In fact, it was so rainy that most of the container plants in my garden drowned, notwithstanding repeated attempts at draining the containers. Mosquitoes and under-story plants flourished all summer, even in dry areas. On the upside, we rented a cottage at Lake Charlotte for late June and most of July. The rains kept over-sized boats with large motors to a minimum, enabling frequent canoe and kayak fishing outings and quiet nature observation.
Our first stop - Prince Edward County.
Pleasing to see a huge colourful bud of a Shagbark Hickory while exploring “The County”. A May trip to "the County" wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Prince Edward Point Banding Station (covered in my May 30, 2014 blog). We found this Yellow-rumped Warbler hanging around awaiting the banding volunteer. Birds are handled so very carefully by trained volunteers, who pride themselves on their banding talents. Getting to the mist nets early in the morning affords learning bird enthusiasts the opportunity to get some nice close-ups of difficult-to-see birds in their glorious spring plumage. However, beware of some very nasty stares back from the "misted" birds!
I was dealing with a back ailment (you know the drill - physiotherapy, exercises, and tough slogging on most walks) that limited photographic moments. One flower always beckons; its unusual 7 glowing white petals contrast with the shiny green whorled leaves. It is worth the slog and the bend! This is Starflower (well named), Trientalis borealis. Borealis, in a Latin name, refers to the north. Trientalis means a third of a foot, which is about the height of most Starflowers.
I joined the Board of the Mississippi-Madawaska Land Trust in 2017. This is a charitable organization that seeks to conserve and protect land, through agreement and ownership, in the Mississippi and Madawaska River valleys of Eastern Ontario. One of its flagship properties is called High Lonesome, which is in the Pakenham Highlands just to the west of our home in Arnprior, Ontario. I wrote about High Lonesome in my December 2014 blog. You can also learn more about it here:
Above is the new Welcome Centre, built mostly through volunteer contribution. Below is the crowd gathered for the opening of the Centre, including many of my fellow Board members, and volunteers, and Lolly, Shaun and Amelia's loyal pet.
Next stop - at the Cottage
Gathering our things, we are off to the cottage at Charlotte Lake, where the dragonflies abound at the end of June. Above, a Chalk-fronted Corporal, Ladona julia. Below, the first, if not the finest, of many canoe fishing experiences over the month.
The Ottawa Valley is home to a great diversity of Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies), due to its varied wetland habitats. It is also home to a diversity of ferns. The number of species of both of these organisms creates an identification challenge and also reminds me of the special ecological significance of the place I have chosen to live. Scroll down to sample a few of the living things found around our cottage.
One of North America's most successful songbirds is the Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia, which can be found wherever there is a shrub. On a recent trip to Vancouver Island and Yukon, I learned that western populations of this bird are larger and more reddish brown in colour than their eastern counterparts. There are 24 sub-species of this bird on the North American continent. It is well-named, as its song welcome us at dawn in the spring.
Dolomedes tenebrosus and Dolomedes scriptus.