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Word of the Week: Senescence
November 07, 2018 by Jon Hayes
Senescence (noun): the process of becoming old or biological aging. Senescence is inevitable for living things. At this time of year, we are able to enjoy "leaf senescence" as the green chlorophyll fades, revealing the yellow and orange pigments that...
Green Invasives
November 07, 2018 by Jon Hayes
Many of the trees and shrubs in High Park are still green!  By November most native tree leaves have changed colour and fallen, but plenty of non-native trees are still green and photosynthesizing. This “autumn niche”  is a huge advantage f...
Word of the Week: Petiole
November 01, 2018 by Jon Hayes
Petiole (noun): a stalk that joins a leaf to a stem. Some leaves have very long petioles (petiolate), and others have very short petioles (subpetiolate). Some leaves have no petiole at all and attach to the stem directly (sessile). The...
Word of the Week: Aposematism
October 25, 2018 by Jon Hayes
Aposematism (noun): the use of a distinct pattern or bold colours to warn of danger or toxicity. Some examples of aposematism are the patterns on a ladybug, monarch butterfly wings, milkweed beetles and  of course, skunks! Aposematism is us...
Witch-hazel Flowers
October 22, 2018 by Jon Hayes
There is only one tree or shrub native to Canada that blooms in the autumn - and it grows wild here in High Park: Witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)! Witch-hazel’s yellow, spiderish flowers bloom in September - October and can perfume the trails with...
Word of the Week: Patagium
October 17, 2018 by Jon Hayes
Patagium (noun): a membrane or fold of skin between the forelimbs and hind limbs on each side of a bat or gliding mammal. Ornithologists also occasionally use it to refer to the forward part of bird wings. The word patagium is from Lat...
Word of the Week: Saproxylic
October 11, 2018 by Jon Hayes
Saproxylic (adjective): relating to or causing the decay of wood. It can also describe organisms that live rely on or live in dead wood. A great example of a saproxylic insect is the carpenter ant. These marvelous creatures chew tunnels and...
Nature Book Club: September
October 11, 2018 by Kami Valkova
Welcome to Nature Book Club! Here we will share what our book club is reading each month!...
Blister Beetles
October 06, 2018 by Jon Hayes
It is blister beetle season again! In certain areas of High Park these metallic dark blue “blister beetles” are slowly ambling along the sandy ground. When disturbed, adult blister beetles exude a defensive yellow oil (cantharidin) that can cause pai...
Word of the Week: Epizoochory
October 04, 2018 by Jon Hayes
Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each week to amp up your nature vocabulary! Epizoochory [epi-zo-o-cho-ry] (noun): seed dispersal by transporting on the outside of animals - usually on the hair of mammals.&nbsp...
Word of the Week: Hirsute
September 27, 2018 by Jon Hayes
Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each week to amp up your nature vocabulary! Hirsute [hir·sute] (adjective): 1. covered in coarse, stiff hairs; 2. hairy. When you look closely, many plants can be quite hairy (or "hirsute"). Th...
An Interview with Nellie Sue Potter
September 26, 2018 by Laura McClintock
Nellie Sue Potter illustrates trail guides and shows her award-winning botanical illustrations at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa. But don't let her skills intimidate you. Nellie Sue is a patient teacher who brings out the best in her student...
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