Earlier, a sampling of the wild animals making a home in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area were spotlighted at Saskatoon’s Semi Wilderness Urban Forest.
Here is another round of amazing forest and wetlands creatures that can be spotted within the City of Saskatoon city limits at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and the West Swale Wetlands.
In this collage, the top north west image is a Red-Winged Blackbird (Agelaius Phoeniceus) about 7-9 inches high (18-24 cm), so smaller than a Robin. Robins mesure 9-11 inches (23-28 cm). This image of a Red-Winged Blackbird portrays a striking figure with bright red epaulets with a yellow margin. The female red-winged blackbird is quite the opposite in colouring, with brown mottling and a white stripe above the eye, her colouring enabling her to blend in with the wetlands flora.
Going around the montage clockwise, a White-tail deer fawn(Odocoileus virginianus), snuggles down in in the riparian forest, hiding in the deep grass or within cover of the underbrush. The fawns are born in late April, and sometimes as late as the beginning of July. The spotted coat, enables the fawn to conceal itself within the environment, and these spots disappear about the end of October.
Next; clockwise, in the top north east corner is a garter snake. The three species of Garter Snakes most likely to be seen in the province are; Western Terrestrial Garter Snake or Wandering Garter Snake (Thamnophis elegans), the very colourful Plains Garter Snake, (Thamnophis radix) and the Common (red-sided) Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis). They can be between 17.7 to 38 inches (45 – 97 cm) in length. The colouring is a dark brown or black with distinctive yellow, orange or red stripes. The best times to see them may be in the early morning sun tanning in the summer months.
Now, continuing clockwise, in the south east corner is a Black Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax ). All About Birds has recordings of the barking squack, and the woc-a-woc calls made by these Herons. To see three Black Crowned Night Herons at dusk coming in to feed in the West Swale wetlands is truly a treat, as this area is at the northern extent of their range in Saskatchewan. This heron is quite common, however, as it roosts hidden in trees, and forages in the wetlands at dusk it is a true wonder to behold them. This short, stocky heron is about 23-28 inches (58-70 cm) is quite different from the much taller and leggier Great Blue Heron 42-52 inches (105-130 cm). Keep your eyes open at dusk to spot the Black Crowned Night Heron.
Flying overhead, the Mallard (Anas Platrhynchos), marsh duck is quite striking with dark chest, a lighter coloured underbelly, and a white neck ring. Swimming in the wetlands, the male Mallard, known as a dabbling duck, has a distinctive green head with white neck ring, a reddish chest, white and black tail feathers emerge under mottled brown wings and there is a blue speculum. However, in the photo above are the young of the Mallard, distinctive yellowish feathers with the dark eye stripe. The female Mallard is brown mottled and retains the dark eye stripe. The duck quack heard from Mallard’s will be from the female, as the males do not quack at all. It is important not to feed the waterfowl at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.
The last image is the rabbit. The White-Tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus townsendii) is much larger than the Snowshoe Hare (Lepus Americanus). The Snowshoe Hare has longer legs and longer ears than their cousins, the rabbits. Both change the colour of their coats from white in the winter months to brown in the summer. Whereas, the White-Tailed Jackrabbits love the open grasslands because of their speed, these are the most widely distributed around the city. The very tip of the ear on a Jackrabbit will stay black year-round. The Jackrabbit will measure 22 to 26 inches (56-65 cm) when fully grown. The Snoeshow Hares much prefer Aspen parkland and forested areas.
“The uncultivated elements of the landscape…have an important ecological function as a habitat for species that cannot survive in cultivated land and as a corridor.(Burel:Page 187) Greenways, green belts, and corridors are all very similar. The city of New Brunswick and the Lower Raritan Watershed Partership actively seek out volunteers for digging, planting and maintenance of their Green Infrastructure Landscape Corridor Concept. The Province of Ontario protects two million acres (800,000) hectares of land for a greenbelt including the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation plan, the Niagara Escarpment plan, and the Protected Countryside in the Golden Horseshoe Area.
Such green belts protect a rural character within a growing urban city, ensuring urban dwellers have access to natural areas. These Greenspaces serve as contiguous wildlife habitat corridors nurturing plants, and animals of both woodland and wetland.
IT would be fantastic to find a way that our environment could be shared by stakeholders seeking recreation so as to protect the habitat, and ecosystem, the geological and historical features within the boundaries of the Greenway.
“The water crisis is at our door here in Canada. All the issues we thought so far away are up on us now. A greater challenge has never faced the people of Canada. Each and every one of us has a personal responsibility to take action, to collectively confront the very power structures that have prevented the change needed to protect and honour the great water heritage of this land.” ~Barlow, Maude.
“Water is speaking to us but are we listening?
We are all treaty people ~ a piece of us is dying.
Complacency and ignorance are no longer acceptable.
We have to be the voice for generations to come.
Our grandchildren will look back and ask, Why did
they not act to save our precious water? I want to
be able to look in the mirror and know that I
did my best.”
~Randall Kahgee, former chief, Saugeen First Nation.Barlow
“I believed that God has lent us the Earth. It belongs as much to those who come after us as to us, and it ill behooves us by anything we do or neglect, to deprive them of benefits which are in our power to bequeath.”
~Richard St. Barbe Baker
Barlow, Maude. Boiling Point. Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse and Canada’s Water Crisis. ECW Press. 2016. Toronto, ON. ISBN 978-1-77041355-9 paperback ISBN 78-1-77090-918-9 (PDF) osbn 978-1-77090-947-2 (epub)
Peterson, Roger Tory. Western Birds. 1990. Houghton Mifflin Company Massachusetts. ISBN 0-395-51749-4 ISBN 0-395-51424-X pbk.
Sibley, David Allen. The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America. Chanticleer Press, Inc. New York. 2003. isbn 0-679-45121-8.
For more information:
P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SE 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A
S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A
NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map
Please help protect / enhance your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail)
Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year). Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT gmail.com, or by using e-transfers Please and thank you! Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated. Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date!
|Membership : $20.00 CAD – yearly
Membership with donation : $20.00 CAD -monthly
Membership with donation : $50.00 CAD
Membership with donation : $100.00 CAD
What was Richard St. Barbe Baker’s mission, that he imparted to the Watu Wa Miti, the very first forest scouts or forest guides? To protect the native forest, plant ten native trees each year, and take care of trees everywhere.
“We stand in awe and wonder at the beauty of a single tree. Tall and graceful it stands, yet robust and sinewy with spreading arms decked with foliage that changes through the seasons, hour by hour, moment by moment as shadows pass or sunshine dapples the leaves. How much more deeply are we moved as we begin to appreciate the combined operations of the assembly of trees we call a forest.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker
“St. Barbe’s unique capacity to pass on his enthusiasm to others. . . Many foresters all over the world found their vocations as a result of hearing ‘The Man of the Trees’ speak. I certainly did, but his impact has been much wider than that. Through his global lecture tours, St. Barbe has made millions of people aware of the importance of trees and forests to our planet.” Allan Grainger
“The science of forestry arose from the recognition of a universal need. It embodies the spirit of service to mankind in attempting to provide a means of supplying forever a necessity of life and, in addition, ministering to man’s aesthetic tastes and recreational interests. Besides, the spiritual side of human nature needs the refreshing inspiration which comes from trees and woodlands. If a nation saves its trees, the trees will save the nation. And nations as well as tribes may be brought together in this great movement, based on the ideal of beautifying the world by the cultivation of one of God’s loveliest creatures – the tree.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker.
s loveliest creatures – the tree.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker.