The Elm, Majestic and Stately

Elm Trees_CC-BY-SA-2.0 BriYYZ
American Elm Trees Ulmus Americana Photo credit BriYYZ CC-BY-SA-2.0

Remembering the Elm Tree

“The great elms murmur in low, inarticulate tones, and the shadows at their feet hide themselves from the moon, moving noiselessly through all the summer night. The woods in the distance stand motionless in the wealth of their massed foliage, keeping guard over the unbroken silence that reigns in all their branching aisles. Beyond the far-spreading waters lie white and dreamlike, and tempt the thought to the fairylands that sleep just beyond the line of the horizon. A sweet and restful mystery, like a bridal veil, hides the face of Nature, and he only can venture to lift it who has won the privilege by long and faithful devotion.”~Hamilton Wright Mabie

 

Siberian Elm Fruit Seed Ulmus pumila samaras Photo credit Luis Fernández García L. Fdez. cc-by-sa-2.1 Ulmus-pumila-samaras
Siberian Elm Fruit Seed Ulmus pumila samaras Photo credit Luis Fernández García L. Fdez. cc-by-sa-2.1 Ulmus-pumila-samaras

“Down through the maple avenue you will take your pleasant route, past the willow and alder clumps, and the ancient mill, that hangs its idle arms listlessly by its sides—on and on, over the little style, and the rustic bridge, which spans the rivulet, until you reach the giant elm that spreads its broad branches far and wide. Books and work are scattered about on the verdant turf, bright flowers peep forth from amid the green, and many a fair face greets you with its frank and cordial welcome. The sky is very blue and clear, and the summer’s breath comes refreshingly to you through the leafy screen, as you seat yourself upon a mossy stone and join in the merriments of the happy circle gathered there.” ~ F. Irene Burge Smith

American Elm Ulmus Americana autumn leaf
American Elm Ulmus Americana autumn leaf

“The hours in which we come in contact with great souls are always memorable in our history, often the crises in our intellectual life; it is the recollection of such hours that gives those bending elms an imperishable charm, and lends to this landscape a deathless interest.”~ F. Irene Burge Smith

“Love needs new leaves every summer of life, as much as your elm-tree, and new branches to grow broader and wider, and new flowers to cover the ground.”
Harriet Beecher Stowe

June_7787

“It was the summer time, and he remembers that the old elm under which he sat was just in the fullness and glory of its foliage; the hour, too, is distinctly in his memory; the dreary and sad twilight, and the breeze’s soft play over the waving grass, and the hum of the insects, and the murmur of the city’s noise that came pleasantly from the distance, like the moving of far-off waters. Oh! these things can never die out of his remembrance. How can they! Doesn’t he cherish them religiously, coming always at the vesper time to the same spot to live them over and over again?

Even through the dreary winters he but closes his eyes and the verdure is there, and the beauty.”~ F. Irene Burge Smith

IMG_9539

“The minimum [re-afforestation] for safety is one third of the total land area. I think what is happening to the elms must be alerting the whole country to the necessity of trees, of the need for more trees. The elm has the largest leaf surface of any tree in Britain. If you defoliate a large elm and put the leaves together edge to edge, they would cover ten acres. So naturally, the first tree to suffer from air pollution was the elm and, of course, when an elm is suffering from fatigue it is subject to attack by disease: the elm bark beetle, the carrier of the elm fungus, comes along and the tree succumbs.

I look at it this way. If a person is living a normal life and not abusing themselves – not smoking too much, not eating too much, not drinking too much – but living normally and eating the right food – they will be fit and well. It is only when they start abusing themselves that they are prone to attack by disease. It is the same with trees.

The next tree to go (the next tree with the largest leaf surface after the elm) is probably the beech: after that the sycamore: and so on. Finally it will be Man’s turn. We forget that we owe our existence to the presence of trees and as far as forest cover goes, we have never been in such a vulnerable position as we are today. The only answer is to plant more trees – to plant for our lives.” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

For more information:
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′
Addresses:
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
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)”. Please and thank you!
Twitter: StBarbeBaker
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

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Happy New Year

Best wishes to you and yours in 2018!

January 1, 2018 brings the arrival of the full moon at 8:24 p.m. The first full moon of the new year is a Super Moon known as the Wolf Moon.
If, in your next conversation around the dog park, it comes to wondering why your Coonhound, Foxhound or Blood hound is howling at the moon, it may be an interesting bit of reading about the Wolf Moon.

For more information:
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′
Addresses:
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
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)”. Please and thank you!
Twitter: StBarbeBaker
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area 😉

Specialization is for insects

Happy New Year with a New Species!

Not at the top of a mountain, nor at the bottom depths of the ocean. Not in Cambodia nor in Greater Meekong.  A new species has been discovered by Daniel L. Hubert, Morgan D. Jackson, and James J. Smith of the Michigan State University and University of Guelph.  Wow!!!

“Speciation is the process by which life diversifies into discrete forms, and understanding its underlying mechanisms remains a primary focus for biologists. …The speciation mechanism he proposed described a situation where a subpopulation of a herbivore specialist species begins to oviposit (lay eggs) in a host plant species other than its own, and within a “sufficient number” of generations, the laws of inheritance reinforce this subpopulation’s fidelity for that host such that it becomes a ‘phytophagic variety’ distinct from its ancestors. ”

Rhagolitis Bushi New species of Tephritidae. Shepherdia argentea, commonly called silver buffaloberry bull berry, or thorny buffaloberry. CC-BY-SA-3.0 credit Julia Adamson
Rhagolitis Bushi a new species of Tephritidae and the bush Shepherdia argentea, commonly called silver buffaloberry bull berry, or thorny buffaloberry. CC-BY-SA-3.0 credit Julia Adamson

An absolutely beautiful little “Peacock fly” referred to as Rhagoletis Bushi is the name of the new species. The Tephritidae fly family are often referred to as “Peacock Flies” due to their colourful and intricate markings. This nick name is quite puzzling as the Greek root tephros translates as “ash grey.” Rhagoletis Bushi is not ash grey at all, but rather has a russet or ruddy head, white wings with russet banding, and striping across the thorax longitudinally from head towards abdomen. Wheras the abdomen has circular striping colors and similar markings of dangerous arthropods such as wasps which may help Rhagoletis Bushi avoid predation. Rhagoletis Bushi is a fly and does not have a stinger. Ironically the natural enemies include tiny wasps belonging to the family Diapriidae and parasitoid wasps of the Braconidae family.

God knows Himself and every created thing perfectly. Not a blade of grass or the tiniest insect escapes His eye. Mother Angelica

Rhagoletis Bushi has a unique wing banding pattern which other tabellaria species do not have.

The other identifying feature is that Rhagoletis Bushi loves the fruit of the silver buffaloberry (S. Argentea).

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
— Robert Heinlein

Shepherdia argentea, commonly called silver buffaloberry bull berry, or thorny buffaloberry. CC-BY-SA-3.0 credit Julia Adamson
Shepherdia argentea, commonly called silver buffaloberry bull berry, or thorny buffaloberry. CC-BY-SA-3.0 credit Julia Adamson

To locate a cute little Rhagoletis Bushi, find a patch of Silver Buffaloberry (S. Argentea) shrubs. These small trees grow 1-6 meters [3-20 feet] high, and have large thorns. The berries can be formed into cakes, smoked over a wood fire, and eaten, or added to pemmican [a combination of berry and buffalo meat]. Though the Silver Buffaloberry fruit is described as sout or bitter similar to the chokecherry [Prunus viriniana L.], it is great for pies, james, jellies and wine and have a high Vitamin C content. Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide introudecs presentation of the berries, for beverage, sauce, dessert or jelly.
Besides Rhagoletis Bushi, elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, grouse, and birds love the berries of the Silver Buffaloberry. As a matter of fact, the buffalo berry is a staple food for the Sharp-tailed grouse diet, the provincial bird of Saskatchewan.

Shepherdia argentea, commonly called silver buffaloberry bull berry, or thorny buffaloberry. CC-BY-SA-3.0 credit Julia Adamson
Shepherdia argentea, commonly called silver buffaloberry bull berry, or thorny buffaloberry. CC-BY-SA-3.0 credit Julia Adamson

The Silver Buffaloberry improves the habitat, and has been used for watershed management. Thickets of buffaloberry arise from root stocks which produce clones of dense bush and vegetation affording both food and cover for wildlife. Additionally Silver Buffaloberry is nitrogen fixing for the soil. Look for the Silver buffaloberry across the prairie parklands as it is a native bush, along wet meadows, marshy areas, near streams, and rivers.

Quite often in nature plants will support endangered species. Mardon skipper (Polites mardon) butterfly, and Zerene fritillaries (Speyeria zerene) are two butterflies which depend upon the Early-Blue Violet (Viola adunca) for instance. In this case, the thorny buffaloberry Shepherdia argentea supports Rhagoletis Bushi, a specialized frugivore [fruit eater], with a particular taste for this host plant. The buffaloberry fruit is about 5 to 6.35 mm in diameter or 0.2 to 0.25 inches

According to Hulbert, “the flies themselves don’t cause too much trouble for the buffaloberry especially considering they’re both native to North America and have evolved with each other over the course of millennia or more.”  In regards to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area, he continues to say; “This fly is one (albeit small) part of the area’s richness!”

Insect Hotels keep good bugs cozy according to Susan Mulvihill. So if you are set on aiding the plight of pollinators and beneficial insects, one way is to construct an insect hotel, or create a botanical garden with native species of plants. And another is to plant Silver Buffaloberry (S. Argentea)

This autumn, when you are out walking past the Silver Buffaloberry bush, keep your eye peeled for the new species just discovered, Rhagoletis Bushi.  “In North America the genus Rhagoletis, is represented by 24 species widely distributed in temperate regions of Canada and the U.S.A. (Bush, 1966; Berlocher & Bush, 1982; Berlocher, 1984; Foote
et al., 1993).[2] “And now there are 25 species!!! Generally speaking, Tephritidae are small to medium-sized (2.5–10 mm or 0.0984-.39 inches) flies, so keep your eyes peeled; the coloration and markings of Rhagoletis Bushi will make the search quite worthwhile!

So Happy New Year, with a New Species

All the best to you and yours in 2018

Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain. Henry David Thoreau

  • Kingdom — Animalia. Animal
    • Subkingdom Bilateria
        • Superphylum Ecdysozoa
          • Phylum Arthropoda (from Greek ἄρθρον arthron, “joint” and πούς pous, “foot”) an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton (external skeleton), a segmented body, and paired jointed appendages
            • Subphylum Hexapoda: Insects from the Greek for six legs featuring a consolidated thorax with three pairs of legs.
              • Class Insecta – insects
                • Subclass Pterygota [Greek pterugōtós, “winged”] includes the winged insects.
                  • Infraclass Neoptera – modern, wing-folding insects
                    • Superorder Holometabola. Endopterygota Holometablous complete metamorphism, with four life stages – as an embryo or egg, a larva, a pupa and an imago or adult.
                      Wings develop within body during pupation
                      Immatures (larvae) do not resemble adults

                      • Order Diptera {from Greek di- “two”, and pteron “wings”} True Flies bearing considerable ecological and human importance.
  • Suborder Brachycera
    • Infraorder Muscomorpha
      • Section Schizophora
        • Subsection Acalyptratae having the alula or calypter small or absent. This alula [calypter is defined as a small membranous flap at the base of the hind edge. Alula is latin for winged, and acts as a “Thumb” to help prevent stalling when landing or flying at low speeds. Where Calypter comes from the Greek kalypter translated as covering, or sheath.
          • Superfamily Tephritoidea also from the Greek a- and Calyptratae.
            • Family Tephritidae true fruit flies” or “peacock flies” not to be confused with genus Drosophila “common fruit fly” (in the family Drosophilidae)
              • Subfamily: Trypetinae
                • Tribe: Carpomyiini
                  • Subtribe: Carpomyina
                    • Genus: Rhagoletis. Morphology described in source [1]
                      • Species: Rhagoletis tabellaria (Fitch, 1855) “White Banded Fruitfly”
                        • Rhagoletis Bushi.

If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.
— Edward O. Wilson

BIBLIOGRAPHY
1. Foote, Richard H. The Genus Rhagoletis Loew South of the United States. [Diptera: Tephritidae] United States Department of Agriculture. Technical Bulletin Number 1607. Prepared by Science and Education Administration. http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/157851/files/tb1607.pdf Retrieved December 28, 2017

2. Hernandez-Ortiz, Vicente and Daniel Frias L. A revision of the striatella specis group of the genus Rahgoletis (Diptera: Tephritidae) 1999. Insecta Mundi.Center for Systematic Entomology, Gainesville, Florida. 322. University of Nebraska. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1321&context=insectamundi Retrieved December 28, 2017

3. Hulbert, Daniel L., Morgan D. Jackson and James J. Smith. A New Species of Rhagoletis [Diptera: Tephritidae] in the tabellaria species group: morphology, molecular phylogenetics, and host-plant use. Insect Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Laboratory Michigan State University, and University of Guelph. 2017. Scientific Conference ~ The Entomological Society of America annual meeting.

4. Mattsson, Monte Arthur, “The Impeccable Timing of the Apple Maggot Fly,Rhagoletis pomonella(Dipetera: Tephritidae), and itsImplications for Ecological Speciation” (2015).Dissertations and Theses. Portland State University. Paper 2627 https://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.ca/&httpsredir=1&article=3632&context=open_access_etds

5. Rhagoletis Tabellaria (Fitch, 1855) Taxonoic Serial N. 1427808. ITIS Report. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) December 28, 2017. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=142708#null Retrieved December 28, 2017

6. Species Rhagoletis tabellaria. Bug Guide. Iowa State University. Department of Entomology. 2003-2017. https://bugguide.net/node/view/15265 Retrieved December 28, 2017 {Shows images of Rhagoletis Tabelleria}

“A single swallow, it is said, devours ten millions of insects every year. The supplying of these insects I take to be a signal instance of the Creator’s bounty in providing for the lives of His creatures.”
— Ambrose Bierce

For more information:
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′
Addresses:
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
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)”. Please and thank you!
Twitter: StBarbeBaker
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

Afforestation Year End Review

img_0229“A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit.” – Elton Trueblood

What is the history of 2017  for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? Find the year end round up for 2017 in the SOS Elms Coalition December edition year end 2017 Newsletter!

 The SOS in SOS Elms Coalition now stands for Save Our Saskatchewan (elms). When the organization founded the acronym stood for Save Our Saskatoon (elms).  ” In its advocacy role, SOS Elms acts as a citizen watchdog of government agencies striving for policy change and responsible management of urban forests.”

“…today it is the duty of every thinking being to live, and to serve not only his own
day and generation, but also generations unborn by helping to restore and maintain
the green glory of the forests of the earth.”  Richard St. Barbe Baker

Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms.  Not only do the Elms of Saskatchewan need public education and awareness in the light of Dutch Elm Disease but never before has the urban forest been more necessary.  This problem is not new—most people are familiar with how chestnut blight and Dutch elm disease eliminated these species from our landscapes—but the pace at which new pests are being introduced is new,’ Cary Institute forest ecologist Gary Lovett notes. ‘People don’t realize the grave threat these invaders present to whole species and ecosystems.’”  Sian M. Hunter from  Invasive pests threaten our northern forests

If a tree dies, plant another in its place. – Carolus Linnaeus

“We forget that we owe our existence to the presence of Trees.  As far as forest cover goes, we have never been in such a vulnerable position as we are today.  The  only answer is to plant more Trees – to  Plant Trees for Our Lives.” Richard St. Barbe Baker‘

Elm Leaves
Elm Leaves

“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.”
― Kahlil Gibran

On these cold nights, laying under cozy blankets with hot chocolate – contemplate these words  “Every morning when I wake up I say to myself ‘This may be my last day on earth, have I got my priorities r i g h t ? ‘ “~Richard St. Barbe Baker .

White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

“Trees, forests, and other forms of life – you have not inherited them from your forefathers, you have borrowed them from your children yet to be born. Their preservation, their enrichment, is the solemn responsibility you bear.”
― Native American teachings

Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus)

For more information:
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′
Addresses:
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
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)”.  Post to MVA 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5  Please and thank you!
Twitter: StBarbeBaker
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

Severe Cold Weather and You

Extreme cold warning issued for Saskatoon for -40 wind chills

Extreme winter weather
Extreme winter weather

CBC News reports that people in Saskatoon braving the outdoors despite extreme cold Wind chills will make it feel like –40 across Saskatchewan

It is the kind of weather where hot water freezes when thrown up into the air at forty below zero degrees F. What happens to you when you walk your dog when there are extreme winter weather warnings?

If the wind chill dips down to  –28 or colder, exposed skin can freeze in less than half an hour! Then when the weather  drops to –40, now frostbite can occur on exposed areas of skin in less than 10 minutes.  If it gets colder yet, say to  –55, then the  danger of frostbite occurs within two minutes.  Frostbite affects both humans and their pets outdoors on off leash dog walks.

Please dress adequately for the weather.  In the extreme weather warnings, ski pants and “thermal long johns” may help to keep you warmer.  Down fill jackets go a long way towards warmth.  Check the cold rating on your boots, and layer in a felt insole for extra coziness for your toes.  Always remember at least one pair of mittens, if not two pairs of mittens.  Two pairs of socks are also wonderful for warmer feet.  Besides protecting fingers and toes, small muscle areas like ears, cheeks and noses need protection from frost bite dangers, so wear scarves or balaclavas.  A lot of warmth is lost out the top of the head, so wear a good toque or warm head covering gear.

Cold Weather Dress Warmly
Cold Weather Dress Warmly

Keep your cell phone next to your person when out walking as cold cell phone batteries also are affected by the extreme cold, and will lose their charge quickly in a purse or outer pocket.  The cell phone may be a necessity in case of emergency.

Keep your vehicle gassed up above half, as a gas tank below half full may be prone to water vapour build up and freezing.  Have your gas station attendant add “gas line antifreeze” when you fill up to prevent troubles starting your car in the winter time.  Keep all kinds of antifreeze away from your children and pets, as they are poisonous.

Be aware of the age of your vehicle battery.  Batteries have an average lifetime warranty OR a number of “cold weather starts.”  The purchase of a battery blanket and / or a trickle charger may keep you and your vehicle running during severe cold weather.

Cold weather: wear the right footwear - warm boots rated for the cold weather
Cold weather: wear the right footwear – warm boots rated for the cold weather

Stock a spare set of battery cables in your car so that you may lend a hand and be a cold weather angel.  It just may be that even if your car has been reliable in cold weather, that your vehicle may be the one surprising you and require a winter boost.

If you are stuck and stranded remember:

Stay in your vehicle, and remain calm.
Conserve your energy, and do not tire yourself out [ie do not strain yourself trying to push your vehicle out of a snow bank].
If your vehicle is running, be aware of the gas levels, and run only as necessary.
Keep mindful of any snow build up around the car exhaust. If your car is stuck in a snow bank, and it is running then carbon monoxide poisoning can build up in the car interior if the exhaust if plugged with snow.
Move your fingers and toes regularly.

Check your vehicle’s emergency winter supplies.

In your vehicle emergency kit pack:

Battery booster cables for your own dead vehicle or to help another stranded family
Food that is good to eat at all times such as granola bars, raisins, dates, spirulina and hemp hearts.  [Do not feed raisins nor dates to your pet]
Blankets are a must.
Spare medications.
Extra winter clothing and boots adequate for changing tires.
First aid kit for minor emergencies.
A small shovel or folding shovel in case you get stuck, and can dig your way out. Sand, road salt, or cat litter will help provide traction.
Spare cell phone charger.
A flashlight to shine to attract help and assistance.
A whistle to make noise for help.
Candles in a deep can along with matches.
A tow rope or chain.
Emergency signalling, flourescent tape, cones, beacon, flares etc.
A tarp or rain poncho and reflective foil double bubble foil insulation will help conserve body heat for longer times of winter stranding.  The poncho or tarp will keep your body heat closer to you within the vehicle, or wrap around more than one person and / or pets to share warmth.  The foil is lightweight, and packs in small rolls and will reflect your body heat back to you if you sit on it. Cuddle into your emergency blanket, then layer on the foil insulation then the tarp/rain poncho for heat conservation.

What else can you think of?

Keep your pets safe

Keep yourself safe during times of extreme cold weather.  Know what to do before you are out and away from home during times of severe wind chill warnings!

“I love the scents of winter! For me, it’s all about the feeling you get when you smell pumpkin spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread and spruce.”–Taylor Swift

For more information:
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′
Addresses:
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
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)”.  Post to MVA 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5  Please and thank you!
Twitter: StBarbeBaker
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

 

Thank you to Cold Weather Angels

Cars and Severe Winter Weather Warnings
Cars and Severe Winter Weather Warnings

We have recently received word about the wonderous and caring help from Winter Angels who provided help to a stranded family of dog walkers and their dogs.

In these days of extreme cold weather, and drastic wind chill warnings, cars may start fine at home when plugged in.  However, after sitting in severe cold weather for half an hour to an hour, vehicles just may not start for the warm ride back home to safety.

A follower of this blog wrote in and expressed their gratitude to the many and several fellow dog walkers who were also out and about in the South West Off Leash Recreation Area, and offered a battery boost to them, a stranded family on the outskirts of the city.  However, in dismay, it was found that there were no battery cables to be had in any of the parking lot vehicles.

Cars and Severe Winter Weather Warnings
Cars and Severe Winter Weather Warnings

One couple went above and beyond, and rushed to their family’s home in Montgomery and came back to the stranded family with battery cables!  What amazing winter angels they truly were.  The stranded family did not catch their name, but wish to let them know that their assistance was greatly appreciated, and that they will “Pay it forward.”

So a hearty thank you is proferred to these amazing winter angels!

This winter it is good to be mindful of our neighbours and fellow dog walkers and lend a hand when we can.  If you are helped in such a way, please pay it forward to anyone you see in distress especially during this time of cold weather warnings.

Cars and Severe Winter Weather Warnings
Cars and Severe Winter Weather Warnings

Every act of kindness benefits the giver, as well as the receiver.
-Katrina Mayer

For more information:
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′
Addresses:
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
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)”.  Post to MVA 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5  Please and thank you!
Twitter: StBarbeBaker
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

 

“How many lessons of faith and beauty we should lose, if there were no winter in our year!”–Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Extreme Cold Weather and Your Pet

Winter and Your Pet

Protect your dog in the severe cold winter weather warnings.
Protect your dog in the severe cold winter weather warnings.

Cold weather provides its own set of challenges and opportunities.

Remember both ice and frozen water pose a hazard for you and your pets. If you put “Booties” on your dog, remember they have no nails to gain purchase if the ice breaks, and they fall into the water. The South Saskatchewan River is swiftly flowing under the ice, and can take your pet away quickly.  The river is not the only hazard, any slough or wetlands area, also pose risks to your pet. If your pet is lucky and gains traction on the ice, and can pull themselves out of the water, they risk hypothermia, or a pulled muscle.  It is best to monitor where your dog is outdoors, and keep them away from frozen ice and shorelines.

Carbon monoxide from vehicles stays low in the air. Take care to place your pet on leash in parking lots and  roadways, to ensure their safety outdoors so they are kept away from poisonous fumes.

Protect your dog in the severe cold winter weather warnings.
Protect your dog in the severe cold winter weather warnings.

Before you take your pet out for an off leash walk when the windchill is -30 or below, make sure you have acclimatized them to the weather with regular daily walks, so their fur growth will protect them. Those indoor puppies, dogs with less cold tolerance may appreciate a sweater and / or a dog jacket for those outdoor trips to “do business”.

It is at this time of the year when your dog’s paws are very sensitive to the snow build up between the pads and toes of their paws. If the snow is fresh “snowman” making snow and clumps easily, your dog will love you if you get them used to wearing booties. For very cold weather, booties will also prevent ice, frozen snow or salt from cutting their paws and pads. If your dog stops moving on the walk, check their paws for ice and snow build up; remove your own mittens, and hold their paw in your hand to melt the ice pack build up.

Protect your dog in the severe cold winter weather warnings.
Protect your dog in the severe cold winter weather warnings.

If your dog shows signs of being too cold on a walk, sit or lie down with them so they can warm from your body heat. Or when you get home place warm water [not scalding hot water] in a large plastic water bottle similar to a 2 litre pop bottle. Wrap two bottles in a towel, and cuddle your dog beside them in their indoor kennel. Cover your pooch with a warm blanket.

For pets which are considered to have enough fur to be left outdoors, provide the right sized insulated kennel. Heaters and light bulbs could be used for warmth, installed into the kennel wisely so they don’t cause burns to your dog. Under the cushion bedding and rug placed on the kennel floor, buy a roll of “Reflective Foil Double Bubble Foil Insulation‎.” This insulation shield can even be stapled into place, and your outdoor dog will love you. This will provide an amazing “R” value, and reflects your dogs heat back to their body. Outdoor pets will also require water, which will also need to be heated as an outdoor dog, will not get enough fluids from snow or licking ice. Additionally, an outdoor dog will require extra good quality food during the winter months to keep them healthy. When the weather news reports bring in severe cold weather warnings, it may indeed, be time for your outside dog, to receive extra loving attention, and be brought indoors for protection.

Protect your dog in the severe cold winter weather warnings.
Protect your dog in the severe cold winter weather warnings.

Just as humans can get frost bite, so can your pet. Know the signs and symptoms of hypothermia. Especially susceptible to frost bite are dog breeds with upright ears. Tails and paws are the next smallest areas of the body in which ice crystals may form causing frostbite. Take care that these delicate small areas of your pet do not get frostbite which can be very painful to your pet. If your pet does get frostbite, take them into the vet immediately for proper care, the right method of thawing out, and first aid. By the same token, smaller breeds of dogs, elderly, sickly dogs or young puppies are much more sensitive to the cold than a large heavily muscled dog.

Monitor their behaviour outdoors. Even though they may have booties to protect their paws from injury and frostbite, and be decked out in sweater and jacket, it is very hard to wrap a scarf around a dog to protect their respiratory tract.  Your dog will love you if you take precautions, and you should never have to confess that you did not know the hazards of severe and extreme cold weather and how it affects your pet.

Take care, and have fun out there!

“I pray this winter be gentle and kind–a season of rest from the wheel of the mind.”–John Geddes

For more information:
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′
Addresses:
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
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)”.  Post to MVA 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5  Please and thank you!
Twitter: StBarbeBaker
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉