Unmoored by the Wind?

The trees and vegetation, which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. Its presence is essential to earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life; it is the “Skin” of the earth, for without it there can be no water and, therefore, no life.~Richard St. Barbe Baker

Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus)
Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus)

“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

The Yellow-headed Blackbird is amazingly sure of foot, even when perched upon swaying cattails. Though they appear delicately perched upon the the heads of the cattail, which disintegrate into a cottony fluff from which the seeds disperse by wind, the yellow-headed Blackbird, stays his post, and is not unmoored.

“Let us heal the naked scars in the earth and restore her green mantle. Let us set our Earth family in order”.~Richard St. Barbe Baker

For more information:
You Tube Video Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

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

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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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The trees and vegetation, which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. Its presence is essential to earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life; it is the “Skin” of the earth, for without it there can be no water and, therefore, no life.~Richard St. Barbe Baker

Afforestation Workshop

“When the trees go, the rain goes, the climate deteriorates, the water table sinks, the land erodes and desert conditions soon appear” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

Afforestation Workshop May 25, 2017 at 1:30
Afforestation Workshop May 25, 2017 at 1:30

“What do the forests bear? Soil, water and pure air–soil, water and pure air are the basis of life; this is the slogan of the Chipko (Hug to the Trees) women in India–those who work with Sunderlal Bahuguna to save the forests of the Himalayas. Sunderlal is my Guru”.~Richard St. Barbe Baker

The Wild About Saskatoon 2017 NatureCity Festival theme this year is ‘We are water: explore our prairie waterscape.’ The festival takes place with a wide assortment of events May 23-28, 2017. The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area joins the festivities Thursday afternoon May 25, 2017 between 1:30 and 3:15.  Situated in a low lying area classified as a “wetlands”, the afforestation workshop  participants will be immersed in the forest and woodlands in the southwest sector of Saskatoon.  The workshop was compiled from the books and teachings of Dr. Richard St. Barbe Baker,  L.L.D., O.B.E., humanitarian, author, silviculturist and forester.  In this way we embrace the teachings of this Baba Wya Miti ~ loving Father of Trees.

Omitakoyasin. The Omitakoyasin are the spirits of all of humanity’s ancestors, since always and for always. “We are all related.” It is important to realize that every single person who enters into our lives, from the passing stranger to those nearest and dearest to us, is present because we dreamed them here. We made a mutual agreement with each of them to connect in this time and space for the purpose of enriching and empowering our individual and collective evolution.~Lynette Hopkin

Arrive at the parking lot of the South West off leash dog park for 1:30 p.m. on Thursday May 25, 2017 should you wish to partake in this workshop activities.  Directions and map are included below.  Though the meeting place will be the SW off leash recreation area parking lot, the Afforestation Workshop will take place in the forest east of the dog park, and not in the dog park itself.

“The trees and vegetation, which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. Its presence is essential to earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life; it is the “Skin” of the earth, for without it there can be no water and, therefore, no life.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker

Note 

There will be no actual planting or “afforestation of trees” at the location of this workshop, this afforestation workshop is so named as it takes place within an “afforestation area” – the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

For more information:

You Tube Video Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

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

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Water Safety

Saskatchewan drownings


The Aug. 15, 1933 newspaper covered the story; Three city children drown in river. “Young girls die trying to save 6-year old boy. Janet Derkson, 14, Rita Hope, 10 and brother Jimmy, lose lives at Sutherland Beach; Raymond Gracewood attempts rescue.” The three children three children from two families were residents who lived in the old University Heights area (south of the CPR, in what is now Innovation Place) according to Jeff O’Brien at City archives.
The children were very used to the route, having walked on the shore trails with the father of Reta and Jimmy Hope quite often. At this time, the youth went out on their own, and went into the river water at a different location. The youngest, Jimmy was caught up in a pothole from which he could not get out. His sister, Reta went to his rescue, and was also trapped. Hearing their calls, Raymond Gracewood swam out and grabbed hold of both children. Jimmy and Reta spied Janet Derkson, also coming to help them out, and pulled away from Raymond’s grasp to reach out to Janet. Though Janet tried her best to swim out to them, she sank. This happened during the summer months, Janet Derkson was to start grade 6 that fall, Reta Hope to begin grade 5, her little brother was to start school in September.

Though all the children were originally buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in an unmarked pauper’s grave. There was a huge public outcry, upon which the city donated a regular plot and the Rotary Club purchased a headstone. The family held a vigil a few years ago, and re-dedicated the memorial.

In June of 2001, another tragedy took the life of a six year old boy who fell into the cold spring waters off the Victoria Park river dock. June 2016, saw two eight year old boys narrowly escape tragedy. The mother of one of the lads, jumped in to his rescue, and downstream, a fisherman, swam out to the rescue of the other carried away by the river.

Traveling to this year, the Saskatoon Services Fire Department were called out 13 times for rescues at the South Saskatchewan River, impressing the need to be careful around the river in both winter and summer seasons.

Though the fatalities mentioned here were children, the majority of drownings in Saskatchewan were aged 20-24 and those between 70-74. 13% of our young adult population aged 20-24 have fallen to tragic ends drowning, which works out to about 3.5 young adults out of 100,000. Water bodies such as lakes, rivers and streams take the largest numbers of victims. Young children loose their lives most commonly in pools, and bathtubs. Though lives are lost all year around, most drownings occur June July and August partaking in swimming, fishing, water activities, boating or snowmobiling.

Bylaw No. 4433 is a “bylaw of The City of Saskatoon to prohibit swimming in the South Saskatchewan River and to require water skiers to wear life jackets.” The South Saskatchewan River is subject to a strong current, fluctuating water levels, and shifting sand bars. Though there is no bylaw against wading the shallow waters of the shoreline, it is very important to be aware the river is cut by deep, fast flowing channels. These channels can readily be seen only from the high river banks with a clear sight to the river waters. Therefore, wading in the river and getting into deep waters, the same dangers will be present as for swimmers. Sandbars, provide a false sense of security, as the swiftly flowing waters can create unstable shoreline edges of the sandbar creating risk.

An ambulance paramedic stated that, “The banks become very unstable when we have lots of water moving through. All you need is for that undercurrent to grab hold of the bank, and …down your’e going to go, into the river…and that may not be a very pleasant situation for anybody.”

Lifeline states that “it is a misconception that you’re safe if you’re larger than a body of water. You can drown in just a couple of inches of water.” “Most drownings are preventable.”

Whenever you, your family, your pet are taking in the water, take care, and be cautious of the South Saskatchewan River. Saskatchewan, the provincial title honours the Cree word kisiskâciwan, describing the “fast-flowing” Saskatchewan River or the “Swift Current” of the river. Around  wetlands, or any depth of water, be cautious.

“When the trees go, the rain goes, the climate deteriorates, the water table sinks, the land erodes and desert conditions soon appear”.~Richard St. Barbe Baker

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
6 year old boy drowns while playing near river. Cobalt daily Nugget. June 4, 2001.

Hill, Andrea. Saskatchewan father drowns after saving 10-year-old son from sinking truck. National Post. July 15, 2014.

Saskatoon police say no crackdown on swimming in river. Swimming the South Saskatchewan is dangerous, officials say. CBC news June 9, 2015.

Saskatchewan communites brace for more flooding. CTV news.

Sask Drowning Report

South Saskatchewan River Jordon Cooper.

They recognize that while knowledge about nature is vital; passion is the long-distance fuel for the struggle to save what is left of our natural heritage and ~ through an emerging green urbanism ~ to reconstitute lost land and water. Passion does not arrive on videotape or on a CD; passion is personal. Passion is lifted from the earth itself by the muddy hands of the young; it travels along grass-stained sleeves to the heart. If we are going to save environmentalism and the environment, we must also save an endangered indicator species: the child in nature. Louv. 2005. p. 158

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

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2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

Water Programmes are Essential

I believe that water must be the basic consideration in all our national and earth- wide forest programmes. Streams and rivers must be returned to their natural motion. ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker

Horned Grebe Podiceps Auritus
Horned Grebe Podiceps Auritus winter colours
Horned Grebe Podiceps Auritus breeding colours
Horned Grebe Podiceps Auritus breeding colours

Horned Grebe

Podiceps Auritus is quite an amazing looking waterbird with yellow / white unique feathers behind its eyes tufted up to appear as “horns”, thus it name. This little bird is quite striking with black head, red eyes, and the white tufted ears bobbing along above a dark chestnut/black coloured body. These are the breeding colours when the Horned Grebe is all dressed up for show and courtship.

There are many books written nowadays which will tell you about birds as folk of the twentieth century see them. They describe carefully the singer’s house, his habits, the number of his little wife’s eggs, and the color of every tiny feather on her pretty wings. But these books tell you nothing at all about bird-history; about what birds have meant to all the generations of men, women, and children since the world began. You would think, to read the words of the bird-book men, that they were the very first folk to see any bird, and that what they think they have seen is the only matter worth the knowing.

Now the interesting facts about birds we have always with us. We can find them out for ourselves, which is a very pleasant thing to do, or we can take the word of others, of which there is no lack. But it is the quaint fancies about birds which are in danger of being lost. They show what the little feathered brothers have been to the children of men; how we have come to like some and to dislike others as we do; why the poets have called them by certain nicknames which we ought to know…~Abbie Farwell Brown

Nesting of the Horned Grebe will occur at a site in shallow water, most commonly amid wetlands flora alongside marshes. Breeding pairs most often choose sites in temperate zones of the Canadian prairies. The nests are made of wetlands plant material and anchored to the plants alongside freshwater marshes for concealment. Symbiosis played a major role in the co-evolution of the prairie marsh eco-system and the Horned Grebe.

Quite the jolliest season of the year, with the birds, is when they begin to require a home, either as a shelter from the weather, a defence against their enemies, or a place to rear and protect their young. May is not the only month in which they build their nests, some of our favorites, indeed, waiting till June, and even July; but as it is the time of the year when a general awakening to life and activity is felt in all nature, and the early migrants have come back, not to re-visit, but to re-establish their temporarily deserted homes, we naturally fix upon the first real spring month as the one in which their little hearts are filled with titillations of joy and anticipation.~C. C. Marble.

Horned Grebe Podiceps Auritus Nesting
Horned Grebe Podiceps Auritus Nesting

In winter, the Horned Grebe has a black crown, and a pale foreneck, cheeks and underparts, quite distinct from the showy breeding coloration. The Horned Grebe show up here in April, with the majority of sightings in May, June, and July. Sightings of the Horned Grebe continue on until November when they leave to the Aleutians and exposed shorelines of saltwater oceans to overwinter.

A grebe most resembles a small loon when it comes to waterbirds. Grebes in general are ducklike divers with lobed toes (not webbed feet) and sharp pointed bills. This little waterbird is quite fascinating to watch, at times diving down under the water as a loon, at other times just sinking down. The grebe will sit with its body much lower in the water than a duck.

The Horned Grebe needs to be on water to fly, and is not often seen on land. When not on the water, the Horned Grebe will maneuver awkwardly as a jumping and hopping motion, rushing across the surface of the water to gather up speed for flight.

Designated Special Concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada COSEWIC, “because over 90% of this bird’s breeding grounds are within Western Canadian wetlands, the continued destruction of marshes and waterways is a major threat to the survival of this species.”Nature Canada “Threats include degradation of wetland breeding habitat, droughts, increasing populations of nest predators (mostly in the Prairies), and oil spills on their wintering grounds in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. COSEWIC

“The global population has been declined by 30% over the last three decades and by 79% within North America. Within 1985 and 2001, grassland and wetland drainage amounted to 5% global habitat loss. Due to global declines, the Horned Grebe has been unlisted from least concern to vulnerable resulting in conservation and research action plans.*

According to the Ministry of the Environment, A breeding bird or breeding Grebe colony is protected May 15 through to July 15 of the year, foot traffic, and other low disturbances must maintain a distance of 100 meters. Medium disturbances such as vehicles and ATVs as well as high disturbances, roads, drilling both must maintain a distance of 200m from loons and any Colonial Nesting Grebes.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Nature Canada suggests:

  • “Tell elected officials that you support the protection of at least half of Canada’s Boreal forest.” “The eco-system of a forest is very fragile. It is very easily upset. This would be a fifth reason why tree cover should be maintained…It is not enough for a mayor to put on his chain and plant a tree but he must plant forest trees for our lives”~Richard St. Barbe Baker. The afforestation areas of Saskatoon are a vital heritage site, and a true testament to the Parks Department of Saskatoon.
  • Dan Kraus, Weston conservation scientist and senior director of conservation program development for the Nature Conservancy of Canada, writes about the temperate prairies, and the endangered grasslands ~ the World’s most endangered eco-system. So it certainly would not hurt to tell your elected officials that you support the protection as well, of the native grasslands of the West Swale, including those of the Afforestation area formerly known as George Genereux Urban Regional Park, and the native grasslands of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.
  • “When viewed in the context of our climate and geological history, it is evident that prairie wetlands are integral and irreplaceable parts of the Saskatchewan landscape.The challenge is to find a place for these wetlands in our social, economic and land-use systems – a place where their protection and conservation is assured by their inherent value.Managing Saskatchewan’s Wetlands” Is there not truly a great symbiosis between woodlands, grasslands and wetlands?
  • “Advocate for greater protection of Important Bird Areas (IBA) in your community and across the country.”  Do you consider Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, the West Swale, and the many and several wetlands around Chappell Marsh an important bird area? Chappell Marsh is huge, extending from Chappell Marsh Conservation Area managed by Ducks Unlimited, into Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area managed by the City of Saskatoon and the Meewasin Valley Authority.
  • “Learn more about IBAs.”
  • “Stay informed about endangered birds and other species”
  • “Thousands of volunteers have helped conserve Important Bird Areas by surveying bird populations, building nest boxes, erecting signs, removing invasive species, planting native grasses, and promoting awareness of the value of wildlife.”

What will you do?

From the account above, can you recognize the Horned Grebe, now on your travels into the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and around about the West Swale wetlands, the series of marshes alongside Chappell Marsh?

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

The elected officials are:

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau,, P.C., M.P., Prime Minister of Canada, Ottawa

The Honourable Catherine McKenna Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Her Honour the Honourable Vaughn Solomon Schofield, S.O.M., S.V.M., Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan

Honorable Sheri Benson, Member of Parliament Constituency:Saskatoon West Email:Sheri.Benson@parl.gc.ca

The Honourable Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan. Email premier@gov.sk.ca

Cabinet Minister
The Honourable Scott Moe, Minister of the Environment

Ms. Jennifer Campeau. Saskatchewan Party Saskatoon Fairview ~ representing the regions for the West Swale and Afforestation areas. Members of the Legislative Assembly. casaskatoonfairview@shaw.ca

His Worship Mayor Charlie Clark

Saskatoon City Councillors. Ward 2 – Councillor Hilary Gough and Ward 3 – Councillor Ann Iwanchuk

Shaping Saskatoon Email communications Division

I believe, therefore, that water must be a basic consideration in all our national and earth wide forest programmes. Streams and rivers must be restored to their natural motion and thus floods and droughts must be eliminated. Forests and woodlands are intimately linked with biological, social and spiritual well-being. I believe that the minimum tree cover for safety is l/3rd of the total land area of every country. Every catchment area should have at least this proportion of tree cover made of mixed species including the broad leaved trees” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Collins, Henry Hill Editor. Harper and Row’s Complete Field Guide to North American Wildlife. Harper and Row Publishers. New York. 1981. ISBN 0-06-181163-7 page 12.
Continuing Horned Grebe and Snow Buntings sullivancountybirder, Sullivan & Delaware County Birder’s Blog

COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Horned Grebe Podiceps Auritus. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. COSEWIC. 2009. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus Western population and Magdalen Islands population, in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vii + 42 pp.
(www.sararegistry.gc.ca/
status/status_e.cfm)

Audubon Mural Project 2016. New York, NY. Bird #20: Horned Grebe: Giannina Gutierrez. Aug 13, 2016 street artstreet artistsNew York

David Krughoff’s Horned Grebe Prairies North Magazine.

Horned Grebe v.s. Highways. CBC.ca The Afternoon Edition. [Saskatchewan Highways and infrastructure have run into a different kind of roadblock at the site of one of their construction projects: the Horned Grebe.]

Horned Grebe. All About Birds Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Horned Grebe Audubon Field Guide

October birding around Victoria on a wonderful weekend hazel, FOSSILS & FAUNA
Dec 4, 2016 birdsbcnature

Horned Grebe videos, photos, and facts. Podiceps auritus. |ARKive

Species Profile Horned Grebe Western population Species at Risk Public Registry. SARA Government of Canada.

Species Profile Horned Grebe Species at Risk Public Registry. SARA Government of Canada.

Horned Grebe Bird Web.

Horned Grebe: Life History All About Birds.

Horned Grebe Bird Watcher’s Digest.

Horned Grebe. Birdinginformation.com

Horned Grebe Wikipedia.

Peterson, Roger Tory. A Field Guide to Western Birds. A completely new guide to Field Marks of All Species Found in North America West of the 100th Meridian and North of Mexico. Peterson Field Guides. Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company Boston. 1990. ISBN 0-395-51749-4. page 26

Nature Canada ~ Horned Grebe Species Spotlight

Sibley, David Allen. Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 2003. ISBN 0-679-45121-8. Page 30.

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

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I believe that water must be the basic consideration in all our national and earth- wide forest programmes. Streams and rivers must be returned to their natural motion. What is a natural motion? A river flowing in its natural course comes to a bend. This gives it a spiral motion. It comes to a marrow, this provides tension. It broadens out, here is relaxation. This is how blood circulates in our veins and the sap circulates in a tree. This is the natural motion. When you destroy this natural motion, the water goes on its way sick or cancerous. When water comes up against a dam, the natural motion is destroyed and the water becomes sick. This sickness spreads up to the tributary rivers and to the fields through which these rivers have come and the
sickness will go to the fields bordering these rivers and will affect the grazing animals. They say that cancer is a disease of civilization. You will accept that, won’t you? It was unknown till we called ourselves civilized. ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

Afforestation Area the Simple Life

“Life is not living in the suburbs with a white picket fence. That’s not life.”~Tom Brady

The Simple Life at Afforestation Areas south west of Saskatoon;

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation ARea

Unnamed Afforestation area formerly called George Genereux Park

“children’s experience with the natural world seems to be overlooked to a large extent in research on child development, but it would be interesting to examine children’s early experiences with nature and follow how those experiences in nature and follow how those experiences influence the child’s long-term comfort with and respect for the natural world ~ comfort and respect…Given the power of nature to calm and soothe us in our hurried lives, it also would be interesting to study how a family’s connection to nature influences the general quality of family relationships. Speaking from my own personal experience, my own family’s relationships have been nourished over years through shared experiences in nature ~ from sharing our toddler’s wonder upon turning over a rock and discovering a magnificent bug the size of a mouse, to paddling our old canoe down a nearby creek during the children’s school years, to hiking the mountains.” ~ Martha Farrell Erickson Louv. 2005. p. 154

They recognize that while knowledge about nature is vital; passion is the long-distance fuel for the struggle to save what is left of our natural heritage and ~ through an emerging green urbanism ~ to reconstitute lost land and water. Passion does not arrive on videotape or on a CD; passion is personal. Passion is lifted from the earth itself by the muddy hands of the young; it travels along grass-stained sleeves to the heart. If we are going to save environmentalism and the environment, we must also save an endangered indicator species: the child in nature. Louv. 2005. p. 158
“Healing the broken bond between children and nature may seem to be an overwhelming, even impossible task. But we must hold the conviction that the direction of this trend can be changed, or at least slowed. The alternative to holding and acting on that belief is unthinkable for human health and for the natural environment. The environmental attachment theory is a good guiding principle: attachment to land is good for child and land.” Louv. 2005. p 303

“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”
― John Burroughs, Leaf and Tendril
.
“By simplifying our lives, we rediscover our child-like stalk of innocents that reconnects us with the central resin of our innate humanity that knows truth and goodness. To see the world through a lens of youthful rapture is to see life for what it can be and to see for ourselves what we wish to become. In this beam of newly discovered ecstasy for life, we realize the splendor of love, life, and the unbounded beauty of the natural world.”
― Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

A man who plants a tree is doing a very wonderful thing. He is setting in motion an organism which may far outlive him or his children, and year by year that tree is storing up energy and power, working with precision like a factory, but far superior to any factory of man. ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker

52° 06′ 106° 45′

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

Not the smallest piece of chaos

Here, is the world…perfect

Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias 42-52
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias 42-52″ (105-130 cm) four feet standing.

“Here is the world, sound as a nut, perfect, not the smallest piece of chaos left, never a stitch nor an end, not a mark of haste, or botching, or second thought” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias 42-52
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias 42-52″ (105-130 cm) four feet standing.

The trees and vegetation, which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. Its presence is essential to earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life; it it the ‘skin’ of the earth, for without it there can be no water, and therefore, no life. ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker

Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias 42-52
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias 42-52″ (105-130 cm) four feet standing.

The shores of the West Swale Wetlands. The background is sylvan and serene with Trembling Aspen bluffs and woodland horizon. In the right foreground are cattails and reed grasses, overgrown with shrubbery. At the left is a Willow idyllic and pastoral. Common waterfowl and ducks swim about the waters.

In the midst of her empire of rich rolling prairie are marsh and wetlands, breathless and wooded hills, overlooking our two great herons. It is here in this bucolic setting that the Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax, and the Great Blue Heron Areda herodias roost, and forage. The idyllic landscape displaying every natural beauty, forest, sunlit waters, and grasslands meadow, at their bluest and their greenest.

In order to be perfect, the future poet should
Know every sound of nature, of river, lake an’ wood,
Should know each whispered note and every answerin’ call—
The world of poetry’s lookin’ up an’ poets climbin’ higher;
~ Tacitus Hussey

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

The Outlook for Wildlife

A greater challenge has never faced the people of Canada.

Animals of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Earlier, a sampling of the wild animals making a home in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area were spotlighted at Saskatoon’s Semi Wilderness Urban Forest.

Here is another round of amazing forest and wetlands creatures that can be spotted within the City of Saskatoon city limits at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and the West Swale Wetlands.

In this collage, the top north west image is a Red-Winged Blackbird (Agelaius Phoeniceus) about 7-9 inches high (18-24 cm), so smaller than a Robin. Robins mesure 9-11 inches (23-28 cm). This image of a Red-Winged Blackbird portrays a striking figure with bright red epaulets with a yellow margin. The female red-winged blackbird is quite the opposite in colouring, with brown mottling and a white stripe above the eye, her colouring enabling her to blend in with the wetlands flora.

Going around the montage clockwise, a White-tail deer fawn(Odocoileus virginianus), snuggles down in in the riparian forest, hiding in the deep grass or within cover of the underbrush. The fawns are born in late April, and sometimes as late as the beginning of July. The spotted coat, enables the fawn to conceal itself within the environment, and these spots disappear about the end of October.

Next; clockwise, in the top north east corner is a garter snake. The three species of Garter Snakes most likely to be seen in the province are; Western Terrestrial Garter Snake or Wandering Garter Snake (Thamnophis elegans), the very colourful Plains Garter Snake, (Thamnophis radix) and the Common (red-sided) Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis). They can be between 17.7 to 38 inches (45 – 97 cm) in length. The colouring is a dark brown or black with distinctive yellow, orange or red stripes. The best times to see them may be in the early morning sun tanning in the summer months.

Now, continuing clockwise, in the south east corner is a Black Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax ). All About Birds has recordings of the barking squack, and the woc-a-woc calls made by these Herons. To see three Black Crowned Night Herons at dusk coming in to feed in the West Swale wetlands is truly a treat, as this area is at the northern extent of their range in Saskatchewan. This heron is quite common, however, as it roosts hidden in trees, and forages in the wetlands at dusk it is a true wonder to behold them. This short, stocky heron is about 23-28 inches (58-70 cm) is quite different from the much taller and leggier Great Blue Heron 42-52 inches (105-130 cm). Keep your eyes open at dusk to spot the Black Crowned Night Heron.

Flying overhead, the Mallard (Anas Platrhynchos), marsh duck is quite striking with dark chest, a lighter coloured underbelly, and a white neck ring. Swimming in the wetlands, the male Mallard, known as a dabbling duck, has a distinctive green head with white neck ring, a reddish chest, white and black tail feathers emerge under mottled brown wings and there is a blue speculum. However, in the photo above are the young of the Mallard, distinctive yellowish feathers with the dark eye stripe. The female Mallard is brown mottled and retains the dark eye stripe. The duck quack heard from Mallard’s will be from the female, as the males do not quack at all. It is important not to feed the waterfowl at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

The last image is the rabbit. The White-Tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus townsendii) is much larger than the Snowshoe Hare (Lepus Americanus). The Snowshoe Hare has longer legs and longer ears than their cousins, the rabbits. Both change the colour of their coats from white in the winter months to brown in the summer. Whereas, the White-Tailed Jackrabbits love the open grasslands because of their speed, these are the most widely distributed around the city. The very tip of the ear on a Jackrabbit will stay black year-round. The Jackrabbit will measure 22 to 26 inches (56-65 cm) when fully grown. The Snoeshow Hares much prefer Aspen parkland and forested areas.

“The uncultivated elements of the landscape…have an important ecological function as a habitat for species that cannot survive in cultivated land and as a corridor.(Burel:Page 187) Greenways, green belts, and corridors are all very similar. The city of New Brunswick and the Lower Raritan Watershed Partership actively seek out volunteers for digging, planting and maintenance of their Green Infrastructure Landscape Corridor Concept. The Province of Ontario protects two million acres (800,000) hectares of land for a greenbelt including the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation plan, the Niagara Escarpment plan, and the Protected Countryside in the Golden Horseshoe Area.

Such green belts protect a rural character within a growing urban city, ensuring urban dwellers have access to natural areas. These Greenspaces serve as contiguous wildlife habitat corridors nurturing plants, and animals of both woodland and wetland.

IT would be fantastic to find a way that our environment could be shared by stakeholders seeking recreation so as to protect the habitat, and ecosystem, the geological and historical features within the boundaries of the Greenway.

“The water crisis is at our door here in Canada. All the issues we thought so far away are up on us now. A greater challenge has never faced the people of Canada. Each and every one of us has a personal responsibility to take action, to collectively confront the very power structures that have prevented the change needed to protect and honour the great water heritage of this land.” ~Barlow, Maude.

“Water is speaking to us but are we listening?
We are all treaty people ~ a piece of us is dying.
Complacency and ignorance are no longer acceptable.
We have to be the voice for generations to come.
Our grandchildren will look back and ask, Why did
they not act to save our precious water? I want to
be able to look in the mirror and know that I
did my best.”
~Randall Kahgee, former chief, Saugeen First Nation.Barlow

“I believed that God has lent us the Earth. It belongs as much to those who come after us as to us, and it ill behooves us by anything we do or neglect, to deprive them of benefits which are in our power to bequeath.”
~Richard St. Barbe Baker

Bibliography:
Barlow, Maude. Boiling Point. Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse and Canada’s Water Crisis. ECW Press. 2016. Toronto, ON. ISBN 978-1-77041355-9 paperback ISBN 78-1-77090-918-9 (PDF) osbn 978-1-77090-947-2 (epub)

Burel, Francoise and Jacques Baudry. Landscape Ecology: Concepts, Methods, and Applications. Science Publishers, Jan 5, 2003 – Technology & Engineering – 362 pages. Digitised online by Google Books.

Peterson, Roger Tory. Western Birds. 1990. Houghton Mifflin Company Massachusetts. ISBN 0-395-51749-4 ISBN 0-395-51424-X pbk.

Sibley, David Allen. The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America. Chanticleer Press, Inc. New York. 2003. isbn 0-679-45121-8.

For more information:

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
Contact the MVA 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)” .
Twitter: St Barbe Baker