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Turtle Treks

Turtles move slow but they can cover a lot of ground.
When the weather warms in the spring, male and female turtles start to roam, with female turtles seeking nesting sites to lay eggs. They are busiest during May and June, but will be making their rounds anytime between April and October (Source). 
The babies hatch later in the summer or early fall and are born into a world of danger, with predators being a top hazard, but roads play a role in reducing the hatchling's survival rates. 
Less than 1 in a hundred turtle eggs laid will hatch and grow into an adult turtle.(Source
Turtles take a long time to reach sexual maturity, meaning that maintaining a robust population requires protection. Adult snapping turtles, for instance, have a 99% survival rate in the wild, but road mortality tips the scales against them. The loss of a fertile adult female creates a huge deficit in the survivability of the species in a region. 
A good source for information on turtles is https://ontarioturtle.…

It only takes a minute to save Turtles on Cootes Drive

Please help us raise awareness of the simple thing drivers (and passengers) can do to avoid killing at-risk turtles and other wildlife on Cootes Drive between Dundas and Hamilton.
TAKE OUR PLEDGE: ProtectTurtlesCootes (takes less than one minute to complete)
Alternative routes between Dundas and Hamilton exist, and taking these routes will only add a minute to most drivers reaching their destination.

Often you might not even be aware you've hit a young turtle, or a snake, for example, yet in the case of turtles, each death means this at-risk group is one death closer to extirpation. Turtles take a long time to reach maturity, and most hatchlings never make it to adulthood so you can see the dilemma.
Please take a minute to pledge your commitment to use an alternate route, and help Restore Cootes and other groups do their part to protect our reptile friends. A previous survey showed that 70% of respondents would do this for the turtles. Hopefully, you will join them!
Thanks in advance fo…

Design for nature not cars in McMaster west campus

Monday, January 20, 2020 Rethinking McMaster's West Campus


Floodplain and Simple I really hope that the vision for west campus does look to rehabilitate the floodplain under McMaster Parking Lot M. In these times of global climate emergency, what better contrast than cars parked on top a coldwater wetland. One is a source of our current predicament, and the other is a part of the solution to mitigate the issues we face.

Meanwhile: Trail to Trespass
McMaster still has to come to terms with the fact they won't allow people currently parking in the west campus to use the perfectly lovely remnant of the former Royal Botanical Gardens nature trails to access campus.

It's very odd that it was easier to get hundreds of parking spaces removed to create the required 30-metre buffer to the coldwater creek there than it is to get McMaster to stop blocking access to the trail.

I'm hoping to open (another) conversation with McMaster about this trail. In the meantime, I will be chec…

In the beginning

I've sometimes wondered how certain plants started growing in our yard. I'm guessing seed dispersal: the wind floats some through the air, sticky burrs caught on a racoon's fur drop as they pass through at night, a nuthatch drops some seeds from its tail-end while searching for bugs on the side of a tree.

The methods of delivery are varied, but the process of growth continues with time and the right conditions - rain, sun, soil -  and the wind, the racoon, the nuthatch are forgotten like the seed itself.

We see goldenrod, sumach, dogwood, and it appears as though nothing preceded this moment, this forest stands inexplicably before our eyes.

This is the way too with social or environmental change. Generations of germination and growth. The fruits may come after the planter has long disappeared. Like a monarch butterfly migrating - it's the generation that begins the journey that makes it possible for the next generation to arrive.

I feel a little of this with the west c…