Visited the forest on a Saturday this week, as it was raining hard Wednesday evening. The sun was shining, and the forest had a different character with the rays of the mid-day sun angling in from the south. I was greeted by a road duster (common type of grasshopper around here), and by a few birds at the edge of the forest - made me wish I’d taken my binoculars because they were too far away for me to identify with my naked eye, but they very likely could have been chickadees. The forest soon fell silent though, as I ventured in deeper - perhaps the birds are more interested in the garden than the forest at midday.
I took a direct walk through the forest to the river today - found the main trail that goes from farm side to the river side of the forest with a few turnings and windings along the way. I did hear (both voice and tapping) and then later see a pileated woodpecker, and caught a brief glimpse of a robin. I also saw a few very short amber coloured skimmers by the riverside, among the toadflax, and one very short black-coloured skimmer. On my way out, near the entrance to the forest I saw the wings of a dead moth - dark grey coloured with a white stripe.
I was wearing shorts because of the warm sunny weather, but that did leave me unprotected from the mosquitos, clouds of whom became thicker as I approached the river, so I kept on the move except when I stopped for photos. Many visually interesting mushrooms are still popping up here and there throughout the forest, and I caught a few of them on camera, but by no means all of them that I saw. I also kept my visit to a little over an hour … next time I will have to wear long sleeves, and perhaps stay a little longer.
It was nice to walk through a stand of spruce forest on my way to the river today. I’ve also been noticing that there are actually more Manitoba Maple in this forest than I initially thought - I conflated them with the poplars. I think it was because I was used to seeing decapitated Manitoba Maples in Mill Creek Ravine, with clusters of suckers growing out of the ends of lopped off branches. The Maples in New Jubilee Forest don’t look like that, so I didn’t recognize them at first, but now I notice I do see plenty of trees with their three-lobed leaves.
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Hi! My name is Nathan Binnema. My grandparents are from the Netherlands, and I have lived my whole life in the city of Edmonton, as a settler on this land that I have learned to call Amiskwaciy Waskahikan. Growing up my family attended Fellowship Christian Reformed Church, which is how I am connected with Doug Visser. Around 2012/2013 I joined the public activism to fight the rezoning of the northeast agricultural land, and was introduced to the farm and the forest. I stayed in touch, and a few years later Kelly asked me to do bookkeeping for Lady Flower Gardens. Though I haven’t pursued studies in ecology or biology professionally, I have always been a biophile, and for nearly seven years now have been with a practice called phenological engagement, which involves visiting a small area consistently throughout the year, and trying to get to know all of the living creatures who also visit there, and how they are related.