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Author Topic: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta  (Read 9466 times)

cohan

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #30 on: August 22, 2020, 02:52:29 PM »
Cohan... the quality of your photos is outstanding. Detailed and vivid. I am very impressed and I am looking forward to seeing more of them...

Cheers
Thomas

Thank-you, Thomas-- I get a lot of pleasure from taking and editing them, so I hope some people enjoy seeing them :)

cohan

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2020, 03:02:03 PM »
Cohan, seems you have a rich insect fauna around!

Yes indeed! I don't have the numbers to compare to historic populations , but I see a lot of variety now-- it seems to me that they enjoy both the variety of plants I have planted-- which extend the season and diversity a lot, especially early in the year-- and also the areas that I leave unmowed or mowed less often, so there are a lot more wildflowers (and flowering weeds, like clover that get a chance to flower!). On the day I took the photos in the Veronica patch, I counted around 5 species of bees, several drone flies besides other kinds of insects-- and that is only a half hour or less in a few square feet.
I'm sure you know the following, I include it for any readers who are newer to pollinator gardens: diversity of plants is really important, since different insects prefer different plants-- on some things I see only tiny bees and wasps (many species of those too, esp the tiny ones), other things attract the big bumble bees. The most popular always seem to be those plants with flower heads made up of many small flowers-- more desirable than big single flowers! and of course crazy hybrids with no or diminished sexual parts are useless.

Hoy

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #32 on: August 25, 2020, 07:38:08 AM »
Cohan, I think I have many species in my garden but the number of specimens diminish I am afraid. I do not count them but observe the number of dead insects in the windowsill in the conservatory!

20 years ago it was heaps! Not any longer....
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

Robert

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2020, 10:25:59 PM »
Cohan,

Your homeland countryside is very beautiful. If frost is pending, then I understand that your growing season is very short. This has its limitations, but also it seems there could be some great opportunities. Alpine species must thrive with the cool, rainy summer weather and the abundance of winter chilling. I look forward to seeing more of your countryside.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

cohan

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #34 on: August 26, 2020, 06:01:33 AM »
Cohan, I think I have many species in my garden but the number of specimens diminish I am afraid. I do not count them but observe the number of dead insects in the windowsill in the conservatory!

20 years ago it was heaps! Not any longer....

Are farmers in your region using a lot of pesticides? When I was a kid, it was pretty much unheard of here, not sure if it has changed.. I imagine someone must be studying the stage of insect populations in Alberta, but I haven't heard... several flowery places in the yard were literally buzzing again today... lots of medium sized bees around, haven't seen many of the really big ones this year-- maybe they like drier years like the wasps...
the air has also been full of tiny flying things for weeks-- I don't know what they are generally, I think there are many of those gnat sized things over the season-- tiny flies, tiny beetles, tiny moths.. currently there is something that manages to get in the house in spite of very fine window screens meant to keep out 'no-see-ums' and rigorous protocols on getting into and out of the house to minimise any unwanted entries...lol
« Last Edit: August 26, 2020, 06:16:32 AM by cohan »

cohan

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #35 on: August 26, 2020, 06:13:34 AM »
Cohan,

Your homeland countryside is very beautiful. If frost is pending, then I understand that your growing season is very short. This has its limitations, but also it seems there could be some great opportunities. Alpine species must thrive with the cool, rainy summer weather and the abundance of winter chilling. I look forward to seeing more of your countryside.

I think there is frost in the record books in every month, though after the first week of June, it would be rare until mid August, and depending on the spot, and the year,  it can be mostly/frost free from mid_May thru part or all of Sept-- though often we might get a frost or two then weeks more frost free...lol This acreage does not usually get the really early or late frosts, but I also grow very little that is frost tender outdoors, except some vegetables, some years- I don't bother with many of the hot weather crops, as this property does not have the right conditions, mostly.
The growing season, though, for natives and hardy plants from other places is much longer than the frost free season-- some things in the rock garden may begin in March or April depending on snow melt times, with bulbs starting around then too, and likewise there are natives and rock garden things flowering long past the first frosts-- I've seen a few things here and there-probably sheltered spots, or just lucky- still going when there have been general night temps to -10C /14F or lower through much or all of September and beyond.

Hoy

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #36 on: August 27, 2020, 07:22:42 AM »
Are farmers in your region using a lot of pesticides? When I was a kid, it was pretty much unheard of here, not sure if it has changed.. I imagine someone must be studying the stage of insect populations in Alberta, but I haven't heard... several flowery places in the yard were literally buzzing again today... lots of medium sized bees around, haven't seen many of the really big ones this year-- maybe they like drier years like the wasps...
the air has also been full of tiny flying things for weeks-- I don't know what they are generally, I think there are many of those gnat sized things over the season-- tiny flies, tiny beetles, tiny moths.. currently there is something that manages to get in the house in spite of very fine window screens meant to keep out 'no-see-ums' and rigorous protocols on getting into and out of the house to minimise any unwanted entries...lol

It is not many farmers close to us here and those who are have livestock, nobody grows vegetables for sale. But the closest farm (dairy) was discontinued years ago. They had animals grazing just outside our fence. The lack of big fat flies is connected to that I believe!
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

cohan

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #37 on: August 28, 2020, 06:49:33 PM »
It is not many farmers close to us here and those who are have livestock, nobody grows vegetables for sale. But the closest farm (dairy) was discontinued years ago. They had animals grazing just outside our fence. The lack of big fat flies is connected to that I believe!

So, what do you think is affecting insect numbers?

Robert

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #38 on: August 29, 2020, 05:15:22 PM »
I think there is frost in the record books in every month, though after the first week of June, it would be rare until mid August, and depending on the spot, and the year,  it can be mostly/frost free from mid_May thru part or all of Sept-- though often we might get a frost or two then weeks more frost free...lol This acreage does not usually get the really early or late frosts, but I also grow very little that is frost tender outdoors, except some vegetables, some years- I don't bother with many of the hot weather crops, as this property does not have the right conditions, mostly.
The growing season, though, for natives and hardy plants from other places is much longer than the frost free season-- some things in the rock garden may begin in March or April depending on snow melt times, with bulbs starting around then too, and likewise there are natives and rock garden things flowering long past the first frosts-- I've seen a few things here and there-probably sheltered spots, or just lucky- still going when there have been general night temps to -10C /14F or lower through much or all of September and beyond.

Cohan,

The region where you live reminds me of some of the high mountain valleys in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, such as Sierra Valley. Of course, our mountain valleys are much drier. According to the climatic data recorded in Sierra Valley, frost can occur during any month during the summer, however like your region, plants can start active growth in April and growth can continue into November depending on the season. Cold air collects in the valley floor and there are thermal belts on the higher ground surrounding the valley.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

Robert

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #39 on: September 04, 2020, 10:40:26 PM »


Cohan,

I thought that you would enjoy some photographs of one of our high Sierra Nevada mountain valleys. This is a view of Sierra Valley, elevation 4,850 feet (1,478 meters), from Yuba Pass. This view is to the east with the state of Nevada in the far distance.



This is another view of Sierra Valley looking off to the north toward the Feather River in the far distance.



This is the small village of Calpine located on the west side of Sierra Valley. During the 1930’s there were plans to turn this sleepy town into a resort destination. My grandfather, a farmer and civil engineer, was hired the survey the town in preparation for the new resort. This was during the Great Depression. Needless to say the venture went bankrupt and they were unable to pay him for his work.



All they could offer him for payment was a cabin in town (Calpine). This stone foundation is all that remains of the cabin. I remember staying in the cabin when I was very young. The stone foundation supported two large logs on which the cabin was built. The logs became rotten and the cabin needed to be demolished. The cabin too was rotting.



This is the Calpine general store. When I was young this store was in disrepair. Somebody was able to fix it up.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

Robert

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #40 on: September 04, 2020, 10:43:24 PM »


There are some nice small houses in Calpine.





When I was young this Lodge was a rundown mess. Somebody has fixed it up and made in functional. Currently there is no resort in Calpine and it is not likely that one will ever be built. There is a large resort and golf course in Graeagle.
It is about 25 miles to the north of Calpine, on the Feather River (plenty of water!).

All of these photographs were taken in August of 2007.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

Hoy

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #41 on: September 05, 2020, 07:27:28 AM »
So, what do you think is affecting insect numbers?

More houses, less flowers good for insects. The gardens around here are mostly very tiresome, also for animals! Even all the neighbors' cats prefer our garden to their own.
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

Hoy

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #42 on: September 05, 2020, 07:30:39 AM »
(Attachment Link)

Cohan,

I thought that you would enjoy some photographs of one of our high Sierra Nevada mountain valleys. This is a view of Sierra Valley, elevation 4,850 feet (1,478 meters), from Yuba Pass. This view is to the east with the state of Nevada in the far distance.
.......

Robert,
 
I enjoyed the photographs also! Do they have snow in winter up there?
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

Robert

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #43 on: September 06, 2020, 06:49:34 AM »
Hi Trond,

Yes, it does snow in Sierra Valley. Sierra Valley is on the lee side of the Sierra Nevada crest so it is in the “rain shadow”. The western portion of the valley receives much more snowfall than the eastern side. I do not have any climatic statistics that are easily available to me for Sierra Valley, however I do know that they exist and I have looked at them in the past.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

cohan

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #44 on: September 13, 2020, 05:55:32 AM »
Trond-- I suppose I can guess at those sorts of gardens that are not good for insects or even cats :( frilly large-flowered hybrids with few sexy parts? maybe some green shrubs?

Robert- interesting area-- certainly you could find some areas in southern Alberta, and even more so, B.C. that look very much like the spots you show. I like to try to guess where movies and TV shows are filmed, and sometimes I can't tell between B.C.  and some high elevation CA places. Nice that a couple of those old businesses were revived.. I remember a big general store in the small town nearby where my elementary school was, and the post office. The school was/is still there ( there are big changes to the couple of small town schools nearest, and the high school which  was on the highway between, I just can't remember what they are doing exactly...lol) but post office long gone, and the general store gone much longer-- now cars and roads are better and faster, the small places are mostly gone between the 'real' towns. Ironically, more people live in that town than ever, but services are gone.

 


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