Friday, August 14, 2015

Black locusts

There is a black locust along the fence line behind Kirkstall that is throwing suckers out into the long grass. Yesterday I transplanted another black locust sucker to the naturalization area. Black locusts are natives to North America but are at the very northern limit of their range in Ottawa. They have thorns and vigorously sucker so aren't a good backyard tree but they have sweet smelling flowers in spring and fix nitrogen for the soil.

While lugging the sucker back to the naturalization area I saw a few relatively uncommon animals: a pretty monarch butterfly fluttering along the edge of the forest, a group of swallows taking insects on the wing and a turkey vulture soaring high above.

Monday, August 3, 2015


This looks like Toxomerus marginatus, a common type of hoverfly. It is feeding on a wild parsnip flower. The wild parsnip has not spread far from the location of the single plant that was there in 2013. There are a couple of smaller flowering plants but no large 6 foot tall plant like in 2013.