Marvellous stretch of weather, eh? After such a long lush wet growing season, we’re finally having a true Southern Ontario summer that’s straddling the astronomical boundary between Summer and Fall. Highlights of my natural history this summer include the amazing diversity and beauty of fungi produced on one old poplar stump right in by backyard! On a twenty-year-old stump that’s only ever had Dryad’s Saddle, Polyporus squamosus, suddenly beginning in the middle of July and continuing to the present, I’ve had a succession of amazing finds, only one of which I’ve ever seen before! The surprises began with the brilliant yellow Creeping Dog-vomit Slime Mold, Fuligo septica — which is the one find I’ve actually had before in my yard. (It’s actually a slime mold, not even related to fungi, but I hope you’ll excuse my sloppy phylogeny …) Then came a large brownish brown-spored gilled fungus that I’ve not… Read more »
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.
Guided Blitz Registration is now open! Join us for the 2016 Ontario BioBlitz in the Credit River Watershed on June 11-12! The Guided BioBlitz is an opportunity for less-experienced nature enthusiasts to learn a bit more about their favourite species through field surveying and identification techniques – important skills for understanding the world around us. Our 2015 flagship event in the Don Watershed was a big success. Thanks to the 700+ registered participants and volunteers – we couldn’t do it without you! The Guided BioBlitz is open to all ages and all experience levels, but be aware that sessions can require a lot of walking. Please also note that there can be a 40 minute drive between Guided BioBlitz sites. Visit http://www.ontariobioblitz.ca/guided-registration.html to register for sessions, look at the map of the Guided Blitz sites, and download a copy of the schedule. Most sessions are limited to 30 people per group, and will fill up quickly – so make sure… Read more »