Nature Notes

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October 24, 2012

Red Foxes in Ontario

Filed under: Animals,Long Point — Tags: , , , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am

Red Fox

Early one morning, while looking for migrant birds along the lake at Long Point, Ontario,I spotted an adult fox standing like a sentinel on a pile of rubble. As I drove slowly closer I was delighted to see that there were a half a dozen young kits playing under her watchful eye. She gave a sharp alarm bark and they quickly disappeared.

I sat quietly in my car, and eventually they re-appeared. The mother had decided I was not a threat and I had the treat of watching them tussle and play. One curious young animal came within a few feet to examine me. I spent several hours watching them and eventually the adult became confident enough with my presence to go off on a hunt.

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July 30, 2011

Blanding’s Turtle

Filed under: Animals,Long Point — Tags: , , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am
Blanding's Turtle, Emydoidea blandingii

Blanding’s Turtle, Emydoidea blandingii, is found throughout the Great Lakes region where it is endangered due to habitat loss. This image was taken at Long Point, Ontario

It has a high domed shell which often has spots on the top, and a deep yellow throat. It is said to live up to 80 years.


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May 10, 2011

Red-winged Blackbird in invasive phragmites

Filed under: Conservation,Long Point — Tags: — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am
Red-winged Blackbird female

Red-winged Blackbird female

This lovely Red-winged Blackbird was perched along the Big Creek marsh trail at Long Point. She sits on a graceful plant called phragmites or Common Reed. It is a tall plant that is often used in gardens but it has invaded natural marsh area throughout North America and is difficult to control.

Ontario Parks have recognized the dangers of this plant and are studying possible controls. They include  herbicide, cutting, burning, smothering and biological.

Red-winged Blackbird female

Red-winged Blackbird female


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July 9, 2010

Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja coccinea

Filed under: Flowers,Long Point — Tags: — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am

Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja coccinea

Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja coccinea

One of my favorite wildflowers is Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja coccinea, sometimes known as Painted Cup. The beautiful red portion is actually a bract, while the flower is a smaller yellow green portion at the top. The best spreads I’ve seen are in sandy soil like there is in Long Point, Ontario.

Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja coccinea

Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja coccinea

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