Monday, November 12, 2018

Monday Random Thoughts

            We have a small oak on the property and I noticed today how it was changing colour. The two photos are 9 days apart. I was standing at a slightly different place for each photo but I don't think it was that that made the colours different. I do not have a positive ID yet but think it is a Black Oak.

            The Highbush Cranberry bushes have almost no berries on them this year compared to the last several years.

            The needles on the European Larch have gone from golden to beige in colour and many of them have dropped off.

            I found a young English Hawthorn tree that I had not seen before beside one of the trails this morning. It is already just a bit taller than I so it has been there a few years without my being aware of it.

            A large flock of Starlings was in a tree at the west side of the property. They, or another flock just like them, were on the ground under our feeder yesterday.

            I went back to the oak today, Tuesday, and found stellate hairs on the underside of the leaf in the vein axils. That appears to be one of the attributes of the Black Oak / (Quercus velutina).

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Blue Jay & Red-bellied Woodpecker

            Here are two of our regular bird feeder birds as captured by Fleur-Ange. (I did not have the patience to wait for such a good photo.)

   © Fleur-Ange Lamothe

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Saturday 6 k


            I ran a slow 6 kilometres this morning on the Brantford Waterfront Trail with the Road Rebel Running Group. I did not push at all as I am still in recovery mode from last weeks marathon. I am certainly glad that the marathon was last week as this morning we ran in wind chills of -12°C. The marathon would have been extra difficult at those temperatures! I hope it does not get too much colder for running this winter. If it drops to a wind chill, or temperature, of -20°C, I plan on running inside on a treadmill or on the indoor track.

Friday Flowers - November 9

             Friday was cool and wet. It was raining the first time I went out from the RBG but scaled back to mist on my second wild flower walk. The first time I went out, I stayed in the area of the cultivated Rose Garden looking for "weeds" along the edges of the flower beds. I was looking, in particular, for  a goldenrod that was still in bloom. In a moment of weakness, or possible wish to be creative, I volunteered to make a model of a goldenrod for an event at the RBG in the late winter. I want to make a scale model of a goldenrod large enough to capture the attention of people walking by a display of goldenrod information. To do that, I really needed to find a goldenrod that was still blooming to take a close look at the flowers. I had been watching, and recording, a Tall Goldenrod near one of the flower beds and went there in the rain to see if it was still blooming. It was, I picked it; therefore, I shall not be able to record that bloom next week. So it goes.
Here is one of the photos that I took of one of the flowers. One can see 3 disk florets and several ray florets.

            If I really want to be faithful to the plant, I shall have to make around 100 variations of the flower. We'll see how much patience I have.

            Following are the other wild flowers that I found on my walks:

Alyssum, Hoary *
Aster, Heath
Aster, New England
Aster, Panicled
Beggar Tick
Butter-And-Eggs *
Catnip *
Chickweed, Common * 
Clover, White Sweet *
Dandelion, Red-Seeded *
Evening Primrose, Common
Galinsoga *
Galinsoga, Small-Flowered *
Lady's Thumb, Spotted *
Madder, Wild (Bedstraw) *
Nightshade, Bittersweet *
Queen Anne's Lace *
Shepherd's Purse *
Smartweed, Pale or Nodding
Sow Thistle, Common *
Sow Thistle, Field *

Tansy *

            (As usual, the * after the name means that they are not native to our area.)

            I managed to get one photo of a Snowberry in the rain:

            While I was on the Waterfront Trail in Hamilton, I spotted a large laker out in the harbour in the mist and fog:

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Beckett Walkers Walk

            I had an interesting walk with Fleur-Ange and the Brantford Beckett Walkers Group today. The group is made up of people between 60 something and 80 something, I think. Today they walked on the TH&B rail trail starting in Scotland. We all started at the same place and walked 45 minutes, or less, then turned and walked back to the start. People walked at their own speed, usually found someone else to walk with, and everyone got back at about the same time. Neat idea, I thought. Fleur-Ange & I walked just over 8k.
            You can see the route on the map below. We started at the parking lot on Oakland Road and walked north. We went over the Elliott Road, over the Maple Grove Road and turned around at the Fairchild Cemetery just south of the Marr Drive to walk back.

            Below you can see the trail from near the Fairchild Cemetery just as Fleur-Ange and I started back. Yes, all the trail in that area was paved. 

            Here is Fleur-Ange posing partially inside part of a machine that was used to grade gravel. Behind her and the machine part is a lake in what was once a large gravel pit. On the map above it is called  Willow Lake. It is currently surrounded by many, many camper trailers for summer "camping".

            Below is one of the 15 wild flowers that we found in bloom along side the trail today. This one is Bladder Campion / Silène Enflé / (Silene vulgaris).

            Other plants we found in bloom include the following:

New England Aster
Bouncing Bet, aka Soapwort
Butter and Eggs
White Campion
White Sweet Clover
Daisy Fleabane
Tall Goldenrod
Common Mullein
Queen Anne's Lace
Common Sow Thistle
Spiny-leaved Sow Thistle
Common Yarrow