Saturday, September 28, 2013

Saturday

Coolish tonight... 47F.  Today was the third day of fantastic weather.  It was in the 80's, no cold wind, no humidity.  A really nice summer day, or 3 days.  Yeah, it feels like summer but summer ... is ... no .... more.

Some upcoming events... thanks Rainy for sending the info.

"Thanksgiving Potluck - Saturday October 12 ..... 5.30 pm at the Clubhouse   50/50 and Eco friendly draw ( bring your own plates, utensils napkins etc.)  Everyone Welcome!!!!! "

Hmmmm... do we get a tree if we win the eco friendly draw?

"Halloween Dinner and Dance Saturday October 26th 6.30 pm  $15.00......... Dance Only $5.00 after dinner... there will be spot prizes, costume prizes and door prizes. New Forest Room. Tickets at office this weekend.

Dinner is at 6:30. Spaghetti Dinner (regular and whole wheat ) sauce , meatballs, caesar salad, garlic bread, dessert."

"Hump Day October 2 - Barb and Paul's Site 118  ( same as always ) yadda yadda yadda."
Ha ha ha.  I suppose Rainy didn't want me to put in the yadda thing but I did (grin).
Anyways you know the drill by now. It's from 4pm to 6pm ... bring a snack, your drinkies, and a chair.
Rainy said: "hoping to continue maybe even through the winter if enough interest."
Why not?  I have a ski jacket and snow pants :-)   Bring your own shovel to those ones and a snack that freezes well.
------------------------------------------------
People were out sunning by the lake today... it is really really quiet with the aerator off.  It was blocked with weeds and is probably still blocked as it is still off.
It's nice to be able to hear the birds but I think the lake needs it running for a few more weeks as it is getting cloudy and scummy on the sides.  Ick.
----------------------
I wandered around the park late today (or yesterday now as it is past midnight) and there are a lot of people up.
The wasps are really beginning to piss me off.  I have heard a LOT of people saying the same thing.  There have been a lot of nests in the ground this year.
Got this in email today (thanks Judy).
====
Overview
Research staff from Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service (NRCan, CFS) have begun an experimental release of a tiny stingless wasp, Tetrastichus planipennisi, in southwestern Ontario in hopes of regulating populations of the emerald ash borer (EAB). This wasp is very host specific, parasitizing only the larvae of EAB, and we anticipate that the wasp will provide some measure of control for EAB in Canada.
Wasps being released in Ontario to control EAB
In June of 2013, NRCan, CFS staff from the Great Lakes Forestry Centre began releasing a wasp, Tetrastichus planipennisi, in Huron County, in southwestern Ontario. This location was chosen because it has a large area of natural forest with a high concentration of ash trees and a low-to-moderate infestation of EAB. This site was also chosen because it is relatively close to where T. planipennisi is reared in Michigan by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
This non-native wasp from Asia was approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for importation and release in Canada following the successful release of this parasitoid by the USDA in the United States beginning in 2007. Only a small number of this insect was released in southwestern Ontario because only a limited supply was available from the USDA. Experiments conducted by the USDA indicated that this tiny insect (approximately 4.0 millimetres in length) readily accepted EAB larvae as hosts but did not attack any other species of insect presented to them, which demonstrated their high degree of host specificity. The adult wasp lays multiple eggs within the larvae of EAB and the wasp larvae feed on the EAB larvae, killing the host from within. The wasps subsequently emerge from their EAB host and go off in search of new EAB larvae to attack. This biological control strategy will not eradicate EAB from Canada but shows potential for controlling the populations at a manageable level.
T. planipennisi, is one of three wasps evaluated by the USDA for potential control of EAB. This particular wasp was chosen for release in Canada because it targets only EAB and seems to be well adapted to the harsh Canadian climate.
Biological control measures, such as using this wasp to control EAB, are a long-term strategy because it normally takes years for populations of the parasitoid to build up in the environment to provide any measurable control. GLFC researchers will be releasing more wasps later in the summer of 2013 at the same location and will monitor the results of these releases to evaluate the effectiveness of this parasitoid as a control measure for EAB in Canada.
For more information on this work please contact Barry Lyons or the GLFC. Visit the CFS publications website for information on the research into EAB.
-----------------------
A few of us discussed this today.  I have mixed feelings.  I don't think a "non-native wasp from Asia" should be introduced here.  Hey, look what happened when non-native rabbits were brought to Australia.  They can't control them now.  Who knows what sort of damage the wasp will do in the long run.  It will FOR SURE breed with other wasps and then what sort of offspring will be produced... maybe one that doesn't like to lay eggs in the emerald ash borer... maybe it will like to lay eggs in Monarch butterfly cocoons... okay, a bit far fetched but it COULD happen.  
"This particular wasp was chosen for release in Canada because it targets only the emerald ash borer"... ha ha ha.  Seriously, how many of you believe that?  Okay enough about that...
I ran over a snake today.  Oops my bad.  Just to make sure I backed up over it to check to see if it was okay.  It wasn't.  Oh ... well... So I drove back over it and left...  
... I would do the same to spiders...
This post seems to be a lot of rambles.  If anyone has any upcoming event ... send it to me.  I missed Kim and Wendy's walk in the park as I didn't know about it.
Hmmm, I don't have any photos.  Maybe next time. 
The potholes are emerging again. 
Time to throw grass seed on your lawn.  My lawn keeps growing... anyone else getting a little tired of cutting their lawns?  Isn't it supposed to slow down now?
Natures Emporium has customer appreciation days today (Saturday) and tomorrow from 10am to 4pm. It is located at Mulock and Yonge ... in the same plaza as that big Chinese restaurant... I think it is the Mandarin.  If you are in the neighborhood drop in!!  I was there last weekend and it is just like Costco on the weekend ... food samples everywhere!!  I ate my way through the store ... really good stuff, natural cheese (bought some), steak, smoked rainbow trout (bought some), power bars, vegan stuff (ptu ptu), natural juices... and much much more. Oh, I went there to buy an item as it was on sale too...
Is yoga still on?  Anyone know?  It is still on the BO Calendar.
 
As usual...
 
Hey, it's late, you should be asleep.   If it is before 7am when you read this... hey, it is early ... GO BACK TO BED.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Saturday - Part 3

This letter was delivered tonight whilst I was out...

---------------------------------

Sept 21, 2013   8:15pm

We have experienced a water outage.

In troubleshooting why this has occurred, it has been determined that we have a significant leak underground somewhere in Helios Circle.

We will continue to attempt to find the exact location ASAP in order to begin the repair.

In the meantime, we have no alternative but to leave Helios Circle off overnight, and will continue to investigate in the morning.

Please note that the water in the Club House is on and plentiful, and the cistern is full.

We thank you for your patience and continued support.

Thank you
Sherry Morris

--------------------------------

Saturday - Part 2

Once again... we have no water in Helios. 

This is Saturday so if you are trying to entertain or catch up on your laundry... too bad for you... :-D

Saturday

Well... back by popular demand is THE BLOG.  I was walking around the park and it seems there are a lot of people who actually read the blog so... I will continue it through the winter.

I was going to stop it or slow down but... keep sending photos and info... :-)

It's raining today.  Actually it started late last night and it POURED... then continued through the night and all day.

It's 63F.  As always... convert it yourself to Centigrade or Celsius... HAH.

There have been a LOT of bees and wasps around this year.  People are getting stung constantly.  There are a few epi pens in the park. 

Here is a photo of one of my wasp holes. (It took 8 photos to get a non blurry one.)  It is down the path to the lake. There were HUNDREDS of wasps going in and out yesterday.  I had sprayed it FOUR times. Then last night I got pissed off. heh heh.



This is what it looks like today.


Not a wasp in sight :-D

The following photo comes to you from Kim and Wendy (click to enlarge):



Also the next Hump Day is here:

HUMP DAY HAPPY HOUR

Wendy and Kim's Site 131

Wednesday September 25th , 2013

4-6 pm

Please bring chairs, refreshments and snacks to share.

Everyone Welcome, including day visitors!!!

------------------------


Okay here is your educational bit for today. This item comes to you from James.  (Oooo, pretty butterfly)

This article appeared in the Toronto Star, Sunday September 15, 2013. Also, Margaret Bream is Phil's cousin.  She writes for the Star and has an article in it every Sunday.

--------------------------------------------------

Wild in the City: Fall allergies? Don’t blame goldenrod


If you’re suffering with the sniffles and sneezes of hay fever, reserve your curses for ragweed and its light, wind-borne pollen.


 

A black swallowtail butterfly rests atop a goldenrod plant at Tommy Thompson Park in early September.

Margaret Bream / Toronto Star

A black swallowtail butterfly rests atop a goldenrod plant at Tommy Thompson Park in early September.

By: Margaret Bream Toronto Star, Published on Sun Sep 15 2013

Across our great city, along every highway, byway, disturbed spot and waste space, fields of goldenrod are abloom, their heavy heads drooping toward the ground, swaying slightly in the breeze.

There is even goldenrod in some gardens, including my own.

But if you have the misery of fall allergies, don’t get mad at me and my yard, or curse the city for cutting back on its outside maintenance crews. If pollen is your problem, it’s not goldenrod that’s your enemy.

Like many folks, I grew up hearing that the ubiquitous golden flowers were trouble with a capital T. But we were misinformed.

Photos View gallery

  • There are 30 species of goldenrod found in Ontario alone.
  • Great ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) can grow to heights of more than six metres. This member of the aster family is native throughout much of North America.
  • Great ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) growing almost completely overtop a patch of goldenrod.

No less an authority than Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food, in its book Ontario Weeds by J.F. Alex, is categorical on this topic:

“Goldenrods do produce pollen but only in small quantities, and their pollen is heavy and sticky. It is not carried on the wind and . . . must not be blamed as the source of irritation for ragweed hay fever sufferers.”

As Alex says, the culprit is actually ragweed, a plant that can grow exceedingly tall, thrusting its tiny khaki-coloured flowers on long, fingerlike spikes up toward the sky like so many green candelabras.

Ragweed plants produce staggering amounts of pollen: U.S. sources say one plant can produce a billion grains of pollen during a season. And those pollen grains, being very light, are carried many kilometers by the wind.

They sure can get up one’s nose. Ragweed pollen is considered the worst cause of hay fever in North America.

While ragweed and goldenrod don’t look much alike, botanically they are members of the same family, the asters, or Asteraceae.

Asters, with about 1,100 genera and 20,000 species found around the world, comprise one of the two largest plant families (along with lilies). Well-known members include sunflowers, bedding plants like zinnias and cosmos, and agricultural varieties like safflowers, some lettuces and artichokes.

Goldenrods themselves are a hugely varied group, with 30 species found in Ontario alone. On any autumn walk in the park, or along a disturbed roadside, the two species most likely to be seen are Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) and tall goldenrod (Solidago altissima).

The two are hard to tell apart. A couple of clues help, though.

While Canada goldenrod typically grows to a height of 1.5 metres, tall goldenrod may tower more than 2.1 metres. Another distinguishing feature of tall goldenrod is that it gets “galls,” bulbous growths on the plant’s stem that are home to the larvae of the parasitic goldenrod gall fly.

Off the beaten track, it’s easy to find other species of goldenrod in our area. One, zigzag goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis), looks like you’d expect: this variety, which grows to a height of only about 90 centimetres, has a stem that zigs and zags every four or five centimetres.

Other common species in our area are blue-stemmed or wreath goldenrod (Solidago caesia) and stout goldenrod (Solidago squarrosa).

On a lovely crisp fall day this past week, I took a walk in Taylor Creek Park and found fields of goldenrod and the towering plants of great ragweed (Ambrosia trifida), which can reach heights of six metres or more, growing right beside one another. Since these two usually bloom at the same time, it’s easy to see how the former could have ended up with the bad rap rightfully deserved by the latter.

If ragweed should find its way into your garden, blown in by the wind, eradicate it.

On the other hand, if some goldenrod should arrive unbidden, consider keeping it. In her book The New Ontario Naturalized Garden, native plant expert Lorraine Johnson says “you just can’t beat the yellow plumes and welcome glow of this tall grower,” adding it is “drought tolerant and very showy.”

And particularly beloved by chickadees, at least in my yard.

In the meantime, if you’re sneezing and feeling miserable with allergies, check out the ragweed report on The Weather Network’s website. A better pollen day could be on the way.
--------------------

Very cool.  Soooooo many people think Goldenrod is a problem.  It's not, so stop whining about it. I have some in my front garden near the lake.  The butterflies LOVE it. I am not cutting it down.

Now, on to the snapping turtles. 

The nest in front of Judy's has not hatched.  However, one of the nests in the red bumps (the gardens on the way to the Outback which have red mulch) HAS hatched.  There is a hole in the nest that was not caused by a skunk or a raccoon.  We have BABIES!  If you see a baby snapping turtle, put it in the lake.  Chances are 90% of them will not survive.  They will not harm you... they have been here for years... and years and there has never been an incident of a turtle biting a human in the lake.  They WILL not be happy if you go after them on land though. 

The lake is cooling down.  I saw people in it yesterday but not for a few days before that. Brrr....

Thanks to Missy for fixing the potholes.  It took a while but the roads look GREAT.  However it has been raining for a long time so they might not be so great tomorrow.

Also coming to you from Wendy and Kim, the following two pictures.

Everyone knows I do NOT like the Heron.  It eats my frogs, I scare it off.  However, I will post this one and only photo of the stupid frog-eating it-better-not-come-near-my-place bird... :-D (No I won't hurt it... stop thinking that way...)


This is a photo of a Turtlehead Flower.  Looks like somebody likes to eat the leaves.  This flower was found near the path in the back 40 (in case you don't know what that means... it is along the Bunny Trail).  Well... I'm going to assume it was there as W&K said ... 'in the forest'. 



I haven't seen very many people wandering around today... nekkid OR clothed.

Last day of summer today... boo hoo. 

No more naked golf....

 


(I had to put on smiley faces as these blogs are owned by google and they are insanely crazy about nudity. I think it is okay to show boobs though.  Don't copy this cartoon as it is copyrighted by me.)   

That's it for today.  Go walk your dog.  There are a LOT of dogs in the park these days.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday

COLD TODAY.  It was in the 50's all day and is currently 49F... BRRRRRRRRRRRR.

What the hell, eh? 

Two days ago it was 100F... now it is half that. 

At least when you walk around you are not being bitten by mosquitoes...

The craters (aka potholes) on the road are back.  Drive slowly.

From Wendy and Kim:
-----------
Mark your calendars for this great upcoming event! The Nature’s Creations Fall Forest Festival is Saturday, September 21st from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Come out and see local artisans and wood crafters, participate in a forest photography workshop, enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride, or watch a traditional horse logging demonstration. Guided hikes to learn about our regions forest and its management will also take place, so be sure to bring long pants and suitable footwear. For more information and to register for this event online, please visit www.york.ca/takeawalk.
--------------------
Location: York Regional Forest, Eldred King Tract, 16232 Highway 48, Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville.
 
------------

HUMP DAY HAPPY HOUR

Kim and Missy's Site 225

Wednesday September 18th , 2013

4-6 pm

Please bring chairs, refreshments and snacks to share.

Everyone Welcome including day visitors!!!


--------

From the 'official' Bare Oaks Blog:

From July 7th to 14th, British Naturism held their 7th Nudefest at Newperran Holiday Park in Newquay, U.K. During their celebration they presented this special cake to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the International Naturist Federation (INF). Of course, everyone was in their birthday suits for the occasion!

A special celebration is also being held at the CHM Montalivet, the actual site where the INF was founded in 1953, from September 20th to 22nd.

From Bare Oaks, Nikki and St├ęphane will be attending to participate in the celebrations.

Here is some info on it: http://www.inf-fni.org/Home/About-INF-FNI/60-Years-of-INF-FNI

It also says: "Details of this are available on the "News" page of this website."  Good luck finding that page... :-D


Not much going on around here these days.  Very few cars in the parking lot. 

Countdown to Cuba.... 6 weeks! 
 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuesday

There was a bit of entertainment at Dean's 60th birthday party on the long weekend.  The roads were wet.  There were BIG puddles on the roads.  Two people decided to have a mud fight.  Most of us backed away... some people didn't and were collateral damage. It was great!! 

HOT HOT HOT today.  In the 90's  and very humid.  It is currently 80F. Currently, the crickets are singing... the frogs are singing... the cicadas are singing... very nice.

The pool is closed for the season.  There is a leak that has to be fixed.

The hot tub was closed yesterday and I just found out that it was closed all day today too.  A chemical imbalance.

Not many people up today... maybe it was TOO hot for them... wusses. You don't have to shovel 'heat'.

Has anyone noticed the HUGE number of wasps and bees this year?  They are everywhere and people are being stung.  They are chasing my hummingbirds away from the feeder but a few passes with the bug zappers stops that nonsense :-D

There were a few people swimming in the lake today. 

==========================

HUMP DAY HAPPY HOUR

Cheryl and Al's Site 210

Wednesday, September 11th , 2013

4-6 pm

Please bring chairs, refreshments and snacks to share.

Everyone Welcome... including day visitors!!!

======================


I've noticed a few more people are riding bikes these days.  I bought a bike speedometer at Dollarama for $3. and it works!  It also keeps track of how far you've gone, etc. etc.  I haven't sorted those instructions out yet.  I'm still working on putting in the time :-D  Hey, this thing is complicated!!  It has FOUR pages of instructions. 

No sign of the hatching turtles yet. 

Not many activities on the weekends. 

Now, go open your windows and listen to the 'stuff' out there...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday

Just a quick update...

I was asked to post this by Suzy.  It says below:; "the ladies are holding open auditions for Bare Oaks members next Tuesday, September 10th at 7:30pm in the Outback"

There are two people scheduled for 7:30 at the moment so, if you are interested, you can show up at 8pm or just after.

This is a private audition so unless you are auditioning, please don't show up to 'watch'.

Also, women only.   Where's the fun in that?  ;-)

 -------------------------------------------

Looking for Cast Members to Perform the Vagina Monologues on the Nude Cruise


 



The Vagina Monologues cast has been invited to perform their piece on the Bare Necessities cruise in February! All performers have been offered a free cruise.* Sadly, one of the cast members will be in school, so the ladies are holding open auditions for Bare Oaks members next Tuesday, September 10th at 7:30pm in the Outback.

People looking to audition should have:

  • a 2 minute piece prepared to read
  • be ok with having their full name and photo present in the cruise program
  • be available for the cruise: February 9-16, 2013
*Note that transportation to Ft.Lauderdale, gratuity, and port taxes are not included.

------------------------

It was nice today. Around 70 to 75F.  I was out biking.  Ooooo... scarey.

From the Bare Oaks blog...

"As many people have noticed, the water in the pool in August was unusually cold. A leak in a pipe meant that we were unable to use the solar heating system. Because the leak was located below the concrete deck, a repair would have meant rendering the pool inaccessible for the remainder of the season. Rather than do that, we opted to keep it open without heat. Now that Labour Day has come and gone, it is time for us do make repairs. As such, the pool will be closing for the season effective Monday, September 9th. We apologize for this premature closing. But with the water being so cold, we assume most people won't miss it too much.

Of course, the lake remains open for swimming – all year long if you are tough enough to brave the water in the colder weather."


Judy was  'weeding' the lake yesterday and today.  She said: "Because I had an open wound I didn't go into the lake on the weekend. so when I finally did today I donned my shortie wetsuit to go weed skimming. FIFTEEN buckets of weeds and it's still not finished. The wheelbarrow has 5 buckets worth and that's just from our side of the pond!"



Ewwww.   That stuff is floating around the surface and that is only a small amount of what is currently on the pond/lake.

Carry on...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thursday

It's been rather chilly here the past few days.  At the moment it is 48F / 8C.  That is cold. During the day it is a bit warmer but the breeze is cold.

==========================

HUMP DAY HAPPY HOUR

Cheryl and Al's Site 210

Wednesday, September 11th , 2013

4-6 pm

Please bring chairs, refreshments and snacks to share ( if you wish)

Everyone Welcome... including day visitors!!!

======================


I don't know how many attended the last Hump Day this past Wednesday as I was out of the park.

No rain these past few days.  Two of my tomatoes froze a few nights ago.  :-(  That is not good.

The hummingbirds are passing through so KEEP FEEDING THEM... for a while longer.  They need food to travel south. 

The woodpeckers are turning into pigs.  There are a LOT of them and they are devouring peanuts at a rapid pace.

The lake is getting cooler. It won't be long before we are skating on it (snickering).  It didn't freeze well last year, hopefully this year will be a bit colder.  What am I saying... I don't want a colder winter!!

Judy sent me this photo of illumination, along our front path.



Some of the propane tanks in the park are being pressure tested for leaks.  So far, everything is fine.  This happens every 10 years for the tanks.

I have been told by a few people that the park is looking great these days... the lawns in particular so... thanks Missy... you are doing a great job!!

Judy and JL's deck project is progressing well... here are a few more photos.



Euchre night is this Saturday!!

... and that is it for news...


I will leave you with a photo of a rose from my garden. Click photo to enlarge, it is be-yoo-tiful.  Oh, and an excellent photo if I do say so myself.  I usually post blurry photos ... I blame the camera ;-D