Posts Tagged Saskatoons

Continuing August 8th Ramble

So I’m rambling along and take a second look at what looks like a flowering Spruce.  Well not quite, but there’s a distinctive little white flower coming up through the branches.

Spruce Cockle

I think to myself, I’ve seen that somewhere in a flower book so I snap an extra picture or two to capture it’s  striped bulge.  Sort of cute.

Different

The name is attractive.  It’s a White Cockle.  Unfortunately no one has much good to say about this one. Noxious, invasive, and difficult-to-control, a farmer’s pest.  The story of “wild flowers of Red Deer”, I’m afraid.

I check out a thicket of bushes near the creek which contains a nice-sized patch of Saskatoon bushes.  It is interesting because this is a generous tangle of many of the plants often associated with Saskatoons.  Wild roses, Baneberries, an occasional Wolf Berry, Red-osier Dogwood, Wild Raspberries,  Chokecherries, and tall grasses.  Wading through I think of how much more cautious I would be in Ghana.  This isn’t exactly rattlesnake territory here and we don’t have much else poisonous in the way of reptiles in Alberta.

Here are some of the fruits from that tangled growth.

Red-osier Dogwood- Don't eat these

Wild Raspberries- more flavour than domestic but just enough around for "a taste"

Choke-cherries. A week ago they were still green. Still not ripe enough for picking.

Saskatoons at height of pick- I picked a couple of ice cream buckets full out of this patch.

On to the meadow, which, unlike the thicket is “disturbed land” dominated by  invaders: Dandelion, Canada Thistle, Two-grooved Milk-Vetch. The insects seemed happy.  Mosquitoes,  and small rather non-descript butterflies- white, blue, yellow rise when you brush through the grass.  This week they’ve been joined by small hoppers, and red dragonflies, not the iridescent blues that were around earlier.

The disturbed meadow

He stayed still

First of the Fall colours

On to the Bower Woods themselves. The Caragana pods are plump and full with an occasional brown one.

Coming closer to popping time

This is Aster season.

Smooth Blue Asters

But what really caught my eye were a couple of fungi as big as small dinner plates.  No interesting colours- but BIG.

Time for a new table setting

I assume toxic unless proved otherwise

And that’s sort of what was on offer.

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Bower Trails, July 26

A full summer day in Bower Woods. Bright sun, and many folks taking advantage of it. Parents with kids, couples young and old, joggers and bikers, elders with powered scooters, and kids with aluminum folding ones, teens on skate-boards, and twenty-somes  with in-line skates- the works.

However I think my day at Coyote Creek rather took the bloom off the day for me.  I was acutely aware of the fact that for all the green growth this was a rather “disturbed” environment basically given over to opportunistic invasive plants.

The mosquitoes were back in full force, but also, for the first time this summer, brushing through the taller grass disturbed many small and unobtrusive butterflies that fluttered up and then disappeared again with wings folded.

There were many Police Car Moths (gnophaela latipennis) around.  In the States they are also called Forget-me-not-moths. I saw them feeding on a total of four different  bold invasive weeds.

One clutch of bright red- I assume poisonous Baneberry berries gleamed in the undergrowth.

A couple of pluses though.  Like this lovely unassertive flower that grows face down.  It took maneuvering from below to see it’s face.

and, yes I intend to go out and pick a first ice cream pailful of Saskatoons tomorrow.  Some patches won’t be ready until the weekend or later but some are interesting now.

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Red Deer Trails July 21

Just a few highlights of my day in the Bower woods.

The creek is  still running fast, but the levels have dropped far below the highs of last week.  There’s quite a logjam left though where the creek passes under 32nd Street.

They trapped a beaver out of this area last year.  Looks like we have a pretty good beginning on a dam without one.

With all our cool rainy weather this is definitely the year of the mushroom.

On a more edible note.  The Saskatoons are coming along nicely.  Not enough ripe to think about picking but I did snack on a few.

Actually too much growing going on for one blog.  I’ll get back to you.

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Summer Trailing Continued – July 14


It’s been a week of rainy weather but the sky showed blue this afternoon and the clouds were spectacular.  I headed out to Bower Woods to see how Summer had progressed. I received  the impression that she was taking a break between scenes-  catching her breath as it were after the spring push.

Many of the earlier blossoms were rare or non-existent.

Instead, everywhere I looked  there was greenness and all around a slow swell of growth and maturation.

You could see it in the Saskatoon bushes,  Choke-cherries, and Wild Roses

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