A new bird-is it just passing through, or here to stay?

A Great Egret

The great egret (Ardea alba), also known as the common egret, large egret, or great white egret or great white heron is a large, widely distributed egret, with four subspecies found in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and southern Europe. Distributed across most of the tropical and warmer temperate regions of the world, it builds tree nests in colonies close to water.

What is the difference between a great white heron and egret?Great egrets are a little smaller than the white-phase great blue heron, but the real giveaway is the color of the legs. Great egrets have black legs while white-phase great blue herons have much lighter legs. Herons also have slightly heavier beaks and “shaggier” feathers on their breast.

You never know what you’ll find down the ‘Bow’

Just three ‘stalks’ of this pretty little flower have emerged down the Bow. In all the years we have been visiting there daily, we’ve never seen this one before.

How did it get there? Who knows! Is it indigenous? No!

Wikipedia to the rescue – they say – Tansy is native to Eurasia; it is found in almost all parts of mainland Europe, as well as Britain and Ireland. It is absent from Siberia and some of the Mediterranean islands. The ancient Greeks may have been the first to cultivate it as a medicinal herb.

Tansy is used for digestive tract problems including stomach and intestinal ulcers, certain gallbladder conditions, migraines, nerve pain, joint pain, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. Using tansy might also cause toxic effects.

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) is a perennial, herbaceous flowering plant in the genus Tanacetum in the aster family, native to temperate Europe and Asia.

It is also known as common tansy,[2]bitter buttons, cow bitter, or golden buttons. The Latin word vulgare means “common”.[3]

It is connected with some interesting old customs observed at Easter time, when even archbishops and bishops played handball with men of their congregation, and a Tansy cake was the reward of the victors. These Tansy cakes were made from the young leaves of the plant, mixed with eggs, and were thought to purify the humours of the body after the limited fare of Lent. In time, this custom obtained a kind of symbolism, and Tansies, as these cakes were called, came to be eaten on Easter Day as a remembrance of the bitter herbs eaten by the Jews at the Passover. Coles (1656) says the origin of eating it in the spring is because Tansy is very wholesome after the salt fish consumed during Lent, and counteracts the ill-effects which the ‘moist and cold constitution of winter has made on people . . . though many understand it not, and some simple people take it for a matter of superstition to do so.’

‘This balsamic plant,’ says Boerhaave (the Danish physician), ‘will supply the place of nutmegs and cinnamon,’ and the young leaves, shredded, serve as a flavouring for puddings and omelets. Gerard tells us that Tansy Teas were highly esteemed in Lent as well as Tansy puddings.

A most interesting plant. Long may it live here!

Cranes and ducks and herons!

Today, there seemed to be lots of birds at The Oxbow Lake. This is the first time I have ever seen a Crane here. He (or she), was fishing at the back of #14 Erie Crescent, and quite unperturbed by my presence.

Further along, there were two Blue Herons just hanging out along the shoreline. I think it must have been all the rain we’re having today, but it seemed like all the birds in creation were out and about, busying themselves at Bowood! Maybe a flush of insects to feast on?

The lawns had just been cut the day before, so maybe that contributed? It certainly is a busy place today!

Lots of New Shrubs

Another Eagle Scout project and donations from a local nursery have resulted in all these new shrubs being planted. The capped posts are for me to tie up my boat – very POSH – I must say! AND -there is the world famous (best dog in the world) BARKLEY! It looks like he’s waiting for the boat, but unfortunately, the boat slips are late opening this year! Maybe today we’ll get delivery of our pontoon?

Our First Mow This Year!

Spring has been a little late coming this year, but at last the grass is growing, the birds are singing and everyone seems to be happier, at least those folks walking The Oxbow do.

The daffodils are almost over, except for the batch I planted in the spring. They are a little later blooming, but it was a good thing, because it extended the pleasure of seeing them.

After this mow, The Oxbow trail is the best I have ever seen it, Simply beautiful, tranquil and it is a pleasure to sit on our new benches, breath in the fresh air, and watch and listen to all the many birds here. We seem to have attracted a lot of wildlife. The Blue Herons, Red Kingfishers, finches and even an otter last week. He was running across the trail up and into the wood.

As I (Mike Caswell) have retired from the day to day running of The Bow, Eric Gavelis has taken over the permit from the Canal Corporation to look after the project. Under his direction, the new benches were installed, and our first mow carried out by Mr Kim of #1 Oxbow Rd, and Eric.

They are looking to do this work themselves so want to purchase a lawn tractor they can designate to this work. If you feel like making a donation, please leave a message here.

A new photo of the Bow cottages

This photograph emerged today on Facebook, posted by the Perinton Historical Society.

Apparently, the photo was taken about 1958.

Its interesting to see how all these buildings have really good docks, and obviously great waterfront property. From what previous inhabitants have told us, this was a really fun place to live, especially for the children.

A New Cross-Country Track!

The Oxbow Trail has been incorporated into the school cross country route.
After running around the Minerva Deland track, the kids drop off down a slope near the stream, and then run along The Oxbow Trail.

Think back a few years when this trail was almost swallowed up with Ragweed, and many noxious plants. No one came here, no one could even see they were on a shoreline.

It’s a completely different place now, and I love talking to people who really appreciate what the Scouts (troop 208) and ECNA members have done!

Please Be Seated!

I am delighted to announce that we have new bench seats along The Oxbow Trail. This is another EAGLE SCOUT project. This time the scout is Bryan Webb.

Brian designed and made these SIX benches, and with the help from a few volunteers dug the post holes, installed and cemented them in today.

All the lumber and cement was donated by 84 Lumber in Victor.

Bryan has placed them close to the shoreline and picked the best views. These will make watching the world go by a real pleasure.

Bryan’s father has a brush-hog and he kindly gave The Oxbow a final season haircut.

Our thanks to all the helpers and those who donated to the cause. We now have enough money to do our first mow in the spring.

Lunch for the workers was provided by PERINTON PIZZA

If you’d like to donate, here is the link https://gf.me/u/ywyg73