Monthly Archives: January 2016

The “L” word and they’re everywhere!

A word that I have not uttered or thought about for probably thirty years popped into my head when looking at this picture of …….Lenticels. Although I was able to associate the word with the horizontal lines found on the Birch tree trunk I remembered nothing about the structure or function of Lenticels.

“Raised circular, for sale oval or elongated areas on stems and roots are known as lenticels.” After reading this I saw lenticels everywhere..on my carrots, beets, apples, potatoes and houseplants.

Lenticels function as pores to allow for the exchange of gases. It’s how tissues within stems, trunks and roots get oxygen.

For some tree species such as the Pignut Hickory and Northern Spicebush, the shape of the lenticels can help with winter identification.

http://www.namethatplant.net/gallery/gallery_glossary.shtml?term=lenticel

Split Rock side trail, Bruce Trail, Mono, ON

Lenticels

An Urban Weasel

WHAT’S BETTER THAN AN “ELF ON THE SHELF”?
HOW ABOUT AN “ERMINE EATING YOUR VERMIN.”
Orangeville residents Kirsten and Carmen Plester have a weasel living in their garage. Kirsten managed to photograph the very curious and seemingly unafraid weasel with her cell phone. The Plesters suspect that this little carnivore has been feeding on mice and Chipmunks.
They’re hoping to get another look at it in order to determine whether it is a Long-tailed Weasel, a Short-tailed Weasel or a Least Weasel.

Weasel29IMG_20151206_093004

 It was surprising to find that the best sources of information about these three species of weasel was from websites geared towards fur trappers such as this http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/…/wildlife/trapping/docs/weasel.pdf and http://www.furmanagers.com/#!weasel/czxh

FYI: In a 2012 article on Least Weasels by Gilbert PROULX in Canadian Wildlife and Biology Management said “The Least Weasel (Mustela nivalis) is the smallest carnivore of Canada….no ecological studies were conducted on this species….The absence of field work on the Least Weasel in Canada….I argue that the lack of interest in Least Weasel research is due to its body size and elusive behavior, its difficulty to study, and its poor economic value.”

Once again it’s surprising to realize how little we know about a “common?” species.