all planning the revolution perhaps?


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43 Responses to Hippie symbols and union meetings?

  1. Those trillium heralds are incredible beautiful, and you captured them delightfully in these images. Fun to see how the government symbol based on the flowers has changed over time.

  2. What a gorgeous sight! The Trilliums are so beautiful en masse, Aria looks so sweet among the lilacs. Yes, I’m sure those birds are up to something. 🙂

  3. restlessjo says:

    I don’t quite know why but the name trillium conjures up Dr. Who and War of the Worlds 🙂 (tryphids, maybe?) And yet they’re such a beautiful thing, especially growing wild like that.

  4. icelandpenny says:

    I’ve been thinking about the Bruce Trail & its glorious spring wildflowers as I go about my own current walks in the USA. Thanks for taking me back up north with you.

  5. Sue Slaght says:

    Oh these are so gorgeous! How wonderful to find them on the forest floor! Lovely photo of the horse too!

    • The trilliums are so lovely but short lived – guess that makes you appreciate them even more. I’m studying your photos to see if I can improve my own!

      • Sue Slaght says:

        That is very kind of you to say! We just bought a new camera so are having fun learning and playing. Out point and shoot will still be our go to while cycling and hiking and such.

  6. Lavinia Ross says:

    The trilliums and spring photos are beautiful! Your post made me think of an old song. 🙂

  7. mommermom says:

    A beautiful and delicate flower! I don’t think I have ever seen that flower. What a lovely countryside you have there. It would inspire me to walk more often. 😊At least, that is what I would like to think!

  8. Nancy says:

    Oh… the trillium! Such a delightful flower in the forest. But sweet woodruff was something my Mom planted under the trees in our side yard. Oh, how wonderful it’s fragrance! But it’s the lilac I miss the most. I had a huge tree of a purple double lilac.It was sooooooo big and beautiful and it’s fragrance… the best of spring! Such a pretty post my friend!

    • Thank you! I agree that it’s hard to beat that lilac smell and along with the trilliums it seems to be a banner year for them as they are blooming everywhere in great profusion. Lovely memory from your mom’s side yard – still waiting for that woodruff scent – perhaps if it warms up this weekend.

  9. quilt32 says:

    I’m not familiar with trilliums but they are lovely. Lilacs are one of my favorites and the picture with the horse in the midst of them is perfect.

    • Thank you for enjoying the photo with young Aria – she promptly spat those lilacs out but that wouldn’t have made such a pretty picture! The smell of lilacs is heavenly.

  10. agnesashe says:

    Well, what do you know – you’ve just solved an old mystery for me! I planted trilliums in a shaded area with plenty of leaf mould and kept them damp, but still lost the lot. You mention acidic conditions and I think that was my mistake. I think they look lovely in your photos, might try again.
    Regarding the evolving logo – I see you all went ‘green’ in the early 90s and since 2006 you’ve become an energised, but embracing community – does that sound like your Province? 🙂

    • What a great interpretation of the 2006 logo! Unfortunately so many of the forests where these beauties are found are being developed – as everywhere. They are very hard to transplant and here they recommend trying them from seed as the best alternative…although you’d have to be patient since they can take up to 15 years to bloom!

  11. pommepal says:

    What a delightful trail to follow in the spring time when every thing is fresh. Green and white go so well together.

    • You’re right and it’s the purity of the green and white that is so outstanding. While the flower can’t be eaten as-is, the first nations here used it for a number of medicinal purposes apparently.

  12. margaret21 says:

    What a wonderful flower: we don’t seem to have them here. Great pictures as usual.

    • I guess it’s the fact we have so many trillium here that has made them our symbol. Thanks for the comment on the photos – springtime does seem to present lots of opportunities.

  13. Gunta says:

    Your Trilliums are so lush and beautiful! We have them here, but never in such abundance. You did a marvelous job of photographing them. Never thought of them as a hippy symbol, but you’re totally correct. Perhaps just one more reason to love these fragile beauties.

    • The forests seem carpeted this year and after a harsh winter that has killed so many
      non-native garden plants – must be a lesson in that. Thank you for your nice comment on my photo – sometimes you need to get down on the ground to look them in the eye!

      • Gunta says:

        I do get down on the ground. Getting back up isn’t always easy at my age. But what I need is more patience to wait for the wind to die down enough to keep the flowers from dancing. 😉

  14. Oh how nice to be out hiking and see those lovely trilliums. Happy looking flowers aren’t they? I love the smell of the forest, it never disappoints. Ah a bird conference 🙂

    • Oh yes the smell of the forest is divine – always seems to awaken something ancient in me – something I can almost remember but not quite! Whatever those birds decided they have moved on – do you ever get conferences among your chickens?

      • I love your comment about awakening .. It does this to me to. I can’t put my finger on it, but it stirs something. Always makes me feel good. Ah my chickens get together for chats .. But the best ones are the wild turkeys .. They are hilarious!

  15. Girl Gone Expat says:

    The trilliums are beautiful. I don’t think I have seen them before. Maybe it is too dry here for them:) And yes – I am sure someone gets big bucks for the design changes of the symbol:)

    • I think there are trilliums in southern British Columbia and they may be called ‘wake-robins’ because they are a spring flower. We could have played a game of ‘spot the difference’ with those symbols until the 2006 one😉

  16. Gallivanta says:

    How delightful are the flowers in your natural areas. In New Zealand we are being asked to propose designs for a new flag. Perhaps we should take a leaf or a flower out of your Canadian book; there is something peaceful about flora as national symbols. And speaking of peace, your wild birds may be having a union meeting, or they may simply be showing us how to negotiate peacefully over resources and airspace and personal space. Birds do squabble and bully sometimes, but mostly they know pretty much how to get along. Remarkable creatures.

    • The trilliums and sweet woodruff are native species which grow on deciduous forest floors. Apparently the amount of acid in the soil dictates the species and colour of the trillium and they bloom only in that brief time when there is still a bit of dappled sunlight before the leaves fully unfurl. You are so right – I could watch the birds all day with their activities. Among the group on the pond the main squabbles seem to be among the same species – they don’t like lots of their own kind in the spring when the kids might be around but in the fall they migrate collectively south. It could be that is the revolution they were planning – to teach us to get along for a change😉

  17. joannesisco says:

    After hiking all winter, the appearance of the trilliums are a welcome sight. I had never seen red and pink ones before hiking the Bruce.
    I also remember all the lilacs – my favourite flower in the spring – and the smell. Beautiful photos and great memories 🙂

    • It’s the sheer numbers of trilliums that is so thrilling and then they go so quickly after blooming – yes those of us who have experienced the Bruce in springtime are so privileged. Thank you for your encouragement on the photos…somehow Spring also seems the easiest season to take photos😄

      • joannesisco says:

        That’s because there is so much inspiration!!
        Are you a member of the Toronto Bruce Club? They recently sent out an email about a new badge being offered this year for completing at least 50 of the 69km of sidetrails. It’s not clear whether the badge is going to be available for this year only.

      • I am a member of the Blue Mountain Club but I didn’t see that information so thanks for mentioning it! It must be in honour of the 50th Anniversary of the Bruce Trail Conservancy. We have been taking on the main trail but often look longingly at the side trails so what a great next project that could be.

      • joannesisco says:

        We enjoyed our adventure on the Bruce so much, we were both a bit ‘lost’ when it was finally over.
        We said we would eventually go back to hike all the side trails in each section as a new challenge. The Toronto Club has finally given us a nudge.
        … but first we have to finish Oak Ridges Moraine. We still have 3 more hikes.

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