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Volunteer take on invaders to care for our earth

In Flora, Uncategorized by couchiching

Garlic mustard. Purple loosestrife. Phragmites reed. Dog-strangling vine. The list of invading plants keeps getting longer, and our knowledge of how to battle them is ever changing. The species listed here, plus many more, are ones that have shown up in the Couchiching region from their distant home ranges, and they are quickly displacing the native species.

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Carden Wildflowers: More than just alvar aesthetics

In Flora, Uncategorized by couchiching

As a Conservation Assistant completing fieldwork at the Carden Alvar Natural Area with the Couchiching Conservancy, I’ve had the opportunity to observe several wildflowers unique to this globally-rare alvar environment. They impact the various species of wildlife that call Carden home, and are worth appreciating.

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Balsam fir; Not just a tree for the festive season

In Flora, Uncategorized by couchiching

Forested areas in our region contain a wide variety of majestic deciduous and coniferous trees. As you travel further north in Simcoe County, the forest type shifts as you get closer to the Canadian Shield. You will begin to notice that there are more conifer trees, especially the common, yet important, balsam fir.

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Scarlet Sumac Comes in Two Forms

In Flora, Uncategorized by couchiching

On the Carden Alvar, a different form of sumac takes over where the thin soils over limestone bedrock create more difficult growing conditions. Fragrant sumac, as its name suggests, releases a pleasant citrus-like aroma when its young leaves are crushed. This species turns red in the autumn as well, but a somewhat softer, rosier shade than its staghorn cousin.