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Showing posts from July, 2015

Turtles of Cootes: careful crossing the road!

It's not like they have a chance, being short, slow and focused on laying their eggs in sandy soil. Not when there's a 4 lane, 80 km/h divided highway cutting through the place where they live.

At 80 or 90km/h will you have time to notice the turtle, then take evasive action? Will the person in the car behind you have time? 
We need to do more to protect turtles and other at risk species from getting totally wiped out in our corner of the world. More on this subject to come.

RBG Protecting Turtles in Cootes Paradise

Playing Mother Nature with the Blanding’s turtle Hamilton Spectator By Mark McNeil 
They don't move too fast, but they go pretty far.

And that's a big part of the reason why Blanding's turtles are in such peril in Cootes Paradise and other wetland areas of Royal Botanical Gardens property.

Females like to ramble long distances before laying eggs and that can get them run over by automobiles, scooped by kids looking for a pet, or facing other dangers.

Consequently, numbers of the reptile listed as threatened by the province have severely declined to a point that RBG biologists estimate there are only four or five in all of Cootes Paradise and maybe another 20 in the Grindstone Creek (Hendrie Valley) area.

Faced with the real prospect of losing the species from the area altogether, RBG workers have decided to play Mother Nature using radio telemetry and incubation.

This spring, they outfitted three reproductive Blanding's turtle females with radio transmitters and, after…

Urquhart Butterfly Garden hosting a nature photography contest with prizes

Urquhart Butterfly Garden, Centennial Park, Dundas Ontario.

Urquhart Butterfly Garden Photo Contest 2015
Are you able to spot the  stunning  Milbert's Tortoiseshell Butterfly?
Or see a common bird like the Chickadee in an entirely new light?  Can you detect the smallest spider or insect hiding in the petals of a flower? If so test your photographic skills at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden during our annual Photo Contest.

Photographers ages 10 and up are eligible for both cash and certificate awards in the following four adult and youth categories: Butterflies and Moths; Insects, Spiders & Bugs; Birds and other Wildlife; Plants & Flowers.

The Photo Contest runs from Saturday July 11th until Sunday August 30th.

The Urquhart Butterfly Garden is located in Centennial Park at the corner of Cootes Drive and Street. Parking is available on King Street East.

The Photo Contest is funded by generous donations from The Conserver Society of Hamilton & District; & Canadian Tire, …

Environmental Footprint Increased with Removal of Maplewood from Dundas Valley

Maplewood is gone, and nature is returning. 
Restore Cootes is pleased with the outcome, but we wanted to see for ourselves. A visit to the site now that the demolition is complete was in order. We took a hike from Dundas University Plaza along the lovely Monarch Trail to the former site of Maplewood, deep in the heart of Dundas Valley. 
The photos above are worth 1000 words, clearly the structures are removed, and a small open meadow is currently evident. Not sure if there is a native planting going on, or planned. I will look into the details for a future post. 
The Hamilton Spectator reported that "The driveway leading to the hall from Artaban Road will be converted into a pathway the width of a trail." This has not happened yet from what we saw, and there was clearly an erosion issue of driveway gravel and sand being washed into the creek and culverts, an environmental problem with the current driveway identified during the discussion on Maplewood. This is another item …