Monday, December 10, 2012

Biggest Spruce Burl I have ever seen!


want this at the office!

How the hell an I going to get this home!

This burl is here see the map

Sunday, December 9, 2012

2012 Christmas Bird Count Announced!


December 22

Birds can be counted during the 24 hours of Saturday December 22nd.

This is roughly the count circle.

There is a field watch and a feeder watch data collection opportunities. Come join us.

Details and information read more

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Growth on Cedar - HELP

What is this? 
What is going on here?

It is huge on this cedar.

I will have the section removed and will bring it to my lab.

And by lab, I mean my office. And when I say office, I mean in the office for a day until it must be removed. I need to measure, but the tree is about 70cm in diameter so the growth is very big.

In this area I did see 2 or 3 more with much smaller similar growths.  How does this happen? what is this?

This is where the tree is  view map

Help me out.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Partridge -where, I do not see it???

Partridge vs. Grouse

When I came to Timmins, a southern Ontario boy, I spent a lot of time in the bush. It was my work with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources that allowed me to spend so much time in the bush.

One day a partner tells me "oh look, a partridge there on the side of the road" Knowing I was a southern Ontario boy he expected I had never seen a partridge. In fact I had never seen a partridge.

My response "I do not see it, where point it out to me"
Him "Right there I am pointing to it, see it"
Me " Ok I see the grouse, where from there is the partridge?"
Him "uuh"
Me "what?"

Him "That IS the partridge"

So as it turns out in Northern Ontario both the ruffed grouse and the spruce grouse are called partridge!

Ruffed grouse is a white partridge and the spruce grouse is the black partridge.

They do not scare easy.  I walked up to this bird and it just sat their "you don't see me"

Picture does not show very well, but this bird is about 3 meters, maybe less, from me. As I walk past it, it just watched and did not fly. It was convinced I was no threat.

Found a GeoCache today.

Christmas Tree Heaven

Geocaching 101

The information specific to this cache. read more

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tree Plant, Arboretum, who knew?

Turns out there is an arboretum at  École secondaire catholique Thériault.

I will have to find out more. Wonder what trees they have so far. What other species are they planning. Just where are these trees?

Thériault tree tribute | Local | News | Timmins Press

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Another Owl Released

Great Horned Owl
Seven Helping Hands

It took seven different rides to get this owl home where he belongs.

Hiding under the cover is an owl.

The owl foundation learn more

April owl release on youtube watch now

April owl release, Matheson and Kap.  read more

Archie's Rock Pictures and Video

With Archie Chenier
 @ Archie's Rock

Great field trip!

I could tell you more, much more, but you can see pictures and read more from the Timmins Times here

Archie tells his story, at 88 he is going strong. You can see it on  youtube.

All the pictures I took that day you can see here.

We also found a geocache on the trail to the top of the rocks.

Learn more about geocaching, start at the page that describes the
Archie's Rock geocache. learn more

Mully's Musings with Mike Mulryan includes a note about the trip too. read more

This picture to the right, is just another example of the tenacity trees. This tree is growing on rocks 5 meters in the air.

Made a quick google map so you can see exactly where the rock is located and how to get there.

Join this page to keep up to date on Timmins Naturalists events, or send me an email so I can add you to the distribution list.

keep in touch

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Timmins Times talks Archies Rock

Archie Chenier 
leads Timmins hikers to Archies' Rock

Len put up some great pictures too.

read more

Friday, October 19, 2012

This Week in the Forest

Between the rain days
Great walking days

This week had a couple of really nice days to be in the bush. These days are the days that blur work and recreation. I just love to be able to walk and talk my day away in the forests.

Talk? Yes. I talk to the birds that fly close chirping me. I talk to the squirrel that screams at me 'cause I am too close to it's trees.

Today a stood still as I could hear an animal trotting on the forest floor, not running, just moving a good pace. It was a rabbit just making it's way along the forest floor. I stood still, soon a martin followed in the tracks. 

He lost the scent, I think the rabbit went past me too close and my scent covered the track. The martin circled a tree next to me. It climb the tree and nattered at me. I did take some pictures, but my little camera did not produce for me.

This week in pictures:
Very big Cedar must have burn years ago

only the very big stumps are left in this young (~90 year old) stand

Where is the martin?
Maybe you can see him, the camera I carry with me everywhere is small and light,
but it is not the greatest wildlife camera.

I got here just after it started to burn. Buddy told me the engine lost power,
started to smoke and within minute the whole motorhome was up in flames.
No one hurt. He did save his guitar!
Turned around and the thing was up in flames.

Roll'n still comes to the bush, but only on days where I do not walk.
He has wore himself out and can not come on the 1km + walks, his legs can't take it.

Road building. My truck is the first on the new bush road.

Class trip to the Millson Complex on Dalton Road.
I am looking fat in my jump suit,
I think it is the jump suit and the way I am standing - ya, ya that's it.

What will next week bring?

It was a good week.

Timmins Times Coverage and pictures.

Hiking Day held Sunday in Timmins 

to raise awareness of trails

Timmins group hikes to 

Archie's Rock on Sunday

here is a better map of where the rock is. click here
I have never been there so you will see an entry on Sunday night when we get back.
GPS, pictures and video is the plan.
Hope the weather is good.

Thanks Len!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

EST Learning about our Forests

Local High School 
takes education out of the class room
Learning in the greenhouse.

Another group of interested students came to the complex to learn about our forests and forest management.

They have come before, not the same group, but the same class.
I enjoy giving the tour to engaged students.

École secondaire catholique Thériault read more

Monday, October 15, 2012

Archie's Rock Tour

The Wintergreen Fund for Conservation is organizing a hike to Archie’s Rock this Sunday,
October 21.

We will be meeting in front of the Conservation Authority office at the Gillies Lake Conservation Area at 11 AM.  We will car/truck pool to the site the best we can.  If you prefer, you can meet us at the White Birch Restaurant at the Star Lake Road at 11:45.

Archie’s Rock is located just south of Star Lake west on Highway 101.  The Rock is an unique landscape feature left behind by glaciers 10,000 years ago.

The day will feature a short guided tour to the rock.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hiking Day Hersey Lake


Hike Day At Hersey Lake.

I hope everyone learned something,

I always learn something new when people get together to walk and talk. Thanks.
I learned a little dog held the interest of lynx or a bobcat (what is the difference) at École catholique Don-Bosco
I learned I was not the only one to think they saw the GOLD EAGLE at the Deloro Landfill.
I learned another person has a story of a snapping turtle as a pet here in Timmins.
I learned we need to get more people involved in these tours around Timmins.

I did not get to see it, but some in the front of the pack got to see a little bear run across the trail. I did see the chickadees and heard a blue jay. We saw jack pine, poplar and spruce. Kees pulled up some pitcher plants (read more) for us to see, and I had bug guts all over my fingers. Feels like MUD, I love it. (read how muddy mark got his name)

Nice fall picture of engaged individuals.

Hope you can all join us again next Sunday for our walk.

Snow in Timmins - First for 2012


I love the first snow falls. Warm snow sticking to everything.

Drive on the way to work 
I cross a bridge on the way there. Point my camera down the creek. 
I like the cold frosty branches in contrast to the warm rocks and water. 
Across the frosty bulrushes you can see the warm water is 
keeping the lower part of the trees melted while the tops are covered in wet snow. 
Branches are heavy with wet snow. 
The line between warm and cold is easy to see in the trees.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fall Hiking Day

It is going to be 
another gorgeous sunny day!!

These hiking events are become very popular.
Lots of fun, great people who like to talk about the importance of the community, the trails and coming together in the fresh air of Timmins.

Join us on Facebook

We have had a few walks at Hersey the last couple of years. Come join us.

We are also planning a get together to look at Archie's Rock and Nickies Nature Trail. We will leave the Gillies lake parking lot at 11am Sunday October 21, so we can car pool. We will visit Archie's rock first then go to the trail head of Nickies Nature Trail.

Archies' Rock
Timmins Outdoors

Nickies Nature Trail
I am working on a better map for the trail. This is what I have done so far, see the map
There is a geocashe on the way into the rocks learn more
Government support for the trail read more

Compressed bio-fiber fire log

The next best thing to sliced bread, no no! The next best thing to firewood.

The btu's of a bio-fiber log is almost twice that of well seasoned white birch firewood.

More information here

White Birch Bonsai - Update

Established 2005

When will the bark turn white?

I think I need to re-pot it next year. It did not get much T.L.C. this year.

Here is an album of all the pictures of this tree click here. It has looked better. It will be back in all it's glory next year, I will have more time for the tree.

The leaves are becoming stunted so it will really look more of a bonsai then too.

I have blogged about this tree before want to read more, more, more, more, more. one more

Gillies Lake Memorial Tree

Can I say I was tree planting,
 if I only planted 1 tree?

A memorial tree was purchased at Millson Forestry Service, part of the service included the planting.

We work with the Wintergreen Fund for Conservation to plant memorial trees, in this case at Gillies lake.
I do not know who the tree was planted for, but they did pick a nice spot over looking the lake.

where the tree seedling came from read more
who is the Wintergreen Fund for Conservation read more
where is the tree seedling planted see map

Black Ash Compound Leaf this Fall

Thinking about the 
Black Ash Compound Leaf.

Just sitting on a log watching the tree leaves falling around me.
I watch a compound leaf of a black ash falling from the top of the crown.
The large leaf with the smaller leaves turns slowly as it spins to the forest floor.

I had never really thought about it, but I always figured each little leaflet would fall, not the entire compound leaf. While I walked I pondered the idea, and yes it makes sense the entire compound leaf would fall. The leaf would disconnect at the branch, just like simple leaves.

Right and Wrong

see where this photo was taken

It would seem that early in the fall the entire compound leaf does fall, but later into the season the small leaflets that make up the compound leaf.  The picture above is the stem of the compound leaf still on the branch. It fact it was a little hard to pull the stem off.

We do not have many trees here in the north with compound leaves. I will have to pay more attention the next time I am walking in the forest in the fall.

What have you seen?  I saw a horsechestnut, what is that? while in Niagara I saw a big one, but it was still a month before the leaves would start to fall.

Ontario trees and shrubs with compound leaves. read more

White Birch Bark Tubes.

The Birch fell in the Forest
No one heard it fall
It did not make a sound

This tree I would think has been laying on the forest floor for at least 20 years.  
The wood on the inside has disintegrated, rotted, just poured it out when I picked up the pieces.

These are very cool. I wish I could come up with some use for these.
They are great for fire starting!
I am sure an artist could make something great.

Thought someone would buy these, but there has been a bunch on the Millson Webstore look now for years and no one has ever bought one. Many have asked me for one, but they are no easy to carry out of the bush when you have your hands full with work. 

map of find

Sharon Longstreet Memorial Tree Planting


The family announces with sorrow her passing on March 8, 2012.

Sharon worked at Millson Forestry Service for many years.  A tree was planted in her memory at the complex.

More pictures on the Millson Facebook page, link takes you to the album.

read more about Sharon

Squirreled Away

No one is home - go away!

Great home for a red squirrel.  Roll'n was not impressed that he could chew his way into the home of the little creature.

I picked up the dog so the dog could take a better look.  He wanted in so bad, but he was a little too big.

map where the house was found.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

On The Rocks Today

Cedar, Snake, Rock!

This little cedar has been doing great the last couple of years, 
even though it is growing in almost no soil.

This little snake was enjoying the sunny warm day, until Roll'n and I disturbed it.
Just a little one soaking up the the warm fall day.

I think someone has been here before.
Looks like advanced exploration has come and cleaned the rock to get a good look at the gold.
I did not see any gold.
I don't know what to look for anyway. Rocks are not my thing, trees are.

This is where I took the pictures see the map

Oxygen Grows On Trees

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Canadian Tree Tours

Only in Toronto -Coming to Timmins?

I think we have had our tour longer, first tree in the tour added in 2008.

We do not have a specific trail, but we do have a fancy map. The Timmins tour is more based on large trees in the Timmins Area.

Visit the Timmins Honour Roll of Trees. click here

Or go straight to the map. click here

Oxygen Grows On Trees

Wasp Nest in the Trees

Built into the branches - Great Architecture! 

Paper wasp or is it a yellow jacket wasp?

They are awesome!

Well, at a distance anyway.

Two weeks ago I stepped right into a nest. The same wasps that build nests in the trees also build nests in the ground.

The other day, while I was walking in the bush I stood for a moment, the sting I was getting on my wrist suggested I should look more carefully. Looking down I realized I was standing on a nest, better then that I had actually ripped it open.

Run... Run Away!!!! Only one sting. Good for me.

As it turns out I followed until I came back to where I started. GPS is great, can take you back to the esact same location. Shit I walked  in to the hive twice???! But I ran faster this time, no sting!

Many different types of wasps University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

Wasps are beneficial, an essential part of our ecosystem read more

Even the birds are afraid of wasps, U of Guelph

Homeowner Guide to Yellowjackets, Bald-Faced Hornets and Paper Wasps read more

Oxygen Grows On Trees