Saturday, August 31, 2013

New Delivery

I honestly never thought that I'd be posting baby pictures on this blog, but here's the new arrival. We'd been suspecting that our Plains Garter Snake was pregnant when she was brought in to to us, but then recently she'd started looking more like she'd just had a big meal. It was a bit of a surprise, then, when an end-of-the-workday check showed not one but two snakes in the habitat. So far we've only noticed the one baby (there may easily be more hiding), but as garter snakes can sometimes have upwards of forty young we're keeping an eye on her.

Above you can see a close-up of the little garter snake, and below you can see the baby on the ornamental rock and mom down on the real rock. As always, click on the pictures for larger versions.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

About this time every year...

We're into the part of August where the grasshoppers leap out at you as you walk the Dr George Trail, the Purple Asters and Goldenrods are showing off their colours... and people phone us concerned that there's something wrong with the trees because they're turning yellow.

Sorry, everyone, but it's that time of year again.

Here in Alberta we have a number of trees and shrubs that start turning colour fairly early, but probably the most noticeable is the Balsam Poplar. It can start turning in mid-July, and since it's one of the main tree species in the park it's hard not to see the yellow leaves peeking out everywhere.

Hard to believe, but it happens this early every year. It's not a signal of illness or pesticide use; it's just the tree's natural cycle. It's hard for a lot of us (including me) to process the fact that a tree could be getting ready for fall when there's usually still a fair amount of summer, and I think that's why people become concerned when they see the yellow leaves. It is normal, though, even if it's a tiny bit depressing.

On a happier note, here are a few of the things I saw on my walk around the 1 km today:

Grasshopper on the path
Goldenrod peeking through the shrubs. And my shadow...
The Red Squirrels have been leaving lots of piles of peeled cones.
A Mosaic Darner
Mystery feathers all over the bird blind. I wonder if something got eaten.

Bottom's up!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

mosquitoes away-no chemicals

Now available at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre Bookstore--,Aug 5,2013

Hemp-AWAYHemp-AWAY 250ml bottle With the Skin-Soothing properties of 100% pure Hemp Seed Oil, the natural repellent properties of Citronella, Witch Hazel, Cedarwood, and others, our Hemp-AWAY will make sure the bugs just stay AWAY. You can feel safe using this formulation as often as necessary as all ingredients are from nature. The essential oils will penetrate your skin with the help of the Hemp Seed Oil, and will be used for good and then completely eliminated naturally if not needed.


 special during August --$13.95
      regular   $15.00