Monday, June 26, 2006

Black Powder and Red Insects

First, our thanks to everybody who attended and/or participated in this past weekend's FortFest at Fort Normandeau. Once again contributions from our volunteers, the Firestick Society, the Red Deer aboriginal Dance Troupe and the 65th Mount Royal Rifles Commemorative Regiment were invaluable and, as always, entertaining.

Aside: If anybody atteding FortFest on Sunday got a photo of the outstanding smoke ring created by the 65th's cannon, please get in touch with us. We'd really like a copy of the image.

In the "Seen in the Park" vein, we had one of the areas neatest and more secretive insects brought into us last week. The critter below is an Elm Sawfly, Cimbex americana. While it's somewhat ferocious looking - especially when it's held in an outstretched, empty Gatorade bottle - this large insect is completely harmless. It is a hymenopteran like wasps, bees and hornets, but sawflies have no stinger. If you're really diligent and somewhat lucky, you can find Elm Sawflies resting in the summer sun on the branches of willow, elm and poplars; often along watercourses.

Due to the significant damage they cause to their host Elm trees, Elm Sawfly larvae are considered an agricultural pest.

Elm Sawfly, Cimbex americana

Hi Sharn

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