March 2017 was colder in this area than February 2017, by a minor fraction of a degree. More significantly, March was almost 5 Celsius degrees colder than the climatological normal for Southern Ontario. But it looks like it’s finally here! One of the harbingers of Spring for me is the opening of the Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) flowers. In my backyard on the edge of Orangeville, the female flowers opened yesterday on 2017 April 01, and then safely enough to remove any doubts about an April Fool’s joke, the male flowers on the adjacent tree began opening today! Only just opening and beginning to shed pollen, but I’ll still count this as Spring! I’ve also had a Fox Sparrow at my bird feeder. I count that as another harbinger of Spring.
Our Southern Ontario area plays a special role in the development of what we now call the environmental movement. Few of us know much about this pivotal role. Starting in the Spring of 1864, the young Scotsman turned American, John Muir, spent several months botanizing through Southern Ontario. This was his first real exploratory trip beyond his adopted home farm in Wisconsin. It was over in the Pottageville Swamp area (what was then part of the much larger Holland Marsh) that he had one of his most significant events of his lifetime, seeing a rare northern orchid, Calypso borealis. This epiphany started him on his way to dedicate the rest of his life to the preservation of the natural world. “The rarest and most beautiful of the flowering plants I discovered on this first grand excursion was Calypso borealis (the Hider of the North). I had been fording streams more and more difficult to cross and wading bogs and… Read more »
Whether you’d like to participate in this spring’s Bio Blitz or learn more about the wildflowers or dragonflies, butterflies and moths in your backyard, you might be interested in these events organized by neighbours to the east — the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust. www.oakridgesmoraine.org Wildflowers of York Region – April 11th Spring is almost here. What is sprouting in the forests and meadows around Aurora? Learn about native wildflowers, how to grow them, and where you can expect to see them. Location: Aurora Public Library, Magna Room Monday April 11th from 7pm – 9pm. Space is limited so please pre-register with the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust at 905-853-3171 ext 30 or at Landtrust@oakridgesmoraine.org Dragonflies, Butterflies and Moths – Oh My! – May 16th So many things are buzzing in the neighbourhood. Come and learn about some of the most beautiful things with wings in York Region. Location: Aurora Public Library, Magna Room Monday May 16th from 7pm – 9pm. … Read more »