Environment

Contenu concernant les préoccupations environnementales et les questions - Content concerning environmental concerns and issues

Too big

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You are, no doubt, starting to get the idea that I have a 'thing' about fire.

Crazy thing, you see, is this:

During summer - although the grass is sometimes thick and green and the sky is sometimes cool and cloudy - things can seriously burn down anyway. These bonfire flames [seen last week at a lovely local home] were stretching at least 25 feet into the air, all within a spark's access of many tremendously flammable ditches and fields.

Pulling over to see if someone was in danger, I could actually hear the relaxed and appreciative chatter of people sitting happily while they watched. I could also feel the awful heat of the blaze though my car window... from the road, which was at least 20 feet away.

PLEASE please please be careful about what you set fire to until we have an inch of cold, deadening frost. Big thanks.

Got Milkweed?: natural resource to become local industry

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Kate Aley

Generally considered a pleasing wildflower at best and an annoying and insidious weed at worst, common North American Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is about to be reborn as a profitable, wild-harvested crop. What hasn’t changed is its indisputable role as the single food source for the incredible and tenacious Monarch Butterfly.

Bringing about this renaissance in the Outaouais is a new non-profit organisation, Nature Atout (NA), based in Wakefield.

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

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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.

Shellback safety: please look out for turtles

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Kate Aley

It's the height of summer and turtles are getting all maternal. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) are raising awareness of these beautiful creatures' seasonal need to crawl around on the side of the road -- and occasionally lurch their way across it -- with their Carapace initiative. Visit carapace.ca to learn about how to report the sighting of a turtle - live or dead -- along the highway. The NCC uses this information to identify what kind of turtles live in the area and to plan ways to protect them. Pick up a sticker at your local depanneur and help educate your friends and neighbours.

Garden enemy number one: the rose chafer

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Kate Aley

The first time I saw a rose chafer flying past me, I was actually charmed. So small, so funny, bumbling through the air with an almost velvet-like olive coloured carapace contrasting nicely with comically splayed-out shiny orange legs. That was then.

 

People, get ready: planning for disaster as a community

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Kate Aley

We all know that being prepared for an unexpected emergency as individuals is vital. How to be prepared as a community seems less clear. I asked communications agent Dominic Labrie about what we now have in place to help keep the people of Pontiac safe.


Pontiac2020.ca: Does the Municipality currently have a disaster plan?

Municipality of Pontiac (MoP): Yes, right now it is in phase 1.

P2020: When was it created?

Young trees, sure to please

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Kate Aley

Two hundred trees were given away at the Town Hall on Friday, May 20 to mark tree-planting month. Or something like that.

Red pines, red oaks and sugar maple saplings were on offer, grown by the Ministry of Natural Resources and sourced by the MRC des Collines. Director Ben Kuhn (pictured here with a tray of pines ... it was very bright that day) and communications officer Dominic Labrie were on hand to hand out the free trees. 

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