The JRR Wildlife Report

Have you seen any interesting wildlife in and around the Retreat lately? Send us your photos and a few details about when and where you spotted your bird or critter and we’ll post it here for everyone to enjoy.

Wild Horses at top of our entry road on Mar 29 2018. Thanks Gary and Sarah for the Photo!

 

May's pups now teenagers? Crittercam, October 2016

May’s pups now teenagers? Crittercam, October 2016

 

Coyote hunting, October 2016

Coyote hunting, October 2016

 

Coyote pups near fish pond, June 2016

Coyote pups near fish pond, June 2016

 

Black bear in the retreat, May 2016

Black bear in the retreat, May 2016

 

Muscrat in the fish pond, May 2016

Muskrat in the fish pond, May 2016

 

Sandhill Cranes courting, May 2016

Sandhill Cranes courting, Twp Rd 344 NE of JRR, May 2016

 

Moose resting on Lot 12, Apr 2016

Moose resting on Lot 12, Apr 2016

 

Wolf caught on crittercam, Feb 2016

Wolf caught on crittercam, Jan 2016

 

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Mink under bridge, Oct 2015

Mink under bridge, Oct 2015

 

Moose caught on crittercam, Oct 2015

Moose caught on crittercam, Oct 2015

 

What IS that, anyway? Pine Marten caught on crittercam, south edge of JRR, Oct 2015

What IS that, anyway? Pine Marten caught on crittercam, Oct 2015

 

Great grey owl, James River Road, Oct 2015

Great grey owl, James River Road, Oct 2015

Bear and Cougar Awareness Presentation

This just in from the folks at Mountain View BearSmart Society:

“We haven’t received any bear sightings as yet but bears will soon be leaving their dens. Now is the perfect time for an information session on garbage and other attractants that bring bears and cougars into conflict with people. Come and learn how to make your community and your home bear smart and cougar smart.”

Mountain View BearSmart Society and Alberta Environment and Parks

are pleased to present

an afternoon of bear and cougar awareness and safety presentations, discussions and displays

Water Valley Community Hall

Saturday, March 25, 2017

1 PM  to  3 PM

Coffee and snacks will be provided

Directions to Water Valley: From Cochrane, go north on Highway #22 for 35 km (or from the junction of Highway 27 & 22, go south 32 km), turn and go west on Highway #579 for 8 km. You will come to a 4-way stop in Water Valley, keep going west through the 4-way stop and the community hall will be on your left (across the street from the hardware store).

Happy trails

 

At our most recent AGM, there was mention that all JRR folks are welcome to meander along the riverside of our retreat as this is all common property.

This land is considered public and in an effort to make us feel more comfortable walking along the riverside, and to make this land more accessible, it was agreed to at the AGM that we could make a few pathways.

After the AGM, some of the Pond Committee folks (Brenda-Lee, Marcel, Bob, Ken and Judy) took a walk along the forested area on the North side of the river, West of the bridge, to see how viable creating a path might be.

It seemed like it could be done!

To our delight, Bob and Gary have cleared a pathway for us all to enjoy.

The path can be accessed from the West side of the bridge, just a few meters from the bridge, or on the East side of the bridge right where the bridge rail begins. There are a few orange markers that indicate the route on the path to the west of the bridge. This is a circle route with some wonderful access points to the river including one particularly charming little spot where you can stop a moment and enjoy the sights and sounds of the river.

So, when you’re at JRR, please take a stroll and enjoy. The more we use our path, the more it will become a well-worn and quaint little walk through the woods.

Thanks to Bob and Gary for their hard work on this project. Very cool!

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For the Birds: A Perfect Winter Project

This blogpost submitted by | Judy Roche

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Our recent JRR Pond Ponderings questionnaire indicated that many of us would like to work on developing habitat for our fine feathered friends (and our furry ones too).

Would you like to build (or donate) a birdhouse to the pond area? This might be a fun project to share with your children or grandchildren or just something that the woodworkers and hobbyists out there would enjoy.

Beyond building the birdhouse, you’ll be involved in placing your birdhouse somewhere in the pond landscape and maintaining it season to season.

If your birdhouse is ready early this spring, that would be a perfect time to do your installation.

Please keep your house in raw wood form – not painted or stained. Better for the birds and a uniform look in our common landscape.

Here are a few pointers to help you on your way:

  • You will attract different birds depending on where you place your birdhouse.
  • Place your house away from prevailing spring winds.
  • Hole size will determine what birds will nest in the home you have built.
  • Don’t put a perch on your birdhouse as this encourages predators.
  • For easy cleaning, it’s a good idea to have the roof or a wall hinged.
  • Slope the roof to prevent rain from entering and a few small holes in the base of the house for air circulation.

It’s all “for the birds”!

Chirp, chirp

Here are a few links that provide inspiration, patterns and advice:

Calgary’s Wild Bird Store offers a variety of birding essentials including seed, feeders and these readymade birdhouses and DIY birdhouse kits. This short video from the Audubon Society talks about the benefits of building bird-friendly communities and last, but not least, the Birdwatching Bliss website offers free birdhouse plans and how-to tips