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Nov 1

End of season: late-bloomers, musical chairs and bulbs

Late-bloomers are precious, a final fling before the protective mantle of winter descends to slow the rhythm of our landscape. 

Cimicifuga americana, with long racemes of creamy white flowers, is the late-season winner for me this year. I found a monarch butterfly at the plant on October 24 – that was my last sighting of a monarch - and as of two days ago, there were still a few bees and other insects on the wing enjoying the nectar. The constant rain has put a bit of a damper on that parade, but the Cimicifuga still looks fresh and inviting. 

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Sep 12

A warm night, a beautiful sunset and some missing friends

It was so pleasant this evening, sitting out by the firepit with a glass of wine after a delicious meal of grilled Georgian Bay whitefish (thank you, Lepage Fishery of Lafontaine). 

To the west, the sky turned turquoise and peach and mother of pearl; above us birds fluttered; all around, insects hummed. This unusually warm and dry summer continues. 

But there was something missing that tugs at my heartstrings.

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Sep 5

Turning our backs on slaughter of wildlife by non-native cats

I get particularly distressed by cats that are allowed to roam - or cats that have been allowed to go wild (feral). They do not belong in our eco-system and the damage they do to our wildlife is extraordinary. I do make an exception for 'working' cats that are needed to keep rodents out of feed in agricultural situations. But those are only a tiny proportion of the implacable and efficient hunters that we have unleashed upon the landscape. 

Now, a new study in which scientists from University of Georgia and the National Geographic Society put small video cameras on cats has prompted the American Bird Conservancy and the Wildlife Society to conclude that cats are responsible for even more wildlife deaths than was previously thought - more than 4 billion animals a year, of which about 500 million are birds. 

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