Sunday, July 03, 2011

Boreal Cabin Flora and Fauna

Our family headed out to our cabin on Lac La Ronge for a night this weekend. The weather was nice and the mosquitoes were thick at night. If there is any good reason to have an indoor toilet, it is to avoid needing to opening the door at night and letting in the mosquitoes. Unfortunately, we only have an outdoor toilet (and spent half the night killing mosquitoes). However, we do have a dog who is more than happy to escort people to the outhouse.
Morning on the lake:

We live amid the Canadian boreal forest, the flora and fauna of which I have tried to learn a bit about. I really can't name many of the trees, but I find the flowers and berries not to hard to identify (and I'm sure that there will be an iphone app for that soon too).
Corydalis sempervirens:

There's a good reason that C. sempervirens may be familiar to some gardeners. Dicentra (bleeding hearts) and several other varieties of Corydalis are kept in perennial gardens and are all members of the Family Fumariaceae, the fumitories. One other corydalis that might grow in a northern garden is golden corydalis (zone 3), though the lovely blue and purple-flowered corydalis are listed for zone 5 and are unlikely to thrive.
Our only form of mosquito control at the moment, found sleeping on our screen door:

The solitary screen-bat disappeared by morning, fortunately, because we had to remove the screen. Some animal (bear?) had shredded the bottom half of it last fall, probably in an effort to raid our cabin for imagined food. We also noticed high-pitched squeaking coming from the space between the brick chimney and the exterior wall. The space is entirely outside the cabin, so it is okay that a colony of bats has decided to live there. We would just like them to eat MORE mosquitoes. In case anyone worries, there have been no rabies cases in the north so we aren't particularly concerned about that either (vs. my father who was bitten by a rabid bat several years ago in southern BC). We also felt sorry for Kona in the middle of the night and brought her inside to escape the mosquitoes.
Kona, the husky-malamute:

For the first time, I saw a beaver swimming in the lake outside our cabin. You might say that I musn't get out on the lake very much. That is true, since I have a garden to tend to and I like my hot showers in my house. I wouldn't have noticed the beaver, except that I heard a tremendous splash from inside the cabin, like someone dropped a large stone in the water. Then, I noticed a brown head swimming away from the concentric circles of disturbed lake water. He slapped the water a few more times, but speedily swam away before I got outside with my camera. Next time, loud beaver.


Grey.and.Vis.Mom said...

I was just saying to Greg the other day, that it would be GREAT to have an "app" to identify the flora and fauna :)
googling just takes far to long in these days of instant gratification!

Bernie said...

Loved that first shot! What a fantastic spot, mosquitoes aside.

Here in the tropics of Australia we experience hordes of them during our hot summer/autumn. Where I live we also have little bats that we don't mind having around for the same reason as you.

That Corydalis is just gorgeous ... so is Kona! It's been fantastic to visit a place so very different to my corner of the world.

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Mosquitoes can be terrible and we love the bats too! I built a bat house for them last spring.

Marvelous dog!