Sunday, 31 January 2016

Wellington Woods -- new feeders

Two facts had suggested to me that The Woods would benefit from new plantings:
  1. generally, the closeness of the trail to the roads that lie just outside the boundary fence
  2. specifically, my neighbour’s report (and my own observation) of dead or dying ash trees
I resolved to acquire some small tree and/or shrub seedlings for planting in the coming spring. An Internet search led me to H. Richardson Farms near Kendal, ON, which offers the following Nature and Wildlife Special seedling package for about $70:

  • 10 Siberian Peashrub
  • 10 American Mountain Ash
  • 5 White Oak
  • 5 Purple Lilac
Someone wondered whether I should “get permission” before planting anything. I doubted that my neighbour had sought permission for his summer mowing of the open area. Nor did I see a good reason to delay my plan to enrich the treed area. 

After two days absence, I made a brief visit to check the bird feeder and noticed that much of the seed had been eaten. Immediately, I drove to Gilmer's and purchased the following:
  • a second, larger, open platform seed feeder, 
  • a suet wire box feeder and a 3-pack of suet squares


















It was late in the day by the time I finished hanging the new feeders, but the temperature had remained warm (for January) and my fingers had not suffered.


Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Wellington Woods -- a few questions answered

On a recent walk about in The Woods, I was greeted by a fellow who lives in a neighbouring apartment building. His apartment has a balcony that affords him a view not only of The Woods, but also of the farmlands north of Hwy 401 and of the treed hillside known as Choate Woods.

As luck would have it, my neighbour is far more acquainted with The Woods than I am and he passed on to me the following:
  • The small upright stone that stands near the base of a small tree at the entrance to The Woods was placed there by my neighbour, more or less on a whim -- it's not a dead family pet marker.
  • The flower basket hanging near the entrance to The Woods has been hanging in that same small tree since last summer. It had a double hanging in a nearby tree, but which is no longer there.
  • The largest deciduous trees in the open area of The Woods are ash. Some are dead and others are dying -- victims of the emerald ash borer?
  • During the summer, my neighbour mows the open area of The Woods where those ash trees stand -- The Meadow?
SO ... we have an active Woods Watch committee in the neighbourhood.



Monday, 25 January 2016

Wellington Woods -- a new project for our neighbourhood

We have a woods-like area at the top end of our neighbourhood. I've begun calling it Wellington Woods.

Our Woods is smaller (laughably smaller) than the woods and marsh that together lie at the south end of town, near the sewage treatment plant. I was out walking in The Woods three times on last Sunday. From my place on Phillips Road over to the Woods, once around it, then back again to my place takes a scant fifteen minutest. That's how small it is. However,...

I'm calling it Wellington Woods, though Wellington Meadow might be more appropriate. It is principally an open space just to the west of the Carpool Parking lot at the top of Wellington Street. The Woods is fenced on its north, west, and south sides. The east side, unfenced, is separated from the the parking lot by a border of shrubs and small trees. Entry to the Woods is easily made from the parking lot through a gap in the shrub border.

Evergreens more or less edge The Woods along the three fenced sides, while the open space is dotted with some good-sized deciduous trees.

Someone (last summer or fall?) placed a hanging basket in a small tree near the entrance. A small foot-tall stone has been set upright near the base of the tree. I'm wondering whether the stone and the basket mark the final resting site of some family's pet: a hamster? or a budgie?

[For an answer to my idle speculations and some further facts about The Woods, see the next post:  a few questions answered]

The only birds I noticed while walking The Woods were crows sitting high up in trees. Even so, I've hung a small gazebo bird feeder in a tree. Some birds may find their way to it before winter ends.

People who live in nearby apartment buildings and commuters who park in the carpool parking lot walk their dogs into the eastern edge The Woods.

The Woods and the Carpool Parking Lot appears to be the property of the the Ontario Government. There is currently no sign prohibiting neighbourhood folk from walking The Woods. We live in hope that none are in the works!

Below is a link to a folder containing a Google Earth View of The Woods and about two dozen photos of what one sees walking The Woods:
Wellington Woods
By identifying, cataloguing, and mapping the various trees and shrubs, we might develop The Woods as an arboretum!