What a Spring!

What a spring! One day it is too hot, the next day snow and freezing temperatures, then rain, rain, rain. It has made it hard to do gardening. Nonetheless we are pressing ahead.

Our gardener for the season is Kathy Michaluk, who is often joined by volunteer Rose Anne Prevec. When shrubs and plants arrive more people will be assisting. Monica Brecht and her sister, Mike and Ryan will all be lending a hand.

The beavers have caused considerable damage to the shrubs along banks and the pathway to Canal Park. We shall doing some replacement planting with fast growing willows.

If you hurry to the Garden you will see the beautiful Captain Cootes Red apple trees in full bloom. There are quite a few Painted Lady butterflies on our pearly everlasting, also the occasional Red Admiral finding just the right stinging nettle. We are off to an early start.

We hope to keep “Seen in the Garden” up-to-date, and there will be a our usual series of Saturday talks – so far the line-up looks great.

JC

Captain Cootes Red apple tree by Rose Anne Prevec
Captain Cootes Red apple tree blossoms by Rose Anne Prevec

WINTER 2022-23 PHOTO CONTEST

Thur., December 1st, 2022 to Tues., February 28, 2023.

It is already December which means once again the Urquhart Butterfly Garden, in partnership with the Hamilton Conservation Authority, is holding a Winter Photo Contest. Please see the poster below for submission guidelines.

You may take your photographs in Canal Park (including from the observation platform) as well as in the Urquhart Butterfly Garden.

There are only two categories:
Birds and Other Wildlife – identification required  
Natural Winter Scenes – includes plants, landscape shots and etc.

Wildlife is easier to see in the winter.  There are dozens of little Hooded Mergansers in the canal right now and a lot of other bird life.  The beavers have been busy, and you will see one if you are observant in the early evening.

Please remember that when you submit your pictures in February, you must include your name, address, and phone number.

Best of luck to all!

GOOGLE FORM SUBMISSION LINK:

A link to the entry form may be found HERE:

https://tinyurl.com/contest-form

ALL submissions are due by 11:59 PM Tues., February 28, 2023. Late submission will not be considered.

All photos entered (up to 3 per category) may be entered using a single form. Repeat submissions will not be considered. Any questions please contact: winterphotos2023@gmail.com

IDENTIFICATION RESOURCES:

There are many excellent digital resources for help with plant and wildlife identification. Fortunately, most are free of charge.

Winter Plant identification is difficult, at times impossible, and is therefore optional for the winter contest. We have included a plant ID link for any interested in broadening their natural history knowledge.   

Correct identification of birds and all other wildlife is required and can be accomplished with the resources provided. Incomplete or incorrect identifications are factored into the judging process.

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to winterphotos2023@gmail.com for ID hints if you are truly stumped.


BIRDS
Hamilton Naturalists’ Club Birding Checklist: https://hamiltonnature.org/birding/birds/
Download a free checklist to the birds of the Hamilton Study Area (HSA), a circle with a 40 km radius centered on Dundurn Castle.

The All About Birds website, Cornell Lab of Ornithology: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/news/#
Read species accounts and compare similar species. Also Links to the Merlin Bird ID App.

The Merlin Bird ID App: https://merlin.allaboutbirds.org/
Upload photos for AI assisted identification. A caution: While Merlin is often correct, it is in development and may result in errors. It will typically point you in the right direction but treat it as a starting point.

The Sibley eGuide to Birds App, Version 2: https://www.sibleyguides.com/product/sibley-birds-v2-app/
Comes at a cost of $19.99 but also serves as a traditional field guide. Hard Copy of the Sibley Guide also available.


INSECTS
Bug Guide: https://bugguide.net/node/view/15740
Upload photos for ID help or browse entries


PLANTS & ALL WILDLIFE

iNaturalist Canada (plants, birds, insects, mammals): https://inaturalist.ca/
An excellent resource for ID help and storing observations. Works better with a (free) registered account but can be used without.

Summer Education Series 2022

Bees, Bees, Bees – A Free public workshop

Jenna Braun,

Saturday August 27, 10 am.

Jenna and her able assistant will be back by popular demand on

Saturday August 27, and no one knows bees like Jenna.  When one thinks of bees we tend to think of the honey bee, however there are 800 bee species in Canada if which over 400 are in Ontario.

Our native bees range in size from the 25mm carpenter bee to the tiny 5 mm solitary bee, and many of the species can be found at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden and you can see them up close and personal with Jenna.

Numbers of native bee are in serious decline, due to habitat loss and land fragmentation plus the use of pesticides.  Unfortunately 12 bee species have recently been added to creatures at risk in Ontario.

Native bees are our most important pollinators, so there is cause for great concern when species are declining. They not only pollinate wildflowers but also the crops we eat.   Listen and look on Saturday 27 as you learn more about the many bee species at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden, and find out how you can help encourage bee preservation, even if you only have a balcony.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

There is lots of free parking and the site is conveniently accessible by bus or bike. Please bring a chair and wear a hat – you will spend an hour in full sun.

The event will NOT proceed in the event of rain.

For more information contact: Joanna Chapman, 905-627-8917

or jfcchapman@gmail.com

Nature in the Garden

Brian Wylie

Free Workshop Saturday August 20, 10 am

It is not every naturalist who really loves answering questions from kids, but Brian Wylie really does!  When Brian was a young child he used to sit patiently beside local ponds to see what lived there, and has been a keen naturalist ever since. 

August is the end of summer and the Urquhart Butterfly Garden is seeing lots of action, rare butterflies, insects of every type, cicadas emerging, spiders spinning.  There are many flowers in bloom and the observant will see hummingbirds flitting about.

This is the time of year when snakes can be seen sunning themselves on the rocks, but they often return into hiding if they detect sound or movement, so one must move slowly and carefully in order to see them.

There are finches on the very tall flowers and you may see other birds gathering for the fall migration.  A trained eye like Brian Wylie’s can spot wildlife that many people might not notice.

Join him on August 20, 10 am


The session is free and open to all. You are requested to bring a chair and wear a hat. You will spend 1 hour in the full sun of the garden. The event will be cancelled in the event of rain.

The Urquhart Butterfly Garden is immediately adjacent to Centennial Park and the Hamilton Air Force Association at 128 King St. E in Dundas.

There is plenty of free parking and the location is easily accessible by public transportation or bicycle.

Sponsored  by the Dougher Foundation & Hamilton Naturalist’ Club …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

For more information contact: Joanna Chapman
jchapman@295.ca
905-627-8917

Summer Education Series 2022

Bees, Bees, Bees – A Free public workshop

Jenna Braun

Saturday August 27, 10 am.

Jenna and her able assistant will be back by popular demand on

Saturday August 27, and no one knows bees like Jenna.  When one thinks of bees we tend to think of the honey bee, however there are 800 bee species in Canada if which over 400 are in Ontario.

Our native bees range in size from the 25mm carpenter bee to the tiny 5 mm solitary bee, and many of the species can be found at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden and you can see them up close and personal with Jenna.

Numbers of native bee are in serious decline, due to habitat loss and land fragmentation plus the use of pesticides.  Unfortunately 12 bee species have recently been added to creatures at risk in Ontario.

Native bees are our most important pollinators, so there is cause for great concern when species are declining. They not only pollinate wildflowers but also the crops we eat.   Listen and look on Saturday 27 as you learn more about the many bee species at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden, and find out how you can help encourage bee preservation, even if you only have a balcony.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

There is lots of free parking and the site is conveniently accessible by bus or bike. Please bring a chair and wear a hat – you will spend an hour in full sun.

The event will NOT proceed in the event of rain.

For more information contact: Joanna Chapman, 905-627-8917

or jfcchapman@gmail.com