BARC & SPECIAL GUESTS

BARC Blog

Hamilton: A Pumpkin Lovers Paradise
BY Laura Stinson
ON October 30, 2017
People celebrate Halloween with great enthusiasm. Many decorate their homes, spend hours making a costume, and try their best to put on a scare. But the most popular part of Halloween is of course, the pumpkin. Carving and decorating pumpkins started when the event of Halloween came to North America. Pumpkins were discovered to be easier to carve than the original jack-o'-lanterns that were carved...
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The forgotten bird killer
BY Irene Fedun
ON October 20, 2017
I rounded the corner of one of Toronto’s black office towers on a crescent moon night and almost stepped on a tiny, feathery shape huddled near the plate glass window. It was a White-throated Sparrow.  Like hundreds of his fellow migrants, this bird had collided with a brightly lit building.  It was late April and he was headed towards his breeding grounds, taking advantage of the ...
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The case of the chewing
BY Christine Bowen
ON October 9, 2017
If you had case of biophilia and did got out this past weekend, you may have noticed how some tree leaves look a little chewed up. Especially the oaks?  That’s the handy work of the Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar dispar), an invasive species that has been around since the 1860’s. Why is it a problem?The gypsy moth larvae and caterpillars feed on tree leaves. If populations are ...
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A case of biophilia
BY Christine Bowen
ON October 6, 2017
The term “biophilia” is used to describe human’s preference for natural settings and wild creatures.  I have a huge case of biophilia, and thought you should all know why.   The most obvious answer is that it is beautiful. No matter where you are, nature is stunning.  From sparkling water drops on a leaf to the yellow of a coyotes eye, from a field of colorful...
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Falling Colours
BY Christine Bowen
ON September 29, 2017
Every autumn our forests change into a brilliant mosaic of yellow, orange and red as the leaves change colour. In other seasons, we see only green due to high concentrations of chlorophyll relative to other pigments. The yellow (carotenoids) was present in the leaf all year round and can now revel itself, because in fall as chlorophyll dies it exposes  those pigments that were alrea...
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The Goldenrod Gall Cycle
BY Christine Bowen
ON September 27, 2017
      Goldenrod is the beautiful, native flower covering our fields and meadows in yellow this time of year. However, as the blooms fall, you may notice that some of the Canadian goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)  has round swellings on some of the stems. Those round swellings are galls produced by goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidagnis).    &nb...
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