2019 Winter / Spring Newsletter

 
PLCA puslinch lake
 

PLCA’s Reflections

A Community run newsletter for Puslinch Lake residents

With spring just around the corner and promises of warmer weather and longer sunlight days ahead, what better way to think green than a St. Paddy’s Day Party. The brainchild of Maureen and Larry Hackbart turned into a huge success, with many of our friends on the lake shaking off winter doldrums with a pint of cheer. Thanks to a group of dedicated volunteers, Joel and his staff at the Old Marina Restaurant, a visit from Elvis and all those who donated items for a massive silent auction. It was impossible not to have fun and go home empty handed. This completely sold out event might find its way back on the calendar next year!

Everyone on the Board is now focused on the Home Tour and other fundraising events. We are also busy getting our permits and approvals in place for this coming year, which will prove to be a very busy dredging season.

Reward consents are due the end of March and soon this extremely important application will do its part in battling our invasive weeds.

May 14th is the date for our Townhall Meeting, a key piece in communicating our plans for lake restoration to the community. Please mark this important date on your calendar so that we can hopefully see everyone there.

We feel that we are making great strides in improving our lake’s habitat, and it does not happen without the hard work and dedication from so many who give their time, expertise and indeed, donations to our cause. When you reflect on the beauty of our little gem here in Southern Ontario, and the strength of a community to take on a project like this, it certainly makes you proud to say that you live on Puslinch Lake.

WE NEED VOLUNTEERS

2019 HOME TOUR

Saturday June 22, 2019

Full Day 9:45am - 4:15pm

Part-day 9:45am - 1:00pm or 1:00pm - 4:15pm

The PLCA Fund-Raising Committee is asking for your time to volunteer at the Lakeside Living Home Tour this June. You have a choice of any of the positions listed below.

ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

HOST/HOSTESS Greet people at front door Request shoe removal Ensure all volunteers are wearing name tags Check off each ticket for location as people enter

IN-HOME GUIDE Greet people Answer any questions Keep traffic flow moving Ensure security of guests & home

DOCK ASSISTANTS Secure watercraft ( must have experience ) Assist passengers to embark and disembark Prevent dock damage Answer questions

Guide people to appropriate parking spots

Ensure cars do not block each other Prevent car damage Safety for pedestrians

Puslinch Red-Shouldered Hawk

Nature ...by Jack Ward In the Bayview area, January has been a month dominated by wildlife associated with the colour red. A Red fox has been spotted numerous times trotting along the north shoreline, moving from one oasis of marshland to another, while avoiding our string of homes. A Red squirrel pops into our yard to check the bird feeding station during inclement weather spells. Brilliant red Cardinals, thanks to our warmer winters, have been increasing their numbers in Southern Ontario. Male Downy and Hairy woodpeckers with crowns of red have been regular visitors to the same feeder. And then the Red-shouldered hawk dropped in to lunch on one of those unfortunate woodpeckers.

Nearby neighbours, Larry and Donna O’Krafka are ardent bird watchers. On January 18, Donna glanced out her window and observed a Red-shouldered hawk with a male woodpecker in its talons. Few of us see a Red-shouldered , and if we do, we probably confuse it with its slightly larger, heftier cousin, the Red-tailed hawk. The Red-shouldered is quite shy and usually sticks to swampy, deciduous woodlands and higher treed areas, out of sight of most people. Simon, at the end of Birch Trail, has observed these ‘buteo’ hawks in the marshy zone to the east of his home. On daily walks, I often hear their loud “keeyar”, “keeyar”, “keeyar” calls but have not actually seen one up close enough to positively identify it.

They have rusty-red breasts, shoulder patches and under wing linings, with narrow black and white bands on wings and tail. Red-shouldereds tend to migrate alone, but usually not very far, in Southern Ontario. If they do migrate in the spring, it is typically from mid-March through April. Fall migrations mainly take place from late September through November. They are strong, steady fliers with quick, stiff wing beats.

Monogamous and territorial, its “keeyar” cries indicate a possible nearby nesting site between April and July. They may also be observed soaring together in large circles, diving toward one another, or the male may “sky dance” by making steep dives, circling and ascending rapidly. A mated pair builds a nest of sticks, leaves and bark in the fork of a large deciduous tree. They may reuse the nest the following year, if a large owl doesn’t claim it first. Typically, a clutch consists of 3-4 eggs. Incubation ranges from 28-33 days. The first egg may hatch up to a week before the last. Males tend to capture the food and bring it to the nest, but will occasionally incubate and brood. The young and adults often remain together throughout the autumn.

Prey is located by soaring over open woodlands or perching on a high branch. On the edge of clearings, they may fly low to surprise prey. Small mammals are usually the most common victims - mice, voles, chipmunks. Occasionally, they may take a squirrel or a rabbit. They are opportunistic ,however, and will consume small snakes, frogs, crawfish, snails, small fish and birds and even large insects and spiders. A high percentage of their diet consists of injured animals. Bluejays, a potential meal, have been known to imitate their “keeyar” call. Perhaps this warns other jays in the neighbourhood of the presence of a hawk.

The life of a predatory hawk is difficult. Although, with luck, they may survive for up to 20 years, few live to be half that age. Adults have little to fear from predators, with the exception of Great-horned owls, Bald eagles and occasionally an aggressive Red-tailed hawk. The young nestlings, however, face racoons, martins, climbing snakes and nest parasites. Starvation, harsh weather conditions and unfortunate encounters with travelling vehicles, strung wires or even illegal hunters can take a toll on adults.

So now I know that the distinctive “keeyar” cry I hear is actually a Red-shouldered hawk, out patrolling the neighbourhood wetlands. Hopefully it will feed well on rodents and rabbits, and not be tempted to snack further on my treasured friends at the feeder.

WINTER FUN

On the Lake at Bayview

On Saturday February 16th a “Chick ‘n’ Chuck” event was held by Dawn & Tom Rosa. It was a beautiful day for the competition. The sun shone all day, and the participants enjoyed a full afternoon and evening of friendship and comradery. One chicken per team was allowed. There were some talented makeup artists giving their best effort on their team entry. This was the 5th Chick ‘n’ Chuck; the weather hasn’t always co-operated in the past. This year was the biggest turnout, with 12 chickens/teams and approximately 50 people. First time co-hosts this year were the Wolf and Hopkins families.

Puslinch Lake on the west side of the Township is the largest natural body of fresh water between Toronto and the Great Lakes. The basin in which this Lake lies is situated in the South-West border of the watershed lying between Mill Creek and the Speed river. The entire lake basin covers not more than 1000 acres of land and has no visible source of supply, yet its level remains constant. A small stream called the “Outlet” flows North and West through a narrow ravine from the Lake to the Speed River. A dam, built in early days on this stream, just as it enters the Speed, still exists and is the greatest single source of water power in Puslinch. A drop or head of twenty-two and one-half feet exists here. The area West of Downey’s drains into the “Outlet” by a water course of spring freshet proportions, well-known by many successive generations of sucker-spearing enthusiasts. Black bass may still be caught in Puslinch Lake and speckled trout in secluded streams, but only an ardent and ancient disciple of Isaac Walton could portray the finny beauties that haunted the gloomy depths of forest streams long ago.