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  #61  
Old Posted Nov 1, 2018, 3:28 AM
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Originally Posted by flar View Post
When I was a little kid, my friend's backyard had a scraggly tree with ugly yellow fruits on it. We called it a quincy tree and his mom told us not to eat the fruit. As kids, we assumed it was poison.

Now that I'm back in SW Ontario, I went to look for the tree, and unfortunately it's gone (and so is my friend's old house). Yesterday I went to one of the orchards down the road from where I currently live and they were selling this fruit, which I immediately recognized. It is actually called a quince. I now believe the old lady that owned the house used the fruit to make jam.



These trees are actually native to Turkey and Iran. The trees grow almost anywhere but do well in southern ontario's climate as they require a long summer for the fruit to fully ripen. I read that older apple and pear orchards often planted a few quince trees. They are used to make marmelade and jams, and can be thrown into apple pies to enhance the flavour. The fruit is a bit bigger than an apple.

The fruit smells like when you cut into an apple, but very perfumey. It can't be eaten raw, but tastes good when cooked. I sliced them up and simmered them for about half an hour. It's kind of like a pear crossed with a peach but with a rose-like aroma. It's pretty good, I'm gonna grab a few more.

Make sure you eat the quince with a runcible spoon. (From the children’s poem “the owl and the pussy cat”.)
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  #62  
Old Posted Nov 1, 2018, 1:18 PM
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They dined on mince and slices of quince,
which they ate with a runcible spoon
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  #63  
Old Posted Nov 1, 2018, 4:27 PM
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Runcible spoon, I had to look that one up. It's either a nonsense word, or what we now call a "spork"
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  #64  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2018, 12:00 AM
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Went for a walk along Lake Erie this evening. Noticed a lot of berries. My guess is winterberry, dogwood and American cranberry.











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Last edited by flar; Nov 3, 2018 at 5:49 PM.
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  #65  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2018, 7:52 PM
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^ Nice. Those berries will be very important as things get colder.

Lower Don Lands Redevelopment is going to be a major boost to the ecosystem and biodiversity of Toronto's waterfront. Together with Tommy Thompson Park this will form one of the most impressive urban natural habitats on the continent as the new river valley enters Lake Ontario near the Toronto Islands and Leslie Street Spit.

















Construction is underway on that project. In essence it will be connected with Tommy Thompson Park which I started the thread with. Don Lands are to the upper left


Link to the Don Lands development:
https://waterfrontoronto.ca/nbe/wcm....df?MOD=AJPERES
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  #66  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2018, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flar View Post
Went for a walk along Lake Erie this evening. Noticed a lot of berries. My guess is winterberry, dogwood and American cranberry.











Is this near the mouth of the Detroit River?
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  #67  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2018, 2:17 AM
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CBC News: 'It blows my mind': How B.C. destroys a key natural wildfire defence every year

Quote:
Last year, 12,812 hectares of B.C. forest was sprayed with the herbicide glyphosate. It's an annual event — a mass extermination of broadleaf trees mandated by the province.

The eradication of trees like aspen and birch on regenerating forest stands is meant to make room for more commercially valuable conifer species like pine and Douglas fir.

But experts say it also removes one of the best natural defences we have against wildfire, at a time when our warming climate is helping make large, destructive fires more and more common.
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  #68  
Old Posted Dec 17, 2018, 1:40 AM
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I mentioned earlier in the thread how birds of prey have made a comeback around these parts in the last 10+ years, regularly seeing them on light standards and highway signs and occasionally in the backyard. Well yesterday on the road was incredible. It was very Hitchcockian.

From 403 & Upper Middle to 401 & 427 my wife and I counted 14 hawks. That's only 15 minutes of driving. First one on utility box, ten on branches and three on light standards. One also swooped down to attack something on the ground too. This is hugely exceptional for this part of the country.

Today in 20 minutes of driving on Dundas and then 403 heading back we saw four.

In the past 20 years the goose population has exploded to the point where you will still see them here in parking lots, nowhere near water, in the dead of winter. In better weather, they are omnipresent and shitting all over our walking trails near water.

It appears the proliferation of hawks has begun. My cousin in Malton, Mississauga says he sees them quite often perched on the trees around his neighbourhood.

After this beautiful sight of 14 hawks I was looking forward to going through my dash cam footage and becoming an internet superstar on Nat Geo's youtube page, but god damn, they show up like specks and zooming in in post edit is useless with dash cam quality. Also doesn't help that it was grey outside yet again. I think we've seen the sun like twice since the end of October.

Here's the best I could do. The one on the utility box was the closest and clearest.



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  #69  
Old Posted Dec 17, 2018, 9:04 AM
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I had no idea this was happening. Really stupid on many different levels.
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  #70  
Old Posted Dec 22, 2018, 6:32 PM
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Neat thing at the local ecology garden called a "Hugelkultur". Basically take an old fallen tree and make a raised garden bed of sorts out of it. I imagine this thing supports a ton of insects. Lots of mushroom on the exposed sections. Great idea!



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  #71  
Old Posted Jan 2, 2019, 3:01 AM
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Being an angler, I'm curious, any successful non-native fish introductions in your neck of the woods?

Every fall for the past 10 years I've participated in the salmon run and have caught a couple dozen. I usually only go once or twice since I'm bass and pike guy primarily.

Atlantic Salmon were introduced to the Great Lakes a long time ago but died out. Then Pacific species were introduced and have been sustained for decades now. Basically the Chinook and Coho. These are the only two kinds I've caught.

They go up all the major rivers and creeks around here, but the biggest success was the restoration of the Don River. Wasn't that long ago it was too polluted for them. Now you will see them stacked up right in the city next to the DVP. And they've gone up as far as tributaries in Richmond Hill.

Here's a few screen captures from a video I took a couple of months ago. But not of the Don as I am in the west end and not east end. This is always a beautiful sight. Even though it seems like it would be shooting fish in a barrel, it's far more difficult that that because they are not hungry. They spawn and then take several days to die off. Not in the mood for feeding.

Lots of opportunities to see this in BC, QC and East Coast (NB particularly well known for salmon fishing). And it's pretty cool to be able to fish for them from Downtown and throughout the GTA. That and pike, bass, carp, trout, crappie, etc. Now if only we could get some more sheepshead and walleye and any number of musky (closest is St Catharines).






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  #72  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2019, 11:17 AM
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this is pretty cool, I had no idea

Video Link
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  #73  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2019, 12:29 PM
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That video reminded me of this report done by the CBC a couple of weeks ago.

Video Link
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  #74  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2019, 4:09 PM
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Love it.

Rivers fascinate me due to their ever changing nature and surprises they hold. Different migration and spawning periods for different species.
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  #75  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2019, 5:33 PM
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Tommy Thompson Park

[IMG]_53A6763 by Dennis liu, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]_53A5680-Edit-2-Edit-2-Edit-5-Edit by Dennis liu, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]minus 30C_53A7114-Edit by Dennis liu, on Flickr[/IMG]
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  #76  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2019, 11:24 PM
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I love owls so much.
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  #77  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2019, 12:06 AM
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I nearly hit a owl with my car on the 416 last year. It came out of the forest right in front of me and since they are huge it take them a while to gain altitude so by the time I reached it it was probably no more than half a meter higher than the hood. It nearly crashed right into my windshield and only nearly missed the roof.

There is also tons of hawks in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. Once you pay attention you notice them everywhere.
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  #78  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2019, 12:47 AM
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I've only seen one owl in the wild. Was up north by the cottage on a trail in the forest.

Ya, most people don't realize how many hawks there are around. Now I pay attention and see them all the time. Two days ago I saw three in 30 seconds on Dundas on the Bronte Creek Provincial Park lands.

And a week ago my wife said another hawk swooped down to attack the sparrow at the feeder in front of the bay window and missed. But there were about 20 of them hanging in my hedges and they scattered. So the hawk chased them and grabbed one mid-air and then ate it on a branch on the tree across the street.

Speaking of across the street, couple weeks ago this falcon (I think) was hanging out on the next tree over only 8 feet off the ground. Saw one the week before a few houses up the street too.


Last edited by megadude; Jan 25, 2019 at 4:04 AM.
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  #79  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2019, 1:00 AM
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^^Wow, nice sighting! Never seen a snowy owl in Southern Ontario.
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  #80  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2019, 4:19 PM
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I've seen a few great horned owls around Calgary. Also snowy owls at my family's ranch near Drumheller. The coolest birds I've seen here though are bald eagles along the Bow river and in Fish Creek park. I've seen them up close and they are awe inspiring.

Other interesting birds I've seen here are prairie chickens and a pheasant once.
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