Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Late, Late, Often Late

        If nothing else, I am fairly consistently late with doing activities. I hate being late but that does not stop me putting off events until the last minute and then forgetting too. Sigh!

        My current "late" project is sending out postcards before April 30. Yes, it is May 16 today.
 Anyway, I had planned and still plan, to send out photos of a whirligig that I made  in 2017. It was shown at the You-Me Gallery in Hamilton Ontario and was one of several that were written up in the Hamilton Spectator newspaper and one of few that actually sold from the gallery. It is a "traditional" whirligig that shows a wooden figure chopping wood. Since that is one of my favourite winter activities, I thought it was appropriate. It was adapted from a plan that I found on the internet but adapted enough that I still call it my own.

        Following is a video that I took of it. I am putting the blog site address on my postcard so I should have some extra visitors to this page of the blog sometime in the, hopefully, near future.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Friday Walk Flowers Continued

        I found 24 species of plants in bloom yesterday, Friday, April 6, 2018. Given that it snowed in the morning and again in the evening, I was pleased to find that many. The complete list is below:

These six are native or naturalized to our area. (The * indicates that they are not really native to the area.)

Alder, Speckled (Shrub)
Chickweed, Common * 
Coltsfoot * 
Maple, Red (Tree)
Maple, Silver (Tree)
Skunk Cabbage

Silver Maple Tree Flowers

        The remaining are plants that have been planted and maintained to some degree on the grounds of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton/Burlington, Ontario. The grounds include land in both city areas.

Christmas Rose * (Red Hellebore)
Hazel, Turkish * (Tree)
Iris, Netted *
Snowdrops *
Willow 'Hakura Nishiki'*
Winter Aconite *
Witch Hazel, 'Barmstedt Gold'* (Shrub)
Witch Hazel, 'Brandis' * (Shrub)
Witch Hazel, 'Brevipetala' (Shrub)
Witch Hazel, 'Heinrich Bruns'*(Shrub)
Witch Hazel, 'Jelena' * (Shrub)
Witch Hazel, 'Pallida'* (Shrub)
Witch Hazel, 'Primavera' * (Shrub)
Witch Hazel, 'Rochester'* (Shrub)
Witch Hazel, 'Ruby Glow' * (Shrub)
Witch Hazel,  'Brevipetala'* (Shrub)
Witch Hazel, 'Wisley Supreme'*(Shrub)
Witch Hazel, Vernal * (Ozark) (Shrub)

Willow 'Hakura Nishiki' Tree Flower

Turkish Hazel Tree Flower

Friday, April 06, 2018

Friday Walk and Flowers

        It is Friday, April 6th and we have snow again.

        There was a lot of snow hanging onto the trees.

        There was snow on all the trails at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, Ontario.

        There was snow on the newly opened Netted Iris flowers.

       However, in the afternoon the snow melted and I saw the first of the Round-lobed Hepatica flowers for this spring. They are always a special treat.

        By evening, they were covered in snow again and more snow has arrived. (I like my snow in December, January, and February and am less keen the the months go on.)

Sunday, April 01, 2018

April Wild Flower Letter

        Every month, I send out a newsletter about flowers that I have found in years past in the Hamilton and Brantford area of Ontario. I can't remember if I ever posted the letter here before but here is the one from April of this year with a few omissions that did not seem to make sense for this blog:


April Greetings from Dean,

        I am still waiting for winter to give up. As there is still snow in the forecast and my fingers are still cold and there are very few flowers in bloom, the Monday evening walks are still on hold. I will send out a note when I schedule them to start.

        So far, quite a few flowers are about 10 days to 2 weeks later than my earliest dates. We did have a few warmer winters a few years ago that probably skewed the early date times so maybe this is closer to “normal.”

Following are the names of plants that have bloomed in past Aprils: (S is for Shrub, T is for Tree, * is for alien)

Alder, European * (S)
Alder, Speckled(S)
Anemone, Rue
Anemone, Wood
Ash, Blue (T)
Aspen, Large-Toothed (T)
Aspen, Trembling (T)
Baneberry, Red
Barberry, Japanese * (S)
Beech, American (T)
Bellwort, Large-Flowered
Birch, White (T)
Bittercress, Hairy *
Bluebells, Virginia
Butterbur *
Buttercup, Hispid
Buttercup, Kidneyleaf
Celandine *
Celandine, Lesser *
Chickweed, Common * 
Chickweed, Jagged *
Chickweed, Mouse-Ear *
Cohosh, Giant Blue
Coltsfoot *
Cress, Hairy Rock
Cress, Mouse-Ear *
Cress, Purple (Pink Spring Cress)
Crowfoot, Cursed
Crown-vetch, Purple *
Currant, Wild Black (S)
Current, European Red (Garden)(S)
Dandelion, Common *
Dandelion, Marsh *
Dandelion, Red-Seeded *
Dead-Nettle, Purple *
Dead-Nettle, Spotted *
Dutchman's Breeches
Elderberry, Red
Elm, American (T)
False Mermaid
Forget-Me-Not, True *
Geranium, Wild
Gooseberry, Eastern Prickly
Ground Ivy *
Groundsel, Common * 
Groundsel, Sticky * (S.Ragwort)
Hazel, American (S)
Hazel, Beaked (S)
Henbit *
Hepatica, Round-Lobed 
Hepatica, Sharp-Lobed
Honesty *
Hop-Hornbeam (T)
Horsetail, Field (Pollen)
Hyacinth, Grape *
Johnny Jump-Up *
Mallow, Common(Cheeses) *
Maple, Manitoba (T)
Maple, Norway * (T)
Maple, Red (T)
Maple, Silver (T)
Maple, Sugar (T)
Marigold, Marsh 
Meadow-Rue, Early
Medick, Black *
Mustard, Garlic *
Pennycress, Field *
Periwinkle *
Plum, Canada (T)
Pussytoes, Field
Pussytoes, Parlin's
Pussytoes, Smaller Rare In H/W
Redbud (T)
Redcedar, Eastern (T)
Rocket, Yellow *
Saxifrage, Early
Saxifrage, Golden
Scilla * (Blue)
Scorpion-Grass, Blue *
Sedge, Long-stalked
Sedge, Pennsylvania
Shadbush, Common (T)
Shadbush, Smooth (T)
Shadush Species (T)
Shepherd's Purse *
Skunk Cabbage
Speedwell, Corn *
Speedwell, Persian *
Speedwell, Slender *
Speedwell, Thyme-Leaved *
Speedwell, Wayside *
Spicebush (S)
Spring Beauty, Carolina
Spring Beauty, Narrow-leaved
Spurge, Cypress *
Spurge, Petty *
Storksbill *
Strawberry, Barren
Strawberry, Field
Strawberry, Woodland
Tamarack (T)
Toothwort, Cut-Leaved
Toothwort, Two-leaved (Crinkleroot)
Trillium, Red
Trillium, White
Trout-Lily, White
Violet, Canada
Violet, Common
Violet, Dog
Violet, Downy Yellow
Violet, Leconte's
Violet, Long-Spurred
Violet, N.Blue
Violet, N.White *
Violet, Selkirk's
Violet, Sweet White
Whitlow Grass *
Wild Ginger
Willow, Pussy (S)
Wood Sorrel, Yellow
Woodrush, Hairy

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Monday, March 19, 2018

Getting Close to Spring

        "Spring" is approaching. It will arrive at 12:15 p.m. tomorrow in our area. As I remember from many, many years ago at school the arrival of spring means equal hours of  day and night and the sun rises exactly in the east and sets exactly in the west. 

        Guess what? It's not exactly true due to the tilt of the earth. Equal hours happen at different times at different latitudes.  Where we live, at 43 degrees 13 minutes north, the equal hours happened already on March 17. The sun rose and set at east and west within less than a degree of difference yesterday the 18th and today, the 19th. Tomorrow, the official time when spring arrives, we will have 12 hour and just over 9 minutes of day time and the sun will rise 1 degrees north of east and set 1 degree north of west. So it goes.

        This first photo is from Sunday, March 18 at the minute the sun is supposed to rise i.e. the top rim of the sun is just above the horizon. Of course there is no way I can see that with trees and clouds in the way.

        So, this is 13 minutes later on the same morning when I first saw the sun rising above the trees. According to my compass it was at least 3 degrees south of east so I don't know if the compass was off or my information from the internet was off or if it moved south of east very quickly.

        Just for the record, below is one of the earlier spring flowers for this spring. It was found in a protected courtyard at the Royal Botanical Gardens and was planted there as a cultivated flower. I have seen them as naturalized flowers in a few locations over the years and was puzzled for several years as they are not in the wild flower guides.

Winter Aconite
Aconit d'hiver
(Eranthus hyemalis)
[er-AN-thus   hy-EH-may-liss]