Sunday, October 14, 2007



Sometimes weeds can be more curious and interesting that flower gardens. For example this fall we found this very interesting metre and a half tall plant which we later identified as Indian Mallow [Abuliton theophrasti]. “Ontario Weeds” ISBN 0-7729-9691-1 identifies this plant as Velvet Leaf. There are also many other names including Abuth, abuliton, Butter-print, Elephant ear, Pie Maker, abuliton feuille de velours.

It does not have an attractive flower but the seed pods are quite unique.

It appears that in some areas this plant is considered a very invasive weed according to . The site states that the seeds can last dormant for up to 50 years. According to this plant was introduced to North America two centuries ago – late 1700s, early 1800s. Since the plant actually sprouted on land that has not been tilled or disturbed for some 40 years I suppose it is possible that the seed has laid dormant for all those years, like the goosefoot that I posted about earlier.

Monday, October 08, 2007

New Brunswick Trespassing Rules

Since the last post I have found the trespassing rules for the Province of New Brunswick (NB). There are interesting similarities and yet complete contradictions to the Ontario Rules.

New Brunswick similarly uses the red and yellow discs but the description is not as specific about the disc dimensions. Instead it describes yellow or red discs or painted bands around the trees and posts.

In NB, the posted red disk or painted red bands around trees or posts means no shooting, hunting or trapping is allowed, not even for the owner, which strikes me a a bit odd. In Ontario the red disc implies no trespassing and thus no hunting or any activity of any kind and this does not apply to the owner.

A description of the New Brunswick Rules can be found at

Monday, October 01, 2007

The 10 cm. (4 inch) Red Dot

If you drive the Ontario country side, especially near forests you will from time to time see a red circle painted on a tree, rock or fence post. I had been told that the symbol meant “no trespassing”. If you seek out the origin of this custom on the web there is very little information about the custom.
In time I found this custom well described in the Ontario Hunting Regulations for example in
Hunting Regulations 2007 • 2008, ISSN 0882-1936 under General Regulations on page 25 is the following text and I quote:

A person is trespassing if the person enters onto property
or carries out an activity on property that the owner has given
notice is not allowed. Commonly the owner may give this
notice to the general public by having a fence, sign, symbol or
by verbally telling someone.
A hunting licence does not give hunters the right to enter
private property.
ALWAYS ask for permission and obey signs. Signs may be in
three formats:
Red or yellow markings of such a size that a circle of
10 cm (4 inches) can be contained wholly within them.
Red means no entry is permitted. Yellow markings mean no
entry is permitted except for activities that may be allowed.
• Graphic representation of a permitted or prohibited activity.
• A written sign.
If it is not evident what activities are allowed, ask for permission
from the landowner. Not all land is signed. Unsigned
lands may be private land as well. (If property is fenced, no
access is permitted without permission of the landowner.) It is
your responsibility to find out who owns the land you wish to
hunt on and obtain permission. If unsure, stay out. Positive
landowner/hunter relationships are important to the
future of hunting in Ontario.
Be sure you are familiar with the Occupiers’ Liability Act and
the Trespass to Property Act before entering private land. (You
may obtain these two acts from Publications Ontario or online
at You will also be violating the Fish
and Wildlife Conservation Act if the landowner asks you to
leave and you do not do so immediately, or if you do not obey
signs prohibiting trespassing, hunting or fishing.
We know of very little incidence of trespassing on our woodlot, and based on the above, it seems that a fence will suffice and there is no need to “Post” red circles.
Interestingly this regulation is quite well described for Ontario. If one were to look at regulations in other provinces such as New Brunswick or Nova Scotia one will find the regulations have a different meaning not nearly as clear and explicit. New Brunswick rules are described in a later post. 

This information can also be found on:

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Earlier this summer in June, we had some excavation done on our property. This activity disturbed areas which have been untouched for many decades. In particular this was around an old collapsed horse barn. Subsequently weeds appeared which were entirely unfamiliar to me. One is what I believe is Maple Leafed Goosefoot [Chenopodium gigantospermum] as pictured here. I am not entirely certain of its identification although I can not find any literature that provides me with a better I.D. to prove the contrary. Could it be that the seeds remained dormant for so many years? The infestation as the pictures will attest was intense, and very unusual. I can not think of any other way that the seeds were introduced here. It was limited to one particular area so was not likely brought in on the equipment.

Chicken in the Woods

About two weeks ago I was returning to the habit of doing regular patrols of the forest. The leaves are starting to dry up so you can see quite a bit more through the underbrush. Also all bird nests will be abandoned by now so one is less likely to disturb them. During that first walk I came across this very showy fungus growing on the base of a butternut tree. Unfortunately a fungus on a tree is a bad sign for the tree, likely meaning that the inside core of the tree is rotting. This fungus resembled most closely the “Chicken in the woods” [Laetiporous sulphureus] and is supposedly quite common according to Mushrooms of Ontario and Eastern Canada, ISBN 1-55105-199-0. I found it to be an interesting sight none-the-less.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Adding some photos

I have updated some old posts by adding pictures that have been waiting to be released. Last week after enduring 7 years of slow speed dial up internet connection out here in the rhubarb, we are connected to a radio based high speed connection.
The service is transmitted from a several hundred metre high antenna located about 4 kilometres south of Kemptville Ontario. It will be so much easier now to update blog postings.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Black and Blue moth with an Orange Head on a Blue Flower

After living several decades in the “burbs”, one tends to lose touch with, and at the same time become more aware of the huge diversity of plants and insects that exists in the country side. At our previous home in the Ottawa suburbs, we were exposed to a very limited variety of insects, including mainly ants and flies, wasps, some bees and the odd butterfly, crickets and very few mosquitoes. I would think that pesticides had a role to play in that, after all that is what they were intended for, were they not? Today I came across this orange-headed black moth with an iridescent blue body. With the wings closed it looks like an iridescent blue patch draped on its shoulders. When we first moved here we found many of these moths in our house as we were building. According to “Bugs of Ontario” ISBN 1-55105-287-3, this is a Virgninia Ctenucha [Ctenucha virginica].

Today I found several of these moths feeding on flowers of this blue plant called blueweed, [Echium vulgare L.]. According to “Weeds of Canada” ISBN 0-88864-311-X, this was introduced from North Africa as a garden plant. It was used as an antidote for snake bites. The moth was feeding off the flower nectar as were a number of bumble bees.

This plant along with a number of other unusual weeds emerged on the weeping bed of our septic system where topsoil was brought in, hence the likely seed source of this plant. It doesn’t occur anywhere else on the property.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Back in the Saddle

The centennial celebration went well and is all behind now. I will now catch up on posts on this blog. The event was quite successful, with some 800 participants. I have been taking pictures all the while and will catch up on past observations at the woodlot.

Bye for now.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Suspension of blog postings

Last October I decided to get involved with the organisation of my High School's Centennial Celebration that is to take place on May 18,19 and 20. 2007. We anticipate a large turn out - as many as 2000 - student alumni from all over the world. The last time I was involved in the year 2000 we had 1700 alumni from as far as Argentina, Japan, Australia, Africa etc. Many participants had a great time in 2000 and plan to return and others missed the event so we expect more this time.

The school is located in Ste. Anne de Bellevue on the western tip of the Island of Montreal, which is more than two hours drive from here in Kars.

This organising is taking up every spare moment of my time from now until the Victoria Day long weekend, so I won't be posting much on this blog until then.

If you are interested, see for more info.