having a field day!

Posted on: August 22, 2009

friday today – and that means that we have just one more day before project presentations hit us tomorrow afternoon! :D

my project’s on milkweed – how its reproductive output is affected by its neighbours, so yes ladies and gentlemen, your neighbours play a huge part in that because they influence your surroundings! imagine if they’re peeking through the windows when you’re –ahem- doing your thing? lose the mood already right? grins.

DSC_0421 this is common milkweed. Asclepias syriaca.

for the biologists in you (you know you have it), milkweed is that famous plant that has toxins in its sap that gets taken in by the even more famous and charismatic monarch butterfly! the very same butterfly that flies miles and miles as it migrates from Canada to Central Mexico every August to December. cool eh? now i’ve finally gotten to see it in the flesh!


this project’s one part of the field biology course held here on Joker’s hill in Koffler’s Scientific Reserve that Ecology in Human-Dominated Environments (the module) takes place on. we stay onsite (i stay at North Barn, which was once utilised as a stable) and everything’s done here. this place is also just about an hour’s drive from downtown toronto, which makes it convenient to get here! i’m planning to come back in winter to visit and also to see how the place transforms in winter (:

DSC_0167 DSC_0400

the scenery here is absolutely beautiful, with conifers and temperate plants colouring the background a lush green, vivid orange/yellow and making the whole landscape rustic looking as if it just popped out in front of your eyes from a postcard you held in your hand. all sorts of birds scatter across the landscape, and more than anything else you’d notice the amazing number of thorny/spiny plants that make sure to brush against you and leave their seeds velcro-ed onto your clothes!

bird chipmunk

i think also that there’s a resident groundhog living next to the classroom, but he’s too shy to come out.


meals everyday mean heading up to the top of the hill through a thicket of old field plants, or taking the long route via a winding tar road. that said, the food here is more than adequate, and even borders on luxurious. of course, i don’t want to jinx myself. i’m happy that there’s such good food here! however, the caterers don’t seem to like vegetarians very much – they’ve given me cannellini for three days in a row now. the pasta is nice, but its not that nice, if you know what i mean. thank goodness that its at least tomato based.

and now, before i leave you:



1 Response to "having a field day!"

i adore that squirrel. and ur shy groundhog. hoho

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