Saturday, 27 July 2013

More information on the Giant Hogweed (if seen stay away from it)

I have heard, that in a local newspaper, that this plant has been spotted in St Catharines, but can't find on, so can't confirm it has been spotted.  If I find the article will post. 
 But did find this from the City of St Catharines, The Garden City, site:


Posted on Friday May 03, 2013

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN to every person in possession of land within the City of St. Catharines. In accordance with the Weed Control Act, Ontario, unless noxious weeds or weed seeds are destroyed the City may enter upon said lands to cause the noxious weeds or weed seeds to be destroyed. All costs incurred by the City, plus an administration fee, as determined in accordance with the 2013 Schedule of Rate and Fees, will be charged against the land and may be collected in a like manner as taxes.
In the interest of public health, noxious weeds requiring eradication, as they appear include Common Barberry, European Buckthorn, Bull Thistle, Canada Thistle, Wild Carrot, Colt’s Foot, Dodder, Goat’s Beard, Johnson Grass, Knapweed, Milkweed, Nodding Thistle, Poison Hemlock, Poison Ivy, Proso Millet, Ragweed, Yellow Rocket, Russian Thistle, Scotch Thistle, Sow Thistle, Cypress Spurge, Leafy Spurge, Tuberous Vetchling and Giant Hogweed.
Note: By-law No. 2011-203 defines abandoned orchards as a noxious weed. 

Here is also some more information on the plant.
From the Canadian Gardening site:

Caution! This poisonous plant could make an appearance in a garden near you
Giant hogweed has been surreptitiously invading Canada since the late 1940s. But in recent years, this dangerous plant’s secret identity has been blown as it has encroached on public parks and gardens. Lately, with more sightings heralding the troubling realization that Giant Hogweed is spreading, it has become a minor news celebrity with warnings to the public to stay away from this poisonous plant.

Municipalities across Canada are paying close attention to the situation. “Ministry staff is aware of the significance of Giant Hogweed from a human health and invasiveness perspective,” explains Mike Cowbrough, weed management field crops program lead with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). “OMAFRA is working with the University of Guelph and several municipalities across Ontario to identify best management practices for Giant Hogweed.” Other municipalities, like the Halifax Regional Municipality in Nova Scotia, have set up hotlines to report weed locations.

What is it?
Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is a member of the carrot and parsley family and is often mistaken for cow parsnip. Its flowers also closely resemble those of prolific wildflowerQueen Anne’s Lace. As its name indicates, Giant Hogweed grows to impressive heights and can reach 15 to 20 feet. A perennial with tuberous roots, the dark reddish-purple stalks and stems of the plant are hollow and quite thick (two to four inches in diameter). Hogweed has large, flat-topped clusters of leaves with white flowers and large, flat fruit. Leaf blades of rosette leaves are very large and deeply incised–the compound leaves can span up to five feet! 

Where did it come from?
Hogweed is an extremely invasive species originally from Asia and Eastern Europe. It’s still unclear how the plant found its way into Canada or how long it’s been here. Some believe it was introduced to gardens as an ornamental plant, or the seeds could have been brought by migratory birds or cargo ships. Today, it can be found along roadsides, riverbanks, naturalized areas, and yes, even your own backyard. 

Why is it such a problem?
Giant hogweed can pose a serious health hazard for humans. The plant’s watery, clear sap contains photosensitizing compounds called furanocoumarins. When the sap comes into contact with human skin and is then exposed to sunlight, the UV radiation can cause severe burning and weeping blisters. The reaction of the skin depends on the sensitivity of the individual, as well as the amount of sap he or she has been exposed to. After 24 hours, swelling and reddening of the skin will be noticeable. Within two to three days the swelling will develop into painful blisters. Symptoms can last for several months and the skin may remain sensitive to UV light for years after exposure. It can also cause extensive scarring.
What if I come across Giant Hogweed?
Anyone who sees a giant hogweed plant is advised to contact a landscape professional to have it removed. Cowbrough recommends having a professional properly identify the suspected plant to ensure it is Giant Hogweed. “Over half of the submissions that OMAFRA receives are from clients claiming they have Giant Hogweed, but it’s not hogweed,” says Cowbrough. Proper identification can be obtained by submitting a photo to Weed Info: Canada’s Online Weed Information and Identification Resource.

If you find it in your garden and choose to remove it yourself, make sure you wear synthetic, waterproof clothing, including long sleeves and pants, as well as gardening gloves and eye protection. Remove the flower heads to prevent seed growth and dispersal and then cut the plant’s root eight to 10 cm below the soil surface. Don’t compost the plant. Instead, put the plant’s remains in double-bagged garbage bags. Once everything has been cleaned up, periodically check the site to make sure there aren’t any hogweed seedlings trying to reclaim the spot. Continue to monitor the area during the next few growing seasons. Hogweed can easily reseed itself and seeds may be lying dormant in the soil, waiting for an opportunity to invade your garden again.

“Landowners can also purchase glyphosate products (like Roundup) to control weeds that are poisonous to the touch, such as poison ivy, wild parsnip and giant hogweed,” Cowbrough says. Although using these types of products should be used as a last resort, they can be effective at killing the offending weed.

What do I do if I’m exposed to Giant Hogweed?
If you come into contact with giant hogweed, seek immediate shelter since exposure to the sap makes human skin hypersensitive to sunlight. Thoroughly wash exposed skin with soap and water. If your skin reacts to the sap, seek medical attention. If the sap comes into contact with your eyes, seek immediate medical attention since the sap can cause temporary or permanent blindness.

Helpful links

Anja Sonnenberg is a horticulturist who writes about the fun she has in her garden on her blog, A Gardener’s Playground.
Places to report sightings:  For York region: click here (or your local Conservation Authority)

 Where can you find additional information on giant hogweed?
Additional information on Hogweed you may be obtained by calling the Invading 
Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711 and from the following websites:
From an American site called Department of Environmental Conservation

More about Giant Hogweed:

Okay hope that helps you out, if I find anything more will let you know.

Remember do something nice today for someone!
Alice M

I hope I (or you) never see these plants!!!!

Please read this or send to anyone you know who spends a lot of time outside!

Don't let the exotic and beautiful looks of 15-foot-tall hogweed plant fool you

I received an email from a friend (will post the original article in a second) and just have to share it.
It is a warning.
About a plant!
 It is native to the Caucasus Region and Central Asia but is slowly spreading to other areas, including Canada, it has been found even here in Ontario.

A huge, toxic plant that can burn skin and cause permanent blindness has been found for the first time in eastern Ontario, prompting calls for a federal response to contain the spread of the poisonous plant as fear grows no province is immune.

A forestry official confirmed two new findings of giant hogweed last week in Renfrew County, west of Ottawa. It has previously been spotted in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Quebec, southwestern Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. About 50 plants were spotted in Toronto’s Don Valley two weeks ago.
Contact with the weed’s clear, watery sap can be very dangerous, Jeff Muzzi, Renfrew County’s forestry manager and weed inspector.

“What it does to you is pretty ugly,” said Mr. Muzzi. “It causes blisters. Large blisters and permanent scarring. What’s left over looks like a scar from a chemical burn or fire.”

Even a tiny trace of sap applied to the eye can singe the cornea, causing temporary or permanent blindness, he added. The chemicals in the sap, furocoumarins, are carcinogenic and teratogenic, meaning they can cause cancer and birth defects.
Most provinces have not authorized official weed inspectors to destroy the poisonous plant because it does not impinge on agriculture.
Mr. Muzzi said he only began eradicating the plant because nobody else would. “It’s not really my job,” he said. “I just thought, somebody better take the bull by the horns here, ’cause this stuff is really dangerous.”
Giant hogweed is already rampant in parts of Europe including England, where the rock group Genesis wrote a 1971 ode to the plant and its “thick dark warning odour.”
Native to the Caucasus Region and Central Asia, it was brought to Europe and North America as a botanical curiosity in the 19th and 20th centuries and has spread rapidly. It typically grows on riverbanks, ditches and roadsides.
The risk of infection was so high, Mr. Muzzi wore a Tyvek suit, protective goggles, rubber gloves, “the whole nine yards,” to remove it, he said. “Which is really nice in 35-degree weather.”
The weed’s sap, which is found all over the plant, bonds chemically with human skin when exposed to sunlight and, within 48 hours, leads to inflammation, red colouring and itching, weeping blisters and eventually black and purplish scars.
“It’s those flower heads you want to get rid of,” Mr. Muzzi said. “I went out, suited up, cut all the flowerheads off and bagged them. Then I nuked the plants with Round-Up.”
Most susceptible to infection are gardeners, campers and children, who have been known to use the plant’s large, hollow stems as play telescopes or pea-shooters.
“If a person takes a weed-whacker to this stuff, they get the sap all over,” Mr. Muzzi said.
While the weed is on the federal government’s official noxious weeds list, there is apparently no national or provincial strategy in place to stop its spread.
Guy Baillargeon, a biologist with the Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility, called the weed an “emerging” problem, not yet a national one.
“Very few people are aware of it right now,” he added. “I am not aware that this species is on any provincial list yet.”
Mr. Baillargeon said a federal plan is in the works to deal with invasive species in general, but not hogweed in particular.
“I believe the plant has been here long enough that it would now be difficult to eradicate it,” Mr. Baillargeon said.
“So I don’t expect that things will happen overnight. But we need to talk about it.”
A 2005 study of the plant’s spread in Canada said it was likely to continue for the next 25 to 100 years “with worsening ecological, economic and health effects.”
National Post

These are some pictures from the email, there were more but thought maybe to graphic for site (pictures of damage/scaring from the plant)

So please if you see this plant, 
If not sure were to report it, I would start with health and/or agriculture department, if you have to call the police, this plant is very dangerous. 
Was not going to show the pictures, but decided to make my point that will show only two, one of an arm that came in contact with this plant and one of a leg after 9 days.

So please be careful watch where you go and watch what you are cutting down!
Please be safe!
Alice M

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

They say everyday you learn

something new.
Today I learned something.
I thought I lived in a country that was advanced.
Guess I was wrong.
Earlier I saw on the news about two women who were threatened with death if the did not leave the city they lived in just because they were a couple.
And this was in Ontario.
Here is the link:

‘Some of our members want to have fun chasing lesbos,' says threatening letter to same-sex couple in Kingston

Now that came about because of ignorance of a group of people who feel threatened by something they don't understand, Love.
They think they understand what it is but they don't.  They are bullies and they are training young people to be just like them, plus violent!

Now that really pisses me off!  

Now I really didn't learn something new since I have known that there are people out there like that, but I was not in a very good mood when I saw a commercial on TV a little while later.

Now this was new to me!
It was a commercial from the Hunington Society of Canada.
Here you can watch it too:

Do you really want to know?  It is a film about predictive genetic testing.
Now you would think this would be a good thing, for those who have certain conditions in their family history, that they may carry such as Huntington's. (I knew these kind of tests existed)

"ANYONE could have 
sequences in their DNA 
that can lead to diseases like 
Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, 
Alzheimer’s, vision loss and 
many others."

According to what I could find these test can tell you if you have a certain disease before you show symptoms.  If you are an adult, I can see how this could help prepare you for your future, and take precautions, if possible, to slow down the on set of the disease.  Now I probably would never have a test done like this, to me there are some things I just do not want to know.  Plus, I don't have enough money to live the rest of my life in comfort and pay for medical expanses, as well if I learn I will suffer from a certain disease in sometime in the future. 
 I can also see how these tests can be used for bad things, not for helping people.

But they are a medical test, MEDICAL.

Now this is what I learned, and it shocked me.
I thought we as Canadians were better than this.

"Canada is the only G8 country that 
does not protect its citizens against 
genetic discrimination. This form of 
discrimination must stop now. "

You know the sad part is, that if we lived in a world were everyone is equal and there were no violence or bullys or wars, these test could help us to cure these diseases and more.  People would be not wasting money on stupid wars and politics.  People would not have to have houses and cars to prove they are someone, the money could go towards fixing the world, healing and exploring space.

It is amazing what humans could do if we set our minds too!
I am not talking about the bad things, we are inventive, inquisitive, we love to learn and explore.
If we were not so busy fighting for our lives and feeding our selves and trying to live to the next day, we could be so much more.

We are making advancements in so many things but in stead of making are lives better, they are turned against us.
It is like every new step forward takes our humanity two steps backwards.
Things have to change.
Everyone has to change.
If we don't we, and future generations will have nothing to look forward to but pain and death.

We must reach and grab life!
Use our talents to make this world better!
We need to stop the bullys, violence, hatred, slavery, wars, everything that takes our humanity away!
We need to start now, it is almost to late!
If we don't we will destroy the planet and all the life living here.

Maybe I should have put this on 4abetterworld2morrow(sounds like something I write there), to late it is here!  As long as it is out there for people to think!

See you soon,
Alice M

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Change in plans (more like weather changed)

Well was already to film the cars at the car show leaving, when around 6:50 pm I noticed that some of the cars were packing up.  I didn't here the announcement over all the noise around.

A few minutes later my phone rang, couldn't answer fast enough.  When I got a message from my girlfriend telling me it was 7:00 pm and that Welland was under a tornado watch.

Realized why the cars were leaving!
And guess what?  
There were a lot of cars, and everyone was so worried about the weather that it was the quietest night we ever had when the cars left.  Everyone so focused on weather they did not act up as they left, so we now know it is possible for them to be quiet and respectful!

So since I was ready for filming and taking pictures I focused on the storm.
It was a severe thunderstorm and tornado warning.

I have only gone through some of the videos and pictures, but found some to share for now.
(I have a lot, at least 2 hours of the sky, rain and lightening)

So will post 4 videos and some stills.

First the videos

I call this one "Clouds"

It was taken around 8 pm.  They were coming from the north.  You can see especially near the end how fast the lower clouds were moving.

This one I call  "North sky(over St Kitts, On) during storm in slow motion"

This was taken around 10 pm I believe.  It is the sky over St Catharines, Ontario, just north of us.
I slowed down the replay so you could see the colors more.

This one I call "Forked Lightening in slow motion"

Okay the title explains it LOL!

And this last one I call "The rain"

This one was taken closer to 11 pm, and you can see the rain and the wind.  

Here are some stills of the clouds and lightening:




These six pictures are different frames of one strike!

Hope you liked them!  
Will post more when I find some good ones!

Alice M 



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