Song of the Air

Clouds

The song of a bird is not a reminiscence,
… but an anticipation, and expresses happiness or joy.
The day being bright and mild, with great masses of white cloud in the sky.
Can you see the melting away of the cloud into the clean air at the fringe of its edges and here, and now,
Have you caught the tune of the warbler?
A singular medley of notes, hurried chirps,
trills, calls, warbles.
And there to seek with eyes that glisten for the bird in song;
No doubt at all about the superior quality of the song.
Stop, shhh, quiet, listen the song oft repeated and prolonged.
It is a ringing, animated strain, silvern and golden.
And the blackbird with its lilt and only a few bars of its song, Enough to satisfy of the surprising quality of the strain.
High up on the tall tree the red breasted thrush was pouring out his song, and filling the woods with melody.
The sun now high and warm, with hardly a cloud in the sky; and yonder a mist,
Such full-throated harmony and long-drawn cadences.
Melody, tenderness, and plaintiveness.
And in the rising veil of radiant cloud,as Keats once said;
“And with thee fade away into the forest dim.”

Saskatchewan Birding Atlas

What is the best way to protect the native songbirds of Saskatchewan, plant a native tree!  As main aim of Richard St. Barbe Baker is ‘ to develop a tree sense in every citizen, and to encourage all to plant, protect and love their native trees; for forestry is among the oldest and most honourable of the peaceful arts of men, and in its practice is unselfish and constructive service.’ ”

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

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

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!

Membership in the Saskatoon Nature Society  “supports nature conservation projects and [the society] is an active advocate for the preservation of plant and animal habitats”.

Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition ~ an active group interested in forest management~ or make a donation to “Save our Saskatchewan” [SOS] Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

 

“The simple act of planting a tree, which is in itself a practical deed, is also the symbol of a far reaching ideal, which is creative in the realm of the Spirit, and in turn reacts upon society, encouraging all to work for the future well being of humanity rather than for immediate gain. ” Richard St. Barbe Baker

 

 

 

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For the love of trees

“Planting and growing increasing quantities of trees is the scientific solution to Earth’s environmental dilemma” Dr. Richard St. Barbe Baker

The aim, passion and love aim of Richard St. Barbe Baker was to form  ‘a society of tree lovers working to create a universal tree sense and encourage all to plant, protect and love trees everywhere’.

As you celebrate Valentine’s day, today, February 14, start a tree seedling to be planted out this spring.   A proverb says that “Saint Valentine brings the keys of roots”. Plants and flowers start to grow on this day. It has been celebrated as the day when the first work in the vineyards and in the fields commences. It is also said that birds propose to each other or marry on that day.  To support this Valentine’s Day ritual, Richard St. Barbe Baker has said, “Who plants a tree loves others than himself”

"Who plants a tree loves others than himself" Richard St. Barbe Baker.  For the love of trees.
“Who plants a tree loves others than himself” Richard St. Barbe Baker. For the love of trees.
Dorothy Maclean’s book, Call of the Trees, echoes the sentiments of Richard St. Barbe Baker.  What are the themes of the messages from the Trees?
• The trees speak of love: of Oneness among humans, trees, and all the rest of life.
• Nature is conscious and intelligent, and ready to coöperate with humanity.
• The call is for humans to awaken from their sleep of separation, and to fulfill their
destiny of healing the earth”
 Cardiovascular benefits, and heart health forest walking
Richard St. Barbe Baker recounts his first experience immersing him in his lifelong love of trees, “…I seemed to have entered the fairyland of my dreams. I wandered on as in a dream, all sense of time and space lost…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 exaltation of feeling part of it all… Rays of light pierced the canopy of the forest… I had entered the temple of the woods. I sank to the ground in a state of ecstasy; everything was intensely vivid… The overpowering beauty of it all entered my very being. At that moment my heart brimmed over with a sense of unspeakable thankfulness which has followed me through the years since that woodland rebirth.”
In Choices of Love, by Maclean she relates, “When I first contacted the soul essence of trees, the vital need for large trees on the surface of the Earth was communicated to me.  The same message was repeated again and again wherever and whenever I attuned to, or “listened” to, the trees.
Photo of Richard St. Barbe Baker Courtesy: University of Saskatchewan, University Archives & Special Collections, Richard St. Barbe Baker fonds, MG 71
Photo of Richard St. Barbe Baker Courtesy: University of Saskatchewan, University Archives & Special Collections, Richard St. Barbe Baker fonds, MG 71

Richard St. Barbe Baker expounds further, “It is with a spirit of reverence that I approach God’s creation – this beautiful Earth. We may climb mountains or wander through field and forest, intoxicated by loveliness through the changing hours and seasons recorded by the length of shadows cast by the trees – and as we watch the pink, opalescent fingers of the dawn reaching up from beneath the dark horizon, so we wait for the sunrise of our awakening to the realisation of our kinship with the earth and all living things.”

Later, Richard St. Barbe Baker, would state that the poem Terra Incognita by John Masefield, encapsulated his insight;

“Here in the self is all that man can know
Of Beauty, all the wonder, all the power,
All the unearthly colour, all the glow,
Here in the self which withers like a flower;
Here in the self which fades as hours pass,
And droops and dies and rots and is forgotten
Sooner, by ages, than the mirroring glass
In which it sees its glory still unrotten …
Beauty herself, the universal mind,
Eternal April wandering alone;
The God, the Holy Ghost, the atoning Lord,
Here in the flesh, the never yet explored. John Masefield

And this spiritual experience created for St. Barbe a love for trees powerfully embracing his soul, and inspired Richard St. Barbe Baker’s objective, was which echoed throughout the world; ” to develop a “tree sense” in every citizen and to encourage all to plant, protect, and love their native growth.”

Happy Valentine’s Day!

This day, marks the beginning of spring, and in contemporary times, February 14 is celebrated as the day of love.  What could those who are suspicious bear  against any other on such an auspicious day.

“Valentin – prvi spomladin” (“Valentine — the first spring saint”)~proverb

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

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

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!

Membership in the Saskatoon Nature Society  “supports nature conservation projects and [the society] is an active advocate for the preservation of plant and animal habitats”.

Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition ~ an active group interested in forest management~ or make a donation to “Save our Saskatchewan” [SOS] Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

“From the forest and wilderness come the tonics and bark which brace mankind…A town is saved, not more by the righteous men in it than by the woods and swamps that surround it…”
-Henry David Thoreau

Where is a groundhog when you need them?

Can you really scientifically forecast the weather with a groundhog???

Step One:
Where is a groundhog when you need them?

Groundhog (Marmota monax), has a plethora of names.  A groundhog can rightly be referred to as a woodchuck, or whistlepig, chuck, wood-shock, groundpig, whistler, thickwood badger, Canada marmot, monax, moonack, weenusk, digger and red monk and is a rodent of the squirrel family (Sciuridae) in a classification known as marmots. The groundhog is the largest squirrel found in its range, measuring in at 65 cm (16 to 26 in) long (which is inclusive of the 15 cm (6 in) tail) and weighing 2 to 4 kg (4 to 9 lb). In choice conditions, a groundhog may be as large as 80 cm (30 in) and 14 kg (31 lb). The groundhog can take to their burrow, climb a tree or swim away to flee from their predator. So how does a woodchuck compare to other common mammals in North America?

Groundhog - Marmota Monax Adapted from an image courtesy Cephas_CCxSA3-0
Groundhog – Marmota Monax Adapted from an image courtesy Cephas_CCxSA3-0

The American beaver (Castor canadensis) happens to be the largest rodent in North America weighing in at 11 to 32 kg (24 to 71 lb). The body from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail is 74 to 90 cm (29 to 35 inches) with the large flat tail adding another 20 to 35 cm (8 to 14) inches in length. Both Groundhogs and Beavers to get away from enemies and predators. The beaver’s entrance to the lodge or beaver dam is deep underwater as a defence against predators. The groundhog burrow opens up at the edge of a forest, near a tree or building.

American_Beaver Castor canadensis Adapted from image courtesy _Steve_CCxSA2-0
American_Beaver Castor canadensis Adapted from image courtesy Steve CCxSA2-0

Muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus), are about 41 to 64 cm (16 to 25 inches) in length, weighing in at .7 to 2 Kg (1.5 to 4 lbs). Muskrats love marshlands, and will make burrows or lodges out of cattails. In the water, they are distinguishable from the beaver as the muskrat tail will propel the rodent through the water by spinning around and around. The beaver’s tail lies flat behind them when swimming, or lowers in the water. The beaver’s tail is useful to sound a warning by lifting it up and slapping it down on the water surface making as large a noise and as big a splash as possible.

Muskrat Ondatra_zibethicus_Adapted from image courtesy AlexanderKlink_CCx4-0
Muskrat Ondatra_zibethicus_Adapted from image courtesy AlexanderKlink_CCx4-0

The badger’s name comes from the French word “becheur” which means digger.
Like the groundhog’s Latin name Marmota monax; Marmota meaning Mountain rodent, and monax meaning digger. Groundhogs do hibernate, but the American Badger (Taxidea taxus) enters into a torpor or deep sleep for perhaps up to three weeks. The American Badger is low to the ground measuring about 60 to 75 cm (24 to 30 inches) long with a weight of 7 kg (15 pounds). Badgers are belong to the family, Mustelidae and are mainly carnivorous. Badgers are not classified as rodents, but groundhogs, beavers, muskrats, and porcupines are rodents. And although one groundhog nickname is “thickwood badger”, the groundhog does not belong to the family Mustelidae, which only hosts the Muskrat, weasel, otter, ferret, and wolverine. Both groundhogs and badgers dig burrows, and have special adaptations for digging.

American Badger (Taxidea taxus) adapted from Image courtesy ODFW_CCxSA2-0
American Badger (Taxidea taxus) adapted from Image courtesy ODFW_CCxSA2-0

Porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum), are another commons North American rodent. the name from two Latin words porcus meaning pig, and spina, quill is very suitable. How does a porcupine compare in size to a groundhog? Well the porcupine has a round body 60 to 90 cm (2.0 to 3.0 ft), and the tail would add an extra 4.5 to 30 cm (5.7 to 11.8 in) in length. The stocky porcupine weighs in at 3.5 to 18 kg (7.7 to 39.7 lb though typically they are seen around 9 kg (20 lb). Porcupines don’t burrow like badgers, muskrats and groundhogs nor do they build burrows and dams like muskrats and beavers. Porcupines live in coniferous and mixed forests creating dens in hollow trees. Muskrats may be seen at dawn or dusk, and porcupines are mainly nocturnal, sleeping during the day up in trees. Where the badger is carnivorous, the groundhog, beaver and porcupine are herbivores. The muskrat is an omivore, mostly eating plants and cattails, but will eat aquatic animals to supplement their diet. The porcupine and beaver will eat tree bark, twigs, roots and stems along with other vegetation, the groundhog, also called a woodchuck, does not chuck wood, or eat trees.

Porcupine, Erethizon_dorsatum_Adapted from image courtesy Danielle Langlois_CCx3-0
Porcupine, Erethizon_dorsatum_Adapted from image courtesy Danielle Langlois_CCx3-0

Where a group of beavers is called a “colony”, and several badgers together are called a “cette” not a herd, or flock. Now then, a group of muskrats could be called a “colony, horde, pack, plaque or swarm.” Very appropriately a group of porcupines is called a “prickle”! There have been some discussions about what a group of groundhogs is called whether it is a “madness of marmots” or a” college of groundhogs”.

Groundhog or Woodchuck (Marmota Monax) Range shown in orange.  Adapted from Image courtesy -Anreyostr-CCx2-5_3-0.jpg
Groundhog or Woodchuck (Marmota Monax) Range shown in orange. Adapted from Image courtesy -Anreyostr-CCx2-5_3-0.jpg

Using these essential elements as a foundation to find a groundhog, take your first steps to locate this most excellent weather forecaster. Groundhogs are usually found in areas where forest opens up into a field, road or marsh. So a groundhog has different habitats, eating habits, size and lifestyle from other large mammal rodents in Saskatchewan. Have you spied a groundhog in Saskatchewan? What about a groundhog in Saskatoon?

How Can a Groundhog Forecast the weather, Scientifically?

How can the groundhog be a “meteorologist” and predict the weather? Is it possible, or is it just a myth? Do not resist delving deep into this myth, it just may be grounded in truth and meteorological science!!!

Groundhog day is February 2, and it is rather an excellent bit of folklore about predicting spring. During the winter months, if the day is sunny the weather will be cold and brisk. It is during a sunny day when the groundhog may indeed see his shadow, and the stark chilliness of the day, may indeed entice the groundhog to turn tail and return to the warmth of his burrow. On the flip side of the coin, in the winter, if the day is cloudy, the weather is warmer from the cloud cover trapping in the heat from the earth. Therefore, on a cloudy day, the groundhog cannot see their shadow as there is no sun to create a shadow, the day is much warmer, and the groundhog may spend some time outside of his burrow suggesting that an early spring is around the corner.

So can this really be a way to forecast if spring will be coming soon, (because the groundhog did not see his shadow)?  Or can it foretell if spring will be yet another 6 weeks away because the groundhog did in fact see his shadow?

Don’t take my word for it, this is what meterologist Nick Walker has to say about winter cloudy and sunny days; “Cloud cover on a winter night means you can expect warmer weather, because clouds prevent heat radiation that would lower the temperature on a clear night.” r So to further explain the difference between a cloudy day and a sunny day in the winter time. “If there are no fronts or precipitation nearby, the daily temperature cycle is primarily controlled by the radiation budget. This is a comparison between the incoming radiation from the sun (sunlight) and the terrestrial radiation given off by the earth’s surface (felt as heat.)”

Walker further expounds that “sunshine is only one thing that affects temperature, and in winter, it is far from being the main thing. … The cold air at Earth’s surface is very dense and heavy, so it’s hard for clouds to form in that cold sinking air. So sometimes in winter, skies are very clear and temperatures are very cold. Also, winter is the time of year that the angle of the sun, especially in the northern U.S. and Canada, is so low in the sky that there’s never enough direct sunlight to warm the Earth very much even at midday with clear skies. And if there’s snow on the ground, the snow reflects a lot of the sun’s energy away, preventing the ground from absorbing it. So temperatures end up cooler than if the ground were bare. Even if the ground absorbs some of the sun’s energy, the heat radiates back up into space with no clouds to keep it near the ground. So when you look outside and see sunshine, you cannot assume it’s going to be a warm day.”

Speaking of weather fronts and clouds, another interesting fact about how no shadow may forecast an early spring is that when there is “a low layer of uniform, dark grey cloud,” then the groundhog would not see their shadow. Furthermore, this solid mass of cloud blankets the sky, then “when it gives precipitation, it is in the form of continuous rain or snow. The cloud may be more than 15,000 feet thick. It is generally associated with warm fronts.”Pilot Friend

So there you have it, resistance is futile. This is how the groundhog myth or folklore actually works scientifically to predict the weather. The Groundhog Day story that if a groundhog sees his shadow, there will be 6 more weeks of winter is actually based in science due to the effects of a clear sky with no clouds. And the folklore which exists on Groundhog day that if the groundhog does not see his shadow would mean that February 2 is a warmer day, and the cloud cover may have formed in conjunction with an incoming warm front.

Did the groundhog in your area look puzzled today?  How did your community fare, is there 6 more weeks of winter, or is spring on the way early this year?

“Besides water, trees provide pure air. They are the great filtering machines for the human organism. They improve and transform the air in a way which is most favorable and most acceptable to the lungs of man.”…~Richard St. Barbe Baker

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Alongie, Jenise. Badger FActs. Animal Facts Encyclopedia. 2011-2017
American Badger. Wikipedia.

Badger Wikipedia.

Bradford, Alina. Facts about Muskrats. Live Science Contributor. Jan. 28, 2017.

Groundhog. Wikipedia.

How to Predict the Weather Without a Forecast

Meteorology – Clouds Pilot Friend.

Muskrats – Water loving Rats. Pictures and facts.

Names of Animal Groups

North American Beaver Wikipedia.

Walker, Nick. Winter and Cold Weather Previously Asked Questions. 2007 Small Gate Media.

North American Porcupine Wikpedia.

Odd names for groups of animals flash cards. Quizlet.

Porcupine. Wikipedia.

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

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

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!

Membership in the Saskatoon Nature Society  “supports nature conservation projects and [the society] is an active advocate for the preservation of plant and animal habitats”.

Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition ~ an active group interested in forest management~ or make a donation to “Save our Saskatchewan” [SOS] Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

A Problem and Great Dilemna

There is a problem

“If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking.  Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.” — Raymond Inmon

A great and undeniable problem has arisen. The dilemna which calls calls from the heights of the untrodden immutable forest kingdom. Yet borne up within by courage unflinching, the morning’s faint light through the narrow embrasure, rugged, majestic, the trees, they tower far above.

The June Rose has bloomed as if on cue with calendraic reminder that May has past. Joining June Rose across the vast prairies is Canada Anemone, white and true, and waving as a spring bonnet in the breeze High Hush Cranberry flower doilies toss to and fro. Traveling yet the plains, what could possibly capture the heart more than the delicate bloom of the False Solomon’s Seal and Bunch Berry or, no, it just may be the blossom of the Red Osier Dogwood.

One may then cry out forests are perfect!  However, that leads one to the problem at hand.  In the course of this June study we shall have to touch on what is called the problem of perfection and grandeur. But in this primary matter of the ideal the difficulty is not the problem of magnificence, or perfection, but mayhaps the problem of abundance. Life, thus unfolds and is full of little problems, which arise suddenly and find one wholly unprepared with a solution.

What is that you say? Is it not a wonder to behold the sunset, A gold fringe on the purpling hem of woodlands or mayhaps the sunrise, the fresh-blown rose of dawn, is that not what one should call perfect and spectacular? The reflections of the sky captured in the waters below, amplifying the beauty times two – nay this is perfection! Did you forget perchance, amid the broken clouds the rainbow’s angel spanned? The double rainbow colours bright or light prism dancing amid the crystal dew, what could be more perfect than that? Did you not catch sight of the butterfly flittering past, the Swallowtail and Fritallaries and Mourning Cloaks? Did you stop to listen to listen to the warbling notes from her fair songsters’ feathered throats ~ are these tunes not Perfection at its finest?

You are left free to judge of these problems and dilemnas now with fresh minds to ponder and consider these issues…  And this brings the tale to another problem.  Which is more perfect, the wetlands fresh the new families of ducks, and goslings or the understorey bedecked in blooms, or the marsh spangled with the rays of the Aurora Borealis? How, then is one to choose?   On this particular June day, how will the problem resolve?   Or do your heart strings pull at the sight of a glorious winter’s hoar frost day, the majestic mountain, rippling waterfall, or span of ocean?

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” — John Muir

Be contented; enjoy your fine imagination; and do not throw your salad out of window, nor shove your cat off your knee, on hearing it said that Shakespeare has a finer, or that a minister is of opinion that you know more of music than of nature.

The exertion of intellectual power, of fancy and imagination affords us greatly more than their enjoyment. We are motes in the midst of generations: we have our sunbeams to circuit and climb. Look at the summits of the trees around us, how they move, and the loftiest the most: nothing is at rest within the compass of our view.

Do not imagine that the illusion is, or can be, or ought to be, complete. Imagination makes encroachments on the heart, and uses it as her own. Imagination could finish the story, this single June Day confronts the senses with the main outline of the whole problem.

“Yesterday was the happiest day of my life. Every new day that follows the previous day is happier and what better than this I can wish for my friend. “I wish you health and strength of an oak, the long life of a redwood.” 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

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

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1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

Hiking Boots
Hiking Boots ready for the trail

DEDICATION.I need give my verse no hint as to whom it sings for. The rose, knowing her own right, makes servitors of the light-rays to carry her color. So every line here shall in some sense breathe of thee, and in its very face bear record of her whom, however unworthily, it seeks to serve and honor. ~George Parsons Lathrop

Snowshoes upon the snow
Snowshoes upon the snow ~ days gone by.

Quite Simply, the Forest

I learned early to regard the forest as a society of living things, the greatest of which is the tree. ~St. Barbe

Fresh New Spring Afforestation Images

“We depend on nature not only for our physical survival. We also need nature to show us the way home, the way out of the prison of our own minds. We got lost in doing, thinking, remembering, anticipating – lost in a maze of complexity and a world of problems.” ~Eckhart Tolle

How can one possibly describe the evenings? The mild yet beautiful evenings, when the whole wide-spread scene of crystal waters, forest, and prairie illumined with almost celestial radiance. Bird songs filled the air. The prairies crowded with all the varieties of animal life in peaceful enjoyment. No sights of violence or suffering met the eye. No discordant sound fell upon the ear. All was beauty, harmony, and joy. The landscape resembled our imaginings of the world before the fall, when it came fresh from its Maker’s hands, and all the morning stars hailed its birth. The region was beautiful. There was no continuous forest, but extended, well-watered plains, interspersed with groves of a great variety of majestic trees. John Stevens Cabot Abbott would reflect on prairies thus.

“Ts’ui Pe must have said once: I am withdrawing to write a book. And another time: I am withdrawing to construct a labyrinth. Every one imagined two works; to no one did it occur that the book and the maze were one and the same thing.” ~Jorge Luis Borges

And of the forest, St Barbe would write, “Has any one of us ever really seen a Tree? When we become aware of trees we may each glimpse of them to moments of spiritual vision and, identifying ourselves with the trees, become conscious of the rising of the sap; the upward thrust of life, leaf burgeoning, their consciousness of the changing seasons; we may share their passionately boisterous exuberance of life in the height of the storm, and their tranquility when at rest; with them we will enjoy the glad murmur of the ripening seed clusters when after weeks of drought the steady warm rain brings relief to thirst; and we will know that these creatures, our elder brethern, are intimately related to us in their love and hunger for life. We may even catch their enthusiasm and aspire heavenwards while still rooted in our Mother Earth and in communion with our fellow man and, tree-wise, strive to make the Earth more fruitful again.

The glorious rich, colourful, quilted covering of trees and vegetation is not there merely to feed and please us, its presence is essential to earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life. It is the skin of the earth.

I learned early to regard the forest as a society of living things, the greatest of which is the tree.~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

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

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

True Heroes of the Afforestation Area

What are you doing this April 22, Earth Day?

In life there is a continuous succession of first impressions and adventures.

Why do we smile when a child puts on a man’s hat? The usual reply to such questions is, that laughter results from a perception of incongruity.

It is truly incongruous indeed that the afforestation area is besought with illegal trespass, however this is no laughing matter. No chuckle comes forward, only dismay, bewilderment, and nay even disgust that a forest should receive the dumping of trash, and environmental polluting.

However, to the rescue comes the RM of Corman Park 344 establishing posts, locks and chains to mitigate illegal trespass to the southern perimeter. Adjoining the RM are the Fat bike fatlanders brigade with their own volunteer labour securing the east side of the afforestation area near the Civic Operations Centre (City of Saskatoon bus barns) with a bollards, gate and “gently used” Jersey Barriers. The City of Saskatoon joins the ranks with their attention to the stakeholder’s interests, the additional “gently used” Jersey Barriers, the existing no dumping/no trespassing signs and the orange vehicle barriers.

This is not the least, the Saskatoon City Police, Warman RCMP force and the Corman Park Police Service have all offered support services to the citizen stakeholders. The Saskatoon Fire Department efficiently contained the grass fire of 2016, a great relief before it became a forest fire.  Everyone is doing the best that they possibly can.

Additionally Saskatoon groups, individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and interests have rallied to support the “strategic goal of quality of life” and the “strategic goal of environmental leadership” at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area in so many ways.  It is with great appreciation the volunteers offering their time at the community and Meewasin & Affinity Credit Union Clean-Up Campaign clean ups , the citizen neighbourhood watch stewards, the donations in kind in support of the clean up, and the financial donations which have been received towards the Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Trust Fund

So, “What are you doing this Earth day, April 22?”, is asked again. Hopefully it is getting out in nature, enjoying the fresh air, celebrating our amazing world, and reveling in the joy that so many residents in the city of Saskatoon embrace the Richard St. Barbe Baker afforestation area. It is an area large enough to embrace the ideals summarized as a “strategic goal of quality of life” and the “strategic goal of environmental leadership.”

Come out this spring, and celebrate the work done by diverse groups and residents in this afforestation area preserved in perpetuity! Look forward to seeing you, indeed. It is great to see so many different expressions to respect this semi-wilderness habitat corridor nestled in the West Swale wetlands.  For it is  joy seeing the coming forward  of the  City of Saskatoon citizens in regards to the afforestation area.  The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is held in the hearts of so many, and it may  truly and well be preserved for many generations to come.  Don’t you agree that in this there is, indeed, laughter and celebration for Earth Day!

“How much lies in laughter: the cipher key, wherewith we decipher the whole man!” wrote Carlyle.

Thank you!

PRAYER FOR THE TREES
We thank Thee God! for thy Trees,
Thou comest very near to us through thy Trees.
From them we have beauty, wisdom, love,
The air we breathe, the water we drink,
the food we eat and the strength.

Help us, Oh God!
to give our best to life
and leave the world
a little more beautiful and worthy
of having lived in it.

Prosper thou our planting
and establish thy kingdom of love
and understanding on the Earth.

~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

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!
Twitter: St Barbe Baker

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

White stripes and spots ~ Spring arrives

“In the wealth of the woods since the world began
The trees have offered their gifts to man.”~Henry Van Dyke

“From Our Hearts With Our Hands For The Earth All The World Together”

~Richard St. Barbe Baker

The fawn trembled on legs so new and untried

A tiny fawn no more than two hours old, sighed;

awakening to the world with  wide-eyed wonder.

Opening, grasping the golden light
Which weaves its way through caragana leaves
To my heart’s delight

Soft as a cloud, the fawn surrendered to the new day.

The fawn trembled on legs so new and untried,

Soon to gracefully arrive, noble astride

The ablest spirits fleet of foot. stay then away.

White stripes and spots mark the young of all white-tailed deer

press closer to its mother, abating all fear

If innocency herself should write,

Soft orange-brown coats spotted with white,

The fawn’s  story would  unfold

soft and sweet to behold

Is ever there an emblem of innocence so appropriate as a fawn

That my love has dawned and rose again,

There was no doubt about it, the transcendent charms

They were pretty creatures, these baby deer, gentle and meek.

A touch so keen, to wake such love of life

As stirs the frail and careful being, who here,

full of grace and timidity and cast around with beauty.

And come around  those innocent great brown eyes.

the slender legs, the swinging stride

Was nought but graceful beauty personified.

In this state of innocency did I but see

Some gracious thought may be;

the fawn and doe, enveloped in care and tenderness

to follow  only the prompting of innocent nature

playful and innocent, and tenderness  which bound all hearts.

Oh the love that knows no end; with drops of dew,

The weary heart’s faithful friend.

Teach me more clearly of Thy life and love anew.

The Baby Deer.  A Fawn so dear.

“In the wealth of the woods since the world began
The trees have offered their gifts to man.”~Henry Van Dyke

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.
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

“Man has lost his way in the jungle of chemistry and engineering and will have to retrace his steps, however painful this may be. He will have to discover where he went wrong and make his peace with nature. In so doing, perhaps he may be able to recapture the rhythm of life and the love of the simple things of life, which will be an ever-unfolding joy to him.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker