The ice storm in December really highlighted the danger to our beautiful ash trees posed by the Emerald Ash Borer. Patti Foley is sponsoring an information session on this problem at the Bolton and District Horticultural Society meeting on March 18th. Attendance is free. If you've seen the devastation in Caledon neighbourhoods you will want to be there! Patti's blog is posted below:
Emerald Ash Borer – What You need to Know
FEBRUARY 11, 2014
Millions of ash trees across Ontario have already been lost to the destructive pest, Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Last year, EAB was identified in some areas of Caledon. Untreated, infested trees will generally die in 2 – 3 years.Many people don’t know if they have any ash trees in their neighbourhood or yard.
Please join Bolton & District Horticultural Society at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 where information about this devastating pest will be shared. The speakers will provide information about identifying ash trees and understanding what options are available. The goal of the meeting is to empower residents to take action in their own communities through treatment of existing healthy ash trees and planting of new trees.
Topic: Ash Trees at Risk – Emerald Ash Borer
Speaker: Local Enhancement & Appreciation of Forests. L.E.A.F. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of the urban forest.
Date: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Time: Meetings start promptly at 7:30 p.m.
Location: Albion Bolton Community Centre, 150 Queen Street South (Regional Road/Highway 50) Bolton, ON in the AUDITORIUM on the 2nd floor (stairs and elevator access).
Meeting sponsored by Patti Foley, Regional Councillor, Bolton ward 5
Admission: FREE to members. Guest fees waived for this meeting. Guests please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please join Dorothy Mazeau, Royal LePage RCR Realty
and Yvonne Parker, Personal Financial Solutions
on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 6 PM for an informative seminar for the 55+ Crowd:
Aging in Style: Living Retirement YOUR Way!
Timely topics will include:
Making Your Money Last as Long as You Do - Canadians are living longer; will you outlive your retirement savings? Find out about guaranteed income for life plans that you can’t outlive.
Funding Healthcare as You Age - The average Canadian will spend the last 10 years in sickness. Find out about effective plans you can put in place now to fund healthcare without dipping into your retirement savings.
The Family Home: Should I Stay or Should I Go? - Introspective questions to help you evaluate your living situation. - Explore ways to keep your house working for you. - Explore the options for making a change for the better.
Chic-á-Boom 18371 Hurontario Street (Hwy 10) Caledon Village Wednesday, July 10/2013
6:00 Registration and refreshments 7:00 Presentations
Admission is free, donations for the local food bank appreciated.
Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Please call or email to reserve your seat.
Well, the robins are gone, so it’s back to real estate! Here’s the Market Snapshot for May 2012:
The number of homes available for sale in Caledon has gone up 10% since May 2011. In contrast, the number of sales has only increased 3.3%. So there is now an inventory of more than three month’s supply of homes on the market. This is still favourable for sellers, but the supply is growing so there is more and more competition among homes available for sale. This may account for the flattening of the median sale price, although a change in the mix of homes sold may be partially responsible.
The Toronto Real Estate Board has introduced a new way of measuring home prices that levels out these differences in the types of homes being sold. Based on this new system, the “benchmark” home price in Caledon has actually increased 4.75% over the past year. Moving forward this new method will provide a more accurate comparison for price changes year over year.
A week ago Tuesday, I ate my dinner standing in front of the dining room window. I didn’t want to miss a moment of what was unfolding before me!
Once they had started being fed again, our nestling robins had grown and developed quickly. For the most part they seemed none the worse for wear after their earlier ordeal, although one of them was struggling. He was developing more slowly than the others. His neck was still scrawny and featherless, and he had difficulty keeping his head up in the “feed me!” position; he kept laying it down on the edge of the nest to rest. We were worried about him, but eventually even he began to fill out. The nest got so crowded that, once in a while, the chicks had to actually flap their wings in order to keep from being pushed out! (Good practice, I imagine.)
The parent birds took to standing beside the nest to feed them – there just wasn’t room on the rim. And they would call to the babies from nearby branches, causing the little ones to swivel around and stretch out their beaks in the direction of the sound – no small feat in such a crowded nest. The babies would get very excited and finally, late that Tuesday morning, the bravest got up on the edge of the nest, stretched his legs as tall as he could, flap his wings and hopped down onto the window sill! Immediately the parent was there, with a big fat bug as a reward! But when the parent turned its attention to the other babies, our hero snuggled in as close as he could to the nest, and when the parent left, he shoehorned himself back in.
At that point I turned my attention to lunch. When I returned to the window sill, there were only three babies in the nest. Robin #1 had fledged! I reluctantly left for my afternoon duties, fully expecting that when I came home, the nest would be empty. But no! There were still three robins in the nest. So I stationed myself in front of the window to eat my dinner.
Now that there was a little more room in the nest, there was a lot of preening, and head scratching, and fluffing of feathers going on. Little beaks were pulling out bits of baby fluff from underneath new, very grown-up looking feathers. The parents would call and the little heads would swivel to attention. Then Robin #2 got brave enough to hop out onto the window sill. Once again, the parent was right there with a reward. But after he flew away, rather than getting back into the nest, Robin #2 turned around and started cheeping encouragement to his siblings. Robin #3 climbed onto the edge of the nest, fluffed his feathers, flapped his wings – and turned around and backed down out of the nest. Then the little guy, not to be left out, quickly hopped down to the sill.
The three little robins huddled together on the window sill, then gradually made their way along the sill, in a kind of closely-packed leap-frogging. Finally they reached the end of their known world at the far end of the sill. There they sat, preening and scratching and fluffing and cheeping, until the parent came back. Once more fortified with food, Robin #2 stepped to the edge of the sill, and with a final fluffing and flapping, made the leap and flew directly across the yard, over the forest fence (about 20 feet away) to a low branch.
And then there were two. More fluffing and flapping and cheeping. And then once more the parent was there with food. These little robins knew what they were supposed to do, but would they do it? The little guy squeezed behind his sibling on the sill, and I could swear he was actually pushing! He seemed to be saying, “No way, José! You go!” And finally he did! Off to the right, out of sight, towards a nearby sumac.
Now there was the little guy, suddenly all alone for the first time in his life. OMG! He cheeped uncertainly a few times, then gradually made his way across the sill back towards the nest. I wondered if he planned to get back into the nest. But when he was about two inches away he paused, fluffed his feathers (still with bits of baby fluff poking through), flapped his wings, and took off to the left, across the forest fence to the safety of the bush. Immediately the parent was there at his side.
And that’s the last I saw of them. I imagined them practising their flying skills in the safety of the bush. Then, about a week later, a flock of robins appeared on our lawn. All looked like mature birds, but several of them were smaller – definitely younger. Were they our robins? I guess we’ll never know.
About five weeks ago now, I was sitting at my computer when I heard a scratching sound at the window. I looked up and there was a bird’s tail sweeping against the glass. A mother robin was building a nest on our window sill! She had just about completed the shell of the nest, and by later that afternoon she had filled it with dry grass. What an opportunity to watch one of nature’s miracles!
Sure enough, a few days later there were four blue eggs in the nest (I googled “robins” and found out the mother lays them one day at a time.) After that we would see her brooding in earnest early every morning, until she flew off to get some breakfast, and then back on the nest.
Right on schedule, two weeks later, I peered cautiously into nest while Mom was away and saw a little pile of trembling baby-feathers! The hatching had started. Things picked up quickly after that, with both parents flying back and forth with interesting (to a robin) bits of things to eat, and classic gaping beaks eagerly receiving what was offered.
Then, trouble! The mother robin went missing. At first we thought we just weren’t around when she was feeding her chicks. But as the days went by, the youngsters began to languish. Sometimes they’d be lying with their heads against the edge of the nest, beaks gaping; sometimes they’d be lying in a pile at the bottom of the nest. At times I wondered if we’d lost them, but if I looked closely, I could see the top one on the pile breathing. What should we do?! Try to rescue them? How? Let nature take its course? Then one evening the father appeared, perching on the side of the nest, and the chicks sprang into action – but he didn’t bring any food! Then he flew off and the chicks subsided. Had he given up on them?
That did it! The next morning I got on the phone and managed to track down a songbird lady in Rockwood, a town about an hour away. After I described the situation, she agreed to take them in, and I went to find a box to put the nest in for the trip. Suddenly the father was there again – this time with a big fat worm in his beak! So I call the songbird lady back and we agreed that we should leave well enough alone and see what happened.
Well! Things took a turn for the better after that. And a second bird appeared to help with the feeding. Was it the mother back again? An aunt? An uncle? Does the robin community have a crisis response protocol for looking after orphans? In any case the babies thrived and grew until they barely could fit in the nest. Fledging time approached. But that’s a story for another day.
Last week I had the pleasure of introducing some clients to the Market Hill Café in Mono Mills. It’s always a delight to do that, because who would guess this unassuming little country strip mall, located just south of Highway Nine on the west side of Airport Road, contained such a culinary treasure?! From the outside it looks like another “greasy spoon,” although with an attractive sign. Even the menu looks pretty basic – burgers and chicken fingers and pizza. But oh, what burgers and chicken fingers and pizza! And the chalkboard list of specials offers truly gourmet treats. The word of mouth publicity about this little gem is spreading, so reservations are recommended. You can reach the Market Hill Café at 519-941-5150. They are open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Sunday. Just tell them Dorothy sent you!
People often ask me, “How’s the market doing?” Here’s a snapshot of the Caledon Real Estate Market, comparing activity in April 2012 to April 2011. Sales are still strong, with an average price increase of 14.5%, and less than 3 months of inventory. This means that, if nothing new came onto the market, it would take less than 3 months to sell what’s already listed. It’s worth noting that it’s taking about 30% longer to sell a home this year, and the ratio of list price to sale price is a bit lower, which may mean things are cooling off a bit since last April. I’ll keep you posted from month to month.