Wanderer's Eye: Medway Creek Reflections by Aniruddha H D


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A collection of photographs and observations made at Medway Creek forest, near Medway Valley Heritage Forest, over the months of October 2009 to April 2010.

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Wanderer's Eye: Medway Creek Reflections by Aniruddha H D

  1. 1. 1 Medway Creek r e f l e c t i o n s Wanderer’s Eye Aniruddha Dhamorikar
  2. 2. 2 There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more. – George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
  3. 3. 3 ntroduction I have been interested in nature since childhood. After getting hold of a camera, I started photographing landscapes and trees. Slowly, I became interested in the smaller, intricate organisms such as butterflies, and was fortunate to own a digital point-and-shoot camera. My curiosity started ever increasing as I could photograph more and more tiny flowers and insects, and also birds from far. My camera goes wherever I go, and it has helped me observe far more than I would without a camera. Whether it is through photography or videography, learning about nature through lens is more interesting now than ever. Medway Creek is one of the tributaries of Thames River. It runs a course of 214 km, and drains just after running through the Medway Heritage Forest – one of the few remaining wooded areas that hide the river from urbanization and agriculture. The Carolinian forests dominate this riparian zone. These forests are rich in biodiversity, characterized primarily by deciduous, broad-leaf trees. It is estimated that about 80% of Canada’s Carolinian forests has already been destroyed because of urbanization and intensive agriculture. The remaining portions, mostly scattered and disconnected, continue to be threatened by human development. The threats are not only due to direct human-impacts such as deforestation and water-pollution, but due to many anthropogenic activities such as accidental introduction of invasive species that now dominate many parts of Medway Creek. On September 7th 2009, I moved to London, Ontario to study at the University of Western Ontario. I lived across Medway Creek, which opened an array of photographic experiences and an opportunity to study this tiny patch of Carolinian forest. As I move on, away from this land I have barely known for six months, I regret for I did not explore it enough. I developed a fondness for this piece of land, that I can't help but wonder if I will ever come back to visit this place. Wanderer’s Eye’s Medway Creek Reflections is looking back and reflecting on experiences in the season of fall, winter and spring of 2009 and 2010. It is a collection of pictures and observations made on nature walks at Medway Creek - a backyard, an escapade, a paradise lost amidst concrete forests.
  4. 4. 4 Fall Fall is best known for the brilliant colours of the trees. These colours are a result of shutting down of photosynthesis, where the green chlorophyll disappears – transforming the leaves into myriad shades from yellow to red as they decay and ultimately fall. I will discuss my observations over the months of October and November, when I first discovered this little paradise.
  5. 5. 5 Maple trees along the bank of Medway Creek
  6. 6. 6 The weather was clear and bright, a mild breeze swept within the trees, carrying the leaves with it. The temperature was falling, and not many animals were seen, except a few birds and squirrels. I treaded along Medway Creek watching Downy Woodpeckers in search of food; Mourning Doves perched atop a bare tree, Black-capped Chickadees curiously flying about me, and American Robins pulling earthworms from the ground. A male Northern Cardinal sat quietly across the creek, who took to the wing as soon as I pointed my camera at him. A flock of European Starlings flew over the creek and disappeared behind the trees. Although the trees were undergoing a colourful transformation, the grass was still green and mushrooms took root over rotting wood. By evening, the light fell on the canopy, setting it aglow, and it filtered its way down – touching the water – relieving the coolness. The sun bid farewell to this tiny stretch of woodland, promising warmth for another day before winter returned. October 17th 2009
  7. 7. 7 The Carolinian habitat of Medway Creek
  8. 8. 8 Coprinus sp. | The Shaggy Ink-cap It is a common mushroom seen in backyards. The gills beneath the cap are white, then turn pink, then turn black and secrete a black liquid filled with spores – hence the name. It is considered edible when young, provided it is consumed as soon as it is collected.
  9. 9. 9 Harmonia axyridis | Multi-coloured Asian Ladybird Beetle An invasive pest, it was first introduced in the USA in 1916 to control aphid populations. Since then it spread ever farther and reached Canada. It is now abundant than any native ladybird beetles of Canada. Fall season sees a large invasion of these beetles as they swarm into homes to find suitable places to hibernate during winter. In nature, these beetles hibernate in tree and rock crevices, but are accidentally attracted to high-rise buildings, in particular those that are light in colour and look like rock-faced cliffs.
  10. 10. 10 A green patch along the creek, photographed in October
  11. 11. 11 A cold breeze swept across the street and hushed the rustling leaves in the corner. Fall neared its end, and the breeze cleared the way for winter. The landscape was dry for most part and I walked on a thick blanket of golden brown leaves, covering every inch of the forest floor. The crumbling noise of the dead leaves, sweet music of the creek, the chirping of Chickadees and quacking of the geese was very welcoming. I was home. With all the birds maintaining a safe distance, I was amazed to see a moth fluttering in a nearby thicket. How long had it been since I saw a butterfly, or even a moth, I wondered. As I treaded further, looking up and down – trying to find mushrooms and other hidden creatures, I accidentally scared a few Eastern Gray Squirrels basking in the autumn sun. Although the woods were dry and empty for most part, the banks of the creek were teeming with tiny herbs and shrubs, some even flowering – and as I sat down to take photographs, suddenly a White-tailed Deer appeared, followed by two fawns. November 14th 2009
  12. 12. 12 A bare Maple tree
  13. 13. 13 Aster |Plants belonging to family Asteraceae are strong, and able to withstand cold temperatures. Hence it is not surprising to see them flower in the season when most plants were drying out.
  14. 14. 14 Alsophila pometaria | Fall Cankerworm Moth The cankerworms defoliate a variety of hardwood species such as oaks, maples, elms and ash. The adults emerge during fall until December.
  15. 15. 15 Zenaida macroura | Mourning Dove It is one of the most widespread birds of North America. They almost exclusively feed on seeds; as was this one. It is considered to be a closely related species of the extinct Passenger Pigeons. It is called a Mourning Dove because of its “cooing” call.
  16. 16. 16 Sciurus carolinensis Eastern Gray Squirrel A common rodent of Medway Creek, it is seen scurrying on parapets and on top of houses, on pine trees and oaks. I spent a pleasant time photographing these woodland creatures. The binomial name, Sciurus is derived from two Greek words, skia meaning shadow and oura meaning tail. This name alludes to the squirrel sitting in the shadow of its tail. London, known as the Forest City, was said to be teeming with squirrels a few decades ago, now only a fraction of these wander along the suburbs and remaining wooded areas.
  17. 17. 17 Odocoileus virginianus | White-tailed Deer The commonest large mammal in Canada. They are timid, and if threatened – they stomp on the ground and flap their tails – to warn other deer of the danger. London has a healthy population of White-tails, but I saw only a few at Medway Creek – a doe, two fawns and a buck in fall and early spring.
  18. 18. 18 Winter While fall is the season of colours, winter looks best in its white cloak. The days grow shorter and nights longer. Life in the woods comes to a pause, or so it seems. I will discuss my observations over the months of January and February, when I set out to discover how still life really is during winter months.
  19. 19. 19 Spring is yet far. The chirping of birds and chuckling of squirrels has decreased, and the silence of winter has prevailed. I walk the solemn streets to school and back home. The snow has consumed the landscape, so much that I hardly ever see anything that is green. Then came a week in January, of something unexplained but loved by all called the January Thaw. Exploring Medway Creek wasn’t new to me, but surprisingly it was – very new, very different. After walking around the creek, seeing no animals around – I considered photographing dried plants – it is an excellent subject to experiment compositions and monochrome pictures. January 17th 2010
  20. 20. 20 Old Mushrooms
  21. 21. 21 Snowstorm
  22. 22. 22 A fallen seed
  23. 23. 23 White-tailed Deer footprints on the creek
  24. 24. 24 The clouds unveiled a deep blue sky as the temperatures rose above freezing. The sun shone brightly, melting snow away. The air felt warm for once. I went to explore Medway Creek again, which always amuses me. This tiny woodland is so small, I thought I had explored most of its winter avatar, but I was wrong. On this warm winter day, I wandered into the wilderness where I stumbled upon little interesting things, such as this tiny plant buried in snow. It either happens because the plants, being darker, absorb sunlight and thus warm up a little, leading to snowmelt along its circumference. Another explanation is that some bacteria on the surface of plants serve as centers for ice nucleation, while some harbor ice minus bacteria that are protected from being frozen over, leading to the snowmelt. There were many Stoneflies on the snow as well – an indicator that the water quality of Medway Creek is excellent. February 21st 2010
  25. 25. 25 Photographed in February, compare with image on page 10
  26. 26. 26 Small Winter Stonefly – Female Stoneflies are known to be excellent fish food; therefore seeing so many at Medway Creek was a good sign that there is food in the water. Their presence is also, more importantly, a good indicator of the health of the ecosystem, indicating good oxygen rich waters.
  27. 27. 27 Noctua pronuba Winter Cutworm caterpillar I did not expect to see a caterpillar in the dead of the winter. I assumed it to be dead and mummified by the cold. I took a few photographs and continued on my walk. I visited the caterpillar again, and was amazed to see it had vanished – probably it became the supper of a Chickadee I saw feeding around the area earlier. After looking around a bit – I saw it three feet from where it earlier was. It was alive and crawling on snow! Cutworms are so called because they feed at the base of the plants. Winter Cutworms can tolerate cold temperatures. They are considered a serious pest, thus a threat to the native biodiversity. It is native to Europe, first found in Nova Scotia in 1979, and thence spread to Ontario. The caterpillar feeds on a range of plants such as beets, cabbage, carrot, grapes and strawberries.
  28. 28. 28 Tetragnatha sp. | Long-jawed Orb Weaver A spider in winter was my most cherished find. After a quick search on the internet, I came across many resources on a variety of spiders that are active during winter. It is a Tetragnathid spider, commonly seen in all seasons at Medway Creek.
  29. 29. 29 Cepaea nemoralis | Brown-lipped Snail A native of Europe, it was first found in North America in 1857. It has been a common sight in southern Ontario, being abundant in gardens and wild habitats.
  30. 30. 30 Picoides pubescens | Downy Woodpecker, male It is the smallest woodpecker of North America. They are restless, often seen fluttering from one tree trunk to another. They were seen feeding on gall-insects and other hibernating bugs. These are amongst the few winter residents of Medway Creek.
  31. 31. 31 Spring Spring defines rebirth and regeneration, as seemingly dead plants sprout back to life, hibernating animals leave their hibernacula to soak up the sun, and the migrant birds return to their homeland. I had many revelations about Medway Creek in March and April than any other months.
  32. 32. 32 Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush, said Dough Larson, a columnist in Wisconsin-based newspapers. After four months of waiting and staring eagerly at the last snowstorm, the weather changed its course within a few days. The temperatures rose about 10C after what seemed like an eternity and the snow started to melt. This snowmelt gave Medway Creek a fearsome flow; the water levels increased dramatically – a makeover to the slow, clear water than once flowed calmly beneath the ice. Spring is here, but the trees are yet to reincarnate in shades of green. However, the warmer weather did attract some creatures I’d like to call the harbingers of spring. Spring is not only a climatic transformation, but many biological changes take place. Life blooms. The air is filled with songs of birds. American Robins and Cedar Waxwings return from their wintering grounds. Northern Cardinals and Song Sparrows start to sing and Canada Geese and Mallards prepare to nest. March 20st 2010
  33. 33. 33 Medway Creek and the bare trees
  34. 34. 34 Goldenrod Gall A variety of Dipterans, commonly called flies – more specifically Midges and Gnats, lay eggs early in the season on Goldenrod plants. These grubs develop inside the stem, and create a bulbous growth, which is called gall. The Goldenrod Galls are very common throughout the creek. These grubs, albeit their protective gall, fall prey to Downy Woodpeckers and Black Capped Chickadees, who have learnt how to drill a hole in the gall and eat the grub. The one photographed was probably consumed by a bird.
  35. 35. 35 Midge If you look closer at the tiny fauna, the commonest to be seen early in spring are the midges. These very many flies are commonly seen mating along the shoreline. The adult Midges look similar to a mosquito, but are not mosquitoes, nor belong to the same Family. The photographed adult probably metamorphosed from an aquatic larva or a gall- making larva. These adults have a short lifespan, since their only purpose is to mate and carry on the progeny.
  36. 36. 36 Prenolepis sp. False Honey Ant/ Winter Ant An interesting sight was that of an ant that barely managed to walk on melting snow. It is a Queen ant, having shed the wings, now searching for a place to establish a colony. It is the only ant to be seen scampering on the forest floor early in spring in southern Ontario, hence commonly called as Winter Ant. The Queens and Drones hibernate underground during winter months and awake as soon as temperatures rise. I also happened to see a many mating pairs a few days after this ant was photographed.
  37. 37. 37 Tetragnatha sp. | Long-jawed Orb Weaver These spiders are abundant all along the shoreline, building orb-webs on dried plants. They quickly swing to the nearest plant if threatened, as did this one photographed on a dried inflorescence – now well camouflaged and hidden from prying eyes.
  38. 38. 38 Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis Eastern Garter Snake Just as I walked through the thickets, something stirred in the undergrowth. I saw a slender body slither in a hurry – it’s a snake! I yelled to myself. The snake froze for a moment – as did I – raised its head and looked at me intensely. This was the first time I photographed a snake in Canada. Garter Snakes were high on my wish-list of Canadian wildlife and early spring was the best season to observe them as they leave their hibernacula with warming climate. March is the season of reproduction, when the early birds – males – bask in the sun in order to gear up for chasing the first female that leaves the hibernacula.
  39. 39. 39 Branta canadensis | Canada Goose Although Canada geese are resident throughout the year in London, I saw more and more returning to Medway Creek as soon as the snow melted. This is one of a pair that stood patiently over an outcropped boulder in the creek.
  40. 40. 40 Melanerpes carolinus Red-bellied Woodpecker A pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers came and settled on a bare tree. The male chased the female, who flew off, and then the former perched high on the tree and began calling on top of its voice. They inhabit deciduous Carolinian forests; hence seeing them is not uncommon. They probably flew south for the winter – and are now back again.
  41. 41. 41 Bombycilla cedrorum Cedar Waxwing Cedar Waxwings are known for their nomadic, irruptive behaviour. They are wanderers, constantly in search of a new food source. These Medway Creek visitors probably came from south, were seen feeding on Stoneflies, and will probably go northwards still, depending upon their will. They were as curious of me as I was of them, and a few even decided to come very close to me and stare with their inquisitive eye.
  42. 42. 42 Tamias striatus | Eastern Chipmunk Member of Sciuridae, the Squirrel family, Chipmunks in general build an extensive network of tunnels and chambers – preferring to stay close to the ground, but are capable of climbing way up in the trees if frightened. There are several Chipmunks all along the creek, but observing them is difficult. They are more commonly heard scampering through thickets, making joyful sounds as they play together.
  43. 43. 43 No more salty shores. No more snow blowing in your eyes. No more slippery roads. The days are longer and nights shorter. The air is warm and humid. The winds of change have arrived. And with these winds come all the residents of Medway Creek. I spent quite sometime in the woods during April, observing and studying as much as I could. I was able to photograph most of what I saw, but capturing the subtle scent of spring is impossible. It is like metamorphosis, where after four months of inactivity, life ecloses as plants start to bloom and bees begin to buzz. I am glad I managed to explore this avatar of the creek before I left London. It has only been six months since I discovered this little paradise known only to a handful of people who jog through the woods or walk their dogs. I had some expectations on wildlife sightings from this land, of which I did see a few. I also saw many birds I wanted to see. I fulfilled my dream of photographing the famous Garter Snakes of North America. It was wonderful to see how the biodiversity rose from a few sightings in winter to several new ones a day during spring. This burst of life is something I became engaged in, that I will surely miss at Medway Creek – the first Canadian wilderness I ever explored. 23th April 2010
  44. 44. 44 Sanguinaria canadensis | Bloodroot It was the first flower-of-the-season I saw. It is commonly called Bloodroot since the root has a red coloured pigment that oozes out when the root is crushed. Within a few weeks after photographing it, the flowers were shed and the seeds formed. It is one of the plants whose seeds are dispersed by ants, a process called myrmecochory. The seeds have a fleshy part called an elaiosome that attracts ants. The ants take the seeds to their nest where they eat the elaiosomes and forget the seeds, where they are protected until they germinate.
  45. 45. 45 Tussilage farfara | Clotsfoot It is a perennial herbaceous plant, medicinally used as a cough suppressant. These flowers also appear early in spring and vanish within days. The leaves appear later in the season.
  46. 46. 46 Equisetum sp. Horsetail I first assumed it to be a parasitic plant, because it lacked any leafy structures, and the inflorescence seemed different than any green plants. It is in fact the most curious looking plant. Although common in moist woods, ditches and wetlands, the diversity of Sphenophyta is very low, with only one genus Equisetum, and fifteen species distributed worldwide. These plants have changed little over time. It is the only genus of plants that uses Silicon for cell-wall strengthening.
  47. 47. 47 Viola sororia Common Blue Violet Little violet flowers of Viola were spread across the paths and deep in the woods. It is a perennial plant native to eastern North America. It is the most widespread of all Violets. The flowers and leaves are edible – a good source of food in the woods!
  48. 48. 48 Formica podzolica | Formica Ant These ants were seen in the open forest with a few boulders around. They were out investigating a crushed fellow worker and their alertness to disturbance around the murder scene was apparent from my being too close to them. This species of Formica builds nests on ground, but explore tall plants to tend to aphids.
  49. 49. 49 Andrena sp. | Miner Bee These small bees burrow in the ground – creating multiple tunnel systems – hence the common name. It is an important ecological service provider for the flora of the Creek, and this land provides an ideal habitat for it to mine, collect pollen and pollinate.
  50. 50. 50 Leaf-cutting Bee This Bee decided to rest over the flower instead of collecting pollen. Leaf-cutting Bee is one of the largest genera of bees. They, like Miner Bees – to whom they are closely related – also build underground nests or nest in natural cavities.
  51. 51. 51 Water Strider Water Striders were one of the first few insects to be seen as soon as the creek melted and created little pools. It is a true bug in the family Gerridae that is adapted to life on the surface of the water. They are predatory, feeding on other insects and tadpoles.
  52. 52. 52 Hoverfly A little flower-visitor was seen resting on a dry plant on a windy evening. It was a Hoverfly. By now many flies – other than Midges – were out, such as this one. Their time of eclosion is matched with the first flowers that bloom in spring – not only because they need the nectar to feed on, but the hidden agenda of Nature is, in fact, to carry on the process of reproduction – as these early flies (and bees) help plants pollinate, thereby assuring the survival of plants for the next spring season. Hoverflies belong to family Syrphidae. The males are territorial, and keep hovering over their accomplished territories to impress the females. There were several species of Hoverflies and Beeflies along the creek.
  53. 53. 53 Coccinella septempunctata | Seven-spotted Ladybug It is the only Ladybird beetle I saw that was not Asian Ladybird beetle. It was accidentally introduced to North America from Europe.
  54. 54. 54 Cicindela sexguttata | Three-spotted Tiger Beetle It is the early riser of the Tiger Beetles to greet the warming season. It is also the most common Tiger Beetle seen around the creek. They prefer a forest path clear of leaf litter than a forest floor. This helps them run around chasing their prey easily. They were seen basking in the sun and feeding on ants.
  55. 55. 55 Malacosoma americanum |Eastern Tent Caterpillar These social caterpillars belong to a moth in the genus Malacosama. They build conspicuous silk tents on host trees, hence the name. The caterpillars hatch early in spring and build tents soon after they eclose. The position of the tent faces the early morning sun, so that the caterpillars can easily regulate their body temperatures by basking.
  56. 56. 56 Millipede One of the little fellows I met on the forest floor was a Millipede, as it hurried down a boulder amidst an ocean of leaves – a place that is the ideal habitat for these organisms. It was probably basking in the open when I found it.
  57. 57. 57 Red Velvet Mite I came across this little velvet mite along the forest path. They are common during spring, as they come out on the surface to hunt. Their brilliant red colouration is due to high levels of carotene. The adults, being active hunters, are beneficial to the environment as they feed on insects that feed on fungi. The nymphs are parasitic on other invertebrates as well as vertebrates.
  58. 58. 58 Wolf Spider Wolf Spiders, of the family Lycosidae, were common all around the creek. They are quick, active hunters. They have evolved to hunt the forest floor, with two large eyes that can see very well. In addition, there are four eyes in a row just below the two large eyes, and two more looking to left and right of the head. Although small, they are efficient predators of the undergrowth.
  59. 59. 59 Tetragnatha sp. I mentioned this spider twice already, once during fall and once in winter. Spring saw large Tetragnathids around the creek. They are probably different species or the same in a different period of growth. The size of this spider was well over an inch, enabling to look at the eye pattern of this orb-weaver. Spider eye-patterns are unique to each family, aiding in their identification up to family level.
  60. 60. 60 Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis Eastern Garter Snake This little snake is Toby Garter. I followed Toby for several hours one day, photographing and filming his behaviour. It was quite entertaining and a great way to observe the snake. During the time of filming, I and Toby came across several other male snakes, which did not care much about one another. But one snake changed their behaviour – it was probably male, mimicking female pheromones, or an actual female. Their behaviour, as has been documented amongst Garter Snakes, was erratic and quick, with jerky movements and constant tongue flicking. Toby and the other “rival” of his were racing to find the scented lady snake. Their search however failed, and I saw Toby disappear in the wood debris along the creek, continuing his search.
  61. 61. 61 Turdus migratorius American Robin There are some birds that have adapted to live in urban areas as well as forests. This cosmopolitan bird is what I’d call an ideal example of adaptation – which is not very urbanized, like House Sparrows, neither restricted to the woodlands. American Robins were present until late fall, and migrated with the onset of winter. They were the first birds to dig earthworms after the rains. They are known to come back to places that has a steady supply of food, hence seeing them back at the creek in spring was a sign that there is food for the adults and the chicks that will hatch in early summer at Medway Creek.
  62. 62. 62 Molothrus ater Brown-headed Cowbird A dull brown female and a dark, brown headed male sat preening on a tree. There was a small noisy flock of these birds visiting the creek. The females, instead of building nests, put all their energy into producing eggs, sometimes more than three dozen a summer. The eggs are laid in nests of other birds, abandoning the young to foster parents. These New World blackbirds flock in thousands during fall for migration, and return in spring. Presence of this bird – although parasitic – shows how the delicate equilibrium of populations is maintained. It proves that it is not only the predator – prey relationship that ought to be balanced to maintain an ecosystem, but parasitism, commensalism and social behaviour plays an equally important role.
  63. 63. 63 Zenaida macroura Mourning Dove A lonely Mourning Dove sat patiently on a stormy evening. I observed these birds to be very wary in wooded areas, although they were easy to approach in the suburbs. This interesting behaviour was probably learnt early in their lives to respond to humans, since a forest bird wild seldom encounter a human, whereas a city bird will always encounter a human. What I wonder is, will us humans as a species, with the “urban” habitat that we have created affect the evolution of these birds – in other words, will we lead a species to evolve into different subspecies in the following millennia, as has happened with some species that have evolved into different subspecies because of different habitats.
  64. 64. 64 Colaptes auratus Northern Flicker/Yellow-shafted Flicker On one of the walks, I came across a male Flicker. Thence I often saw this male and a female around the creek. The most interesting behaviour of this woodpecker is called anting, for which they use the acid from the ants to assist in preening. It also keeps them free of parasites.
  65. 65. 65 Anas platyrhynchos |Mallard Duck – Drake Photographing Mallard Ducks at Medway Creek seemed impossible, since they are very wary of humans. I finally managed to photograph this drake while he was preening himself in the evening sun. Duck Banding is carried out to keep records of the birds all across North America.
  66. 66. 66 Cathartes aura Turkey Vulture The birds that soar high in the sky, apart from Red- tailed Hawks, are Turkey Vultures. I last saw them in fall, then they disappeared in winter, and were back again in spring. Vultures are also indicators of the health of a habitat; however these vultures seem to hover more commonly over highways than over forests. The reason is roadkills. The vultures have learnt that they are bound to find food near highways than in forests. This questions the fact that if vultures indicate health of the ecosystem (which they certainly do in remote parts of the world), can they be used as indicators to monitor roadkills occurring on certain highways? There are many factors to be considered, but they sure are a sign that something died on the highway near Medway Creek.
  67. 67. 67 These are but the fraction of sightings that I could photograph. I missed many, and many I did not see at all. What I did see was the diversity a little ecosystem without corridors holds. Medway Valley Heritage Forest might be another little park in a big city, but it’s not the size of the parks that really matters. It is the number of the people that visit the parks. It is a gateway for many people young and old to discover a new hobby, to realize the nature’s bounty, which is not to be taken, but shared in the form of art, music, love, education and awareness. These little parks hold the key to sensitize people on how important the wilderness is to us humans as it is to the animals. Let’s not live in ignorance of our four walls, let’s break the chains that lock your minds and explore. See. Observe. And you will realize that we must do something for nature as we do for our community, just as a bee that provides food for the grubs also pollinates the plants at the same time, or a spider that predates on a pest. Let’s conserve our heritage forests. Let’s protect ourselves by protecting the wilderness.
  68. 68. 68 Appendix |Medway Creek Forest Area map, courtesy of Google Maps The map shows the extent of Medway Creek forest, to the east is the University of Western Ontario. More than half of the forested area is the Medway Valley Heritage Forest, maintained by the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority.
  69. 69. 69 eferences Canadian Arachnology (2010). Retrieved February 27, 2010, from The Neartic Spiders Database: http://www.canadianarachnology.org/data/canada_spiders/ Aitchison, C. W. (1984a). Low temperature feeding by winter-active spiders. Journal of Arachnology , 12 (3), 297-305. Aitchison, C. W. (1984b). The phenology of winter-active spiders. Journal of Arachnology , 12, 249-271. Cook, L. M. (2008). Variation with habitat in Cepaea nemoralis: The Cain and Shepherd diagram. Journal of Molluscan Studies (74), 239- 243. Downy Woodpecker. (2009). Retrieved March 2, 2010, from The Corness Lab of Ornithology - All about birds: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Downy_Woodpecker/id Family Capniidae - Small Winter Stoneflies. (2010). Retrieved February 27, 2010, from BugGuide: http://bugguide.net/node/view/39480 Insects and Arthropods. (2006). Retrieved February 27, 2010, from Diagnostic Services at Michigan State University:http://www.pestid.msu.edu/InsectsArthropods/NoctuaPronuba/tabid/73/Default.aspx Canada, N. R. (2010). Eastern Garter Snake. Retrieved from Natural Resources Canada: http://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/subsite/glfc- amphibians/thamnophis-sirtalis-sirtalis Factsheets, G. (1999). Mining Bees & Underground Wasps. Retrieved from The University of Rhode Island: http://www.uri.edu/ce/factsheets/sheets/miningbees.html Lucas, E., Gagne, I., & Coderre, D. (2002). Impact of the arrival of Harmonia axyridis on adults of Coccinella septempunctata and Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinelidae). Eur. J. Entomol. , 457-463. Muma, W. (2010). Ontario Wildflowers. Retrieved from Ontario Wildflowers: http://ontariowildflowers.com/index.php Ornithology, T. C. (2009). Brown-headed Cowbird. Retrieved from All About Birds: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Brown-headed_Cowbird/id Protection, F. H. (2010). Fall Cankerworm. Retrieved from US Forest Service: http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/foresthealth/idotis/insects/fallcank.html University, T. A. (2010). Small Honey Ant. Retrieved from Centre for Urban and Structural Entomology: http://urbanentomology.tamu.edu/ants/small_honey.cfm UTRCA. (2010, October). The Medway Creek Watershed Project. Retrieved from Upper Thames River Conservation Authority: http://www.thamesriver.on.ca/Watershed_Projects/medway-creek.htm Webb, D. (n.a.). Sphenophyta. Retrieved from University of Hawaii: http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/faculty/webb/BOT201/EQUISETU/EQUI-1.html Wright, J. (2010). Goldenrod. Retrieved from Wildflowers of Ontario: http://www.wildflowersofontario.ca/goldenrod.html
  70. 70. 70 www.aniruddhahd.blogspot.com All contents Copyright © 2010 Aniruddha Dhamorikar unless otherwise mentioned. All rights reserved. No parts of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means without prior written permission of the publisher.