Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fisher south of Timmins

My first Fisher in the wild
south of Timmins.

I saw it come out of the bush and walk across the road. At first I thought it was a small bear, but the tail was very long. The fur was thick like a bear, but it was longer and the tail gave it away.

I had never seen a Fisher here, did not know we even had them around here. Talking to my trapper friend he tells me they are somewhat common. He does not trap for them, but has from time to time found one in a martin trap. I was surprised to hear a martin trap was big enough, but he assured me a martin trap would work. If setting for a fisher a bigger trap is used.

My dog wanted to go out and chase it, but I am sure the Fisher would not run. The dog is about the same size, but not nearly as wild as that Fisher looked.

Most interesting is that the Fisher is one of the only animal that will kill and eat a porcupine.

Nature Conservatory Canada


Map of where I saw the Fisher

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Live weather in Timmins - Gillies Lake

Gillies Lake Conservation Area

Live Weather

Here you can get current conditions and high and low temperatures.

Precipitation, dew point, pressure, growing degree days, etc.
You can also see current month and previous month records.

Roads Remove Forests

The Forest is Tenacious

Time will recover all
productive forest ground

When I was giving a tour to a group of students from southern Ontario we had a discussion around what removes forests from the natural life cycle.

Urbanization we decided was the one element that removed productive forest the most.

A side note of the conversation was they described a loss of agricultural land to urbanization. It had not occurred to them that agriculture had removed forests first. They had no idea or concept that all the farms were at one time a vast forest. Fields left long enough will easily revert back to forested land.

There is more non-productive forest in the walmart parking lot then all the crown land around Timmins.

Roads remove the forest from being productive for a very long time. I find it interesting to see the old highway 101 while traveling from Chapleau to Timmins. The hydro lines follow the old road so you see the lines disappearing into the bush and returning at another location.

It will be many years before the forest reclaims the ground a highway has been constructed.

How much area?
Lets say a lane with 4 meters wide. The MoT tells us there are 39000 lane kilometers in the province. 39000000 meters x 4meters = 156000000 meters square.

That is 15600 hectares.

MoT no longer leaves the black top when they move a highway. Only the gravel is left, the forest will be able to regenerate it much faster.

Picture 1 and 2 location
Picture 3 location
Picture 4 location

Provincial Highways Management

  • There are over 16,500 kilometres (39,000 lane km) of provincial highway. Placed end to end, Ontario's highways would span Canada twice.
  • The Ministry of Transportation manages 2,720 bridges and structures, 29 remote airports and either owns and operates or provides funding for nine ferry services.
  • Replacement value of Ontario's highways and bridges is approximately $57 billion.
  • Annually, $1.2 trillion worth of goods are transported in Ontario, $222 billion of which pass over international bridge crossings linked to provincial highways.
  • More than 90 per cent of all Ontarians reside within 10 km of the provincial highways. During the peak periods, about one third of the auto trips in Ontario use provincial highways.
  • Asphalt pavement lasts an average of about 15 years before it needs resurfacing, if it's properly maintained.
  • Bridges need to be thoroughly inspected every two years. Older bridges are generally rehabilitated every 20 to 30 years and completely replaced after 75 years. New bridges are designed to last at least 75 years without major rehabilitation.
  • There are more than 180 COMPASS cameras in the province.
From the Ministry of Transportation webpage

Balsam Fir added to the T.H.R.T.

Balsam Fir added to the
Timmins Honour Roll of Trees

This is big for a balsam fir. I found this tree last year, but only stopped last week to measure, GPS and photograph.

Balsam fir usually do not get all that big, compared to the white and red pines. They simply do not last that long.

It is interesting that half of the trees currently on the Honour Roll are all within 1 kilometer.

Look at the map that has all the trees on it, many are grouped just 25 km down highway 144 south of highway 101.

White Birch added to the T.H.R.T.

White Birch added to the
Timmins Honour Roll of Trees.

I do not think this is the biggest white birch I have seen on the Timmins area, but I figured I would just grab a tree to compare to others.

This tree should not be very hard to displace from the Honour Roll.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

White Pine Past it's Prime.

White Pine stands strong
long after it has stopped
producing Oxygen

Trees produce oxygen for many years over their life span. While they produce oxygen they also store a great amount to carbon.

This tree has a large amount of carbon stored, which it is slowly releasing as it rots. Eventually this tree will fall and over many years return to the earth.

This tree was captured by the google street view camera a couple of summers ago.

I have been watching the contrast of dead branches on the skyline every time we travel the highway. I wonder if I will get a picture of it after it falls, or will it still be standing long after I am not?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Moose Grow in the Forest

Bull wonders about me.

Only wonders off when dog arrives.

This "bull of the woods" was not concerned about my pickup, and just walked in front of it.

He moved off the road to feed. While his head was in the water I was able to walk up to within 10 meters. When he lifted his head he just looked at me. It was not until the dog finally came out of the truck that he moved off.

I remember reading a book when I was about 12 years old, the book was called "Bull of the Woods" about a fellow who logged in the days of horse-logging. He was a man bigger than Paul Bunyan and was real!

I will look for the book in the library this weekend.

This is where the moose was standing, right here!

Hiking Day in Timmins

What a great day.

Great turn out too!

Hiking Day at Hersey lake Conservation Area.

The trails offer smooth walking trails and signs to make sure you do not get lost. Distance at each sign means you can plan the distance you want to walk.

Great event, hope you can come out next year.

The Earth Moves

The Earth Moves

Rock Falls for Gravity

In September 2008 I stopped on our way to Sault Ste Marie to show the kids this interesting rock formation along the side of highway 101.

I have alway wondered about the formation of the rock and how such thin rock could stand.

The kids and I crawled all over these rocks to explore the formation.

2 years after the first picture part of the wall would fall. I suspect the vibration of the highway was too much for this part of the shield pushed up to the surface.

I want to go back and try to push over the other pillar still standing. If the big slab could fall maybe the little one will fall too.

It is a little boy thing. I like to smash beaver dams and make a trench across a road that is holding back water. Control water and gravity.

When you go by stop and take a look. Please do not give it a push. Let me try it first!

This map is where to find it.

Maybe one of my geocache friends will make this a cache. Sign in after you give it a push.

This is incredible, here is the google street view of the location.
Here is the map view of the location.