The Heart of the Plains

Heredity and Environment in the Temperate Grasslands.

In continents and countries the anthropo-geographer looks to see not what reliefs are present, but how they are distributed. The plains, indeed, have been both source and recipient of every form of historical movement. Temperate grasslands have an innate and prevailing fitness for agriculture, trade and intercourse. They are favored regions for the final massing of a settled population.

Well-watered lowlands invite expansion, ethnic, commercial and political. In these areas the whole range of historical movements meet few obstacles beyond the waters gathering in their runnels and the forests nourished in their rich soils. The vast level plains of the earth have found their distinctive and lasting historical importance in the fact of their large and unbounded surface.

And, looking far ahead, can you hear the heart of the West Swale lowlands beating as one with the heart of the Bluegrass, and both beating as one with the heart of the world.

In the plains geography makes for fusion. Without boundary or barrier, there are no secluded corners where settlements could entrench themselves and preserve their individual identity. There is, as a point in fact, a vast melting-pot, which has succeeded in amalgamating the most diverse elements.

The more flat and featureless a prairie is, the more important become even the slightest surface irregularities which can draw faint dividing lines among the population. Here a gentle land-swell, river, lake, forest, or water-soaked wetlands serves as boundary. Especially apparent is the differentiating influence of difference of soils. Gravel and alluvium, sand and clay, limestone and more recent marine sediments, emphasize small geographical differences.

The meager rainfall of the aspen parkland ecosystem eliminates forests and restricts vegetation to aspen bluffs, grasses, sedges and those forms which can survive a prolonged summer drought and require a short period of growth.

The grasslands, the beloved Blue-grass land, known to the Saskatchewan pioneer and indigenous civilization developed historical importance only after the domestication of cattle, sheep, goats, bison, and horses. This step in progress resulted in the evolution of peoples who renounced the precarious subsistence of the chase and escaped the drudgery of agriculture, to devote themselves to pastoral life.

Historically, however, environment determined the nomadic habits of the prairie dweller. The distribution of pasture and water fixes the scope and the rate of his wandering; these in turn depend upon geographic conditions and vary with the season.

Heredity and environment act and react upon each other with the regularity and inevitability of succession of night and day. Neither tells the whole story; together they make up the sum of life; of the generations that are to come!

Heredity and environment create the make up of the geography of the eco-system, the physical biome of an area.

This process has been best described by Ellen Churchill Semple, Ellen Churchill Semple (January 8, 1863 – May 8, 1932) a geographer who focused on anthropogeography, environmentalism, and “environmental determinism”. An analysis of Semple’s works is one theory which unzips the heredity and environment of the Saskatchewan prairies, the world’s most endangered ecosystem.

The heredity and environment of the afforestation area has been examined to some extent. The afforestation areas are within the larger context of the West Swale. What is the heredity and environment of the West SwaleWhat is the West Swale?

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
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
Off Leash Dog Park Valley Road Saskatoon!
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque please to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund” (MVA RSBBAA trust fund) and mail it to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area c/o Meewasin Valley Authority, 402 Third Ave S, Saskatoon SK S7K 3G5. Thank you kindly!
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The Tick

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

A teeming life goes on in the forest without any of the problems that confront mankind in similar circumstances. There are no dustbins, no water-borne sewage, no town clerks or city councilors or armies of officials, with more and more rates to pay, no ever-growing burden of debt.

The forest solves its own sanitary problems by direct action while man evades them. The forest has been described as the perfect sanitarian, the supreme chemist. In its economy it perfectly combines Capitalism, Communism and Social Credit and instead of building up a burden of debt it stores up real wealth of the woods.~Richard St. Barbe Baker

Your pet may travel outdoors, and bring home ticks attached to them. If it is the beginning of the tick season, ie early spring around Easter, the ticks are small. These ticks will take a blood meal, drop off the host animal, and enlarge in size. Next time they attach to a host animal, it is probably a larger species, and again the now larger tick will take a blood meal. The tick will either stay on the host animal and breed, or drop off and begin again to find another host animal.

When a tick lays eggs, there are several thousands of eggs, which then hatch, and feed on the host animal. Or the eggs may drop off infesting the new locality.

One method to keep your home and yard safer is to sprinkle diatomaceous earth (de). “Diatomaceous earth is composed of tiny organisms known as diatoms which have the ability to lacerate the exoskeletons of various types of insects and kill them through dehydration.How” “Make sure you buy food grade diatomaceous earth, NOT the pool filter grade which is heat and chemically treated and is TOXIC if ingested.Food” Food grade de is non toxic to humans and pets. One way to subvert a tick infestation in your living environment. Within 2-3 weeks the tick problem should be eradicated at your home. In this era of climate warming, and phenology changes be knowledgeable in the application of diatomaceous earth outside as it effects a number of insects. Use of diatomaceous earth outdoors is defeated with a rain storm, and a re-application is needed.

Sprinkling your shoes, socks and pants with diatomaceous earth is another way to protect yourself from ticks. Likewise sprinkling your pets will serve to be a natural tick repellent, it will dry out their skin also, so apply it in a fine layer only using an applicator such as a salt or sugar shaker filled with diatomaceous earth. “Diatomaceous Earth is very useful as a detox solution, digestive aid and colon cleanser. For dogs, use one tablespoon per day of food grade Diatomaceous Earth in his food for dogs over 55 lbs. and one teaspoon per day for small dogs and puppies.benefits For the human diet diatomaceous earth “(1) helps move things out of your intestines and (2) helps promote healthier hair, skin, bones, and joints.” The silica content in diatomaceous earth will help the body absorb calcium, and enrich skin collagen, bones, nails and hair. For pets and their owners, diatomaceous earth has been recommended for colon cleansing, parasite control, and as a form of detox.

“You should treat your dog’s bedding with diatomaceous earth twice a week, leaving it for about 3 days. Repeat this process whenever your dog spends time in the woods, tall grasses, or around rodents.  Insect infestations are usually eradicted in 2-3 weeks.

One possible reason for tick population surge, is phenology. Insect life cycles react to “degree days” local daily sun and moon cycles reacting with great rapidity to climate change and milder winters. Bird life cycles rely on the amount of available sunlight seen to change in seasonal monthly and earth rotational cycles. If migrating birds arrive in the northern hemisphere too late to feast on small grubs and insect larvae. It is known that bird migratory patterns are changing, so “bird migration, breeding, and nesting are timed every spring to coincide with the peak availability of critical food sources.<a href="Wildlife.org” Until these phenological cycles balance, the populations of insects are on the rise, and populations of birds are declining. For those who are trying to control tick populations on acreages and large land areas, the Guineafowl or poultry may come in handy.

For people walking in long grass or in woodlands, a precaution is to carry a tweezer or “tick twister” on the walk and wear light coloured clothing, tucking pants into socks, and shirts into waistbands. The light coloured clothing helps to sight ticks on their slow journey upwards. Tucking in your clothing thus keeps the ticks on top of the clothing, and not underneath on your skin. People who are not using the non-toxic natural remedy of diatomaceous earth those folks can spray with an insect repellent containing deet. When you arrive home, pop into the shower, to wash off any ticks unseen and unspotted. Throw your clothing directly into the washing machine, so any undetected ticks do not end up infesting the household.  Don’t wander around “blindly”, but arm yourself with a bit of knowledge to have a safe walk with your four-legged friend.

For your pet, fill up a child’s wading pool in your yard when the weather is warmer. Then go for a walk with your dog. When you arrive back home, the sun will have warmed the chilly water from the hose. It will be easier to pop your dog into the warmer water of the wading pool outdoors, and this quick bath may rid your pet of any ticks your eyes have missed. The slicking down of the fur in the water may also help to reveal the missed ticks.

Dogs which have been out and about in a tick area should be immediately checked for ticks when leaving the site. Using tweezers or a “tick-twister” remove the tick without placing a lot of pressure on the tick body. With tweezers, secure the tweezer ends at the tick mouth where the tick has entered the skin and pull straight up and out. To keep your pet safe, walk on mowed paths, dirt, asphalt, concrete or wooden walkways.  Avoiding long grass and shrubbery will help your pets not arrive home with ticks.

Pets can also be treated with any number of over the counter “tick ointments and sprays.”  Many products are applied to the back of the neck with an effectiveness of about 21 days, being strongest in efficacy at the beginning, and waning towards the end of the treatment cycle.  These applications may help your dog from infestation, however on personal experience, attending to ticks on your pets with a tweezer or “tick twister” is the most effective method.  Relying on tick products may still reveal tick eggs and fully mature ticks burrowed into your pet even with tick applications.  Tick ointments also become diluted and less effective when your pet gets wet, ie a dog shower or bath, or an outdoor swim.  However, don’t reapply tick applications without your vet’s knowledge, as the dog’s immune system can usually handle one application every 21 days, as the application is mildly toxic to your pets as well as containing poisonouse substances to the tick.

If you are bitten, record the date, keep the tick on hand in a sealed bottle and take a picture of it. Watch for a “bull’s eye” rash, one of the early warning signs for Lyme disease. With early medical intervention, serious bodily reaction to the tick bite can be averted.

In Saskatoon, food grade diatomaceous earth can be purchased from a store such as Early’s seed and feed. Be safe, arm yourself with knowledge. If you walk in the grasslands or in the woods where ticks may be present, take precautions for yourself and your pet.

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

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Becker, Dr. Tea Tree Oil Great for your cuts, but use with caution on pets

How to kill fleas and ticks with Diatomaceous Earth

Kill bugs with diatomaceous earth Lifehacker.com

Food grade diatomaceous earth for flea and tick treatment. Wolf Creek Ranch.

Gauthier, Kimberly Using Diatomaceous Earth for Natural flea and tick control Pet 360

Pleasant, Barbara. Tick Prevention and Management.
How to safely remove ticks A Mother’s Heritage.
Natural Tick Control For Your Home

Roberts, Kevin. Tick Talk: Do all Natural DIY Tick Repellents really work? May 26, 2015. Petguide.com

Scott, Dana The Benefits Of Diatomaceous Earth For Dogs Dogs Naturally Magazine.

The Effectiveness of Diatomaceous earth Insect list

Tudor, Ken Dr. Is Tea Tree Oil Safe for Pets? PetMd.

Winter, Catherine. DIY Homemade Insect Repellent Sprays and Lotions

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
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
Off leash dog park Valley Road Saskatoon!
If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque please to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund” (MVA RSBBAA trust fund) and mail it to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area c/o Meewasin Valley Authority, 402 Third Ave S, Saskatoon SK S7K 3G5. Thank you kindly!
Twitter: St Barbe Baker

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

A Single Spruce, A Single Glory!

A Snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky ~ unbidden ~ and seems like a thing of wonder”~Susan Orlean<

Colorado Blue Spruce Picea pungens in Winter
Colorado Blue Spruce Picea pungens in Winter copyright Julia Adamson

A Snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky ~ unbidden ~ and seems like a thing of wonder“~Susan Orlean

 

A Single Spruce, A Singular Glory; Prithee now the story…

One from the archives…
Colorado Blue Spruce Picea pungens with foliage mottled and marbled with white blanket of snow. The soft cover a marked contrast to the foliage highlighting, nay caressing the pattern which in due time allow and reveal to our eyes beholden  the varied lines, nuances and lacy swirls. For thou art captivating in thy winter charms and this snowy robe has made this fine wonder yours. Hiding leaves so green amid this fair world of ours. It is thus that a wonder such as this doth work inside of me with a canvas rich and beautiful. And is it true that when the winter hibernal months come at last, that it is then that snowflakes become your butterflies? Have you ever entered into that wilderness, have you ever found the spruce decked out in white? Let not God’s rattle rob your sight but on this wintery morn; step out and see the varied shapes amid the wood, a pleasure so fine, that time and space fold away that perchance one may say that the space seems but divine. For ’tis graced with Sun’s warmth and light the heavy laden bough among the green doth shine within the kindly beams. On boughs now gathering winter wool, the snowflakes, so light they worked, and now scarcely should a living soul doth breathe lest the wondrous sculpture shouldst break. Oh have you ever seen a lovely sight as this, bred by the sun on that wondrous winter’s day. Can you walk in the urban wilderness park, and see such sweet music cry? Oh can you hear the snow settle down with laughter in the trees? Such does the wind lay down its the silent spell, so stop and marvel for awhile, drink in Nature’s song~ swallowing the spruce green boundaries. And look around at millions of souls, the spruce turned green to white, and look this day upon their face, and truly do walk apace in joy among the giant spruce in these hibernal months I do so love.

In sleep of helpless infancy
Trees were the arms that cradled me;
On Tree my daily food is spread;
Tree is my chair, and Tree is my bed.
~Theresa Hooley

When snow falls, nature listens ! Antoinette van Kleef.

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
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 Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque please to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund” (MVA RSBBAA trust fund) and mail it to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area c/o Meewasin Valley Authority, 402 Third Ave S, Saskatoon SK S7K 3G5. Thank you kindly!
Twitter: St Barbe Baker

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1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

One of the earliest [memories] is that of the pine forest which came up close to the house. I often sat in the sun there and in the tree tops I seemed to hear the sound of waves breaking on the sea-shore. Those pines spoke to me of distant lands and gave me my first desire to travel and see the trees of other countries. At times I would imagine that these tall pines were talking to each other as they shook or nodded their heads at the whim of the winds.~Richard St. Barbe Baker

Hibernal Labyrinth

As I wandered on as in a dream, all sense of time and space lost. ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker

Were you there?

The snowstorm provided atmosphere in a glance; a subtle nuance which the snow covers as if the forest possessed an iniquitous or gentle soul. Within the forest enraptured within the illusion of time, and the dance of snowflakes are never at rest; even within the narrow compass of the forest they develop a scene; growing in captivating, spell-binding wonder and beauty, the landscape continuously transformed; the trees and snow swirl together in “sync,” and ideality unites thus the blanketed forest vision with that of the humans.

For is it not on such a day that we do, indeed create our world? Wonderfully wrought, rich yet dim was the day, as if God himself had dipped his artistic brush in mist and not in reality. Time and space died that day. The mysticism of the day revealed itself in a spell-bound trance, all of nature was settled, serene, and the pattern wove a splendour of moods and tonalities.

The blizzard brought a new way of seeing, the rhythm of the wind as a cinematograph carrying the eye to a point of distraction. As the trees danced about in their newly donned snowy robes, we tread about the snow drifts as the wind blew on and on. Under the snow blanket hidden deep, the squirrels, and mice uttered not a peep. The pine boughs laden under the bevy of snow, held fast the chickadee and waxwing, for in the blizzard no song of bird across the woodlands was ever heard. So it is thus to tell the story when the pale glow of the northern Canadian sun faded behind the gathering snow.

Step by step walk now through the snow, enveloped in this seemingly endless wilderness. The day revealed snow stretching out before the travelers unbroken by track, or footprint of any living creature. The outset of the day ’twas quite impossible to look or see for a pace around, the snow fell thick and fast. The big snow caressed the earth, and upon the woodland trees fell whispering through the wind, catching on the top of the swaying spruce-tops. And such was the day, the day of the big snow that transfigured the spirit, and aligned a new rhythm within the landscape creating new perspectives.

Little snowflakes, insignificant at first, ranging themselves into complex and grand atmospheres which can transfix melodramatic eyes. The multiplicity of details now hidden create new notes of nature revealing breathtaking scenes of dramatic power, creating vivid visions of silent peace. The day has now passed, and with it, too, the sun has taken the vision.

The harmony and symphony of the blizzard, the sense of serenity has played out in the vanishing seconds down the corridor of time. And yet there is a delightful consolation captured ~ the alluring mystery hovering around the woodlands that day when the north wind danced with the woodlands Grace.

“According to ancient mythology, trees were the first living things on earth. This is borne out by scientific reasoning which shows that it is through them that the air we breathe can give life to humanity. Through countless ages trees have been drawing carbonic acid gas from the atmosphere, absorbing and incorporating the carbon, assimilating it; then when they die, bequeathing to soil their carboniferous remains. The consequence has been that eventually the atmospheric oxygen was left sufficiently pure for the requirements of birds and mammals which have replaced the flying reptiles and monstrous amphibians that were able to endure the heavy air of primeval swamps and jungles.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
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 Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque please to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund” (MVA RSBBAA trust fund) and mail it to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area c/o Meewasin Valley Authority, 402 Third Ave S, Saskatoon SK S7K 3G5. Thank you kindly!
Twitter: St Barbe Baker

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1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

“As I wandered on as in a dream, all sense of time and space lost.  As I continued this mysterious journey, looking up every now and then I could see shafts of light where the sunshine lit up the morning mists and made subtle shadows on the huge bracken fronds which provided a continuous canopy of bright green over me.  Their pungent scent was a delight to me.  Although I could see only a few yards ahead, I had no sense of being shut in.  The sensation was exhilarating.  I began to walk faster, buoyed up with an almost ethereal feeling of well-being, as if I had been detached from earth. I became intoxicated with the beauty around me, immersed in the joyousness and exultation of feeling part of it all.~Richard St. Barbe Baker.”

Our Experience of the World

when the alchemy of Nature transmutes the sylvan landscape to one vivid and almost homogeneous mass of green;…in such surroundings the mind loses its perspective; time and space become trivial and unreal, and echoes of a forgotten prehistoric past beat insistently upon the enthralled consciousness.

Here at your fingertips is a literal book extravaganza! These books have the potential to be life changing, and it is a pleasure to draw attention to the value that these books bring to homes, schools, and communities as truly, “nothing else takes bookworms on such magical, extraordinary and exciting adventures”~WBD National book tokens.

Richard St. Barbe Baker, himself, was a notable author, writing books as a way to raise money in an effort to save forests and trees around the world. There is a personal warmth in all the books that Baker wrote, in his speeches, and public appearances and it is felt that we knew him in a sort of personal way, as if we had shaken hands with him, and heard his voice; and we always have a feeling that he is addressing us in our own person.

If you were to walk in nature, and write a book, what is your story, your most vivid memory of your natural world? Here is an introduction to other writers, authors, and publishers who also have written about biodiversity, wildlife, nature, and the province of Saskatchewan we have all grown to know and love.

“I believe in the Oneness of Mankind and all living things and the interdependence of each and all.”~ Richard St. Barbe Baker

  • Saskatchewan wildlife federation book: Wonders of Wildlife – Lori Milligan An activity manual for teachers and youth leaders for expanding the awareness of nature to young conservationists. A guide book to get youth become more involved in the outdoors, which mitigates Vitamin N deficiency.
  • The Great Sand Hills: A Prairie Oasis Text by Rebecca L. Grambo Photography by Branimir Gjetvaj
  • Saskatchewan Breeding bird Atlas in the process of compilation as we write this. Citizen scientists and professional bird watchers between 2017-2022 will collaborate to map the distribution and relative abundance of breeding birds in Saskatchewan.
  • Saskatchewan nature books compilation from Eco-friendly Saskatchewan Updates
  • Nature Viewing Sites in and around Saskatoon (3rd edition) (includes the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area)
  • Trevor Herriot’s latest books
    • Towards a Prairie Atonement
    • The Road is How: A Prairie Pilgrimage through Nature, Desire, and Soul
    • Grass, Sky, Song: Promise and Peril in the World of Grassland Birds
  • Saskatchewan: The Luminous Landscape, Prairie Light, Prairie Skies by Courtney Milne and Old Man on His Back: Portrait of a Prairie Landscape, which he co-authored with writer Sharon Butala. Both Milne, and his wife Sherill Miller worked alongside environmental green groups raising awareness, and reclaiming our natural biodiversity.
  • The Great Saskatchewan Bucket List,Photographer’s Guide to Saskatchewan and Western Canadian Farm Trivia Challenge Saskatchewan published by Robin and Arlene Karpan
  • Lone Pine publishing nature books
  • Flora of Saskatchewan books and book reviews from Nature along with a number of other great Nature publications
    • Conifers and Catkin-Bearing Trees and Shrubs of Saskatchewan (July 2016)
    • Grasses of Saskatchewan (August 2014)
    • Sedges (Carex) of Saskatchewan (March 2012)
    • Lilies, Irises and Orchids of Saskatchewan (October 2011)
    • Ferns and Fern Allies of Saskatchewan (June 2011)
    • When the Ice Goes Out on Dore Lake
    • Dragonflies and Damselflies in the Hand
    • Grasses of Saskatchewan
    • Getting to Know Saskatchewan Lichens
    • Great Sand Hills: A Prairie Oasis
    • On the Living Edge: Your Handbook for Waterfront Living
    • Prairie Phoenix: The Red Lily in Saskatchewan
    • Birds of the Saskatoon Area
    • Atlas of Saskatchewan Birds
    • Robert David Symons, Countryman – The Life of a Cultural Giant
    • A Country Boy by R.D. Symons – A Prairie Classic
    • Birds of the Rosetown-Biggar District
  • Environment Canada publications relating to biodiversity ecosystems, migratory birds, species at risk, wildlife habitat and nature
    Saskatchewan wild and other Saskatchewan books. Listing from Saskmade
  • Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre Publications Biodiversity
  • Biodiversity Handbook [online]featuring for the prairies:
    • Mixedwood Forest Society ”
      A campaign to protect mixed forest, wetland, and river landscapes—and the unique species
      they contain—in the Swan River & Porcupine Hills regions of western Manitoba.”
    • Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan
      “A project to increase conservation of native prairie and at-risk species within the Prairie Ecozone
      in Saskatchewan”
  • Saskatchewan books Prairies North listing

So today, March 5, 2017 is World Book Day. How can we, the shepherds of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area celebrate the authors, illustrators and books today? On this 20th anniversary of this United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Book Day celebrate, come together, and explore the pleasures of exploring nature, biodiversity, wildlife, the ecosystem to open your eyes and senses next time you are out in the afforestation area. If you are a primary school teacher or home school educator check out these fabulous activities and another 20 ideas.

Another marvelous concept would be to support a green group with a purchase of one of the books they have published as a fund-raising initiative as listed above. However, don’t stay inside too long. Don’t become Vitamin N deficient, or acquire Nature Deficit Syndrome. A most excellent way to be healthy, enjoy nature and its excellent bio-diversity would be to obtain one, two or more nature field guides as listed above,  and set out on an explore!

Help create the Saskatchewan Breeding bird Atlas with your bird watching skills. Take out a field guide, and discover what wild plants and flowers are blooming this spring. Wander among the tall prairie grasslands and identify butterflies, trees, prairie grasses and sedges along the way with the help of a guide book or two. Reading can really help you open your eyes as to what you are seeing around you on your walks.

Please advise if there are any other most excellent books on the environment, nature, wildlife, flora and fauna which should be included to celebrate World Book Day this Sunday March 5, 2017. If we get reading now, while the snow whitens the ground, by the time the crocus pop up on April 16, 2017, oh, what amazing flora and fauna you may come to recognize by the time the Easter pasque flower shows its head.

“Mid-summer … when the alchemy of Nature transmutes the sylvan landscape to one vivid and almost homogeneous mass of green; when the senses are well-nigh intoxicated with the surging seas of moist verdure and the subtly indefinable odours of the soil and the vegetation. In such surroundings the mind loses its perspective; time and space become trivial and unreal, and echoes of a forgotten prehistoric past beat insistently upon the enthralled consciousness.”~H. P. Lovecraft

“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
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
If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque please to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund” (MVA RSBBAA trust fund) and mail it to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area c/o Meewasin Valley Authority, 402 Third Ave S, Saskatoon SK S7K 3G5. Thank you kindly!
Twitter: St Barbe Baker
Pinterest richardstbarbeb

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

The Saskatchewan Woodpecker

The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is home to woodpeckers, they can be sighted and heard pecking on the trees. Among foresters, a unique specialty taken up by Richard St. Barbe Baker is silviculturists or “tree doctor.” Joining the ranks of silviculturists, is Dr. Woodpecker, tree surgeon, extraodinaire who destroys destructive forest insects. Long ago Nature selected the woodpecker to be the chief caretaker—the physician and surgeon—of the tree world.

The study of forest insects has not progressed far enough to enable one to make more than a rough approximation of the number of the important species that attack our common trees. The birches supply food to about three hundred of these predacious bugs, while poplars feed and shelter almost as many. The pines and spruces are compelled permanently to pension or provide for about three hundred families of sucking, chewing parasites.

The recent ravages of Dutch elm disease (DED) fungi (Ophiostoma) is caused by a member of the sac fungi (Ascomycota) affecting elm trees, and is spread by the American elm bark beetle Hylurgopinus rufipes, who transmit the fungi. Together with other evils, suggest at once the bigness of these problems and the importance of their study and solution. The insect army is as innumerable as the leaves in the forest. This army occupies points of vantage in every part of the tree zone, has an insatiable appetite, is eternally vigilant for invasion, and is eager to multiply. It maintains incessant warfare against the forest, and every tree that matures must run a gauntlet of enemies in series, each species of which is armed with weapons long specialized for the tree’s destruction. Some trees escape unscarred, though countless numbers are killed and multitudes maimed, which for a time live almost useless lives, ever ready to spread insects and disease among the healthy trees.

Every part of the tree suffers; even its roots are cut to pieces and consumed. Caterpillars, grubs, and beetles specialize on defoliation and feed upon the leaves, the lungs of the trees. The partial defoliation of the tree is devitalizing, and the loss of all its leaves commonly kills it. Not only is the tree itself attacked but also its efforts toward reproduction. The dainty bloom is food for a number of insect beasts, while the seed is fed upon and made an egg-depository by other enemies. Weevils, blight, gall, ants, aphids, and lice prey upon it. The seed drops upon the earth into another army that is hungry and waiting to devour it. The moment it sprouts it is gnawed, stung, bitten, and bored by ever-active fiends.

Many forest trees are scarred in the base by ground fires. These trees are entered by insects through the scars and become sources of rot and insect infection. Although these trees may for a time live on, it is with a rotten heart or as a mere hollow shell. A forest fire that sweeps raging through the tree-tops has a very different effect: the twigs and bark are burned off and the pitches are boiled through the exterior of the trunk and the wood fortified against all sources of decay.

In forest protection and improvement the insect factor is one that will not easily down. Controlling the depredations of beetles, borers, weevils, and fungi calls for work of magnitude, but work that insures success. This work consists of the constant removal of both the infected trees and the dwarfed or injured ones that are susceptible to infection without hesitation. Most forest insects multiply with amazing rapidity; some mother bark-beetles may have half a million descendants in less than two years. Thus efforts for the control of insect outbreaks should begin at once,—in the early stages of their activity. A single infested tree may in a year or two spread destruction through thousands of acres of forest.

Most insects have enemies to bite them. Efforts to control forest-enemies will embrace the giving of aid and comfort to those insects that prey upon them. Bugs will be hunted with bugs. Already the gypsy moth in the East is being fought in this way. Many species of birds feed freely upon weevils, borers, and beetles. Of these birds, the woodpeckers are the most important. They must be protected and encouraged. Forest influences and forest scenes add much to existence and bestow blessings upon life that cannot be measured by gold.

The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is home to woodpeckers, they can be sighted and heard pecking on the trees. Among the various species which may be found are the Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Sphyrapicus varius, Hairy Woodpecker Picoides villosus, Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens, Black-backed Three-toed Woodpecker or Arctic three-toed woodpecker Picoides arcticus, American three-toed woodpecker Picoides dorsalis, and Pileated Woodpecker~uncommon~ Dryocopus pileatus. Of these, only the Northern Flicker, Hairy and Downy Woodpecker are common, the remaining are uncommon, and are a sight to behold!

Among foresters, a unique specialty is silviculturists or “tree doctor.” Joining the ranks of silviculturists, is Dr. Woodpecker, tree surgeon, extraodinaire who destroys destructive forest insects. Long ago Nature selected the woodpecker to be the chief caretaker—the physician and surgeon—of the tree world. This is a stupendous task. Forests are extensive and are formed of hundreds of species of trees. The woodpeckers have the supervision of uncounted acres that are forested with more than six hundred kinds of trees.

In this incessant struggle with insects the woodpecker has helpful assistance from many other bird families. Though the woodpecker gives general attention to hundreds of kinds of insects, he specializes on those which injure the tree internally,—which require a surgical operation to obtain. He is a distinguished specialist; the instruments for tree-surgery are entrusted to his keeping, and with these he each year performs innumerable successful surgical operations upon our friends the trees.

Borers, beetles, and weevils are among the worst enemies of trees. They multiply with astounding rapidity, and do not hesitate at all  annually killing millions of scattered trees. Annually, too, there are numerous outbreaks of beetles, whose depredations extend over hundreds and occasionally over thousands of acres. Caterpillars, moths, and saw-flies are exceedingly injurious tree-pests, but they damage the outer parts of the tree. Both they and their eggs are easily accessible to many kinds of birds, including the woodpeckers; but borers, beetles, and weevils live and deposit their eggs in the very vitals of the tree. In the tree’s vitals, protected by a heavy barrier of wood or bark, they are secure from the beaks and claws of all birds except Dr. Woodpecker, the chief surgeon of the forest. About the only opportunity that other birds have to feed upon borers and beetles is during the brief time they occupy in emerging from the tree that they have killed, in their flight to some live tree, and during their brief exposure while boring into it.

Left in undisturbed possession of a tree, many mother beetles may have half a million descendants in a single season. Fortunately for the forest, Dr. Woodpecker, during his ceaseless round of inspection and service, generally discovers infested trees. If one woodpecker is not equal to the situation, many are concentrated at this insect-breeding place; and here they remain until the last dweller in darkness is reached and devoured. Thus most beetle outbreaks are prevented.

Woodpecker holes commonly are shallow, except in dead trees. Most of the burrowing or boring insects which infest living trees work in the outermost sapwood, just beneath the bark, or in the inner bark. Hence the doctor does not need to cut deeply. In most cases his peckings in the wood are so shallow that no scar or record is found. Hence a tree might be operated on by him a dozen times in a season, and still not show a scar when split or sawed into pieces. Most of his peckings simply penetrate the bark, and on living trees this epidermis scales off; thus in a short time all traces of his feast-getting are obliterated.

Woodpeckers commonly nest in a dead limb or trunk, a number of feet from the ground. Here, in the heart of things, they excavate a moderately roomy nest. It is common for many woodpeckers to peck out a deep hole in a dead tree for individual shelter during the winter. Generally neither nest nor winter lodging is used longer than a season. The abandoned holes are welcomed as shelters and nesting-places by many birds that prefer wooden-walled houses but cannot themselves construct them. Chickadees and bluebirds often nest in them. Owls frequently philosophize within these retreats. On bitter cold nights these holes shelter and save birds of many species. Nuthatches as well may be seen issuing from a woodpecker’s hole in a dead limb.

Woodpeckers are as widely distributed as forests,—just how many to the square mile no one knows. Some localities are blessed with a goodly number, made up of representatives from three or four of our twenty-four woodpecker species. Forest, shade, and orchard trees receive their impartial attention. The annual saving from their service is enormous. Although this cannot be estimated, it can hardly be overstated.

On World Wildlife Day ~ March 3 stop, look and listen ~ remember these tales about the urban city’s forest friends. The animals are delightful characters to know. Avoid disturbing the roosting and nesting sites to respect the welfare of these birds. Tread lightly in the forest, and be respectful, the issues facing the woodlands and the semi-wilderness wildlife habitat are complex. Please support Nature Conservancy Saskatchewan, Partners in Flight, Saskatoon Nature Society, Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan, Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation, National Audobon Society.

On speaking to young foresters. “‘Forest’ is an old word. It was derived from a word which meant the forest reserved for the royal games. The work of the forest department was to preserve and look after them. The context has totally changed. The importance of the forest is now for the whole society. The first product of the forest is its life-giving oxygen, followed by water and food. The fifth place is that of balancing the climates and arresting erosion. Raw material of industrial importance and wood are provided by the forest which, though they rank sixth in the list, are unfortunately being accorded the highest priority at present. Therefore the management of the forest should receive priorities according to the actual importance of the commodity. You have been given the dignified name of the Conservators of Forests. You are not timber merchants. ” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker, silviculturist

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
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
If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque please to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund” (MVA RSBBAA trust fund) and mail it to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area c/o Meewasin Valley Authority, 402 Third Ave S, Saskatoon SK S7K 3G5. Thank you kindly!
Twitter: St Barbe Baker

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

“I believe that if children fall in love with wildlife they will grow up wanting to protect it.”
― Imogen Taylor

. We have a motto in the Men of the Trees. TWAHAMWE. It is an African word meaning ‘pull together’ and I pass this on to all those concerned with conservation in this country. I would like to call you to silence for a moment with the words of Mathew Arnold:
“Calm soul of all things, make it mine,
To feel amidst the City ‘s jar
That there abides a peace of thine
Men did not make and cannot mar
~Richard St. Barbe Baker

World Wildlife Day ~ Conservation

Wildlife Montage. Red Winged Blackbird, White Tailed Deer Fawn, Garter Snake, JackRabbit, Mallard Ducklings, Black Crowned Night Heron
Wildlife Montage. Red Winged Blackbird, White Tailed Deer Fawn, Garter Snake, JackRabbit, Mallard Ducklings, Black Crowned Night Heron

Gifford Pinchot centered on  conservation as follows; ” The principles which the word Conservation has come to embody are not many, and they are exceedingly simple. I have had occasion to say a good many times that no other great movement, has ever achieved such progress in so short a time, or made itself felt in so many directions with such vigor and effectiveness, as the movement for the conservation of natural resources.

Forestry made good its position in the United States before the conservation movement was born. As a forester I am glad to believe that conservation began with forestry, and that the principles which govern the Forest Service in particular and forestry in general are also the ideas that control conservation.”

Gifford Pinchot; BA degree from Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale University (1899), MA (1901) and LLD (1925) degrees from Yale, MA degree (1904) from Princeton University, ScD degree (1907) from Michigan Agricultural College, LLD degree (1909) from McGill University, LLD degree (1923) from Pennsylvania Military College, and LLD degree (1931) from Temple University. Pinchot was forester and chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry, founded the School of Forestry at Yale University, and also the Society of American Foresters and the National Conservation Association of which he became President. Author of A Primer of Forestry (1899), The Fight for Conservation (1909), The Training of a Forester (1914), and Breaking New Ground, an autobiography (1947).

Pinchot continues about conservation, “In addition to the principles of development and preservation of our resources there is a third principle. It is this: The natural resources must be developed and preserved for the benefit of the many, and not merely for the profit of a few.

The conservation idea covers a wider range than the field of natural resources alone. Conservation means the greatest good to the greatest number for the longest time. One of its great contributions is just this, that it has added to the worn and well-known phrase, “the greatest good to the greatest number,” the additional words “for the longest time,” thus recognizing that this nation of ours must be made to endure as the best possible home for all its people.

Conservation advocates the use of foresight, prudence, thrift, and intelligence in dealing with public matters, for the same reasons and in the same way that we each use foresight, prudence, thrift, and intelligence in dealing with our own private affairs. It proclaims the right and duty of the people to act for the benefit of the people. Conservation demands the application of common-sense to the common problems for the common good.

We are prosperous because our forefathers bequeathed to us a land of marvellous resources still unexhausted. Shall we conserve those resources, and in our turn transmit them, still unexhausted, to our descendants? Unless we do, those who come after us will have to pay the price of misery, degradation, and failure for the progress and prosperity of our day. When the natural resources of any nation become exhausted, disaster and decay in every department of national life follow as a matter of course. Therefore the conservation of natural resources is the basis, and the only permanent basis, of national success.

The conservation issue is a moral issue, and the heart of it is this: For whose benefit shall our natural resources be conserved—for the benefit of us all, or for the use and profit of the few? This truth is so obvious and the question itself so simple that the attitude toward conservation of any man in public or private life indicates his stand in the fight for public rights. ”

Saskatoon community volunteers all came together three times for major trash clean ups in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area in the southwest sector of Saskatoon in 2015 and 2016 to better the environment and promote conservation practices.  On March 3 World Wildlife Day,  honour the afforestation areas, and continue to monitor, and conserve the semi-wilderness wildlife habitat at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.  Though the volunteers were elated to see 13,100 kilograms (28,875 pounds) 1 2 3 of trash removed from the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and did, indeed come out more than once to clean up the environment, the woodlands and Chappell Marsh West Swale Wetlands.  It would surely be wonderful to engage in conservation practices and center community efforts to maintain the wetlands and associated riparian woodlands, and thus honour the semi-wilderness wildlife habitat corridor and not have a repeated need to engage in costly volunteer clean ups.

The vanishing wildlife, its extermination and preservation came to the forefront in the article World Wildlife Day March 3. How can conservation efforts continue past March 3, continue onward after World Wildlife Day to conserve the habitats, forests, wetlands and resources?  Find out what you can do.

For More Conservation Information

Compliance and Enforcement Environment. Government of Saskatchewan.

Conservation Provincial Parks System.

Conservation Learning Centre | School Program

Ecosystem services (ES) Toolkit and Assessment for Decision Making “nature’s benefits” For Decision making

Government of Canada Publications.

HABISask stands for Hunting, Angling and Biodiversity Information of Saskatchewan

Ludlow, Sarah. How we can save our songbirds. Nature Conservancy of Canada. February 22, 2017

K-9 unit plays important role for Sask. conservation team
Cpl. Jamie Chartrand and partner Jaks help track people, evidence for Ministry of Environment
Feb 11, 2017

Managing Saskatchewan’s Wetlands

Ministry of the Environment Government of Saskatchewan.

Nature Conservancy of Canada. Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre Citizen Scientist observations required; Report a Woodland Caribou Sighting. Giant Lacewing Observations. Red Lily Beetle Observations. Species list and Species Conservation Rankings

Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan

Sask Tip Turn in Poachers and those who violate resource and environmental laws.

Serving People and Wildlife ~ Protecting Saskatchewan’s resources. Saskatchewan Association of Conservation Oficers

DeFranza David. How conservation helps people too. Tree Hugger April 4, 2011

What you can do to help Government of Canada. Climate Change.

Wildlife Conservation SACO| Wildlife Species at Risk. Government of Saskatchewan.

Take Action WWF-World Wide Fund For Nature (also known as World Wildlife Fund)

Take Action Government of Canada. Environment Canada. About Environment and Climate Change Canada Services The Biosphere BioKits Take Action

What can you do? Government of Canada. BiodivCanada. Education and AwarenessWhat Can You Do?

What you can do WWF-World Wide Fund For Nature (also known as World Wildlife Fund)

“This generation may either be the last to exist in any semblance of a civilised world or that it will be the first to have the vision, the bearing and the greatness to say, ‘I will have nothing to do with this destruction of life, I will play no part in this devastation of the land, I am determined to live and work for peaceful construction for I am morally responsible for the world of today and the generations of tomorrow.’” ~ Richard St Barbe Baker

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Pinchot, Gifford USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.

Seeking the Greatest Good. Pinchot Institute for Conservation. M“The mission of the Pinchot Institute is to strengthen forest conservation thought, policy, and action by developing innovative, practical, and broadly-supported solutions to conservation challenges and opportunities.”

Gifford Pinchot. National Parks.

Gifford Pinchot

I believe in oneness of mankind and of all living things and in the interdependence of each and all. I believe that unless we play fair to the Earth, we cannot exist physically on this planet. Unless we play fair to our neighbour, we cannot exist socially or internationally. Unless we play fair to better self, there is no individuality and no leadership. ~Richard St. Barbe Baker.

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
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
If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque please to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund” (MVA RSBBAA trust fund) and mail it to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area c/o Meewasin Valley Authority, 402 Third Ave S, Saskatoon SK S7K 3G5. Thank you kindly!
Twitter: St Barbe Baker

Our task must be to free ourselves … by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.~Albert Einstein

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