By Ted Farnworth The amphibian pond has been helped and hurt by the record rains that we have experienced. The good news is that many of the plants that we planted in the spring have done well thanks to the frequent downpours. But the rains have also encouraged rapid growth of many types of weeds that are competing with our new plantings. In addition, the torrential rains badly eroded the crushed stone pathway around the pond, and washed crushed stone and topsoil in to the pond. It seems that the dredging we did last fall has also encouraged the growth of flowering rush and so this invasive aquatic plant has just about taken over the pond.
A variety of weeds and flowering rush have taken over in the pond and surrounding banks
Small groups are now trying to play catch up at the pond, to make the pathway safe, to weed around plants we want to survive and flourish, to remove flowering rush and to start introducing other types of aquatic plants.
This past Saturday, a small group of eager volunteers made great progress on the pond and its surroundings. The pathway is now open again, weeding helped uncover many of the plants we stared in the spring, and more of the pond is now free of flowering rush.
Thanks to all who helped. The giant tadpoles, and several frogs seemed to appreciate our efforts.
A little weeding gives plants a better chance to grow on the pond banks
By Ted Farnworth
Students from the Ottawa School Board
The Ottawa School Board offers summer classes to new Canadians as a way of giving their students more opportunities to improve their English, get more comfortable with a school setting, and as a way to learn more about the city and country they now live in. The 15-17 year olds in this year’s class come from a variety of countries, and backgrounds.
As part of the course work, the instructors organize day trips to various locations and organizations in Ottawa. On Tuesday, they class visited the Fletcher Wildlife Garden to learn about the garden, in general, and dog-strangling vine in particular. It was obvious that many of the students were city kids, and so the many squirrels, chipmunks, birds, and insects they saw during their visit caused much excitement.
A short tour of the Backyard Garden was followed by an hour of DSV picking. It was a particularly hot, humid day, but the students managed to stack up several large piles of picked DSV. The only disappointment – no moose or wolves showed up to say hello!