As the Peterborough Health Unit moved into the Yellow Code (as of February 16th), the status of the Galway Hall has changed slightly. Municipal employees continue to access the Hall and now some designated volunteers may also enter. However, the Galway Hall continues to remain closed to the public. No events and activities are scheduled. With the new variants and a potential ‘third wave’ of the coronavirus, it has been said that long term planning during the Covid-19 global pandemic cannot be more than seven days ahead! Please continue to check www.galwayhall.ca for updates.
Perhaps you have heard Dr. Peter Lin on CBC radio or have seen him on CBC television. Currently, he is the Director of Primary Care Initiatives at the Canadian Heart Research Centre. He lectures and speaks on a variety of topics including Covid-19. As well, Dr. Lin maintains a busy family practice in Toronto. Dr. Lin has the ability to explain complicated medical situations using easy to understand language and images. For example, he suggests we picture everyone with the coronavirus on their shoulders, complete with its ‘hooks’ (not their heads). These ‘hooks’ are like keys that try to open up our body cells and that the new variants have keys that are more efficient and more successful in opening these cells. Keep this image in mind if you venture out! It reinforces the proven protocols of mask-wearing and physical distancing.
The Galway Hall Board held its annual AGM for 2020 via Zoom audio on January 25th. All members were able to connect and participate. The Board shall continue to monitor and follow the mandates and protocols from the various levels of government. All planned activities for the Galway Hall in 2021continue to be ‘on hold’.
This month’s funniest word added to the 2020 dictionary is “techlash”. As a noun, it means a strong negative reaction against the largest technological companies, or their employees, or their products.
Remember the term marcescence from a previous article? This word is used to describe the retention of dead leaves on deciduous trees through the winter. In observing two young beech trees this past month, their leaves seem to shudder or shake when the winter winds blow. This gives the overall appearance that the entire tree is shivering! Speaking of beech trees (especially mature ones), these trees are facing a double ‘whammy’ according to the Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program from the OFAH. The first threat is an introduced beech scale insect (Cryptococcus fagisuga) from Europe. The second threat is a nectria fungus which was likely native to North America. However, the combination of these two is resulting in severe die-back in mature Beech trees, potentially creating a significant threat to wildlife, biodiversity, and sustainable forestry in Ontario. The introduced scale insect provides an opening to a new host tree for the fungus. Not all beech trees are killed by the disease however, and prevention on individual beech trees is possible, according to the OFAH.
The Barred Owl was spotted again over the Family Day Weekend on West Clear Bay Road. It cooperated to have cell phone video footage to be taken and posted.
Our local chickadees continue to be active, even in the -20C + temperatures. They have also recently decided to get ‘up close and personal”. While enjoying a few of the “Bluebird Sky Days” (no clouds visible), sitting in a lawn chair and soaking up some sunshine, some chickadees came and checked me out. One landed on my toque and pecked on my forehead. Another landed on my nose. One checked out my ear. Some landed on my jacket and my gloves. Perchance, judging by my physique, these chickadees thought I was a gigantic, bell-shaped suet ball!