Sunday, December 16, 2018







            I had a good running year. I placed 3rd in my age group in the Hamilton Around-the-Bay 30 k race in the spring and 2nd in my age group in the Hamilton Road-2-Hope Marathon in the fall. Today I was awarded the Runner of the Year award from my running club. 
            All that being said, it was the members of the running club that kept me going all year. I would like to thank the following who ran or biked beside me all summer in the heat to help me get ready for the fall marathon.
            (Hope I did not miss anyone! Everyone else in the club boosted me with many encouraging words and moral support. Thanks to all!)




Saturday, December 01, 2018

Friday Flowers

            Almost  every Friday of the year, I go out looking for flowers in the Hamilton area. On almost every other day of the year, I just look for flowers wherever I happen to be. The Friday flower walk in Hamilton is due to my having lived in Hamilton for over 30 years and having kept records of blooms that I found there for many of those years. Since I retired, I have been volunteering at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton on Fridays so I continue on those days to update my Hamilton wild flower list. In the last few years, I have added a few of the cultivated flowers that grow outdoors at the RBG. Because I have spent so many hours looking for flowers I have become better adapted at finding obscure ones. It also helps that I have been leading wild flower walks since the fall of 1981 and many eyes see a lot more flowers.

            With all that as a lead up, I would like to report that on November 30 of 2018 I found 8 wild flowers in bloom and 2 cultivated flowers. This in spite of a lot of cloudy days in November this year, a couple of snowfalls, and several days of subfreezing temperatures during the month. Just for the record, as of this year, I have found 224 wild flowers in bloom in November and have recorded 19 cultivated flowers. I know there have been more cultivated flowers in bloom but I have not recorded them for various reasons.

            The first flower photo of the day represents a very small wild flower that is supposed to bloom in early spring. A few years ago I found it blooming in December but this is the first time I have found it in November.



            I put in this first photo just to indicate how small the flower is as it shows the view of the flower from my standing position at the edge of a weedy bit of flower garden at the RBG. I suspect that you, and 99% of the visitors of the garden, would have missed it. I saw it because it is in a location where I had seen the plant in previous years and I also was looking for another very small weed flower that often grows in the same area.




            This second photo shows the flower a bit more clearly and I am sure the arrow that I added will help the finding of the flower.




            The third photo is from my Olympus Tough camera in it's "super close up focus stacking" mode. I was pleased with the result of this little point-and-shoot camera used without the recommended tripod. 
            The flower was native to Great Britain and north-central Europe but arrived in North America with the early colonizers. The name in my wild flower book is Whitlow Grass. The French is Drave printanière; Latin, Draba verna.


           Using the same camera and the same shooting mode I photographed  a flower on the native Witch Hazel / Hamamélis de Virginie / Hamamelis virginiana.


             The last photo is another of the Tall Goldenrod \ Verge d`or haute \ Solidago altissima.

            The other flowers seen yesterday were as follows:

Natives : 

Heath Aster \ Aster éricoïde \ Symphyotrichum ericoides

New England Aster \ Aster de Nouvelle-Angleterre \            Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

Panicled Aster \ Aster lancéolé \ Symphyotrichum lanceolatum

Aliens from Europe:

Hairy Bittercress \ Cardamine hérissée \ Cardamine hirsuta 

Common Groundsel \ Séneçon vulgaire \ Senecio vulgaris

Cultivated:

'Chaplin's Red' Witch Hazel \ Hamamélis virginiana 'De Champlin Red' \ Hamamelis virginiana ‘Champlin’s Red’

'Winter Dawn' Witch Hazel \ Noisetier de sorcière 'Winter Dawn' \ Hamamelis x intermedia 'Winter Dawn'