Thursday, 21 January 2016

Flowers! An Icebreaker.

Poster By Alvesgaspar, Tony Wills (10) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
My friend, an exasperated groom, once remarked, "There's no ugly flower!"  This did not help his bride-to-be choose her bouquet, because though none are ugly, there are certainly more beautiful ones in the eye of the beholder.

At last meeting, we found out just which flower struck each member's fancy. 

Here's our list with some online photos. 

Enjoy these blooms as we head through icy times.

Can you match the member (Dionne, Erica, Janice, Lana, Lori, Margaret, Vivianne) with their floral favourite?

Lilies from 2009 Lily Festival By Shahnoor Habib Munmun - Own work, CC BY 3.0 

Monarch butterflies on Common Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca from Make Way for Monarchs

'First Lady' peonies by Tracy Cox from Canadian Gardening "Peonies on Parade"

Icelandic Poppies from Decor8 blog
"Golden Celebration" from David Austen Fragrant English Roses

Friday, 15 January 2016

Soil Carbon Cowboys

Plant diversity, carbon capture, soil, and ranching?  All linked with pollinators too!  Vivianne had us intrigued at our last meeting when she talked about "Soil Carbon Cowboys".

Here's the video:

SOIL CARBON COWBOYS from Peter Byck on Vimeo.

The whole thing is fascinating.  For more on how this can transform the way we combat climate change, read Fast Company's article "Restoring Global Soil Quality Is One Of the Best Things We Can Do For Climate Change"

Thanks for sharing, Vivianne!

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

January - For the Birds

January's meeting kick-started event and activity planning for the year.  Exciting things are certainly ahead!  

After sharing our ideas for themes and possible tours, we created pine cone bird feeders.

Lori brought the supplies (along with some treats for us!):

- Pine cones
- String
- Unsalted peanut butter and lard mixture (2:1)
- Knife or spoon for application
- Plates and plastic bags for transport  

We then:
1. Tied string to the pine cone
2. Dipped the pine cone into the unsalted peanut butter and lard mix, and used a butter knife to get more into the cracks
3. Set the coated pine cone onto a plate and placed it outside in the cold to set

After another cup of tea... voila!  Our bird feeders were done.

The whole craft was easy and fun to make (only slightly messy).  And a perfect treat for all the birds we've been seeing out and about!

Have you a variation on this simple bird feeder?  Send in your stories and photos.