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10/08/2019

Big Trash Pickup Inverness County October 21

QuickImage Tags: Big Trash Pickup


Week of October 21st  – South Inverness

Thursday: West Bay, Marble Mtn., Orangedale, Alba

Click on the link below for additional information.


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08/29/2019

Save The Fireflies!

QuickImage Tags: Environment Nature Biodiversity


HOW TO HELP

Fireflies are disappearing all over the world, and it’s believed to be because of human encroachment on habitat and increased light pollution from development and traffic. But there are a few things you can do to help fireflies make a comeback in your area.

None of these steps have been proven to work, mainly because scientists have only been studying firefly populations for a few years and data is still inconclusive. But signs point to human development, light pollution and toxic chemicals as likely culprits behind the dwindling of firefly populations. Follow these steps, and with luck your yard will once again sparkle on summer nights.

Turn off outside lights at night.

Fireflies use their flashing lights to signal each other, attract mates and warn of danger. While the science is still preliminary, it’s likely that human light pollution can disrupt their flashes—making it harder for fireflies to find mates and breed. This leads to fewer fireflies mating and smaller numbers in subsequent generations. You can make your yard a haven for fireflies by turning off exterior and garden lights, and drawing your blinds at night so that interior light doesn’t brighten your yard too much.

Let logs and litter accumulate.

Some species of firefly larvae grow up in rotten logs and the litter that accumulates beneath the forest canopy. To encourage their growth, plant some trees on your property. If you have trees in your yard, consider leaving some natural litter around them to give firefly larvae a place to grow.

Create water features in your landscape.

Most species of fireflies have one thing in common: they thrive around standing water and marshy areas. Ponds, streams and rivers can all provide good habitats for fireflies, but even a small depression full of water can cause them to congregate. Build a small pond or divert a small stream to run through your property, and it’s more likely you’ll see fireflies at night. Chemically treated swimming pools aren’t a good substitute; fireflies are believed to eat the smaller insects, grubs and snails that thrive in natural ponds and streams, and these don’t live in chlorinated environments.

Avoid use of pesticides, especially lawn chemicals.

It’s likely that chemical pesticides and weed killers may also have a negative effect on firefly populations. Fireflies and their larvae may come into contact with other insects that have been poisoned, or they may ingest the poisons from plants that have been sprayed. Avoid using pesticides on your lawn and you may boost firefly populations.

While no formal studies have been done specifically targeted to the effects of lawn chemicals on fireflies. Two known studies indirectly suggest that these chemicals may be harmful to fireflies and larvae. The first study suggests that lawn chemicals are toxic to insects in the lawn where firefly larvae are found [1]. The other study provides proof that lawn chemicals are very toxic to the food that sustains firefly larvae [2]. Both show that lawn chemicals can have a serious detrimental effect on fireflies throughout all growth stages.

The best thing you can do to support fireflies is stop using lawn chemicals and broad spectrum pesticides. Firefly larvae eat other undesirable insects, so they are nature’s natural pest control.

A notable example of how pesticide overspraying has affected a local population is the extinction of the dusky seaside sparrow who was native to the salt marshes of Merritt Island in Florida. Its habitat was sprayed with DDT to control mosquitoes and human development quickly changed the ecosystem so much that the bird could not compensate and went extinct.

Many communities over spray for mosquitoes at night just when fireflies are active, flashing and mating. Such over spraying can wipe out firefly populations. These same communities often do not implement more effective control of mosquitoes, such as neighborhood programs to reduce standing water, especially in swimming pools, and usage of mosquito larvacides to prevent the growth and development of mosquitoes in drainage ditches. By encouraging broad spectrum mosquito control efforts and discouraging spraying at times when fireflies are active, communities can actually save money and effect better control of mosquitoes, causing less impact to firefly species and other small animals.

Use natural fertilizers.

While no conclusive studies have been done, it’s possible that chemical fertilizers may have a harmful effect on firefly populations as well—especially since many harmful chemicals in pesticides are also found in chemical fertilizers. Using natural fertilizers may make your yard a more healthy place for fireflies.

Don’t over-mow your lawn.

Fireflies mainly stay on the ground during the day, and frequent mowing may disturb local firefly populations. While you may feel that you need to keep your lawn mowed for aesthetic purposes, consider incorporating some areas of long grasses into your landscaping. Fireflies prefer to live in long grasses, and doing this may boost their population in your yard.

Plant native trees.

Fast growing pine and native trees provide a good habitat for many species of fireflies. Naturalist Terry Lynch, who has studied fireflies for many years, recommends Pine trees because they provide shade and the low light area provided by a canopy actually increasing the amount of time fireflies have to find a mate. Also, the litter produced by pine trees, if left to accumulate, provides a good habitat for earthworms and other small animals which firefly larvae feed upon.

Do NOT introduce earthworms to you yard.

What’s so bad about a worm? For many of us, seeing earthworms under rocks, on sidewalks after rainstorms, and in our gardens is just a fact of life. Few of us think to question the presence of worms or their impact on fireflies. The truth about earthworms is this: they are not native to any of the northern United States or Canada. Any worms that were here originally were wiped out during the last glaciation. It would be pretty hard for a creature that lives in the upper topsoil to survive the crushing weight, scraping, and sedimentary deposits of a mile-thick hunk of ice.

Talk to your neighbors.

If you live in a suburban area in close proximity to others, what you do in your own yard will help—but you can create even more habitat for fireflies by enlisting your neighbors in your efforts. Tell your neighbors about your concern over dwindling firefly populations and what they can do to help. If you convince even one or two people on your street, you could help increase firefly habitat in your area even more.

Fireflies are disappearing all over the world. But there are a few things you could do to help—and every little bit counts. Allow some room for wildness on your property—low-hanging trees, forest litter, and long grasses all create welcoming environments for fireflies. Ponds and streams are crucial to firefly populations, and you can further encourage their numbers by reducing the amount of light in your yard at night and by cutting back on chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Follow these tips, and it’s possible you could see a resurgence of fireflies in your area.

References:

1. "Understanding Halofenozide (Mach 2) and Imidacloprid (Merit) Soil Insecticides," by Daniel A Potter. International SportsTurf Institute, Inc., Turfax, Vol. 6 No. 1 (Jan-Feb 1998)

2. "Relative Toxicities of Chemicals to the Earthworm Eisenia foetida," by Brian L. Roberts and H. Wyman Dorough. Article first published online: 20 Oct 2009. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Jan. 1984), pp. 67–78.


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08/08/2019

Kayak Rendezvous At Marble Mountain Beach

QuickImage Tags: Kayak on the Bras d'Or Lake


This is your chance to kayak on the Bras d'Or Lake with other like-minded people at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 10.

Bring your own kayak and paddles. Bring a drink and a snack. Please wear a flotation device.

This is an at-your-own-risk event.

Rain date: August 17.

Directions: Drive to Marble Mountain beach, turn right toward the shed.


06/04/2019

Marble Mountain Walk & Talk 9:00 - noon 22 June 2019

QuickImage Tags: Hike


Meet at West Bay hall for a presentation

megan.pagniello@natureconservancy.ca

Clik on the link for more information.
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05/09/2019

The First Spears Of Asparagus 2019 Have Been Sighted!

QuickImage Tags: Gardening And Food


Today is the first day I've searched the asparagus beds this year. Voila! They are here. I'm not really sure when the tiny mauve tips broke ground.

They grow very slowly at first. I'll have to wait another 2 to 3 weeks for the spears to get big enough to harvest.


04/24/2019

Marble Mountain Road Trash Pickup Week May 13 - 19

QuickImage Tags: Community Action


It's that time of year again - it's time to get out and collect the trash that has accumulated on the roadside and in the ditches over the past year.

I don't know the precise date for big trash pickup but it happens before the end of May. I will let you know when I find out.

Don't feel you have to stick to the pickup dates here, you can do it anytime. Just consider that the road trash pickup should be done before the end of the month. Pick a nice weather day and the chore will be enjoyable.

This is most easily done before the leaves come out on the bushes and other undergrowth.


03/15/2019

The Maple Taps Are In

QuickImage Tags: Maple Sugaring Season


The taps went in on Wednesday, March 13. The flow commenced immediately. I am predicting a bountiful harvest for 2019.

This year for the first time the sap will be run through a reverse osmosis system, that should reduce water content by half. Boiling the sap down to syrup should go a lost faster using this system.

The snow pack is lower and there is no need for snowshoes, though they would make easier walking on what snow there is.


02/12/2019

Keith Mullins At St. George's Channel Hall 7:00 p.m. Saturday 23 February 2019 Don't Miss It!

QuickImage Tags: Music And Entertainment


LIVE!@theChannel - for the latest in our 'Songwriters@theChannel' series, we are VERY excited to welcome the multi-talented, award-winning phenomenon that is KEITH MULLINS!

Just back from his CD launch tour in Europe, Keith will be well-known closer to home by anyone who has attended a Music Camp or 'Bandemonium' event in the last few years.

Come early to avoid disappointment!

Entry $10, tea and oatcakes $1.

All profits go to support live music.

Please SHARE!


01/16/2019

West Bay Winterfest 16 February 2019 From 1 - 5

QuickImage Tags: Winter Activities


Join in the fun in West Bay on Saturday, February 16 from 1:00 to 5:00. Free - Everyone Welcome

Join in winter activities for everyone.

There will be cross country skiing and snowshoeing for all, plus sledding for the little tykes.

Indoor and outdoor activities will be available for all ages. Games, hotdogs, chili, chowder, sweets. There will be something for everyone. 

An array of snacks will be offered in the hall to refresh us after all our activities. 

“West Bay Winters Past: Share and hear stories from our community’s colourful history.” Bring your stories to share with everyone.

West Bay Community Centre

2048 Cenotaph Rd.

Contact Name: Annemarie Talbot

Contact Phone Number: 902.345.2559

West Bay Community Centre

http://https://www.facebook.com/events/226844798247078/


01/01/2019

Marble Mountain Annual Polar Bear Dip And Chili Cook-Off Is On

Tags: Marble Mountain New Year's Day Swim and Chili


The dip and chili contest are on despite the snowfall. 

The hall will be warm and if there are enough entries the judging will go forth. So far I know of three chili entries. 

Please use your best judgement in whether or not you go to the dip and hall. 

Most of all we want everyone to have a safe and healthy New Year so you can do it again next year.