Monday, July 11, 2016


This is a bit of a departure for the Wetland blog - poetry. July was my mother's month. Not only was it the month of her birth, it was also her favourite time of the year.  She loved the sun, the warmth and revelled in the return of the foliage, the fauna and her feathered friends.

This is my tribute to her, remembering and missing her this July, Marion Terry White, July 25, 1931 - March 5, 2015.


On these summer mornings
so lush and
achingly lovely, wrapped in their hazy veils
heavy-lidded in the slumbering heat
fleeting and therefore precious
I often think that my mother is still alive
tending her garden
bending over the bedding plants
parting the shrubbery with her hands
watchful, vigilant, protective
or listening at the open window
a joy rising in her to see the birds
take wing
thrilling at the wren’s song
watching the hummingbirds
sup, stroking the dog’s head
slowly all the while
he, faithful and adoring at her side
she, taking it all in –  the bumblebees in the black-eyed-susans
the cicadas in the trees
I almost expect to hear the phone ring
the excited voice, telling me some tale
about her day – the strawberries washed and sugared
the peonies clipped
the dog walked and oh, I saw a deer!
How are you? What are you up to today?
What are you working on?

Today I am working on remembering
today that is my job, my sole task
all others I sweep impatiently aside
so that I may stay with these memories
and revive summers past
a vain attempt, I know, to make it real again
to somehow give her
one more summer day.

©Victoria White, July 7, 2016

Are you a Beaver Believer?

Beavers should never have been extirpated as "nuisances" but perhaps we humans are finally gaining some wisdom:

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Wetlands Under Threat

The world over, wetlands are under threat from development, a push to clear land for more agricultural development and from oil exploration, as in this case in Florida. A must-read if you are concerned about our disappearing wetlands:

Monday, May 2, 2016

What Were You Doing on Save The Frogs Day?

Illustration courtesy of Save the

Save The Frogs Day was celebrated this year on Saturday, April 30 with hundreds of events planned all around the globe. It is very encouraging to see that so many people care about amphibians and are acting on behalf of threatened and endangered frogs and toads. Preserving habitat is so critical to their survival. Protecting and supporting wetlands rather than draining them is absolutely vital. 

One easy thing we can do if we live in built-up areas where roads and highways intersect habitat is to be mindful of the fact that we actually share the road with other species. These small animals face incredible danger on a busy road and, unfortunately, they can't know what it is they are crossing.

So it is up to us to be cautious, caring and mindful. Slowing down, keeping to the speed limit and even stopping (safely!) to help a toad across the road - these are all ways in which we can reduce needless amphibian deaths.

And that mindfulness should extend to all animals, large or small, especially this time of year when their activity is heightened. They are out foraging for food, building nests and looking after young.

So be careful out there this spring. Watch out for deer, raccoons, opossum, squirrels, voles and moles, turtles and snakes.

And a special note for Londoners: Please slow down, people, along Harry White Drive at White Oak Road! White's Wetland ESA takes up the entire northeast corner and is home to all of the above! Obey the speed limit and/or reduce speeds. Please do not interpret "country road" as your license to drive "like a bat out of hell."

Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day Greetings 2016 from White's Wetland

I'm hoping that this tiny oak has a chance to become a mighty oak one day. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Our Disappearing Songbirds

Please consider attending the screening of The Messenger on Monday, April 25 at the Hyland Cinema in London, Ontario. A portion of the proceeds from the evening's event will support The Thames Talbot Trust and its efforts to preserve local natural heritage and habitat. 

The film was shot in part at Western University (UWO). 

If you love birds, a must-see.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Return


Each spring we eagerly await the return of birds and animals to the wetlands. Many are just passing through, on their way to somewhere else, but we welcome the sight of them and are glad of their safe passage and return. We watch them pause and rest for a few days before moving on. Some stay. Spending spring and summer at the wetlands, much to our delight. The robins are back, the geese and a mallard pair. They join the throngs of winter birds that never left.

A doe appears at the edge of the woods, and in the morning mist that shrouds the tamaracks at dawn, the promise of spring is heralded by the sharp, shrill clarion call of a red-winged blackbird. 

Who will arrive next? 

We await with anticipation!