Updated Plants for Sale Inventory – August 2012

These are plants we still have for sale. Small pots are 3$, larger pots are 5$.

Please email us at fletcher [at] ofnc.ca if you are interested in buying plants. Or, drop by a Friday morning when the volunteers are around!

If you know what you want from the list, we are hoping to have some volunteers staff the Interpretation Centre on Sunday afternoons until the end of September, but EMAIL to be sure. You could arrange to pick up your plants that day and pay.

THESE ARE THE ONLY TIMES WE CAN TAKE ORDERS. Sadly, base don past experience people often don’t commit to a time or don’t show up, which is a nuisance for volunteers who do take the time to come in expressly for that purpose.

All proceeds from our lovingly raised babies fund our projects at FWG.

Here is the list!

Lanceleaf Coreopsis – profuse yellow flowers

Purple Clematis – purple flowers, non-clinging climber

Wild Columbine – red and yellow flowers, shade or sun plant

Hairy Beardtongue – purple foxglove flowers

White Beardtongue – the original digitalis! Taller than Hairy Beardtongue, with white flowers.

New England Aster – purple-blue-pink flowers

Nodding Onion – pale purple flowers (edible greens!)

Blue Flag Iris – purple flowers

Meadow Rue – small white flowers, shade plant

Golden Alexander – yellow flowers, early bloomer

Bigleaf Aster – white flowers, shade plant

False Sunflower – yellow flowers

Advertisements

Christine’s FWG Walks: Late August #2

by Christine Hanrahan

Christine is one of FWG’s volunteer naturalists who writes in great detail about her visits to FWG. A great way to visit with us virtually and keep on top of what you might see when here in person!

Hi All,

This is really just a note to let you know that I have uploaded some fantastic photos by Diane Lepage, to the August Pbase photo blog.
She was there in the late afternoon, working with Brian, Sandy and Barry, to remove the abundant flowering rush from the pond.

Last year, by the way, the flowering rush was greatly diminished thanks to the work of the muskrats in the pond. I regularly watched them gathering and eating flowering rush roots. But we seem to have lost our muskrats this year. [Ed note – anyone have a spare muskrat to lend us ;) ] Continue reading

Christine’s FWG Walks: Late August

by Christine Hanrahan

Christine is one of FWG’s volunteer naturalists who writes in great detail about her visits to FWG. A great way to visit with us virtually and keep on top of what you might see when here in person!

Hi all,

There is always something interesting to see at the FWG, and today was no exception. While walking through the garden with a couple of visitors from England, we were astonished to see an American Bittern take off from just west of the old field, about 4 feet away from us. It had been standing in the midst of sow-thistles, and it landed in the middle of the buckwheat field.

While looking across the buckwheat field, before we saw the bittern, we could see at least 50 monarchs!! It was quite the sight, believe me. There were more in the BYG, and elsewhere. Continue reading

Mad about mothing – the OTHER winged beauty

by Diane Lepage // FWG Butterfly Meadow Coordinator

Macaria promiscuata – Promiscuous Angle Moth. Photo by Diane Lepage.

Moths are very interesting creatures that are worth paying attention to. My interest for those beautiful and sometimes oddly shaped moths started in my early adulthood, and increased when I got my first digital camera. It was originally the Silkworm moth family, such as the Luna moth,   my attention and made me pursue this hobby. For me, it became a serious interest and some would say a passion! With over 1500 species in Canada, I was sure to be busy for a long time looking for all those beautiful moths. Continue reading

RED ALERT for visitors and dogs at FWG

It’s that time of year again…the Dog-strangling Vine seed pods are drying and opening, releasing the hordes of invasive demon seeds upon silky hairs. It is far too easy to spread DSV through its seeds if not practising above-average due diligence outdoors.

Open DSV seed pod. You can see the white, silky fluff and two dark brown seeds. Each seed is somewhat flat and papery. Photo by LJ Mehrhoff

Here are some tips to try and reduce the chances you’ll unknowingly introduce this pest to a new location:

  1. Keep Fido on a leash, and on the trail. FWG is actually an on-leash area, and you could be fined if caught. We try and cut DSV close to the paths, but if your dog goes crashing off into the under brush he might come back with an unwanted additional furry coat.
  2. Brush Fido off carefully when ready to load back in your vehicle. Check for seeds on his paws and coat. Inspect your car to see if snuck got in.
  3. Check your own clothes and boots. Many of our volunteers have one pair of work boots they use at FWG and a second pair for hiking in other locations. Seeds get trapped in mud and can become caked on unknowingly, or become lodged in clothes. The diligent among the volunteers have found seeds on their outerwear when returning home, so it does happen to the best of us! Doing these checks is actually best practice for visiting any wild space.
  4. Remind other dog walkers in the parking lot that they should be checking themselves and fido for seeds. Managing the spread of DSV is a group effort!

Hopefully, if these tips are followed we can limit the spread of DSV through human activity. These rules apply for many different kinds of invasive plant, but DSV is one of the easiest to accidentally carry about. The only real benefit of the pods changing colour is it can become easier for some people to identify the plant in their gardens and remove it. Carefully bin any parts of the plant and seeds and put out in the garbage.

Nature Olympics : Long Distance Track and Field

In honour of the summer Olympics, we thought we’d profile a few of our own natural athletes – the fauna that can be found in Ontario present some incredible contenders! If Mother Nature was to pit some of her sports players against humans, we suspect our multi-legged and feathered friends would be the ones winning all the cereal endorsements.

Long-distance track and field is where some of nature’s athletes excel. Of course, rather than a single-day event, these sports are essential to the ongoing survival of the species – a perfect impetus to excel at endurance movement! Continue reading

Nature Olympics : Aquatic Events

In honour of the summer Olympics, we thought we’d profile a few of our own natural athletes – the fauna that can be found in Ontario present some incredible contenders! If Mother Nature was to pit some of her sports players against humans, we suspect our multi-legged and feathered friends would be the ones winning all the cereal endorsements.

First up, the aquatic events.

Predacious Diving Beetle – Coelambus impressopunctatus by Stephen Luk

High dives and deep dives, this sport is unique for its combination of ability within two media – water and air. The first competitor up to the board is the predaceous diving beetle. The Dytiscidae family have some 500 members in North America, and come in a range of muted colours such as brown, dark green and black with varying patterns. They live in freshwater ponds or still-water areas, where their entire lifecycle can occur. Adults inject eggs into underwater plant material, while hatching larvae pupate in moist soil. The adults are air-breathing but dive under the water to catch their prey. These beetles eat other larvae, tiny fish and other small insects. Catching air pockets beneath their wings enables them to stay underwater, and powerful hind legs propel them downwards. A distinctive trait of this family is that the hind legs move simultaneously like those of a frog. If the beetle hasn’t a full enough stomach, it must sometimes ingest water and then propel it from its rectum in order to escape surface tension. Jet-propelled action!

Water striders. Photo from Resources for Rethinking, a Canadian not-for-profit with nature education resources for teachers.

Across the surface, the best-known medal contender for the rowing category would be the water strider, or Gerrid. Skimming across the surface of calm water as though they were ice dancers, water striders use their middle legs for rowing and their hind legs for steering. The rowing legs push down and outwards, creating a semi-circular wave that propels them forward at speeds that can reach up to one metre a second or more! Water striders manage to stay on top of the water by spreading their body weight over a large surface area through using their long legs. These same legs can flex with water movement to keep the insect above water. The body is covered with numerous small hairs that trap air pockets should the strider be covered with a wave or water. In this fashion the insect can reach buoyancy again quickly rather than be drawn down and trapped by surface tension. Physics give the water strider its competitive edge!