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Thursday, September 1, 2016

The miracle of migration; OK, garlic breath!

   One-Tank Trip for Aug. 27-16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Tell us it isn’t so – our fine feathered friends are already saying goodbye and starting their long trips south.
   It seems like only yesterday when the birds and butterflies returned, while their exodus is a sure sign that the not-long-enough hot summer is winding down.
   Another signal is the Monarchs and Migrants Weekend at Presqu’ile Provincial Park in Brighton, east of Toronto, on Labour Day Weekend.
Kestrels and other birds of prey are heading south for the winter. (Photo by L. Dunlop)
   Visitors on Sept. 3 and 4 will be able to “witness a spectacular scene repeated for millennia by migrating bird and monarch butterflies,” said park naturalist David Bree.
   The critters are stopping off to refuel on their long journey south, heading for points between Mexico and the tip of South America, he added.

   Presqu’ile is a migration hotspot in the spring and fall, with 336 bird species recorded and 130 breeding species.
   There’s a one-kilometre marsh boardwalk trail accessing the largest protected marsh on the north shore of Lake Ontario.
   On both days, there will be bird banding demonstrations, monarch tagging, informative guided walks and children’s programs.
A tagged monarch butterfly is shown at Presqu'ile Provincial Park. (Photo by J. Hickman)
   Don Davis, an expert butterfly tagger, will be telling about migration theories and providing a hands-on experience in tagging and releasing monarchs both days from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lighthouse Interpretive Centre.
   There have been “modest numbers” of monarchs as of mid-August, Bree said, anticipating a “moderate flight” this fall.
   “Last winter nearly half the overwintering population of monarchs was killed in Mexico by an ice storm and it is encouraging that we are seeing as many as we have so far this year,” he said.
   There’s also a “chance to get up close and personal with some of our feathered friends” at the bird banding demonstration, weather permitting, at the Owen Point parking lot between 8 a.m. and noon both days.
   Information will be given about how and why birds are given bands that let naturalists understand their migration patterns.
   There will also be guided walks looking for birds and butterflies on both days.
   “The miracle of migration is one of the great natural wonders of the world and Presqu’ile is one of the great places to experience some part of that miracle,” Bree said.
   All events are free but regular park admission fees of $14.50 a vehicle apply.
   The park has a variety of camping sites in settings from shoreline to forest and there’s a 2.5-kilometre sandy beach.
   There are also 16 kilometres of trails and paths along shorelines and through woodlands and meadows.
   The park is at 328 Presqu’ile Parkway, Brighton. ontarioparks.com/park/presquile; 613 475-4324

   What’s that smell?
   Time to wake up and smell the garlic as the Stratford festival celebrating the “stinking rose” returns on Sept. 10 and 11.
Garlic is the star of the weekend in Stratford.
   The Kiwanis Garlic Festival offers a “star-studded lineup of chefs and presenters” and moves inside this year to the Rotary Complex and Agriplex at 353 McCarthy Rd., said Cathy Rehberg of the Stratford Tourism Alliance.
   There will be celebrity chef demonstrations with Laura Calder, presenting garlic inspired French food, while Massimo Capra talks about Italian garlic inspirations.
Garlic is on the menu for competitions at the festival.
   Stratford chefs will compete in garlic cooking competitions and square off against Mayor Dan Mathieson and local farmer Gary West in a black box competition.
   They are to create the best garlic inspired recipe in less than an hour, using the secret “black box” ingredient.
   Cookbook author Charmain Christian returns with her favourite garlic recipes from the Messy Baker.
   Presentations on growing garlic will feature Frankie Flowers, Ken Brown and Roman Osadca.
Warren Ham with some of the garlic he grows on his Stratford-area farm.
   “A variety of vendors populates a diverse garlic and artisan market along with lots of great activities for children,” Rehberg said.
   Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 10 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 11.
   Details at stratfordgarlicfestival.com where advanced tickets are $8, $2 off the regular price.
   New offers on the Savour Stratford Chocolate Trail (visitstratford.ca/chocolatetrail ) include decadent chocolate cupcakes, house-made signature truffles and a chocolate and moonshine pairing, Rehberg said.Tickets are $25 for six tasty chocolate treats.
   There are also new offers on the Savour Stratford Bacon & Ale Trail and the Savour Stratford Pumpkin Trail that will launch on Sept.13.


Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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