Wild Parsnip: is this the one we are all supposed to be freaking out about?

Categories: 

by: 

Kate Aley

In short, no.

The massive invasive toxic weed we are supposed to fear and loathe is Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum).Originally from eastern Europe and imported as a decorative garden accent, if you can believe it, Giant Hogweed grows to about five meters tall and is filled with noxious sap that burns skin deeply.

However, Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) (the yellow-flowered one here, seen with white-flowered Queen Anne's Lace and other stuff) is no mild-mannered maiden either. Contact with the sap also causes severe skin irritation, especially if you are mowing the stuff while wearing shorts.

This is how the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit describes it:

"Wild Parsnip plants have chemicals called psoralens (more precisely, furocoumarins) that cause phyto-photodermatitis: an interaction between plants (phyto) and light (photo) that induce skin (derm) inflammation (itis).  Once the furocoumarins are absorbed by the skin, they are energized by UV light on both sunny and cloudy days. They then bind to DNA and cell membranes, destroying cells and skin. Wild Parsnip burns usually occur in streaks and elongated spots, reflecting where a damaged leaf or stem moved across the skin before exposure to sunlight. If the sap gets into the eyes, it may cause temporary or permanent blindness."

So that is bad, right?

Wild Parsnip, also invasive, also from Europe, is again bountiful in ditches and along roadsides this year. You can get rid of it but it's a complicated process. Putting on three pairs of leather trousers is the first step, I think.

The jury still seems to be out on whether Giant Hogweed has ever been officially identified in this area. I did see a very tall nasty-looking plant on the side of the 148 in Clarendon last year. I can assure you every inch of it screamed: "DON'T TOUCH". If you have ever read John Wyndham's terrifying novel Day of the Triffids, you'll agree that this is probably what the triffids looked like.

 

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

Celebrating weeds (not weed)

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Look what I found in a particularly weedy part of my garden: the first Monarch caterpillar I've seen a very very VERY long time.

Please

let

your

milkweed

grow.

I found that chubby little fellow lurking on a blade of grass so I moved him to this leaf, where he lay like a slug for quite a long time. Then I saw that he'd done a neat u-turn. Then I saw he'd eaten a patch of the leaf and taken off like a maniac. No idea where went. Looked everywhere. So I assume he's out there.

Let your milkweed grow. 

Creative summer art classes

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by: 

Kate Aley

Get some colour into your life this summer with bright new art courses at the Pontiac School of the Arts in Portage du Fort. This year, classes include watercolour painting, printmaking, screen writing and floor cloths (a durable painted canvas mat). 

Now in it's 14th year, the Pontiac School of the Art's mission is to inspire creative discovery in everyone.

For Over 8 MONTHS We’ve Had NO Emergency Route

Categories: 

by: 

Ashley Graveline

 


PHOTO: KATE ALEY

As someone who lives on Baie road and heads up to Quyon often, it really starts to hit how long Alary road has been washed out — and how annoying it is to detour around to head up to Quyon, Shawville etc.

The beginning of everything: "Origins" watercolour show opens

Categories: 

by: 

Kate Aley

You are invited to an extraordinarily moving exhibition of new work by renowned Luskville painter, Ruby Ewen.

Entirely painted in watercolour, the pieces immerse the viewer into multiple magical realms of creationism, imagination and classic myth.

Show runs: Friday, June 22 (opening event, 6 -- 8 p.m.) to July 22, 2018

Site: Stone School Gallery, 28 Mill St., Portage du Fort.

Cooking meets trucking at new restaurant

Categories: 

by: 

Kate Aley

After two years of extensive renovations, Au Coin du Camionneur, also known as Trucker's Corner, opened in Luskville on Sunday June 17. 

Owners Benoit Galipeau and Robert Bergeron have completely reconfigured the building at the corner of the Eardley-Masham Road and Highway 148. New lighting, comfortable seating and large windows that open onto a breezy patio create an inviting ambience.

Building a new future for Pontiac with slaughterhouse project

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by: 

Kate Aley

After five years of planning, construction has now started on the Les Abattoir les Viandes du Pontiac. Set on five acres on the outskirts of Shawville, the slaughterhouse is the brainchild of Quyon entrepreneur Alain Lauzon and three partners, Sofian Elktrousie, Ibrama Diagne and promoter Gilles Langlois.

“We are aiming to be open by end of October,” said Lauzon last week, as he watched forms being set for more concrete to be poured.

Turtle S.O.S.: Save Our Shells!

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Trouble in paradise.

It's June and that means those crazy turtles are once again roaming dirt side roads and busy highways alike; intent on finding mates, water and good nesting places as they have always done, paying no mind to the deadly wheels zooming past. I stop for a lot of turtles at this time of the year and so far we have all lived to fight another day. However I have never seen a turtle stuck in the bone-dry and baking-hot rink at the Luskville Community Centre before. Bad turtle terrain for sure.

Open letter to the Municipality of Pontiac recognizing the work of our municipal firefighters

Categories: 

by: 

Sandra Barber

To whom it may concern:

Re: Recognition of volunteer Firefighters

While sitting at our dining table enjoying our first coffee of the day on Sunday, May 20 at 6 a.m., my husband and I both heard a very loud “thunk” and wondered what the heck it was. Curiosity motivated my husband to investigate further; he checked our basement, nothing amiss. Checked the living room located on a lower level, noticed a man sitting outside on the guard rail.

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