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July 31, 2008
The Birds

On Monday, we came into work to discover the nestcam turned off and the robin's nest empty. Somewhere along the line over the weekend, the bobbins had gone missing, most likely taken by the crows again, it was far too early for them to have fledged.

The hummingbirds have also left, most of them have flown south, just a few juveniles remain as a reminder to stop filling the feeders because it discourages them from moving on.

 Even though it is not quite August yet, we are seeing presages of Fall. Yesterday, Kris remarked that the chickadees have moved on to their autumnal repertoire and when I listened I realised that I did recognise a different tone. 

Posted by Janis. 


July 29, 2008
Bear!

Bear.jpgToday the Nature Park is a little damp as the Lower Mainland receives its first rain for quite a while. But in spite of everywhere looking as though it has received a good soaking, when I went out searching for earthworms earlier, I realised that whilst the surface of the soil was damp, go a little further and the earth was still dry and dusty. Our snakes survive mainly on a diet of earthworms. In desperate times, they will eat the 'red wrigglers' from the compost bin, but these are too bristly for everyday consumption.

The wrigglers will take discarded vegetation into their crop and pass it through their body, turning it into compost. Earthworms, on the other hand, help to aerate the soil by passing it through them. Both are important functions.

On this rainy Tuesday, Keefer was happier to get into the furry bear costume to model for us than on one of the hotter days last week. Who can blame him. I couldn't help but laugh. A group of ladies, going out on the trails had asked if there was anything they should know. 'There are no bears,' I said, and yet, on their return, here was one, lounging against the tree in the Nature House.

Posted by Janis


July 18, 2008
Fly

fly3.jpgfly2.jpg

This is Keefer, one of our summer volunteers, modelling the fly costume. I think the fly is one of my favourites and there is a corresponding spider to trap the fly.

In other Nature Park news, on my return from Britain, our American Robin had laid a second batch of eggs, four again, and these have now all hatched. You can follow their progress on the webcam.

Posted by Janis. 


July 14, 2008
New Horizons

On Saturday, a particularly hot day, the Nature Park had a booth at Richmond's City Centre Celebration. Our exhibit was on urban wildlife and we had a number of activities and leaflets about the animals we share our city with, for example raccoons, skunks, coyotes, crows and squirrels. Many people think we have ostriches as well.

I was very grateful for the help of our board members, and it made me reflect that we have had quite a change on the Nature Park Society's board this year. We have welcomed newcomers, but we are also losing two members who have been brilliant supporters of the Nature Park and its programs.

Cat Morris has been with us for (I think - I leave room to stand corrected) two years and is currently VP. Cat is leaving for a promoted position within the company she works for. We are certainly going to miss her enthusiasm and interest, especially for our Halloween 'Wild Things' event and the Christmas festivities, not to mention the Salmonfest parade and quite simply being there to help out at events such as the Children's festival.

Mona Janson has been with us even longer, over four years. The artwork that Mona has done for us over the years has been exceptional, and I truly mean exceptional. Mona is going to live in a community where there are a lot of both artisans and artists and I sincerely hope that her work will be recognised for its outstanding quality.

Like Cat, Mona has helped at numerous events, including Saturday's City Centre Celebration. She too has a great enthusiasm for nature and for our Halloween and Christmas festivals, which brings me to talk about another side to her art and creativity. Mona has made an incredible wardrobe of nature costumes for us; there must be thousands of dollars of donated time and expertise tied up in these. We guard them jealously, using them only for our events and school programs. I will be featuring examples of Mona's work on this blog just as soon as I can access the picture posting facility again.

 


July 7, 2008
Summer

Garden.jpg  It almost seems as though I left in early spring and have returned in full summer, but in fact I have only been away for two weeks.

More colour has appeared in the new planters in the visitor area and the lush, green foliage of the native plants like Salmonberry and Elderberry has reclaimed its kingdom.

The robin babies that were about to fledge when I left have not only flown the nest, but the mother robin is back brooding four new eggs.

The blueberries are still green, but very much in evidence.

The children's summer camps are underway and a team of volunteers, led by Angela and Maribeth, is keeping the youngsters busily learning about natural science.

The ditch, which throughout the spring, has seemed like a river that can only be crossed by dinghy, is now narrower and I could believe I might ford it by wading if only I had big enough boots.

I can even hear crickets a typical sound of summer, from where I am sitting typing, except that I know they're in a big glass container in Kris's office.

Posted by Janis.




Archives
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February 7,2012

I visited the park today with my wife and 3 young kids. We're very impressed and will be returning. I've featured the park on my blog - www.chrisronald.com Thanks, Chris
Chris Young
October 31,2010
Vancouver

Hi You had a busy summer, I see! Very interesting to read about the parklife. You did hard work...! Through the volonteering in the Richmond Nature Park my eyes are opened wide in my country too.... Please say hallo to all we know. Yours Lea
Lea Hafner
September 26,2008
Switzerland

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