Moose

There are estimated to be between 500,000 to 1,000,000 moose in Canada. They live pretty much anywhere that there are forests with snow cover in the winter, and plenty of water in the form of streams, ponds, lakes, or swamps. There were no moose in Newfoundland until 1904 when four moose were brought over from New Brunswick. They liked it and there are now plenty of moose there.

Here is a page of facts about moose to print: Canadian Geographic Moose Facts

 

Here is a link to a Canadian documentary on Moose and why their population seems to be declining: Moose: A Year in the Life of a Twig Eater (only available to view online in Canada). Warning for young children: In the second half of the documentary, the researcher finds the smallest calf has been killed by wolves.

Notebook Pages:

Colouring Page

How to Make a Clay Moose

Our plan is to make a small collection of Canadian wildlife this year. You can either use plasticine or bakeable clay such as Sculpey. My son, Jed, provides some directions in the pdf above.

moose7

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Flowers of Canada

Each province and territory has a flower that has been chosen to represent it, which means that this post is going to be a bit long. But bear with me, and take a look at these beautiful flowers that grow here in the wild.

The flower chosen is a plant that is native to the area although this is certainly not the only place that it grows. The type of plants chosen can tell us about the kinds of habitat within each province and territory.

Newfoundland & Labrador: Pitcher Plant

The pitcher plant is found in bogs, and grows well in thin, nutrient deficient, and acidic soil. It attracts insects into the pitcher shaped leaves at it’s base, where they are unable to get out and drown, providing the plant with needed nutrients.

Pitcher Plant

Photo by Mary Crosbie

Nova Scotia: Mayflower

An early spring wildflower that prefers acidic soil and therefore grows well at the base of oaks and pines. It has a lovely fragrance.

339. Epigaea repens

Photo by InAweofGod’sCreation

Prince Edward Island: Lady’s Slipper

This is another early spring woodland flower that is often found in bogs, swamps, wet meadows and damp woodlands.

Lady's Slippers

Photo by Blake Wile

New Brunswick: Purple Violet

This flower grows well in wet meadows, in forests, and along stream banks. It blooms most of the summer. It is also edible and makes a pretty addition to a salad.

Purple Violets

Photo by David

Ontario: Trillium

This is a spring flower that is found in rich, moist, well-drained woods and wet areas with semi-shade.

Trillium

Photo by Dean

Quebec: Blue Flag Iris

This flower likes wet, moist soils, soggy meadows, swamps and grows along streams and in ditches.

Northern Blue-Flag (Iris versicolor)

Photo by Joshua Mayer

Manitoba: Prairie Crocus

This flower is found on prairies and in open, dry woods in sandy soil.

Pasqueflower

Photo by Malcolm Manners

Saskatchewan: Western Red Lily

You will find this lily growing on prairies, meadows, open woodland and forest edges and it prefers sandy soil.

Lilium philadelphicum; western red lily | wood lily | Philadelphia lily | prairie lily

Photo by David Minty

Alberta: Wild Rose

It is found in sunny spots with well-drained soil.

wild rose

Photo by Aleksandar Cocek

British Columbia: Pacific Dogwood

This is a small tree that is found growing in deep, moist, well-drained soil.

Pacific dogwood

Photo by Ruth Hartnup

Yukon: Fireweed

This plant is often the first to colonize an area that has been burned or logged. It often grows along roadsides.

Fireweed

Photo by Gareth Sloan

Northwest Territories: Mountain Avens

This flower is found in rocky, barren areas, and alpine meadows.

IMG_8150

Photo by euphro

Nunavut: Purple Saxifrage

You may find this flower in exposed rock and damp crevices in cliffs.

Purple Saxifrage

Photo by Alistair Rae

Activity: This week, go for a walk in wild area near you. At this time of year, you may not find too many flowers, but you may find their seedpods or berries. Don’t pick the flowers or their seedpods. Instead, take along a notebook and pencils and draw what you find or snap a photo. Notice their habitat and try to identify them.

Here are some links to little booklet that show you what grows in various habitats:

A Guide to Woodland Plants

Common Yukon Roadside Flowers

Common Range Plants of Saskatchewan

Mountain Wildflowers

Remember where these plants are, and make a note on your calendar to come back when they usually bloom to see them!

Notebook Pages:

Photo collage: Provincial Flowers

Worksheet: Nature Journal Page

 

Eastern Woodland First People

M. S. Kendall

Like many people, I expect, I find it difficult to think about European expansion and the consequences it had and continues to have on the native people of North America. But at the same time I am fascinated by their unique and resourceful ways of living probably because it contrasts so much with our lifestyles today.

This week, we will only look generally at the ways of life of those people who first inhabited the far eastern woodlands of Canada, particularly the Beothuk, the Maliseet, and the Mi’kmaq. This will help us to understand what this land was like before European contact and also how they lived within the means of their environment.

The following is a five page information sheet from the Natural History Museum in Halifax: The Mi’kmaq.

Homes: Today we make our houses out of all sorts of products we buy from stores that come from many different places. The people who first lived here made use of what was available to them locally and made their houses out of the forest.

Clothing: Today we usually buy our clothes from a store where they were made from all sorts of different fibres and constructed in places all around the world. The people who first lived here made their clothes from the skins of the animals they hunted.

Food: Today we can buy food at a grocery store that grows in climates quite different from our own and is transported thousands of miles. The first people who lived here had to hunt and gather all of their food. Moose, beaver, bear, ducks, grouse, many kinds of fish and seafood, wild fruit, berries, and roots were part of their diet.

Transportation: Cars, ATV’s and power boats have only been around for a couple hundred years. The first people who lived here made their boats out of birch bark, and used snowshoes, sleds and toboggans during the winter.

Notebook Pages:

Worksheet and Mi’kmaq calendar to illustrate:  First People

Atlantic Canada

This week, with the help of photographers from flickr, we will just enjoy looking at some photos of lovely places in Atlantic Canada, which includes Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick.

Signal Hill and the Battery, St.Johns, Newfoundland

Signal Hill, Newfoundland by Scott Grant

Cape_Spear-2

Cape Spear, Newfoundland by Max Kipp

Untitled

L’Anse Aux Meadows, Newfoundland by damslfly

Western Brook Pond, NL

Western Brook Pond, Newfoundland by Jerry Curtis

Churchill falls, Labrador.

Churchill Falls, Labrador by Paysan

The Escape

Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia by Bob Boudreau

Cape Breton

Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia by Mary of Rovarhamn

PEI Beach

Beach on Prince Edward Island by Kevin A. Morton

ia2285.JPG

Hartland Covered Bridge in New Brunswick by Mark Goebel

Hopewell Rock

Hopewell Rock, New Brunswick by Moira Fenner

Activity: Use a good atlas or google maps to find the places referred to in these photos and mark them on your map of Canada.

Photo collage of Eastern Canada: Atlantic Provinces