Friday, June 29, 2007

Shads Hanging Around

Here’s a photo of some shads hugging the back of École publique Héritage on Lakeshore Drive. And this is a light grouping of shads!!

Well, the shadflies are back in the Bay. It’s one of those things that on the surface appears to be a “bad” thing. Millions upon millions of flying insects covering cars, buildings and people, isn’t a fun thing!! But it’s not all bad.

Some mornings you may have to use a snow brush to get them off your car windows! The good thing is that the shads don’t bite, in fact they don’t have any functional mouth parts.

Most of the time, the shads live in the bottom of Lake Nipissing in naiad form (sometimes up to 3 years). All growth occurs in the nymph stage. When the shads leave the naiad stage their sole purpose is procreation and then death. The shads usually emerge during the end of June when the lake’s temperature rises. During flight, the female deposits her fertilized eggs as she drags her abdomen across the surface of the water.

But you’re saying why is this such a good thing. Well, the shadflies are a pollution–sensitive animal. This means that the water should be good quality, perhaps even good enough to drink without distilling or boiling. It also means the oxygen levels in the lake need to be high for a large population of shads. They are an important food source for fish, birds, bats and other insects. It has been noted, that in years when there has not been a large infestation of shads, the lake’s walleye population suffers the following year.

Oh another thing, the shads do smell when they die (it’s like a bad fish smell) and they litter the ground so you have to be careful when crunching them as you walk since they are so numerous it is actually like walking on ice at times. There have been instances where motor vehicles accidents have occurred since cars have not been able to stop or negotiate corners because it is so slick.

To answer Fénix from Boston, the Shads are a type of Mayfly but unlike the British insect these guys arrive June/July.

Before I have scared everyone off about visiting the Bay, the Shads are normally not active during the day (that's why they are hugging the building). So as long as you don't disturb them they won't be flying. But watch out at night, especially in areas that are lit (most of the business along Lakeshore Drive - including the mall and the A&P grocery store, turn off their external lights and parking lot lights during this time so as to not attract the Shads).
It's a small price to pay to have super fishing on your doorstep and wonderful clean clear lakes!!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The SHADS are Back!!

More info about these unique visitors to our city in tomorrow's blog.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

ONR Signals Dept (former building) on Laurier Ave

This building was used by the Ontario Northland Railway (ONR) Signals Department for their employees who maintained the signal equipment from North Bay to Tomiko (1/2 way to Temagami). It is no longer used as can be evidenced by the unkept appearance around the building. It is located at the end of Laurier Ave near the entrance to the Laurier Woods trail.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ribbon of Rail to the Arctic Tidewater

This ribbon of ONR rail stretches about 705 kilometres from the city of North Bay on the shores of Lake Nipissing to the town of Moosonee on the arctic tidewaters of James Bay.

The view is looking northeast by the old North Bay Yard Signals Building near the Laurier Woods Trail.

Monday, June 25, 2007

école publique Pavillon Héritage - Chippewa St

école publique Pavillon Héritage is a small public French school on Chippewa St across from the YMCA that will be closing this summer to merge with école publique Héritage to form the new École élémentaire publique Héritage. They are completing the construction of the new school and will be up and running this September. All the students are extremely excited about moving into a brand new building! (Later this summer, I will try to post a few pictures of the new school).

Hope everyone had a great St Jean Baptiste Day (Fête nationale du Québec) yesterday.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Country Style 01 - Seymour St

Just so you didn't start thinking that North Bay was overrun by Tim Hortons, here's a photo of another coffee & donut chain.

This time, it is the Country Style shop on Seymour Street by the Hwy 11/17 By-Pass. It's actually diagonally across the Hwy from the Timmys that I posted this past Wednesday.