June 8, 2019 Kukagami Lake Ride Report

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The Kukagami To Murray Lake Ride was the Second ride of the season for the West Nipissing ATV Club.

There were 18 ATVs and 4 Side-by-Sides with a total of 27 riders in attendance.

Under a sunny sky and a cool 12 degrees C, we left from the parking lot at 9.15 a.m.

We headed down to a trail that led to an abandoned track bridge where we stopped for a quick break.

From there we proceeded through Red Pine plantations and on to the end of Ashagami Lake Road.

Next we continued on a old mine road to Washagami Lake and then proceeded to Pine Falls Lodge at Murray Lake Dam and Bridge where we stopped for a lunch break.

After lunch we traveled on camp roads to a trail that were a bit rougher. We took a well deserved break at Murray River before proceeding on to the Murray River Bridge, then onward along the trail to Knowles Lake.  After heading to Murray Lake, we stopped for a break.

Leaving Murray Lake we traveled over a trail to Dwyer Lake.

We left Dwyer Lake and drove down the trail to the old mine road and to Ashagami Lake Road.

The group continued on down the Ashagami Lake Road leading us back to our vehicles.  We arrived back at the parking area at 4:35 p.m.

The total ride was rated as a difficulty of 3 on our scale,  and everyone had a good day.  All returned satisfied and  really dusty from the dry roads.

We couldn’t have asked for a better day weather wise at 26C and I’m sure fun was had by all who attended.

A great ride for all.

 

Art Constantineau – Ride Lead

Mike Labelle- Ride Tail

The Common Loon

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Did you know that the Common Loon is the provincial bird of Ontario?  Most of you know that is the namesake of our $1 coin…..the “loonie”, which sports an image of the common loon.  But do you also remember that the loon was also proudly displayed on a previous series of $20 bills?

The loon is also known as “the great northern diver”, and anyone who has spent time on the local waters in the evening will most likely have seen this bird diving and staying submerged for quite some time.

To read more about this crazy laughing bird, check out the link to Bio Expeditions discussion here:  Common Loon

Or perhaps Audubon’s site at Common Loon

And here’s their “haunting” sound of the loon that you just might hear in the evening while out paddling your canoe, (or from your ATV if you turn it off at the edge of a lake!)

 

 

Tilden Lake Ride Report

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The Tilden Lake Ride was the first ride of the season for the West Nipissing ATV Club.
There were 19 ATVs and 5 Side-by-Sides with a total of 33 riders in attendance.
Under a cloudy sky and a cool 4 degrees C, we left from the parking lot at 10. a.m.
The trails had lots of water and were covered with a little bit of snow and a lot of mud that made for a little bit of a challenge.
We arrived at the Restaurant at 12.40 pm for a WNATV Members lunch
The group continued on down the trail leading back to our vehicles. We arrived back at the parking area by 4.30 p.m.
The total ride was rated as a 3. and everyone had a good day. All returned satisfied and smiling!
A great ride for all!

Art Constantineau

NOTICES

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Hello WNATV Club members, and guests visting our webpages.  Below are some ATV events happening in our Region.  Please note that these are not WNATV Club events, but they may be other ATV related rides you may wish to look into.  If you have any questions, you will have to contact them.  (Try the websites attached below for details).

 

April 27th, St-Charles Big Bear Rally  https://www.stcharleson.ca/st.-charles-big-bear-rally.html

May 11th, Bonfield Lion ATV Rally  https://www.e-clubhouse.org/sites/bonfield/page-9.php

May 25th, VMUTS Spring Poker Run https://www.facebook.com/RideVMUTS/

September 28th, Pembroke Ride for Dad September 28   http://www.ridefordad.ca/pembroke/

 

And finally, (I couldn’t find a link, so speak with someone from the Knights of Columbus to confirm!)

August 31st, Field Knight of Columbus ATV Rally

Rockin’ Robin

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“He rocks in the tree tops all day long
Hoppin’ and a-boppin’ and singing his song
All the little birdies on Jaybird Street
Love to hear the robin go tweet tweet tweet
Rockin’ robin, rock rock
Rockin’ robin’
Blow rockin’ robin”   
Rockin’ Robin -Bobbie Day 1958

 

Four feet of snow in the front yard.

Three feet of snow in the back.

Flurries today bringing more snow (albeit, wet and melting).

…..and what to my wondering eyes should appear? (not St. Nick)

I nice, colourful, plump looking Robin, in the one patch of grass where the neighbour’s sump pump is draining.

Yes…….It’s official, Spring has arrived.

Our friends at All About Birds tells us……

The quintessential early bird, American Robins are common sights on lawns across North America, where you often see them tugging earthworms out of the ground. Robins are popular birds for their warm orange breast, cheery song, and early appearance at the end of winter. Though they’re familiar town and city birds, American Robins are at home in wilder areas, too, including mountain forests and Alaskan wilderness.

Look for American Robins running across lawns or stalking earthworms in your yard or a nearby park. Since robins sing frequently, you can find them by listening for their clear, lilting musical whistles. In winter they may disappear from your lawn but could still be around. Look for flocks of them in treetops and around fruiting trees, and listen for their low cuck notes.

Well, I know at my place, it’ll be another month or more before we see worms being pulled out of the ground by robins!  Until they can get their own food you might want to consider feeding them.  To attract these birds to your feeder, put out some chopped apples, maybe some berries or mealworms (get these at the pet shops). But remember that robins don’t eat birdseed.  Also putting out some  water might be important for a week or so until we get back to melting snow.

Find out more about Robins at Audubon or All About Birds.

 

 

 

It’s O.K. to Rave On about Spring, because the Ravens are Nesting!

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Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—   
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—            
Only this and nothing more.”  Edgar Allan Poe..from The Raven

Well, I know Spring is just around the corner, because the local Ravens are repairing their nests and getting ready to have their babies!   Did you know Ravens generally mate for life, and can live up to 21 years?   And they generally stay in the same territory, so they are the same Ravens you see all year round…….and year after year.
According to the folks at Hinterland Who’s Who, the Common Raven,
-is a large black songbird related to crows, jays, magpies and nutcrackers
-is believed to be highly intelligent, being able to problem-solve efficiently using tools if necessary
-is one of the world’s most cosmopolitan birds; it lives in many types of habitats throughout the Northern Hemisphere
-is of high importance to Indigenous Peoples throughout Canada, appearing in myths, legends, art and traditions
The Raven is a great bird to have around as it is an omnivore.  It will eat anything — roadkill, plants, insects, garbage, just about anything it can find, and that helps keep things cleaner.  And the Raven doesn’t really have any predators (other than man), or perhaps is a chick gets loose too soon from the nest.
The Ravens across from my place are building/repairing their nest in the hydro tower.  Sometime in the next month or so, there will be “new” little Ravens.  The Raven nest anywhere from February to May, depending upon how far north they are living.
Have a look at the Hinterland Who’s Who site to learn more about Ravens, by clicking on the link HWWRaven.  It is one of the best sites I have found about this bird, which is common to our area, and that we really take for granted.  Enjoy some of the sites and sounds of the Common Raven.

 

Nest of the Corvus corax, Common Raven in the Nature

Two raven nests at the top of a power pole tower.

Take care!

 

Bring on the Sublimation!

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So, what is sublimation?

 

Sublimation is: “the transition of a substance from the solid phase directly to the vapor phase, or vice versa, without passing through an intermediate liquid phase.”

Well, what I want to mention, is that at this time of year, a lot of the snow starts to disappear via sublimation.  That means the snow can evaporate, even though the temperatures are below the freezing point! Yes, a lot of the snow we have now will not “melt” away, but will go away because of the process of sublimation.  It goes directly from a solid to a gas, without turning into a liquid.  And with more sunshine, and some wind to push those molecules around, maybe, just maybe, the snowbanks will start to recede so that we can see the traffic coming down the road before we pull out!

From the Weather Guys:

The transition of water from the ice phase (or snow) to the gas phase (or water vapor) is called sublimation. Sublimation is a common way for snow to disappear in Wisconsin winters.

On warmer days, when temperatures are above freezing, we can see the melting process as snow leaves water behind on surfaces, which then evaporates or gets absorbed by the ground. We do not see the sublimation process because the snow goes directly into water vapor without first melting into liquid water.  However, we do notice that the snow amount is decreasing, so snow sometimes seems to disappear on cold winter days.

The rate of sublimation is a function of the weather conditions. It takes a lot of energy to turn ice into a gas called water vapor: about 7 times the amount of energy needed to boil that water. The energy needed to sublimate the snow off your patio comes primarily from the sun. So, sunny weather is the best weather for sublimating snow.  Windy days are also good, as the wind helps to remove the water molecules once they leave the snow and enter into the atmosphere. A low humidity also helps to increase the rate of snow loss.  So, the amount of snow that sublimates back into the air depends on the typical winter weather for a given location.

And the rate of sublimation increases with a higher angle to the sun.  So now that we are moving towards Spring the sun appears higher in the sky, and the more direct rays of the sun hitting the surface of the earth brings more solar energy and therefore more sublimation.

Jeff Haby, a meteorologist tells us,

The relationship between sun angle and solar intensity is such that as the sun angle increases above the horizon the solar intensity at the surface increases at an increasing rate. Therefore higher sun angles are much better at surface snow sublimation than lower sun angles. Sublimation will occur even at the low sun angles but the amount of sublimation is very weak. At very low sun angles the reflection of solar energy off the snow surface is a very high percentage, the sun has to travel through a longer fetch of the atmosphere thus weakening the solar intensity, the sinusoidal relationship between sun angle and solar intensity results in weak solar intensity at a low sun angle, and shadow casting on the earth’s surface reduces much of the sunlight that strikes the surface. The higher the sun angle gets the weaker the four effects mentioned previously are. These effects weaken at a more rapid rate for each degree higher the sun angle becomes. Since sun angle is a minimum at the start of winter and much higher in late winter, the sublimation power of the sun on surface snow will be much higher in late winter as compared to early winter on sunny days. “

So here’s to bright sunny days, with the sun high in the sky.  (And a little breeze wouldn’t hurt too!)  With a lot of sublimation going on, we can look forward to Spring and our first ATV ride of the 2019 season (see the 2019 tentative schedule).

Time to get rid of some of this snow.  Without sublimation, my car is starting to look like a submarine in a snow bank!

Take care,

 

Ah, February!

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I like February.  Not because it’s cold and snowy; like November, December, and January, but because it’s the shortest of the winter months.  I really don’t mind winter, but there is less to do outside in the extreme temperatures, and there isn’t as much wildlife running around. (Although I have spotted coyotes in the neighbourhood!).

February is a great month to catch up on some reading.  For a quick read, and a nice distraction from the cool winds, I like to have a hot coffee and read The Old Farmer’s Almanac.  It is chock-full of little tidbits, weather forecasts, and short articles of all kinds.

I was reading the Almanac recently about February.  This is PARTY month apparently.  Look at all the February celebrations:

If you want to read more about the month of February in The Old Farmer’s Almanac, just click here on “February

 

 

Moose …… it must be tough for them in winter!

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Here we are —- mid January already —- and no doubt many of us are looking forward to Springtime and a little bit warmer weather.

I was thinking about the poor ol’ Moose that live here in Northern Ontario.  Winter must be a pretty tough time for them.  Cold, less to eat, less mobile because of the snow, and maybe poor ice conditions.  And when the  ice is good, it’s tougher for them to find something to drink.

Moose may not be able to see all that great, but they sure have the ability to smell things.  I remember one time while moose hunting with my Dad and he said, “I wish I had a nose like a moose.”  I had a hard time stopping myself from laughing, as all I could do was picture my Dad with a rather very large and long nose!  Of course he meant he wished he could “smell” like a moose…which makes me laugh too because moose don’t smell very nice. (unless you are another moose)

Here are some interesting “tid-bits” about “Alces alces”, our friend the Moose, from the good folks at Wildlife in Ontario.

Moose can dive more than 5 m to get food at the bottom of a lake.

The moose is the largest living deer in the world.

Moose can be infested with up to 200,000 ticks during the winter-major cause of death in the winter due to blood loss.

Moose are athletes in their own right-they have been known to run as fast as 55 km/h, swim for several hours, dive deep, and can stay submerged for up to 1 minute.

You can read a lot more about this giant-of-the-woods by clicking on MOOSE to go to the Wildlife in Ontario site.

Let’s hope these large friends of the forest survive the winter as best they can, and that we see more of them on our ATV rides.

NEVER, chase a moose with your ATV or snowmobile!

Enjoy!