Saturday, August 29, 2009

Nighthawk Common this summer

I have seen so many Nighthawks this summer. I have seen a couple during the day, which I think is a little unusual.

The flight of a nighthawk is unmistakable. The wing bars really stand out when in flight.

The other day at the office a nighthawk sitting in the back was pointed out to me. I happened to have my video camera with me that day and thought I would walk to the end of the greenhouse to see if the bird was still sitting there. The bird had found a location that blended in well with. It is certainly hard to see if you were not looking for it.

Dan said he had been right up beside it with the tractor and it did not even fly away. I am guessing it was just waiting for the evening onslaught of bugs. The bugs have not been as plentiful this year, maybe due to the cool wet summer. Maybe they need to spend more time searching for food so are extending the feeding hours?

Near Timmins we have Nighthawk lake, Nighthawk forest, and many Nighthawk businesses.

For more information about the bird I have included a few links below.

Millson Forestry Service is where the bird was seen. Here is a map.

I have a 10 second video, like I have done before, but I just can not get it to work. I will try again tomorrow, maybe it is on their end.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Puddingstone visit, pictures and maps

The glacier brought the stone within one hundred kilometers of Timmins, Larry brought it the rest of the way.

I just had to go visit this interesting find. I do see many puddingstones, the in-laws are in puddingstone country - near Sault Ste Marie. They have a stone similar to this one on their front lawn. Many stones line the driveways on Puddingstone road.

12000 years ago the glacier retreated and must have brought this rock with it. I wonder where the rock really came from. I hope someone can give us some insight about this.

The first picture is where the rock has been sitting for the last 12000 years. That rock has seen many different forests. The forest has grown and burnt and grown again. This rock will now view the world from it's new urban home.

Where it came from map

Where it sits now map

All the pictures I took today are here

Send me a picture of yourself sitting on the rock, I will add it to the web album.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Timmins Likes Pudding Stone

A 10-ton mosaic rock, discovered in the bush about 60 kilometres west of Timmins, has found a new home in Flintstone Park on Rea St. N.

Larry Robichaud, who made the geological find while camping west of the Groundhog River in Reeves Township a year ago, said this product of volcanic process is quite unique for Northern Ontario and has drawn the interest of the Geology Department at the University of Toronto.

"My first impression was that it looked like a block of cement with lots of rocks in it," said Robichaud, who noticed it just off a bush road in Reeves Township when he was camping by himself for a week last August. "I started looking at it more closely and it struck my interest. I did some research and found out that it was a puddingstone. It would have come here from down south."

He said the rock could have only arrived here after being carried and dumped by a receding glacier during North America's last ice age.

A puddingstone, also known as zenolith, is a sedimentary rock that consists of a mixture of different, irregular sized grains and pebbles held together in a matrix of finer materials such as sand.

It was only after speaking with geologists at the University of Toronto that Robichaud felt some effort should be made to bring it to Timmins where others could see it for themselves

"They told me, 'If you ever get to move it, we'd like to come see it.' That kind of convinced me that more people needed to see this."

Robichaud was able to achieve this last week with assistance and support with the Mattagami Region Conservation Authority and the crane operating firm of RLP/CMS.

Last Wednesday, Leo Madore, crane operator for RLP/CMS and Robichaud spent six hours unearthing, hoisting, loading up, and relocating the huge rock using a 26-ton boom truck to Flintstone Park.

In keeping with its new location, Robichaud said the rock has been named Fred's Puddingston

Daily Press Story


Pudding stone

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Garden Growth and Spotted Tussock Moth

Oxygen is growing in my garden big time this year. Last year I did not have any peas, but this year the garden is able to keep up to the grabbing hands of my guys and the little ones next door. The carrots are great and the goldfinches are already plucking at the sunflowers. The kids are learning what the finches sound like when they are flying overhead. They now know 2 birds by their sound, robin and goldfinch.

Last year, no corn. This year I am sure we will get 10 cobs of corns!

Morning Glory's are taking over everything. They are up the corn and sunflowers, tangled in the peas and wrapped around the carrots. The pretty flowers they produce will attract the humming birds soon. The garden is a little too crowded this year, but I just can not bring myself to remove anything, after last years poor showing.

Timmins is starting a community garden program, I think it will be up and running next spring. Stay tuned in - when I know, you will know

I guess the Earth Machine composter in the middle of all this growing is using some of the O2, but is also producing some great soil for next year.

You can not see the pair of goldfinches on the sunflowers, I did not know they were there until after I took the picture.

While walking back into the house a little Spotted Tussock Moth (Lophocampa maculata) was walking across the grass. I brought it into the house and put it on my young lads bare back. He is very use to his Dad doing things like this. He did not jump, he barely looked up from his computer. "Ya dad what is it"?

He played with it as I looked it up online. Ya just got to love how easy it is to identify anything with a few key strokes. To see what the adult will look like or for more information check out the links below.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wild Orange Daylily - Learn something new every day

You can see the map to see where I was, but I did not know we had these around.

I have never seen them around Timmins before. They are very nice looking. I came across this little patch of plants while out looking at a property for a Toronto client. They are actually growing on his property along the road. I figure they must have been planted there many years ago since much of the land in the area is long abandoned fields.

Look close at the pictures and you will see the rain. Did it ever come down while I was taking the pictures. I was on the way back to the truck, but I just had to stop and get some pictures. You can see one flower is full of water and in another picture you can see the rain coming down on the road.

What I have learned about the plant is it has become an invasive species here in Ontario. It is a plant that does very well and will push native species out. It is considered an invasive species in southern Ontario, maybe it would be considered a protected species here in the North.

Let me know if you see more of these plants around, or other interesting plants. Send me pictures I will post them here.

eNature information

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Learning about Trees

It is wonderful to see so many people come out to learn about trees.

I spent the weekend at Kettle Lake Provincial Park and had the opportunity to invite campers on a hike to talk about trees and birds in the park. We did not see many birds, but we did stop and look at a large ant hill that had been disturbed by a bear.

Picture 1 : poster showing the areas planted and areas burned.
Picture 2 : I walk and talk with the group
Picture 3 : We had a little guy keep us on track with a GPS unit. Total walk 2.25km

Scotch Pine Provenance Test

I think this is the oldest trial ever installed in the Timmins District. The test is also just another wonderful story about trees in the park. Where is it - map

Much of Kettle Lakes Provincial Park was planted after being harvested and burned. A very unique method of tree planting was used for a large area - machine planting. A machine is pulled behind a tractor, a furrow is created, the tree is placed in the furrow while it is filled back in - the tree is planted!

One of the early tree planting efforts in the park was a scotch pine provenance test. A provenance test compares trees from different locations. In this case trees seedlings, or maybe the seeds and seedlings grown here, came from many different location in Europe.

The scotch pine, also known as scots pine, is doing just fine in the park. The trees are a little deformed, but are becoming spread thoughout the park. This makes me wonder - when a tree species that is not native begins to spread in a provincial park - when does it become an invasive species?

Everything you always waanted to know about scotch pine is here

I have been taking visitors to see the scotch pine for many years. I have had visitors from Finland and Sweden that have been very interested in seeing trees that came from their country.

Represented are: Cevennes, Auvergne, Adirondack, W. Europe, Finland, Sweden, L. Austria, E. Baltic, Haute Loire, S. Finland, and W. Baltic.

I am not sure where some of these places are, well except for Finland, I got that one.

Picture 1: A scotch pine
Picture 2: corner marker, made to last
Picture 3: corner marker, made to last

Kettle Lakes - Trees for Canada

The Boy Scouts of Canada had a program called Trees for Canada, that changed maybe 10 years ago to a program called Scoutrees.

The very first Trees for Canada in the Timmins area was planted inside Kettle Lakes Provincial Park. The records indicate that a total of 11000 white spruce and jack pine were planted near Irrigation Lake.

The white spruce have been growing slower then the jack pine, which is common. White spruce can handle the shade created by taller trees. When the taller trees die out and allow more sunlight to reach the ground the white spruce will take off.

It is just another wonderful story about trees in the park.

I was not around Timmins in 1980, but I was involved in every plant from 1986 to 2003. I do not know if the Scouts have planted since then. The first plant I attended in 1986 was just south of the Deloro landfill. The container type was 408 paper pot. The container was made of paper and pulled apart from the other tree seedlings. Many trees were planted a little too high and left a little bit of paper showing. Crows from the landfill came over and pulled out hundreds of the trees.

It looked like someone had come the day after the plant and just pulled out every tree. Some were sitting up on stumps and some were even sitting in the trees. Those curious birds!

Picture : Line of planted white spruce trees, first Boy Scout Tree Plant in the Timmins District.
Taken : August 03, 2009
Location : map

Year Township Number and Species

1980 German (KLP) 11 000 White spruce and Jack pine

1981 Massey 10 000 Jack pine

1982 Carscallen 10 000 Jack pine

1983 Denton 8 525 White spruce

1984 Carscallen 5 000 Jack pine

1985 Murphy 5 000 Jack pine

1986 Murphy 5 000 Jack pine

1987 Deloro 5 000 Jack pine

1988 Deloro 5 000 Jack pine

1989 Evelyn 5 000 Jack pine

1990 Little 6 150 Jack pine

1991 Macklem 5 000 Jack pine

1992 Macklem 5 150 Jack pine

1993 Macklem 4 400 Jack pine

1994 Evelyn 2 500 Jack pine

1995 Evelyn 4 500 Jack pine

1996 German 3 500 Jack pine
**********100 725 seedling to date!***********

1997 German? 3000 jackpine

1998 German? 3000 jackpine

1999 German? 3000 jackpine

2000 German? 2500 jackpine

2001 Tisdale 2000 Jack pine

2002 Tisdale 2000 Jack pine

2003 Tisdale 1 600 White spruce and 100 White pine