Saturday, September 30, 2006

Sumac leaves

Milkweed duking it out with dog-strangling vine:

I've read that jewelweed got its name from the way raindrops bead up on the leaves. It also has the nickname of "touch-me-not" because its seed pods *POP* open at a touch. I had fun confirming this.

Raindrops on rosehips and whiskers on kittens ...

Friday, September 29, 2006

Definitely fall, with all these asters around.

At last, after not seeing a snake all year, I found this charming little fellow beside Pottery Road.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

It's quiet around the ol' wetland these days. Summer has turned to fall, and the only thing I see moving around the pond lately is floating leaves.

The city crew has come in to remove trees we flagged and apply pesticides where necessary.

(Are those bullet holes??? Sigh.)

Don Watcher posted recently about salmon in the Don River. I haven't seen any live ones yet, but believe me, the dead ones aren't hard to locate. Just follow your nose.

The Chinese zodiac will tell you this is the year of the Dog, but I'm convinced this is actually the year of the Enormous Creepy Spider Everywhere You Look:

Monday, September 18, 2006

Foiled again! Our weather jinx continues, and tonight's outing has been cancelled. An alternate evening will be arranged if possible.

In the meantime, here are some shots of a funnelweb spider that took over the lone milkweed plant in my garden. This year seemed particularly good for spiders of all kinds. Alas, it was also particularly good for rainstorms, and both this spider and the amazing web were nowhere to be seen after the last downpour.

Monday, September 11, 2006

There was no scheduled outing this evening, but a couple of rogue stewards were seen stealing onto the site nevertheless. Here are a few before-and-after shots to indicate some of the work performed. (Note to local vandals: Dude. You have a whole city to deface up there. Stay outta my wetland restoration project.)

Clean, and with a pleasant lemon scent!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Yikes!! I believe this is a Banded Argiope, Argiope trifasciata. I thought of holding my index finger near it to indicate the size of the monster, but I was a little afraid of being taken hostage. You can learn more about this spider and others here. (Burning Silo is a terrific blog -- be sure to look around while you're there.)

Public Service Announcement: while I was warily photographing the giant mutant spider, I met a woman looking for her lost dog. Here are a couple of photos. If you see Bess, please leave a comment here and I'll get in touch with her owner.

Finally, please note that there will be no outing this week at the Beechwood Site, but we'll be back at it next week.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I don't know what this blue flower is. Anybody?

[It's a (Great) Blue Lobelia, Lobelia siphilitica. I knew the 'W's would come through! Thanks, DW and OW. I've also learned this is a close relative of the cardinal flower.]

Yikes! This is a thread-waisted wasp checking out some boneset:

These wasps prey on caterpillars, stinging them and lugging them back to their underground nests to feed their young. This guy had better watch out:

I found one more interesting thing on my way home from the site:

Friday, September 01, 2006

Elsewhere in the Don Valley ...

Leaves and seedpods of a black locust tree, one of the species we're removing from the Beechwood site:

Wild grape leaves and Virginia creeper (red leaves, berries) provide a hit of colour:

Hairy woodpecker -- check out the big bill!

Dog-strangling vine seedpods burst open to disperse fluffy seeds:

The poison ivy is flourishing: