ECFNC Blue Kestrel Café at the Hawk Festival, Sept. 15th and 16th

By |2018-12-12T12:30:48-04:00December 3rd, 2018|The Egret Article|

ECFNC Blue Kestrel Café at the Hawk Festival, Sept. 15th and 16th

Written JoAnn Grondin for The Egret – Issue 34 – Number 4

The Planning Committee for this fund raiser met at a local restaurant on July 30th.  Planning the event were Cathy Lapain, Carl Maiolani, Andy Paul, Aileen Petrozzi and myself.  Here we decide who is going to bring what to Holiday Beach.

Our bakers of muffins and/or cookies and squares were Cathy Lapain, Carl Maiolani, Aileen Petrozzi, Andy Paul, Jessica Middleton, Shirley Grondin and me.  We met around 8:00 am at Holiday Beach to unload the supplies from five cars and then move the cars to the parking lot.  Jessica also helped to unload cars and set up.  We decide where to place everything and get organized so that we can keep things flowing when the crowds come.  We are all settled before 9:00 am with the coffee made.   All we needed were the people to come – If you build it, they will come – right?

Unfortunately, the morning of Saturday the 15th was warm and foggy.  The fog lifted by noon, but it continued to be a very hot day.  The breeze helped, when it was there; the flies were ignoring the bug spray so they were well fed.  Andy Paul did the barbequing for the day.  The cooking tent got really hot throughout the day.  Manning the tables in the morning were Cathy Lapain, Jessica Middleton, Ralph Benoit, and Aileen Petrozzi.  Our afternoon volunteers scheduled were Jessica, Aileen, Carl, and myself.  Ralph stayed into the afternoon and everyone helped where they were needed.  When the wind is from the North there are lots of birds to band and present to the crowds.  The crowds were down for the day as the heat continued throughout the day and the North morning wind changed direction.

On Sunday, the 16th, the supplies were dropped off around 8:00 am by Carl Maiolani, Aileen Petrozzi and myself.  Tim Shortridge and Bob Hall-Brooks also helped to unload. We were quickly setup, with coffee made, with more flies than crowds of people.  It continued to be a hot day, with a North wind in the morning, changing in the afternoon.  Tim did the barbequing for the day; the barbequing tent also became very hot as the day progressed.  Our morning volunteers manning the tables were Aileen Petrozzi, Paula O’Rourke, Aidan O’Rourke, Pauline Renaud and myself.  Our afternoon volunteers were Andy Paul, Jessica Middleton, Pauline, and Aileen.  Carl and I assisted where needed.  The crowds were down again on Sun.  With the morning winds changing and the heat, there were very few birds to show to the crowds in the afternoon.

Despite the weather being uncooperative, the weekend overall went reasonably well.  We made a bit less than last year, but we worked hard and we did well, because of all our volunteers, ages ranging from 12 to 72.  A thank you to the members who supported us by stopping by to eat and say hello.  A big THANK YOU to all the volunteers! We couldn’t do this without your help!

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Fall Tree Identification Walk 

By |2018-12-12T12:31:23-04:00November 27th, 2018|The Egret Article|

 Fall Tree Identification Walk 

Gina Pannunzio

Written for The Egret – Volume 34 – Issue 4 – December 2018

Thanks to the Friends of Ojibway Prairie, those who attended the tree identification hike on November 17 got a lesson on basic tree identification for common trees growing in the Carolinian woods. Leaves definitely makes tree identification easier, especially in the spring and fall when they are fresh or showing off their vibrant colours. Of course, this time of year, there is no guarantee there will be leaves hanging on. FOOP put everyone up to the challenge of identifying quite a few trees by looking at bud/leaf arrangements and bark patterns, as most of the leaves were already part of the forest floor during the walk. Here’s some tips they shared:

What is the leaf and twig arrangement? 

  • Trees with alternate leaf arrangements have one leaf at each leaf node and usually alternate their direction along the stem. Alternate leaf arrangement trees can include Tulip Trees, Black Walnut, Shagbark Hickory, Kentucky Coffee, American Sycamore and many more.
  • Trees with opposite leaf arrangements have a pair of leaves at each node. There are only a few common tree families in this category. Commit this easy acronym to memory to help you on your next hike when you’re trying to decide what type of tree is in front of you: MADCap Horse, which includes: Maples, Ash, Dogwood, Honeysuckle/Viburnum (aka. Caprifoliaceae) and Horse Chestnut/Buckeyes. Of course there are always some exceptions, so keeping a field guide handy helps when you’re out on your tree walks.

Can the Twig Help with Identification? 

  • Buds and lead scars are different for each type of tree. Look up close and consider the shape, size, colour and scales on the bud! Black Walnut trees have a monkey face shape for their bud scar. Ash trees have a Hershey kiss shaped deposit at the end of the twig.

Check out the Bark!

For those extra tall trees that you can’t check the twigs, leaves and buds in the fall, the bark is another way to identify what is in front of you. Here’s some fun descriptions for trees we discovered on our walk in the woods:

  • American Beech bark is very smooth and is a light grey/blue colour.
  • Shagbark Hickory is very shaggy and looks like it is peeling off the tree.
  • Mature Black Walnut bark is thick, dark in colour, rigid and ropey.
  • Hackberry bark is knobby, and warty with lots of ridges. Very unique and distinguished.
  • American Sycamore bark peels in different layers and colours.
  • Black Cherry bark looks like burnt cornflakes on young and mature trees.
  • White Oak bark has long grey narrow pale grey scales.
  • Mature Pin Oak bark has low/flat scaly ridges with shallow fissures. Often lower limbs are pointed downwards and are deadwood.
  • Mature White Ash bark has intersecting ridges in a diamond pattern.
  • Eastern Cottonwood bark when young are smooth, yellowish-gray and mature bark is deeply furrowed.
  • Mature Red Oak has long flat pale grey ridges that run vertically along the trunk.
  • Mature Black Oak bark is dark almost black in colour and is deeply furrowed, with vertical ridges that are broken into square segments horizontally.
  • Young Basswood bark is thin, smooth and is light green/brown. When mature, thin long ridges form and often have rows of holes going through the bark. This is due to the Yellow-bellied sapsucker tapping the bark to drink the sap.
  • Silver Maple is smooth and grey when young and becomes dark red/brown with long and thin narrow flakes, which gives the bark a shaggy appearance.

Additional hints can be provided by leaves and fruits found on the ground nearby the tree too, so keep your eyes peeled. Tree identification is so much fun and is a good way to get to know the different native species here. Thank you to FOOP for sharing this knowledge, and enjoy all of the woodland winter walks coming up over the next few months!

Fall Tree Identification Walk Photos

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TD Tree Days Windsor, 2018

By |2018-12-12T12:31:17-04:00November 22nd, 2018|The Egret Article|

TD Tree Days Windsor 2018

Gina Pannunzio, Kelly Laforest, Claire Sanders and Ian Naisbitt

Written for The Egret Newsletter – Volume 34 – Number 4 – December 2018

On Saturday, 20 October, TD Bank sponsored their TD Tree Day program by inviting our Windsor-Essex community to help TD employees plant trees. Groups that participated included: City of Windsor, Detroit River Canadian Cleanup, Essex Region Conservation Authority, Essex County Nature – Little River Enhancement Group, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and Caesars Windsor – CodeGreen.

The planting site is located in the Detroit River Watershed in East Windsor’s Little River Corridor Park, west of Florence Avenue and north of McHugh Street. This natural area is the same site that our community has planted to celebrate numerous Earth Days.

We enjoyed a typical and pleasurable Autumn day: a mix of sun and cloud, mostly cloudy, temperature in the morning of 8 Celsius increasing to 12 C by 11 a.m. There was a calm breeze of 30 km/ hour and the UV index was 3 or moderate. All of this created a pleasant planting experience for the 70 eager tree planters.

Children, their parents and other community volunteers participated by digging holes; planting, wrapping and mulching 300 trees! We started planting at 9:00 a.m. and the job was completed at 11:15, what an effective group!

Once the volunteers walked into the field, hundreds of grasshoppers took flight. A little later on a gaggle of Canada Goose flew overhead, but they were flying in a northern direction, their inner compass must be spinning? A solitary Monarch Butterfly was checking out the purple New England asters in the area, it too was flying in the northern direction. Maybe they were looking for cover since they knew a thunderstorm was on its way? The heavy afternoon rain will be a great help to settle the soil around the newly planted trees.

The species of trees that we planted included: Burr Oak, Swamp White Oak, American Elm, Red Oak, Basswood, Hackberry, Freeman Maple and American Sycamore. About 80% of the trees that we have planted at this site over the years survived and their leaves are providing fall colours for us to enjoy.

Essex County Nature – Little River Enhancement Group would like to thank TD Bank, Essex Region Conservation Authority and the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup for planning this well – organized community event. This TD Tree Day 2018 volunteer effort addressed the Beneficial Use Impairment, “Loss of Fish and Wildlife Habitat” of the Remedial Action Plan by improving the ecosystem health of the Detroit River Watershed.

Today’s TD Tree Day planting event brings the total number of trees and shrubs planted by community volunteers in the Little River Watershed to 42,169. This is definitely a “Gain of Fish and Wildlife Habitat!”

TD Tree Days Windsor Photo Gallery




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