Paragon of the Beholder

“I love to see, when leaves depart,
The clear anatomy arrive,
Winter, the paragon of art,
That kills all forms of life and feeling.
Save what is pure and will survive.”

Roy Campbell

And yet, now the leaves are coming back. The leaf roller and the tent caterpillar have gorged, the feast has ended with the last leaf. It is now the era for the trees to once again send out their leaves and green again.
It has been a better year for some insects. Still the bees are not hovering as much as yore. The butterflies have made a small comeback. Will the abundance of tent caterpillar and leaf roller be a sign of times to come, and hope that all insects may thrive again?

What a piece of work is a man,
how noble in reason,
how infinite in faculties,
in form and moving how express and admirable,
in action how like an angel,
in apprehension how like a god!
the beauty of the world,
the paragon of animals.
~William Shakespeare

And would you agree with Hamlet, is man the paragon of animals? The ornithologist may pass his life in one place, but he can never say “I have finished” and though they have traveled nought, they know the morrow may bring some new bird or new fact. The astute observation, ahd attention to detail this association with the birds adds to the joy of life! How is spring set apart from autumn, what new meanings comings and goings of the waterfowl, the songbirds, raptors and all give to the changing seasons; the very air is made eloquent by their calls and songs. Why should we not all be gladdened and “come at these enchantments”?” It is impossible for us not to love whatever is lovely, and of all living things birds were made most beautiful ~ says the bird watcher.
And yet~ recent researches and news stories have emphasized the practical importance to human society of entomological study, and insects will always be a source of delight to the lover of nature. Among the manifold operations of the myriad of living creatures few have more strongly impressed the casual observer or more deeply interested the thoughtful entymologist than the transformations of insects. Everyone is familiar with and can ramble on at length the main facts of such a life-story as that of a moth or butterfly.
And now~ have ever when out in nature, have you become aware of another, one who is taking time to behold mankind. When you are out truly there is a pace, and nearer to wildlife, they do not let others draw across that distance, yet, although their curiosity about humans was great. Have you been out, and seen that from the way they go circling round, stretching their necks to get a good view, and one might only feel and perhaps come to the conclusion that mankind perchance was of a different species of animal from those with which they were familiar.
The seasons come and go. Summer turns to fall. “What a piece of work is a ____________, the paragon of animals.” Is it truly that man is the paragon of animals? What do you say?  Is it truly in the eyes of the beholder?  Or is it what they focus upon? Or what they can see?

Will the entymolgist spy the metamorphic rock of the geologist?  Can the ornithologist spy the butterfly cocoon of the entymologist?  Will the artist behold the scene with the same eyes as the surveyor?  The seasons come and go.  Winter turns to spring.  Does the paragon of animals ever change?  “What a piece of work is a ____________, the paragon of animals.”

Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude. Louie Schwartzberg Mwanner

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

We feel that our greatest victory remains to be won when man will realize his oneness with the trees, the creatures and with all living things, not ours to destroy, but to be handed on for the enjoyment of future generations. – Richard St. Barbe Baker.

Man of Trees winter trail network

How can we encourage more people to get outside, get active and get together over the winter months in Saskatoon?~Eric Westberg COS

In 2015, members of the Fatlanders FatTire Brigade (FFTB) discover the Richard St. Barbe Baker afforestation area and start to use existing trails for winter recreational snow biking. Through January to March 2016 the (FFTB) groom trails using showshoes to gauge the effectiveness of this method of making trails. The FFTB is quite enthusiastic, and wish to pursue a formal trail network in this flat land area. Several bicycle enthusiasts prefer these trails over and above the technical trails in existence along the riverbank.

FFTB submits proposal to the City of Saskatoon (COS) Open Spaces Consultants for discussion of a “Man of Trees“ winter trail network. It is noticed by the FFTB that the City of Saskatoon initiates a Winter City Strategies Initiative for the City of Saskatoon. The City of Saskatoon is currently in growing Winter City YXE and they are in the planning and development stage “to make winter in our city great!” Jeff Hehn, ambassador for the FFTB, brings to the city the FFTB proposal to embrace a winter strategy that could increase outdoor winter recreation.

The FFTB proposal suggests that the groomed winter trail network would encourage fat biking, cross-country skiing, skijourning, snow shoeing, horse back riding, winter hiking, and sliding snowshoeing recreational activities.

The “Man of the Trees” trail network, is stated to have the potential to improve winter tourism amenities for the City of Saskatoon in this proposal. An emerging recreational activity known as fat biking is on the rise. Fat bikes are specialized for winter biking and riding upon snow. Snowshoeing, cross country skiing, slide snowshoeing, skijoring, hiking, and horseback riding all benefit from the grooming of a winter trail network.

As part of this winter tail network, it is imperative that motorized vehicles do not have egress to the park, as vehicles undo the work done by those actively engaged in grooming the paths. The FFTB have been in this way: actively engaged as stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area while at the same time advocating for the winter trail network.

Further to the newly installed barriers, the FFTB continue to raise money for the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Trust Fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)” to fully support the erection of gates and barriers at any areas where vehicles may enter the afforestation area. With motorized vehicles, thus restricted, there is no doubt that it is very much easier to create trails to fat bicycle in the afforestation area, and keep them well groomed.

If you are ever out in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and wonder about the newly created trails they have been the passion of Jeff Hehn and the Fatbike Fatlanders Brigade.  Consider this, is the man of the trails network an an outlier in regards to the environment issues being an observation point that is distant from other environmental observations  Or is the man of the trails network a means to observe and appreciate the flora and fauna with a healthy respect for their habitat and provides a means of proceeding with respect through the afforestation area with the least amount of impact on the semi-wilderness wildlife habitat.

Meetings have resulted in a sharing of  information and an increase of awareness between the viewpoints of  these diverse stakeholders, who share the mutual goals and desires in regards to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area to mitigate illegal trespass and the appreciation and respect of the afforestation area.

It is fantastic that the City of Saskatoon recognizes and supports two initiatives for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area; the “strategic goal of quality of life” and the “strategic goal of environmental leadership.”

The City of Saskatoon is growing, expected to reach 250,000 by 2025 and 380,000 by 2035.  It is truly an honour to know that the City of Saskatoon takes the biodiversity of this ecological area seriously.  The various stakeholders have been in contact with the City along the way regarding both the environment as well as the FatLanders Fattire Brigade pitched the Winter Trail Network – a Winter City YXE proposal.  As the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is across Cedar Villa road from Chappell Marsh Conservation Area, it is fitting and fantastic that the herds of deer, waterfowl, small mammals and amphibians are considered alongside the wetlands, native and modified woodlands and grasslands when creating human plans and recreation activities in the home and habitat of the native wildlife.

Respect of the afforestation area coupled with a due consideration of the semi-wilderness wildlife habitat, means this generation and many future generations can also enjoy and take part in various recreational capacities the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.  Without trails, humans just cannot interact with nature, however with too many trails and other forms of human intervention, nature just simply cannot interact with humans.  The wise deliberation on the ecological footprint is a wonderful recommendation at the outset of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area human development process at a time when the human footprint in the afforestation area increases exponentially.  With forethought now as to wise and considerate placement of trails and human activities in a semi-wilderness wildlife habitat, it just may be that humans and nature can peacefully co-exist now and in the future.  Wouldn’t it be a fantastic experience as it is today, that in 2035 as well, when the city reaches a population of 380,000 grandchildren and great grandchildren can see waterfowl, deer, amphibians and other wildlife within the city limits at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area without the only urban recourse of going to a zoo?  Don’t jump to the wrong conclusion here, zoos are fantastic, however, don’t you agree it is a treasure to have a preserved afforestation area affording a natural environment for human activities alongside the urban zoo.  Respect of the afforestation area coupled with a due consideration of the semi-wilderness wildlife habitat, means this generation and many future generations can also enjoy and take part in various recreational opportunities within a semi-wilderness wildlife habitat at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

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

Sidenote:
As Richard St. Barbe Baker had once the nick name “Man of the Trees” this trail network, is thus named by the FFTB. The multi-use trail network is of course open and available to those who are not men.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Giles, David. City of Saskatoon offering free winter activities Global News.


Feeling dreary about winter? City of Saskatoon trying to change that
New strategy designed to improve winter life, economy, accessibility, culture
CBC news January 2017

Things to do in Winter in Saskatoon. Tourism Saskatoon

WinterCityYXE: Saskatoon’s Winter City Strategy City of Saskatoon

Winte City Strategy Breakfast March 15, 2017

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

Don’t feed the waterfowl

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.

Don’t feed the waterfowl

Don’t feed the waterfowl, and the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals goes on to say; Never feed ducks, geese, swans, gulls, herons or eagles.It’s a fine line to walk, between  “Feed the Birds Day on February 3”  and  not feeding the ducks.

If you do use a bird feeder for migratory birds, place them safely away from domesticated animals such as dogs and cats, and do not allow the ground feed spilled out of feeders to habituate rodents.

“There is a risk that ducks and other waterfowl can get an illness known as angel wing, which is caused by not getting the right nutrients in their diet.

“The illness causes as deformity in birds’ wings that can hamper the way they fly or even stop them altogether, which could obviously be fatal,” said Harry Bellows from The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. RSPB says, “Uneaten, rotting food left by ducks can trigger noxious odours and fuel algae that can eventually eradicate fish from the area, as well as attracting rats, mice and insects.

“Mouldy bread can also cause aspergillosis a fatal lung infection that can wipe out waterfowl in flocks.”Foster

Artificial feeding sites can cause outbreaks in wildlife of Duck Virus Enteritis, Aspergillus, and Avian Botulism. Additionally these feeding sites can attract a parasite which causes Swimmer’s Itch in humans.

Besides recognizing these health risks and diseases, there are more reasons not to feed the ducks. Receiving food from humans results in changes in the behavior of waterfowl. The natural areas become overcrowded where feeding occurs, and the native eco-system cannot support the over-run of ducks and geese. Due to the groups and the larger numbers of ducks and geese, a health risk mounts up from excess droppings which increases the risk of disease.

He who knows what sweets and virtues are in the ground, the waters, the plants, the heavens, and how to come at these enchantments, is the rich and royal man. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Furthermore, waterfowl may even decide not to migrate, relying on the food source from humans, and are trapped by the cold winter. For those waterfowl who do not migrate, they are at risk of dying when the winter temperatures drop to -40 Celsius and below, and there is a drop in human feeders.

The adult waterfowl addicted to bread stop teaching their young how to forage in the wild. The ducklings and goslings, then know only a life of seeking food from humans, and cannot survive in a natural setting. Therefore, waterfowl who rely on humans for food will cluster around human outdoor activities in parks, humans and parking lots without knowledge of domestic animals such as dogs and cats and vehicles on roadways.

Additionally relying on handouts of bread leads to severe duckling and gosling mal-nourishment as bread does not have the necessary nutrients to stave off disease or support a healthy body.

“Wild animals who get used to a handout will often take the easy route despite ample natural foods being available – even in urban areas,” says Dr. Sara Dubois, chief scientific officer for the BC SPCA. “Although it might seem harmless and cute to feed a squirrel on a park bench or ducks at the local pond, these activities can lead to increased habituation.”

“Habituated wild animals are also more susceptible to predators and vehicle collisions, as they lose their fear of people and the associated flight response.”BC SPCA

Foods that should never be fed to ducks include:

  • Bread
  • Chips
  • Crackers
  • Popcorn
  • Biscuits
  • Sugary food including sweets and chocolates
  • Cereal
  • Sweets
  • Mouldy food

Over-wintering waterfowl in the region of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan may, as an exception, include Greater White-fronted Goose, Ring-necked Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Greater Scaup, Snow Goose, Horned Grebe, Eared Grebe, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Red-necked Grebe, Sora, American Coot, Canada Goose, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Canvasback, Redhead, and Ruddy Duck. If you are patient and still and happen to recognize these waterfowl, please do not feed them.  Especially not in or near an off leash recreation area. The waterfowl of Chappel Marsh – the West Swale Wetlands – should not be habituated to humans. They should rely on their natural insticts to not approach humans.

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
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Twitter: StBarbeBaker
July 9, 2016 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area CLEAN UP Day PAMPHLET

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

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Beitz, Mike. Don’t feed the birds. The Beacon Herald. Aug. 9, 2016.

Don’t feed the duck bread, say conservationists. The Guardian. Environment.

Don’t feed the Ducks. Saint John.

Don’t feed the animals. British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. BC SPCA. July 22, 2014

Foster, Alice. What you should NEVER feed to ducks: Six things including BREAD. Express Home of the Daily and Sunday Express. April 6, 20165
Four reasons why feeding bread to ducks is stupid. CBC News. May 24, 2015

Greason, Chet. Duck Feeding Ban passed Despite Protest. Stratford Gazette. August 10, 2016

Is Feeding Ducks Bread Bad? About.com January 20, 2017.
Don’t feed the ducks Mass Audubon. Protecting the Nature of Massachusetts.

McLendon, Russell. 3 Reasons why you shouldn’t feed bread to ducks. Mother Earth Network. November 18, 2015.

Podbielski, Ron. Don’t feed the wildlife. Saskatchewan Environment. Government of Saskatchewan. January 19, 2017.

Rockwood Park ducks refuse to fly south as feeding continues. Naturalist urges Rockwood Park visitors to feed ducks fruits and vegetables, not bread, if they do bring food. CBC News. Feb. 12, 2015

Saskatchewan Birding Trail Experience (pdf)

Seriously, Stop Feeding Wild Animals. DNews. Aug 28, 2016.

Stop Feeding Waterfowl. Department of Environmental Conservation. New York State.

Winter, Lisa. The Disturbing Reasons You Shouldn’t Feed Bread To Ducks
We can’t live on bread alone, and neither can they.
A-Plus. March, 21, 2015

Why you Should Never Feed Bread to Ducks. IFL Science

Zsivanovits, Petra, Deborah J. Monks, and Neil A. Forbes. Bilateral Valgus Deformity of the Distal Wings (Angel Wing) in a Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 20(1):21-26. 2006
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1647/1082-6742(2006)20%5B21:BVDOTD%5D2.0.CO;2