Friday, June 15, 2007

Bird news! This morning I saw a great egret in the pond. It's a stunning bird, snowy white and as large as a great blue heron. This brings my Beechwood bird list to 25 so far this year.
On Wednesday night we planted a variety of native plants: Blue Vervain, Hoary Vervain, Joe Pye Weed, Sky Blue Aster, Great Blue Lobelia, Smooth Aster and New England Aster. There was also some kind of tall grass, and we finished the evening by planting a lot of nice little poplar trees. Thank goodness for the extra volunteers who came out to help! We didn't get everything finished, but we came close. Here's a flat of plants waiting to go in the ground:

The city grows these for us in the greenhouse at High Park. I'm not sure about the trees. Does anyone know where they come from? [Answer: there's a city tree nursery near Fort York.]
Poplar tree settling into its new home. It has a good layer of mulch to discourage weeds and retain moisture, and a tree guard to discourage bunnies who would like to nibble the bark:

This is a smooth aster. Notice how skilfully it was planted:

Another masterful planting job:

I didn't plant this kind, so I don't know what it is, but I'm sure it will turn into something great:

By the end of today John and I will have watered all the new plants. I don't see any rain in the forecast for quite a while, so we may need to keep doing this. Unfortunately, it's not like a campground with a handy tap every few sites: watering plants means dipping water from the pond and carrying it through twelve miles of heavy brush. Well, maybe not twelve miles, and maybe the brush isn't all that heavy, but the water sure is after a while. This morning a couple of passersby kindly asked if I needed help (no, thank you) and then wondered why the water was so black (just mud from the pond). I had to be careful to avoid the frog that was "hiding" a few inches from my dipping bucket.

It's cottonwood season. This twig came down in the last big storm. You can see the shape of the leaves and the white fluff that is everywhere right now. This tree has a heck of a seed-dispersal system.

Finally, I saw dead chipmunk #3 this morning on the path. I'm going to have to put up tiny signs to warn them.