May 2015

… that Japanese Knotweed is a problem in Muskoka?

There is plant slowly marching through Muskoka that the Muskoka Ratepayers’ were recently made aware of…Japanese Knotweed. It is now showing up throughout our area and indeed it is listed as an “Invasive Species” in Ontario but not listed as a “Noxious Weed”. This designation has implications for its eradication, unfortunately.

Sometimes referred to as Canadian Bamboo, or Foot-a-Day, or a variety of other cutesy glib names, this plant is anything but cute. Indeed it smothers out practically all our native flora and is still being planted by unsuspecting residents as screening vegetation. Many of our scenic roadways now have a seven to ten foot hedge of this plant and it is pushing up through driveways, retaining walls, gardens and the District and Township road asphalt itself.

We urge our members to read the Maclean’s link provided here titled “The Plant that’s eating B.C.” We could add “that’s also eating Muskoka”. See – The Plant that’s Eating BC

Please decide to not promote the spread of this vegetation and to enquire how to best eradicate it from your property if already there. The MRA unfortunately doesn’t yet have an answer to that question.

… why there are so few Monarch Butterflies in Muskoka?

Many scientists are concerned that the survival of the monarch butterfly is threatened by reduced milkweed in Muskoka – the Monarch’s summer home. Although there are over 20 kinds of milkweed, what was once abundant in the meadows and ditches of Muskoka is now scarce. In fact, if you would like to attract monarchs, milkweed is available for sale in some local nurseries. .

The life span of the monarch butterfly is about 6-8 months. It takes about 25 warm days to grow from egg to butterfly. Butterflies can lay up to 1000 eggs but fewer than 10% survive. The eggs hatch as larvae which become colourful caterpillars. These larvae eat milkweed exclusively. If there is no milkweed, the larvae do not survive. Next comes the puppa stage from which the beautiful black, orange and white monarch butterflies emerge.

Their bright colours warn predators to stay away. They are foul tasting and poisonous

… about Burl’s Creek Event Grounds?

This is between Barrie and Orillia, on 8th Line of Highway 11. At 700 acres, it is advertised as Canada’s largest outdoor concert site, with the ability to stage multi-day festivals and large-scale music events. There are to be 2 amphitheatres capable of accommodating 80 000 and 30 000 people concurrently.

Apparently, there are 2 concerts scheduled for this summer.

  1. “Wayhome Music and Arts Festival” – Friday July 24 through Sunday July 26.
  2. “Boots and Hearts Festival” – Thursday August 6 through Sunday August 9.

You might want to consider an alternate route on those days if you usually travel on Highway 11!!

… about all the wonderful activities taking place at the library in Port Carling?

The Muskoka Lakes Public Library would like to share with the residents of the Township of Muskoka Lakes their Summer Events. Visit Muskoka Lakes Library to see a list of programs and events that are taking place at the library this summer. These programs and events will be offered at the main branch of the library, the Norma and Miller Alloway Library